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Sunday, 28 October 2012

The forum responds, in a fashion....

I have received the following response to my post below, titled 'Threats,' from the BBC Radio Forum. My comments are attached.

Dear 'Meer Kat',

To be clear, unsuccessful attempts have been made in the past to compromise accounts on the forum.

Well not by me. And that was my point.

We do not ban people simply for disagreeing with anything anyone says. If you take the time to look you, would see there have been occasions when we have entertained persons with extreme views which other members entirely disagree with. Indeed, issuing a ban against anyone is the last thing we wish to do as we believe it is only through communicating honestly and openly that we grow as human beings. In your own case, you have had two memberships to the forum, using different email addresses and numerous IP addresses.

You banned me, I seem to recall, when I started asking questions about the forum administrator. And then deleted my posts.

We have not tried to stop you from viewing the site, as I say we have numerous IP addresses for you logged and if we wished could do so. I will point out for clarity, the forum software logs all this information, it is not just picking certain individuals.

The simple fact is that when I log on to the site from one of the IP addresses logged, I cannot view the site. It comes up with a message that states: you are banned from using this forum! unacceptable conduct This ban is not set to expire. 

We refute that we bullied a presenter on Twitter. The presenter took issue with a tweet that wasn't addressed directly at him. 140 characters is not a lot so perhaps the intonation was misinterpreted. We simply reported what was said. We did not encourage people not to save his Saturday night programme. If you look you will see another thread posted long previous promoting the campaign to save his show. The presenter himself said he was grown up enough to accept the change and thought other presenters in the same position should stop 'whining'.

I am not sure what posting a thread entitled "Don't save the Jim Hawkins Saturday show on BBC Shropshire" is, if it is not encouraging people not to save his programme? Perhaps you ought to remind yourself by having a read:

Any remarks about a BBC journalist are made in self defence, he may complain about 'little digs' we make, but seems unable to recognise his own about us. We have always been of the live-and-let-live view but if someone is going to post on other forums and blogs defamatory comments about us, we reserve the right not to be doormats.

I have already noted in previous postings that the forum has a problem understanding the meaning of the word defamatory. Journalists tend to have a better understanding of the law around this than forum members, and, in your case, the forum administrator.

As for the 'cloak of anonimity', perhaps you should have a look in the mirror 'Meer Kat'. 

The correct spelling is actually anonymity.  More importantly, I am not the person running a forum in which the administrator and key posters appear to share administrator rights - a clear conflict of interest. A forum which calls for openness and accountability from the BBC, yet the identity of those behind it remains hidden. Not for much longer though...

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