Just a quick thought on the anonymity policy after Cormac Lucey’s post got deleted.
The policy means that we can make assertions about each other on a username basis (e.g. “OpenWindow said X”, or “I think Yoganmahew’s train of thought on Y is a load of rubbish”). Upon seeing our own username referenced by another poster we can then come and defend or clarify our thoughts/beliefs.
People who’s real names are mentioned on the forum have no such right. There are a raft of people in the public eye who have quite a lot said about them on the 'Pin, some positive, some negative, but in all cases due to the anonymity policy they are not allowed to engage with this community.
I think that if the anonymity policy is to remain in place, and be fair, it is probably only right that no references to real people whatsoever are permitted on the 'Pin, given they have no ability to represent themselves.
A person such as RonanL should of course be allowed to come on here and express their views.
As should Cormac Lucey, or any other member of the Fourth Estate, once their identity has been verified.
It smacks of hypocrisy that Lucey’s post was deleted and RonanL frequently used this forum to air his views and publicise his publications. I enjoy RonanL contributions and the same affordance should be granted to Lucey.
I expect such skulduggery on and in the MSM but not on here, I thought it was different!!!
I can’t see the point of the anonymity policy when it comes to public figures. It is surely better allow them to speak as themselves if they wish to - that way they can make a much better contribution to the debate on the pin. If the pin needs to set up some kind verification surely this could be done for the very small number of public figures who wish to contribute.
Where public figures are “advertising” then there is a case for banning them but surely that could be done on a case by case basis by moderators.
I really think that the quality of debate on the pin would be improved by allowing them to debate as themselves.
The principal reason for the anonymity policy is legal. How do we know posters would be who they would claim to be?
In relation to the right to response, there is always the option to register and engage. Probably has happened already. Do bear in mind that anonymity does not allow defamatory remarks and you are responsible for what you post. If the commentary/criticism is fair, what’s the problem?
Just because it is currently in the rules doesn’t mean it has to stay in the rules without modification. While in general I don’t mind the anonymity policy I think there is a good case to be made for exceptions for public figures - on an ongoing basis - not just historically.
Maybe the anonymity of public figures has been thoroughly discussed before on the pin?
I don’t agree that Pinsters should not be allowed to express their views on the comments made by public figures - it would make a nonsense of much of the debate on the site.
However, I would prefer more active moderation of some of the personal comments about public figures. I was particularly uncomfortable about much of what passed for ‘debate’ on the Kevin Cardiff thread. Large numbers of posters simply used the thread to abuse him personally - ‘fat, lazy, useless, c***’, was the height of much of the ‘debate’ on the issue of his move to the Court of Auditors. I can’t see how that is not defamatory and is allowed to remain on the site. Its perfectly possible to be robust in your comments about someone without resorting to playground abuse.
My recollection of events is slightly at odds with the official line. It seemed that there wasn’t a huge problem with posters who had a public profile, identifying themselves as such, until a certain industry vested interest, kinda went off the reservation, in terms of his views. Though the rule may have existed all along, I really don’t know, that seemed to trigger the creation and/or enforcement of the rule. There were a number of posters who did use their real names. Sure even the bould Marc Coleman appeared at some stage.
One might also ask, “So people can be referenced on the Property Pin web site, but they are not allowed to go on there and engage or defend themselves or their views? I presume this is not a serious suggestion.”
Personally, while I appreciate the logic behind the suggestion, I think it is pursuing things to absurdity.
Someone might say that Brendan O’Connor, ahem, is a self serving clown on here, but it is not true to say he has no means of redress. He can rant to his hearts content in the Sindo if he so wishes. If he thinks he is defamed he can go to the courts and demonstrate how he has been defamed in the eyes of his peers, since he is patently not a self serving clown. Ahem again.
If the suggestion is followed through he would be denied the opportunity to engage in direct debate in defence of his position which might seem unfair, not that I’d expect him to register in his own name and attempt to do so. But what’s to stop him registering under a nom-de-plume, ahem, and defending the indefensible that way?
A standard jibe often seen on here, is the “is that you Brendan?” when anyone makes any sort of supportive comment towards Brendan Burgess. Is that not good enough? IMHO, it should be for internet debate and banter. Anything serious, in terms of allegations or libel or slander can be dealt with by the courts between the victim and whatever pinster went to far. Moderators can and do delete such comments and I think that is both fair enough and sufficient.