How you admins are dealing with the Coronavirus/CoVid-19 situation in your own forums?

overcast

Adherent
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Mar 17, 2019
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I am definitely right leaning so I don't allow left wing cover up stories of WHO. We had our shares of attack on freedom of speech from left wing forums around so I took that decision.
 

JQP

Dork
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Feb 20, 2010
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291
I had a question about Covid, did a search and figured I'd necro-bump this thread instead of starting a new one. A year and a half later, have any people's attitudes changed?

But the question I wanted to ask is: With the Delta variant rolling almost unhindered across some of the "freedom loving" parts of the US and people poisoning themselves with horse meds and sheep dip and just about anything except what's been shown to actually work, do we as site owners have any responsibility to allow or disallow Covid disinformation?

I think Twitter deletes the worst of it, Facebook doesn't care as long as it brings in money and I saw that ProBoards says it has a policy against it on its forums, although it looks like they don't enforce it too strictly. I know we're protected to an extent by Section 230 but is there a point where we might be civilly or just morally responsible if we allow people to post things that might get people sick or, say, if we allow links to fake vaccination documents and religious exemptions or the latest cockamamie "miracle cures?"

Just curious if anyone's thought about it. I haven't had the problem but I've seen forums that look like they could even have some legal exposure because of some of the material they allow or that the admins themselves have posted.
 

Pete

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My personal take is that I as an admin have a duty of care to my users to keep them safe. That means challenging miracle cures, removing links to illegal content etc.
 

zappaDPJ

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One forum I run has a mega thread devoted to it which seems to have focused somewhat on stupidity e.g. the appointment in the UK of Dido Harding, Baroness Harding of Winscombe as head of the Test and Trace scheme.

Reading back the thread would put Nostradamus to shame and I've not had to step in once as it appears we are all of one mind on the subject.
 

zappaDPJ

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Dido, Queen of Carnage, eh?

Indeed.

Telecommunications company TalkTalk has suffered what it describes as a significant and sustained cyber attack which could put all of its customers' data at risk.

We asked the chief executive of TalkTalk, Baroness Dido Harding, whether the confidential data of customers had been encrypted.

"I can't confirm either way at this stage," Ms Harding said.
 

Nev_Dull

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But the question I wanted to ask is: With the Delta variant rolling almost unhindered across some of the "freedom loving" parts of the US and people poisoning themselves with horse meds and sheep dip and just about anything except what's been shown to actually work, do we as site owners have any responsibility to allow or disallow Covid disinformation?
Although I'm not in the US, I think this is a universal question.

I would have to say it's really up to the individual admin whether they want to allow conspiracies and misinformation about the plague to exist on their forum.

Like Pete, I think I have a duty to not willingly allow dangerous ideas or misinformation of any sort to go unchecked on my forum. That doesn't mean I'll automatically delete such posts, but I will fact-check them and post warnings.
 

Oh!

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Although I'm not in the US, I think this is a universal question.

I would have to say it's really up to the individual admin whether they want to allow conspiracies and misinformation about the plague to exist on their forum.

Like Pete, I think I have a duty to not willingly allow dangerous ideas or misinformation of any sort to go unchecked on my forum. That doesn't mean I'll automatically delete such posts, but I will fact-check them and post warnings.
That's a completely sensible approach. Confront, debunk, delete, or ban - whatever is best for the community in the circumstances and their ability to manage such content. Obviously, banning is easiest, but that's a last resort at my forum. My preferred action is to debunk. But, for some types of content (and members), that's simply unmanageable because there is no chance of a meeting of minds. So, some kinds of content are outright disallowed and members are expected to adhere to the rules. So, sometimes, it comes down pre-screening posts for some members for a while (which they generally hate). I do not like pre-screening posts. And I like banning accounts even less. Fortunately, it is very infrequent when we must do this.
 

deslocotoco

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Well, i have a very different approach then the 'mainstream' content administration showed up here. Many sounds like a social network approach like Facebook and Twitter, banning any kind of discussion that not respect the "official" version of anything.

I'm in Brazil and we don't have a First or a Second Amendment, but i really respect this and is my goal to give to the my country this fundamental and natural right for all human people.

Since the start of this thread, i had to do a mega purge on my Board (a very big one). Banned around 2/3 of my ex-members, since mostly of then are trolls, flooders and all the bad behavior that comes with a Forum. That's a decision (even loosing mostly of my revenue) that i never forget, since many of then are using my board to commit felonies and that's the only kind of content that i really moderate on my site.

If is against the law in my country, it's a crime, and I'm not going to take the subsidiary responsibility for this.

So, i act strictly to what the law say.

If my country don't have a law that forbid to discuss ivermectin, hidrochloroquine or any kind of treatments, based on a doctor free approach on how to treat someone, i will comply. Just and example.

My approach on content is free speech above all, until a law says no (even if my country is in the beginning of a dictatorship by some members of the political and judiciary system).

So, the politics in my Forum are: minimum Moderation of content as possible.

In the subject of the thread, i have a "Official Thread" to merge all the discussion of the chinese virus. Some others threads show up with news, but mostly on the thread itself, populate exclusively by the Members.

If i have a phD, Nobel winner scientist telling to the public that some vaccines can be lethal, or is "guilty" to create another variant, i will permit in all terms (you guys should watch the speeches from the own creator of mRNA vaccines for example).

Many vaccines subjects are appearing too, since the beginning of the media noticing about the deaths by collateral effects (in the beginning was a conspiracy theory, now its all over the world), and i don't moderate anything.

To really delete a content that surpass my moderation intervention (or my opinion that some content is not forbid to discuss), i have a dedicate page (in the Help section) to Judiciary/Police Requests, so, the takedown in the final terms is only by judicial order, and all that comes with: identification of the suspect, access data, etc. Never happened, since 2014. That's what the law here says.

Now I'm concern that many administrators are following the same steps from social networks, banning and censuring every content that is not "mainstream friendly" and that's is not the purpose of a Forum, imho. Boards are always been a place to freely discuss any content, even conspiracy theories, and we should not follow the same steps from the Big Tech, if we do, i think we are going down like some big social networks are going to the hole.

May God bless you all my friends.
 

southernlady

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May 8, 2005
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I’ve had a moderator come down with Covid, breakthrough case. I messaged her and told her if she didn’t post at least once a day, I would personally call her and yes, I’ve met her in person and we’ve shared phone numbers.

As to the theory expressed earlier in this thread that his forum members were young and unaffected, I think that theory has been debunked now. My grandson, who is 9, tested positive for Covid yesterday.

We’ve developed about 5 threads on it now but most of us see the value in the shots. I do have friends who aren’t vaccinated but I’m not the Covid police. All mine have been very civil in discussion.
 

Pete

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Boards are always been a place to freely discuss any content, even conspiracy theories

This is the part I have some concern about. Discuss, sure, but it's really not a long way from 'discussing something' to 'being seen to encourage it'.
 
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Oh!

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This is the part I have some concern about. Discuss, sure, but it's really not a long way from 'discussing something' to 'being seen to encourage it'.
That's the same distinction I would make.
 

deslocotoco

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This is the part I have some concern about. Discuss, sure, but it's really not a long way from 'discussing something' to 'being seen to encourage it'.

It's called free speech and free thinking.

And the free speech is the first natural right to be 'regulated' by the State to implement any kind of dictatorship, after that, even the thinking process.

History shows. I suggest some George Orwell for reading, specially 1984.

After, they will come for your weapons and property.

Just see and wait my friend. It's Biblical and it's coming sooner than i expected.
 

Pete

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It's called free speech and free thinking.

That's rather the problem though: if you don't *robustly* challenge it and shrug 'oh, well it's legal', it *will* be assumed that you're passively endorsing such messages, whether you believe them or not.

By all means, free speech and free thinking, but how you act - or not - around such content also affects how others perceive you, rightly and wrongly.

I suggest some George Orwell for reading, specially 1984.

You assume I haven't already read it, of course I have. I also suggest you read some Aldous Huxley, specifically Brave New World.

After, they will come for your weapons and property.

I'm not American, I have no legal right to guns ;) However over here in Europe, we have a somewhat different view of the world.
 

deslocotoco

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You assume I haven't already read it, of course I have. I also suggest you read some Aldous Huxley, specifically Brave New World.

Oh, I'm sorry my friend. In this brave new world is hard to find someone who really know Orwell or Huxley and the messages that are behind it.

I think Orwell's masterpieces was a great apology from him to the world about the causes he fought in the past.

But yeah, both writers are great example in dystopia/utopia worlds.

I also loved The Revolt of the Masses from Ortega y Gasset.

Also, very terrifying. Orwell should be a "how the world should not go" instead of a real manual for what the world is going for.

And by that...

I'm not American, I have no legal right to guns ;) However over here in Europe, we have a somewhat different view of the world.

I understand.

As a brazilian, i see the Europe Union (EU), specially the western countries there with great concern, but this is a subject for another thread.
 

zappaDPJ

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As a brazilian, i see the Europe Union (EU), specially the western countries there with great concern, but this is a subject for another thread.

I wouldn't be too concerned.

Even though I'm in the UK I still consider myself a friend of Europe and from where I'm standing, despite recent events, we're still pretty chilled compared with much of the world. In general our views are less polarized and the majority seem happy to pass laws to protect us from ourselves. It's true we often elect clowns to govern us but they are easily ignored and life continues on no matter which flavor of clown we elect.

I'm not entirely sure what you are concerned about but I'd be interested to discuss it further.
 

deslocotoco

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I wouldn't be too concerned.

Even though I'm in the UK I still consider myself a friend of Europe and from where I'm standing, despite recent events, we're still pretty chilled compared with much of the world. In general our views are less polarized and the majority seem happy to pass laws to protect us from ourselves. It's true we often elect clowns to govern us but they are easily ignored and life continues on no matter which flavor of clown we elect.

I'm not entirely sure what you are concerned about but I'd be interested to discuss it further.

Would be a pleasure to discuss with you my friends. But i don't know if my english is good enough to go deep on this subject.

Well, for starting, i really don't like the idea to give State the power to approve laws to protect humans against humans, in general terms.

For example, in my country, back to Orwell, our Supreme Court just installed (today!), literally, The Ministry of Truth, to combat "disinformation", "fake news" and any kind of "information" that doesn't comply with the "official" story, and this is a big problem for me.

Telling about my country quickly, we are in a process of some kind of "division", or "polarization" like the media call it. Not entering in the left x right wings theme, but some scenario like the american way of life vs. a more powerful state over the citizen, like is happening with all Latin America. I really don't know what is going to happen here in the future, and this polarization is mainly controlled by China influence in one side, and the another, well, maybe USA.

We are in no return path about the State power over our civil rights and reading some history books, many totalitarian states begins with laws that suppress some kind of liberties for our "own safety".

Yeah, we definitely should start a thread about this.
 

Fait

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Jul 10, 2021
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My forum has very low traffic being so new properly so I haven’t had to worry about that.

But I’m case I’ve added a COVID sub-forum.
 

cornnfedd

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Aug 12, 2006
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After my forum name I have the catch phrase in my logo

"Free Speech Approved"

And to be honest im not the arbiter of the truth, and for me to tell people what is right or wrong or censor information because I "think" it is wrong, is just bad, thats a communist trait and it makes me NO BETTER then places like twitter or facebook. These social media sites are like cancer, they have a political agenda and are happy to use it - then deny it, while stating they are the arbiters of truth.

Unless it is specifically breaking a law then it is allowed. (eg kiddie porn not allowed, direct calls of violence not allowed, doxxing not allowed) for example.

We all sit back and criticize the big social media sites for banning people (on the left and right) yet then go and do the same thing in our own communities? crazy and makes you no better.

Left or right, whatever your all welcome to express yourselves, views and opinions.

Once upon a time that's what forums were about, sadly now days its clearly not.
 
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