let's all take a deep breath

Moderator: The Merrimack Volunteer Moderators

Let's all take a deep breath

Postby Nat Fairbanks » Sun Jan 12, 2003 1:53 am

Devils Advocate wrote:Joe, I see that you are a not only a moderator but a moderator that prefers curbside. {...} Forbid Anons and you can all talk among yourselfs. Thats freedom of speech. If you do that your not much better than the BOS for shutting down the old forum. I believe when this forum was started there was a vote for or against anons. I believe the vote favored allowing Anons to register. But just like most of the curbside proponents on this thread, you don't want a vote of the people to count.

Moderators have been chosen to have a diverse set of viewpoints, and our actions as moderators will not be used to advocate for those viewpoints. Each individual (who happens to be a moderator as well) can certainly speak their own opinion, just like any other user, and it holds no more weight than any other user.

As for anonymous posting, everyone should realize that unless they have taken fairly sophisticated technical actions their postings are not truly anonymous. Just like the previous town run forum, the IP address of each message is recorded. While I will do my best to protect the privacy of the forum users, it is not truly anonymous.

Some posters may be interested to know that the IP addresses of all posters on the old town forum were made public when the selectmen closed the forum and made the public records available. Someone willing and able to do a little sleuthing could create interesting gossip. Again, I will do everything in my power to protect user's privacy; however there is no total protection that I can offer.

As for the future direction of this forum, I support the current level and style of registration, because it does allow those people who don't feel like they can openly speak out (for whatever reason) to have a voice. Since I also have the privilege of being administrator of this forum that means a good amount. It might lead to more disagreements and more heated discussions, but that is why we also have a moderator team.

As always, let mailto:moderator@merrimackforum.org know if you have any concerns or problems.

Nat Fairbanks
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Postby betty » Sun Jan 12, 2003 10:48 am

Nat, I am curious, why do you need to record our IP address? Doesn't this put a damper on the free speach issue?

If the anon's can be tracked, their voices can be silenced. Is that the reason you tack the ip addresses?

I was lead to believe you were going to respect peoples right to speak their minds. I expected this forum to be different. I hope you consider changing this policy, unless, the veiled threat of exposure is what is desired to keep only one view point on this forum.

Since you have moderators, you can remove any post you deem inappropriate. I see no reason to tag people through their IP address. BTW, some people have technology to bump into another IP address to disguise their own. If people have their computer on, anything is possible. just a thought.
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Postby joe179 » Sun Jan 12, 2003 11:11 am


The IP addresses can be recorded to ensure the sponsors of the forum are protected in the event legal actions result from someones posting. E.g,. libelous or defamatory posts that affect a person's personal life and/or public standing. I believe many if not all internet forums use this to help alleviate litigation issues...

You can refer to the forum rules for clarification.
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Postby Nat Fairbanks » Sun Jan 12, 2003 11:40 am

betty wrote:Nat, I am curious, why do you need to record our IP address? Doesn't this put a damper on the free speach issue?

If the anon's can be tracked, their voices can be silenced. Is that the reason you tack the ip addresses?

Even if the forum software did not track IP addresses, the server logs (used for maintance and to diagnose problems) would record IP addresses. Even if merrimacforum.org had no server logs, our host would have server logs as well, and any host needs server logs to run their business.

I have pointed this information out to make sure users are aware of it. The onus is on the user to take whatever steps they feel are needed. As Joe pointed out, both the forum rules, and the pages displayed to register as a user point out the users responsibilities. Anons will not be silenced for merely presenting their opinion. Anyone, anonymous or not, will be held to obeying the forum rules.

Nat Fairbanks
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Location: Merrimack NH

Postby Devils Advocate » Sun Jan 12, 2003 5:48 pm

Nat I find it interesting the you did not put my complete quote on this thread. In fact the part you left out was my primary point. But I thank you for leaving it on the original thread. If you or Joe is concerned about the tone of these threads asking" Betty to email you, Don't you think that Mr Mower with is comments of "Sick Pig" and references to morons should also be asked to be emailed privately. And there are others from registered users that I won't bother looking up and referencing. To me it is just another way of silencing a different viewpoint that is not apart of Merrimacks Merry Marks band of merry men. (Is that offensive?) There have been no personal attacks or slander from me or Betty that I can see that justify even posting this thread. As far as the IP addresses, what is your motive for posting that info. Only to stop other anons from registering and giving there opininion Personally, I don't care if someone wants to take the time to find and look up my IP address. To me that is a non issue. What would that accomplish and why would anyone want to do it. So they can see John Doe is Devils Advocate living on Main Street Merrimack. Frankly I don't get it. Last but not least, if threads are going to be discontinued because of the "TONE" of the content, that is ridiculous. Anytime anyone with opposing views with people that are passionate about their views their will be a certain "Tone" set. Show me one sentence that you think that I or Betty has said that justifies a shutting down of these threads. I would welcome that. It would speak volumes to me of what this supposably new forum is all about. You would be not better than the BOS for shutting down the old.
Devils Advocate

Incomplete quote

Postby Nat Fairbanks » Mon Jan 13, 2003 11:55 am

Devils Advocate, I did not completely quote your original message because I was not addressing that point. What I wanted to address was the allegations of biased moderation, and the amount of anonymity while posting. I did not threaten to shut down a thread, and currently have no plans to do so. That's why I started a new thread.

All I wanted to do is make sure all posters were fully aware of how this forum works and tracks information. If posters are truly concerned about remaining anonymous they should use a service such as Anonymizer, found at http://www.anonymizer.com/.

Nat Fairbanks
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Location: Merrimack NH

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