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Offline Editor

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Forum agreement
« on: March 18, 2006, 12:28:11 pm »
In the light of issues raised in a recent thread in this forum, entitled 'Christians in Brookmans Park', and following discussions with the team that runs this site, I have revised the forum agreement and the site's editorial guidelines.  Our policy is to always inform forum members if the agreement is changed. The parts marked in bold italics (below) are the changes that have been made. The agreement now reads  ...

Quote
Spam, flooding, advertisements, chain letters, pyramid schemes, personal business dealings, commercial promotions, pushing and promoting religious or political doctrine, campaigning on other non-local issues, and solicitations are also inappropriate to this Brookmans Park Newsletter Forum.

The editorial guidelines now read ...

Quote
Similarly, any religious comments that could be seen as inciting religious hatred will also be removed, as will cases where forum discussions are in danger of being taken over by those pushing and promoting a particular religious, political, or other doctrine.

David
« Last Edit: March 18, 2006, 10:16:32 pm by David Brewer »
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John_fraser

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Re: Forum agreement
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2006, 02:21:05 pm »
Why did you see the need to change the agreement?
 

Offline sasquartch

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Re: Forum agreement
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2006, 02:30:00 pm »
Personally I think it has been a good thing to clarify the agreement.

I had some concerns, you did not, however noone should now be in doubt as to what is acceptable.
 

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Re: Forum agreement
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2006, 02:35:19 pm »
Why did you see the need to change the agreement?

Hi John,

Because we wanted to prevent the site's local discussion forum being used for pushing and promoting a particular religious, political, or other doctrine.

David

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John_fraser

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Re: Forum agreement
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2006, 02:42:10 pm »
Not sure I see the problem here. Pushing - yes I agree that should be stopped, but stating them in a clearly marked thread, one which was entirely related to BP, seems to be within the spirit of the agreement. And I doubt your change is intended to alter the spirit.

Or am I misunderstanding this. Are the existing posts acceptable under the new agreement, it is just that they have highlighted a whole in the existing rules?
« Last Edit: March 18, 2006, 02:43:43 pm by John Fraser »
 

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Re: Forum agreement
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2006, 02:45:47 pm »
Are the existing posts acceptable under the new agreement, it is just that they have highlighted a whole in the existing rules?

I have written to the author inviting him to edit his posts in accordance with the ammended forum agreement and editorial guidelines.

David
« Last Edit: March 18, 2006, 03:39:05 pm by David Brewer »
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Offline Mermaid

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Re: Forum agreement
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2006, 06:47:28 pm »
Yes, I think that's very sensible Dave.

Regards, Mermaid.
 

Offline Nonloso

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Re: Forum agreement
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2006, 07:35:05 pm »
I am not religious (or even Christian for that matter) but I think this is all a bit much. The original poster was only trying to meet like-minded people. I can't see why this has been turned into a major issue. What's the difference between the censorship that is being applied on this site and that applied by Google?
 

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Re: Forum agreement
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2006, 08:01:25 pm »
I am not religious (or even Christian for that matter) but I think this is all a bit much. The original poster was only trying to meet like-minded people. I can't see why this has been turned into a major issue. What's the difference between the censorship that is being applied on this site and that applied by Google?

Hi Nonloso, I agree, it's not a major issue. Posting to meet like-minded people is fine. That's an excellent use of this forum. Most sites have guidelines as to what content can or cannot be posted. However, there is a world of difference between setting rules for a community forum and allowing repressive regimes to change search results in order to hide abuses of human rights and offer a more favourable take on history.

David
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Offline Mermaid

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Re: Forum agreement
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2006, 08:11:46 pm »
I think you're being a bit disingenuous Nonloso. If he only wanted to meet like-minded people, then why didn't he just say "I'm a Christian living in Brookmans Park looking to meet like-minded people for contemplation and prayer, please contact me at ..."? Why the full-on proselytising?

As for your point about Google and censorship, it doesn't follow - because he's still been given a presence on the forum. My view is that if he wants to publicise Christianity at length using the Brookmans website, surely the best way to do so is to set up his own website (where he can say whatever he wants) and ask for a link under 'local community groups'. That way, everyone that's interested in what he has to say, can enjoy it to the full!

Also, of course, it would be nice to have links to all our other faith communities as well .........

 

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Re: Forum agreement
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2006, 10:14:25 pm »
Following a friendly exchange of messages with Barnabus, we have agreed that rather than try to edit the original thread about Christians in Brookmans Park, it should be removed. I have written to all those who contributed to explain the situation. I have suggested that if Barnabus wants to post again to invite more people to join his religious fellowship, he should feel free to do so.

David
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Offline ADM

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Re: Forum agreement
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2006, 10:50:50 am »
Burn the witches!
 

Offline Nonloso

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Re: Forum agreement
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2006, 01:34:16 pm »
Things have come to a pretty pass when Christians are now a persecuted minority.
 

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Re: Forum agreement
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2006, 02:06:37 pm »
Things have come to a pretty pass when Christians are now a persecuted minority.

Hi Nonloso,

We would not allow this site to be used to persecute any group. Any such posts would be removed immediately. If you are referring to ADM's comment above, I presumed he was having a friendly dig at me for revising the site's guidelines and forum agreement. I have sent him an private message seeking clarification.

Rest assured, no posts that persecute will be allowed on this site.

Regards

David
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Offline sasquartch

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Re: Forum agreement
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2006, 02:32:40 pm »
Let's not forget the problems caused when a few cartoons were printed in a newspaper recently - it's perhaps not suprising people are a bit wary of religious issues ! (And they were nothing to do with Christianity)
 

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Re: Forum agreement
« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2006, 04:42:14 pm »
No - I meant it was this website which is persecuting the Christians. I just can't understand why in the interests of political correctness anyone should be prevented from writing anything which does not actually contravene the law in terms of libel, incitement to racial hatred etc. Nothing that the Christians wrote was offensive in any way - a bit fervent maybe but that's not against the law.
 

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Re: Forum agreement
« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2006, 04:52:47 pm »
No - I meant it was this website which is persecuting the Christians. I just can't understand why in the interests of political correctness anyone should be prevented from writing anything which does not actually contravene the law in terms of libel, incitement to racial hatred etc. Nothing that the Christians wrote was offensive in any way - a bit fervent maybe but that's not against the law.

This website does not persecute anyone. It is a community site open to all and has been part of the community since 1998. People of all faiths and those of no faith are welcome. The Church of England parish magazine is linked to from this site and the editor has access to our servers to enable her to update the pages. It is nothing to do with 'political correctness'. As the guidelines say "any religious comments that could be seen as inciting religious hatred will also be removed, as will cases where forum discussions are in danger of being taken over by those pushing and promoting a particular religious, political or other doctrine." That rule applies to all, so can hardly be defined as persecuting one group.

David

Note: Edited only to clarify that it is the Church of England parish magazine I was referring to. Previously my post stated 'parish magazine' without being specific.  David
« Last Edit: March 20, 2006, 07:56:49 pm by David Brewer »
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Re: Forum agreement
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2006, 07:34:59 pm »
It is a really good thing to clarify the agreement and I would like to thank David and his team for doing so  but  I am still in some doubt as to what I as a Christian am allowed to say in my responses to others.

I agree that we do not want the forum to become a constant ding-dong between those on the left and the right of politics or between believers and non-believers. In my original posting I was saying what I believe and inviting those who believe similarly to come and join in prayer and worship together.

I really don’t think I can claim to have been persecuted – and certainly not silenced! If this is persecution then I need to apologise to my brothers and sisters in other parts of the world.

I thought Mermaid made a very valid point about pointing people to a website where they might find out what Christians believe.  If you are interested here is one such:

http://www.request.org.uk/main/basics/basics.htm

As to the removal of ‘Christians on Brookmans Park’ thread I re read my postings following what I had said and why I had said it and sent my analysis to David. We both separately came to the same conclusion that if we were to edit it would take forever  and we were united in our decision to remove it from the forum – following a gracious e mail discussion. Indeed (and I hope David does not mind me saying this) he encouraged me to do an edited  re posting of my original one – it was I who refused – so lets not have any more of me being silenced by the system – it is just not true!   

Anyone coming onto the forum and expressing a view has to be ready to be challenged and I do not feel offended, persecuted, put down or discouraged by the exchange of views but I am touched by those who wanted to see fair play and were concerned about me. Thank you to all who have contributed.

The group is now set up to pray. Anyone is welcome to join by sending a message privately to me. If anyone would like the group to pray for any issue that affects your life we would count it a privilege to do so. Click here to email us a prayer request

Barnabus

Editor's Note: Edited only to hide the email address behind a link in order to try to protect the poster from spammers.  David

« Last Edit: March 20, 2006, 08:02:25 pm by David Brewer »
 

Offline barnabus

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Re: Forum agreement
« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2006, 10:24:32 pm »
Just to say the e mail address is used exclusively for prayer requests and I appreciate the editing so as not to attract spammers. I assume genuine people with requests will still be able to access it - is that the case?

I trust this post is otherwise OK.

Thanks

Barnabus
 

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Re: Forum agreement
« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2006, 06:04:57 am »

I assume genuine people with requests will still be able to access it - is that the case?


Hi Barnabus,

If people click on the link in your previous post that says (Click here to email us a prayer request), it should fire up their email client and they should be able to mail you. People can also send you a message through the internal message system by clicking on the icon that looks like this  under your name or on the instant message icon, which is blue if you are online, or grey , if you are offline.

David

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Re: Forum agreement
« Reply #20 on: March 21, 2006, 09:03:41 am »
A forum user has pointed out that I was wrong when I said that hiding an email address protected the owner of the address from spammers. Apparently it doesn't. If you want to be safe, don't post email addresses on the site. The safest way for people to contact each other via email is to click on the email icon under the person's profile. You can also contact people by clicking on the instant message icon which is blue if they are online or grey , if they are currently offline. You can also set your instant messages to go through to your mail box. Simply log on, click on profile , click on 'personal message options', check the box that says 'Notify by email every time you receive a personal message' and then click 'change profile'. Then, when anyone sends you a message via the forum, you will get an email notification too.

I have repeated this in another thread about email (click here to read that thread) so that it doesn't get missed in this discussion about the forum agreement. If you want to discuss the email point, please click on the link above and use that thread.

Thanks, and apologies for the confusion.

David
« Last Edit: March 21, 2006, 09:07:42 am by David Brewer »
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Re: Forum agreement
« Reply #21 on: August 09, 2008, 02:31:53 pm »
Dear all,

I have relaxed the site rules slightly to allow more open debate. Because of this, the forum agreement and editorial guidelines have changed slightly.

The following are the edits...

From both the forum agreement and the editorial guidelines I have removed...

Quote
"However, this site has not been set up to provide a platform for those wanting to recruit others to their own persuasions. Any posts which contravene this will be edited or removed."

and...

Quote
"At all times, and particularly in the build up and during local elections and by-elections, any posts which appear to be, or verges on, political campaigning will be edited or removed."

David
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Re: Forum agreement
« Reply #22 on: August 26, 2008, 08:41:30 am »
Just when you thought it was safe to relax the forum rules on religious and political debate, this pops up in the Guardian.


Quote

Revealed: Britain's secret propaganda war against al-Qaida

A Whitehall counter-terrorism unit is targeting the BBC and other media organisations as part of a new global propaganda push designed to "taint the al-Qaida brand", according to a secret Home Office paper seen by the Guardian.

The document also shows that Whitehall counter-terrorism experts intend to exploit new media websites  and outlets with a proposal to "channel messages through volunteers in internet forums" as part of their campaign.


This could keep the moderators busy.

:)

David
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Offline Peter Hastings

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Re: Forum agreement
« Reply #23 on: August 26, 2008, 08:53:25 am »
This from the people who gave us the dodgy dossier! Good luck David!
 

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Re: Forum agreement
« Reply #24 on: August 26, 2008, 02:36:12 pm »
We probably won't have long to wait before the Home Ofice loses the memory stick with all the contact details of their volunteers .......... ;D
 

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