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The government should encourage self-moderated forums

Comment 15th March 2013

Many site users here including myself have had posts removed by the moderators for in our view inadequate reasons, based on other protests I've seen here.

Moderated forums in general present a problem, because the moderator is constantly asked to take sides – i.e. decide between somebody's right to post, and the rights of somebody complaining about a post.

The best solution would be SELF-MODERATED forums, such as exist on the BBC 606 site, so that whoever starts a thread can delete abusive comments on it if they please, as the BBC put it "are in control of their space."

Because otherwise we just have the constant DENIAL OF FREE SPEECH.

To put it simply, I want the right to say what I want on MY idea page without being abused, and I give in return the right to everybody else to do the same, say what they like on THEIR PAGE, and delete any comments they find abusive.

The tag system on this site is for example a major source of ANONYMOUS ABUSE, and once again, should be under the control of whoever starts the page, unless the site administrators are quite happy about the poster being abused, as appears to be the case on this site to date.

Why does this matter?

Moderation is preventing proper free speech, not only here, but throughout many or most forums and message boards on the Internet.

Unless somebody posts defamatory material or abusive language (i.e. 4 letter words, etc) the public should be entitled to express themselves as freely as they please online.

Everybody is offended by SOMETHING, so there is no way that moderators can protect all posters from abuse, so naturally they are going to discriminate against some people in an unfair manner, based on their own personal prejudices.

Thus the only solution is either unmoderated or self-moderated forums.

Because if we don't get true free speech, we'll never solve these problems we face, by pretending things are other than they really are, just because somebody's "feelings" are going to be hurt, because they have a problem facing up to the truth.

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