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Thread: Moderator censorship of free speech on Chesschat

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    Senior Member Firegoat7's Avatar
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    Default Moderator censorship of free speech on Chesschat

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham on Chesschat
    Moderation notice - posts taken offline

    I have removed 10 posts because the line of argument in some of them was potentially defamatory, depending on facts that are unknown to me. Others were blameless and in some cases very well considered. I might put one or two of the posts back later, perhaps with some minor snipping.

    If someone wants to make claims that are even likely to be read (including between the lines) as allegations of actual engine-cheating then they need to support those claims with publicly available evidence in the same post. No little birdies, no offers to contact people offline, no cryptic crossword clues, just direct, clear and credible public evidence.

    If anyone wishes to discuss this matter please do so in the Help and Feedback section only and not in this thread.
    Is it really necessary for moderators to censor free speech over such discussion?

    Do chess players need to be treated like children and have big brother decide what they can and cannot talk about?

    Do people really need to be protected from "potential defamation" over such claims?
    Ozchess died on the 7/4/2013- killed by Gatekeepers



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    Volunteer MOZ's Avatar
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    Default It is not arms length if your arms are still on the tiller.

    Quote Originally Posted by Firegoat7 View Post
    Is it really necessary for moderators to censor free speech over such discussion?
    This hardly a new practice fg7.

    The same fears were held when the community on the old chatboard moderated by the ACF (through PB) was moved holus bolus to the arms length offering by Karthi.ck and his mate Gandalf. That lasted about a week or so and the ACF had to step in to moderate all over again making the original dislocation appear a sham for protection of the ACF. The sham persists to this day. Hence the sensitivity of the ACF Office Bearers has not changed to this day.

    Quote Originally Posted by Firegoat7 View Post
    Do chess players need to be treated like children and have big brother decide what they can and cannot talk about?

    Do people really need to be protected from "potential defamation" over such claims?
    Ditto
    Ditto.
    FReedom though Fischer-Random chess to enjoy the whole game.

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    Senior Membaaaaaa HydraTED's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOZ View Post
    The same fears were held when the community on the old chatboard moderated by the ACF (through PB) was moved holus bolus to the arms length offering by Karthi.ck and his mate Gandalf. That lasted about a week or so and the ACF had to step in to moderate all over again making the original dislocation appear a sham for protection of the ACF. The sham persists to this day. Hence the sensitivity of the ACF Office Bearers has not changed to this day.
    There are so many errors of fact, inference and attribution above that I barely know where to start - save that for a post accusing others of "sham", it's remarkably shambolic and probably also shameless. The teething issues in the early days of the addition of the old ACF BB poster base to Chesschat were not about defamation (which had always been policed), they were about swearing, abusive language, and freedom to criticise moderation. Agreement to transfer moderation to the former ACF-BB moderators was reached on the first day. There was another debate about banning powers which was resolved on the fourth day.

    Getting the ACF out of any potential defamation liability situation had been part of the webmaster's thinking in unilaterally deciding to no longer run an official ACF BB, but the technical improvements available were also a big part of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by firegoat7
    Is it really necessary for moderators to censor[sic] free speech over such discussion?
    I am easily distracted and may have missed the part of your post where you proved that you have $5,000,000 in the bank and offered to donate it all to us so that we would never have to worry about any risk, however unlikely, of being sued.
    Note: I have poster antichrist on ignore. On no account should anyone assume that I agree with, or am unable to refute, any comment by poster antichrist, simply because I have not responded to it. Chances are I have not even seen it. (NB Quoting posts by antichrist to try to get around this issue will mostly be ineffective). I am also sometimes denied the ability of reply to false accusations in the shoutbox.

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    Volunteer MOZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HydraTED View Post
    There are so many errors of fact, inference and attribution above that I barely know where to start - save that for a post accusing others of "sham", it's remarkably shambolic and probably also shameless. The teething issues in the early days of the addition of the old ACF BB poster base to Chesschat were not about defamation (which had always been policed), they were about swearing, abusive language, and freedom to criticise moderation. Agreement to transfer moderation to the former ACF-BB moderators was reached on the first day. There was another debate about banning powers which was resolved on the fourth day.

    Getting the ACF out of any potential defamation liability situation had been part of the webmaster's thinking in unilaterally deciding to no longer run an official ACF BB, but the technical improvements available were also a big part of it.



    I....
    You can play the word games for your own reasons.

    But whether you settle on:

    sham
    dislocation
    ineffective
    pretense
    arms length
    disruption
    transfer of responsibility

    the fact remains, the shift to the K.arthick/Gandalf product was unnecessary as it has achieved not one iota of new protection to ACF fears.
    FReedom though Fischer-Random chess to enjoy the whole game.

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    Senior Membaaaaaa HydraTED's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOZ View Post
    the fact remains, the shift to the K.arthick/Gandalf product was unnecessary as it has achieved not one iota of new protection to ACF fears.
    Your premise here is absolute garbage. The ACF was clearly liable for defamation on the old ACF BB that operated in 2003. The ACF is not liable for defamation on Chesschat (unless perhaps the defamation is published by an ACF officebearer as an action in their formal role and at the ACF's direction). The ACF does not own the site, it isn't the publisher, it has no contract with the site. Two people who are also ACF councillors are moderators on CC but if they have individual liability then it is not in their ACF capacity.
    Note: I have poster antichrist on ignore. On no account should anyone assume that I agree with, or am unable to refute, any comment by poster antichrist, simply because I have not responded to it. Chances are I have not even seen it. (NB Quoting posts by antichrist to try to get around this issue will mostly be ineffective). I am also sometimes denied the ability of reply to false accusations in the shoutbox.

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    Volunteer MOZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HydraTED View Post
    ... in 2013.
    Quote Originally Posted by HydraTED View Post
    The ACF is not liable for defamation on Chesschat (unless perhaps the defamation is published by an ACF officebearer as an action in their formal role and at the ACF's direction). The ACF does not own the site, it isn't the publisher, it has no contract with the site. Two people who are also ACF councillors are moderators on CC but if they have individual liability then it is not in their ACF capacity.
    You might have been successful with this contorted argument if you had used different hydras for your different roles. Good luck trying to convince a judge with the singular approach you have taken.
    FReedom though Fischer-Random chess to enjoy the whole game.

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    Senior Member Firegoat7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HydraTED View Post

    I am easily distracted and may have missed the part of your post where you proved that you have $5,000,000 in the bank and offered to donate it all to us so that we would never have to worry about any risk, however unlikely, of being sued.
    Needless hyperbole. It is irrelevant grandstanding to censor personal opinion (free speech) on a bulletin board when your site is not responsible for what people print. The onus is on the individuals themselves to defend any alleged defamation, since they are responsible for their words, not the site (that is why you have a disclaimer) . Besides it is ridiculously paranoid to claim that anybody would even be bothered to take such action in such an ambiguous case. Also, in your decision you make no claim of the site having received any complaint, which further weakens the legitimacy of your actions on the matter. I think you should have stuck with your original assessment that the story was in the public interest and just let it unfold naturally.
    Ozchess died on the 7/4/2013- killed by Gatekeepers



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    Senior Membaaaaaa HydraTED's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOZ View Post
    You might have been successful with this contorted argument if you had used different hydras for your different roles.
    I often referred to the previous PM as a dilettante on account of some of his disastrous legal and other dabblings such as "and the high court will so hold". Compared to you he was fit to be on the High Court.

    Good luck trying to convince a judge with the singular approach you have taken.
    Nothing singular about it. What is singular is your bizarre implication that if a poster sometimes posts official notices using a handle and a certain defined and publicly stated form of words, then somehow everything that poster does using that account becomes the legal responsibility of the organisation that they sometimes post on behalf of. You offer no evidence for this rubbish because you have none. If it were true then a person who might be an officebearer for 200 different organisations (and a moderator) could alternately post notices for each of them, and all of them would be legally responsible for all of the notices and that person's moderator performance.

    [PS The 2013 was a typo for 2003, fixed before your reply was posted.]
    Last edited by HydraTED; 08-01-19 at 12:08 AM.
    Note: I have poster antichrist on ignore. On no account should anyone assume that I agree with, or am unable to refute, any comment by poster antichrist, simply because I have not responded to it. Chances are I have not even seen it. (NB Quoting posts by antichrist to try to get around this issue will mostly be ineffective). I am also sometimes denied the ability of reply to false accusations in the shoutbox.

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    Senior Membaaaaaa HydraTED's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firegoat7 View Post
    Needless hyperbole.
    Pointless ipse dixit.

    It is irrelevant grandstanding to censor [sic] personal opinion (free speech) on a bulletin board when your site is not responsible for what people print. The onus is on the individuals themselves to defend any alleged defamation, since they are responsible for their words, not the site (that is why you have a disclaimer) .
    You are yet another legal ignoramus. See, for example, https://www.canberratimes.com.au/nat...26-gh9ttz.html Disclaimers do not remove a site's legal obligations to remove defamatory material upon becoming aware of it.

    Besides it is ridiculously paranoid to claim that anybody would even be bothered to take such action in such an ambiguous case.
    You can never know. People can sue over the most bizarre things, and the legal costs involved can be much higher than the payouts. About 20 years ago my club was visited by a former chess administrator from another state who told me he had had to resign to avoid his club being wiped out by the costs of a defamation suit over a seemingly trivial minuted claim (from memory, that a member hadn't paid their subs.)

    Also, in your decision you make no claim of the site having received any complaint, which further weakens the legitimacy of your actions on the matter.
    The legitimacy of my actions isn't even rationally disputable. You can dispute the necessity instead but given the relatively small number of cases it is far from clear that the defence of innocent dissemination is only voided when a complaint is ignored, as opposed to when a moderator becomes aware that content is probably defamatory in a successfully actionable way. The point at which I became aware of that is when Vlad's initial argument was blown out of the water by other posters.

    I think you should have stuck with your original assessment that the story was in the public interest and just let it unfold naturally.
    I didn't move from that claim one iota. The story is in the public interest and that is why extensive discussion of it has been allowed. Allegations of computer-cheating supported by evidence that is either nudge-nudge-wink-wink or else obviously rubbish are not. If there is serious evidence then that is in the public interest and the claimant can have another go. Or he can post it somewhere else. It's probably all over Facebook by now.

    We also find that moderating debates at the point where they become defamatory, without waiting for complaints, is good practice for other reasons. Among other things it makes for a better quality of debate and it means that posters can participate in the knowledge that they will not have defamatory garbage made up about them by others and allowed to stand.
    Last edited by HydraTED; 08-01-19 at 12:06 AM.
    Note: I have poster antichrist on ignore. On no account should anyone assume that I agree with, or am unable to refute, any comment by poster antichrist, simply because I have not responded to it. Chances are I have not even seen it. (NB Quoting posts by antichrist to try to get around this issue will mostly be ineffective). I am also sometimes denied the ability of reply to false accusations in the shoutbox.

  10. | #10
    Tin Cup Champ 2004 Just2Good's Avatar
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    Cool Good Practice vs Legal Obligations

    Quote Originally Posted by HydraTED View Post
    See, for example, https://www.canberratimes.com.au/nat...26-gh9ttz.html Disclaimers do not remove a site's legal obligations to remove defamatory material upon becoming aware of it.
    An interesting observation about the above case, at least in Queensland (perhaps not the ACT) the time limits to sue for defamation have tightened up considerably within the past 10 years - presumably in an attempt by the government to minimise litigation and the burden on the Courts in dealing with this nonsense. That being so, I think its good practice, even if out of an abundance of caution rather than genuine fear of being held liable, for an owner to remove content upon request or if there is any chance that such content could result in a defamation proceeding against anyone (including other posters of the site).

    These are just my thoughts on the matter though. The reality is very few people have the financial resources to commence proceedings for defamation, nor an appetite to do so once the 'objectionable' content is removed. Ordinarily that's enough to solve the issue.

    In terms of damages, one of the measuring sticks for determining quantum is how much damage was done to a person's reputation. The reality is that both CC and OzChess have such small viewership numbers, any damage would be exceedingly minimal, and consequently, any award of damages would likewise be minimal.
    .
    "The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."

    ~ Isaiah Berlin ~

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    Volunteer MOZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HydraTED View Post
    ...

    [PS The 2013 was a typo for 2003, fixed before your reply was posted.]
    An admirable attention to detail.

    When our Club sub-committee (for the Australian OPEN 2019) was reviewing the bylaws, with the implications for our bid, it was always a concern that the web-version of a particular by-law may be out of date. I assured the sub-committee that any part of our proposal that was non-compliant with the published bylaw, or was non-compliant with a later version not yet published, that we could anticipate attention to detail before our proposal was accepted.
    After the ACF review/acceptance has been achieved and executed, we can presume our proposal was compliant.
    FReedom though Fischer-Random chess to enjoy the whole game.

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