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13 hours ago, peeriebryan said:

I think it's getting a bit overheated if folk are worried their right to free speech is under threat and we're comparable to China because a comment was moderated.

The moderators want the forums to be friendly and welcoming to everyone. If the moderators think a comment is needlessly mean spirited, picks on a group of folk, doesn't add anything constructive to the discussion, is inaccurate and/or any other combination of reasons we feel contributes to the forums being un-friendly and un-welcoming, then the mods will do some mod-ding.

If we all keep the Guidelines in mind I'm sure we'll be fine.

The very fact that anything is being "moderated " surely means free speech is censored.

I was brought up to believe "sticks and stones could break my bones but words could never hurt me. 

Britain and the western world is surely drifting away from free speech ,we are no longer allowed to express our feelings freely.

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Free speech does not mean "I can say whatever I like, wherever I like, and nobody can stop me". If you come into my house and start making racist or homophobic comments, I will ask you to leave. Same thing with Shetlink. This is a private space and offers no guarantee of "free speech", however you define that.

We aim for it as far as possible, but there are many reasons why a comment may require moderation. Some decisions will be better than others (we're only human), but the argument of "free speech" is just not relevant. Any comment may be removed for any reason, without explanation, and that's just how it is. We'd prefer not to, but sometimes it's necessary.

Anyway, this topic is about Vaccination cards and has long since drifted off. Feel free to start a topic on free speech though. We may well already have one.

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1 hour ago, Urabug said:

I was brought up to believe "sticks and stones could break my bones but words could never hurt me. 

So you wouldn't be bothered if someone started spreading rumours you were a child molester, then?

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55 minutes ago, Evil Inky said:

So you wouldn't be bothered if someone started spreading rumours you were a child molester, then?

Yes I certainly would, but would I be able to defend myself if I'm not allowed to speak my mind.

Maybe we are all to easily offended nowadays, and lack the ability to  "shrug our shoulders " and walk away and forget.

I'm proud to be a "shelti" and have no objections being called one, but we have to be careful what we call some folk from other parts of the world as that can offend them.

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2 hours ago, Evil Inky said:

So you wouldn't be bothered if someone started spreading rumours you were a child molester, then?

 

1 hour ago, Urabug said:

Yes I certainly would, but would I be able to defend myself if I'm not allowed to speak my mind.


In theory, would you expect the moderators to 'censor' someone on Shetlink if they started spreading misinformation about you on the forums?

And in principle, would you support such 'censorship' or not?

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On 07/04/2021 at 10:02, Roachmill said:

Let's get this straight then, Colin. Because someone is no spring chicken they should be able to drop in casual racist / sexist / whateverist comments and that's OK? And what, say, were a twentysomething to come along and do the same - would you put that down to the ignorance of youth and let it go? Throughout history folk have held opinions that were all sorts of messed up, allowed to go unchecked and look where it ended up.

I think you're completely missing the point. People who have been around a while grew up in a different time, and have lived through multiple attitudes and standards, and don't necessarily agree that current attitudes standards are an improvement upon the previous or in any way a sign of 'enlightenment, despite a slew of 'Johnny come latelys' and their enablers doing their damndest to ensure the entire population complies.

Some of us old duffers see it as making a rod for their own backs and its all going to turn round at bite them in the ass sooner rather than later.

For example earlier this week Facebook were running sponsored Ads one night with the bold headline 'Does Your Young Person start College/University this year'. Were I 16 or 18 or whatever, I'd be grossly offended to be referred to in such a way, it feels entirely dehumanising being spoken about in exactly the same way as someone's pet cat/dog/guinea pig/horse whatever......

Those opinions that your were talking about that were all sorts of messed up, I seem to recall dehumanising featured quite prominently in most of them.....

Secondly, the definitions of all your isms, ists, phobics etc are a moving target, driven up and down by public opinion at the time and place, there are no hard and fast benchmarks, and don't try and cite 'if it offends someone its wrong' as if we are supposed to take that one seriously we can all shut up and go home now as it won't matter how innocuous any statement is, someone will take umbrage to it.

Round here the Shetlink Mods set the bar, and that's fine, that's what they're there for. For some that bar probably isn't set high enough, for some that bar is set far too high, like me. As it excludes comments that I completely fail to see or understand how they could possibly 'offend', but that may just be my stupidity/ignorance/lack of empathy whatever, I don't really care, it is what it is.

To attempt to get back on topic, and as opinions have already been mentioned, strange beasts that they are.....

You know, don't you find it a little strange that the slightest mention of genetically modified crops, and half the population loses its mind and goes in to a meltdown. Yet, genetically modify a virus that only another species can catch and suggest injecting it direct in to humans, and they're queueing up. Surely 'genetically modified' is either 'bad' or 'good', cherry picking which it is depending on its application has no credibility. Especially when the 'good' use is as a very poorly performing vaccine against a lurgie that 30% who get it have no symptoms and the vast majority of the rest have the equivalent of the flu. Yet the 'bad' use, is providing folk with food that they need every day of their lives to survive. Strange logic in mu opinion.

So called 'Vaccination Passports' have the same issue. Suggest everyone is issued with an I.D. card, and half the populations loses its mind and goes in to meltdown. Yet suggest the masses carry a card proving they're 'clean' and they steadily come round to the idea with little fuss. What's the differences what the card is allegedly primarily for, once in place it can be used for many other things.

Don't get me wrong, I'm in favour of those who've had this Frankenstein concoction of a so-called vaccine making themselves as easily identifiable as possible, as I'm a damn sight more leery about what might be catchable off someone with their body rattling full of bits and pieces of some monkey virus than I am of catching the 'rona. I'd suggest wearing their 'Vaccine Passport' as prominently as possible would be ideal, but I won't, as its too reminiscent of those all sorts of messed up opinions from history and their 'divide and conquer', 'them and us' compulsory armbands, marked buildings, tattoos etc tactics.

 

 

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27 minutes ago, Davie P said:

 


In theory, would you expect the moderators to 'censor' someone on Shetlink if they started spreading misinformation about you on the forums?

And in principle, would you support such 'censorship' or not?

It  is very important IMHO to protect free speech.

Surely if someone is spreading malicious information that cannot be substantiated then we all have the law to turn to.

The right to express our personal feelings may upset some, but that is a right we in the western world must protect.

Any comments on this or any other HYS site, lies purely with that of the correspondent , and surely should not be blamed on those who provide the web site.

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7 minutes ago, Urabug said:

Any comments on this or any other HYS site, lies purely with that of the correspondent , and surely should not be blamed on those who provide the web site.

What if the people who run the web site don't want it to be the sort of place where racial slurs or graphic sexual content appear? 

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You haven't answer my question @Urabug, but is it fair to say that you believe anybody should be able to say whatever they want wherever they want to whoever they want unless it is illegal, and then it's up to an individual claimant to take legal action?

And by extension, do you believe all Have Your Say websites should be completely unmoderated?

I don't want to have a go at you directly, I'm just wondering if you think there's a middle ground somewhere.

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2 hours ago, Ghostrider said:

For example earlier this week Facebook were running sponsored Ads one night with the bold headline 'Does Your Young Person start College/University this year'. Were I 16 or 18 or whatever, I'd be grossly offended to be referred to in such a way, it feels entirely dehumanising being spoken about in exactly the same way as someone's pet cat/dog/guinea pig/horse whatever......

Yun wis a good post GR, but does du see da irony in complaining aboot folk gettin offended by using an example in which du says how 'grossly offended' du'd be by da wording o a Facebook advert if it was aimed at dee. It's lik du's lookin fur wyes tae be offended ;-) 

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1 hour ago, Davie P said:

You haven't answer my question @Urabug, but is it fair to say that you believe anybody should be able to say whatever they want wherever they want to whoever they want unless it is illegal, and then it's up to an individual claimant to take legal action?

And by extension, do you believe all Have Your Say websites should be completely unmoderated?

I don't want to have a go at you directly, I'm just wondering if you think there's a middle ground somewhere.

The very fact that HYS sites are moderated means "free speech" is no longer free.

If we do not say what the moderators agree with then  it is deleted, guess it's their prerogative.

I feel that here in Britain we are all be "gagged" and only allowed to say what so called "society" allows us.

If news channels are also being controlled in what they say, then where lies the truth. 

Time to crawl back into my den and shut up in case I upset someone.

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16 minutes ago, Urabug said:

The very fact that HYS sites are moderated means "free speech" is no longer free.

On the other hand, it means I can browse the Shetlink forums without having to wade through pictures of people's genitals, which is nice.

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17 hours ago, Ghostrider said:

I think you're completely missing the point. People who have been around a while grew up in a different time, and have lived through multiple attitudes and standards, and don't necessarily agree that current attitudes standards are an improvement upon the previous or in any way a sign of 'enlightenment, despite a slew of 'Johnny come latelys' and their enablers doing their damndest to ensure the entire population complies

Age isn't an excuse for feeling entitled to stop learning, being mindful and / or respectful. Lord knows I've been guilty of unthinkingly using certain language through my years; until someone somewhere pointed out the derogatory, disrespectful or hurtful origins or connotations of such language. So I stopped.

That's not to say there aren't individuals out there preaching extreme views e.g. if you're not vegan you should kill yourself, give all your money to God or burn eternally in Hell and even evangelical iPhone owners. I certainly wouldn't dismiss normal vegans, religious folk or someone who just get a cheap upgrade off the back of them.

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16 hours ago, Urabug said:

If we do not say what the moderators agree with then  it is deleted, guess it's their prerogative.

I assure you you're wrong. If we deleted everything we didn't agree with then there wouldn't be much discussion 'round here!

16 hours ago, Urabug said:

The very fact that HYS sites are moderated means "free speech" is no longer free.

Most moderating goes on behind the scenes, and it's pretty unglamorous stuff - deleting spam and spammers' accounts, sending friendly Private Messages reminding people of T&Cs, merging threads, sending password reminders, dealing with disputes between members etc. Occasionally, for the greater good, the duties extend to removing content we feel is in breach of the community protocols.

We started Shetlink over 14 years ago to encourage debate about Shetland related issues and as a way for Shetland diaspora to stay in touch, and the community values have evolved over time. But if someone feels they're being 'gagged' or their 'freedom of speech' is being impinged because of the community values (that the moderators have volunteered to uphold), then I suggest this probably isn't the best community for them to be a member of.

There are plenty of websites out there with little or no moderation, and I would suggest that constructive, civilised debate is generally not a hallmark of such websites. If unmoderated Freedom of Speech is the goal, then good luck in finding a website to hold a discussion that doesn't descend into spam, porn, flaming and trolling - unfortunately, that is what absolute Freedom of Speech looks like on the internet. I've been moderating forums for 20+ years and can't think of a single example of an unmoderated forum which hasn't devolved into an absolute rattle o' dirt! 

When people talk of Freedom of Speech as an ultimate and ideal goal, it is easy for them to forget that there has to be a space for such speech and freedoms to be exercised. It's about finding a workable balance.

--

And please, lets not go down the route of claiming that 'there was more Freedom of Speech in the olden days' etc - in my experience, that's a result of people having ever more options to express themselves publicly but finding that there are even more options for people to disagree with them and call them out too. Expressing some 'colourful views' across the garden fence or down at the social club was one thing, but posting them online for the world to see is another, and it should come as no surprise that there are plenty more folk who will challenge those 'colourful views'.

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