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  1. #1
    rokshana is offline Member Guru 11644 points
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    posting of proper names of official and celebrities

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    frankly that's just plain stupid...the point of the TOS against personal names is to protect a person's privacy...for a private figure that make complete sense...but a public offical...the president of the US? the queen of england?, a senator from NJ? or a blockbuster? star has no expectation of privacy and their names should not be against TOS...simply put if it IS against TOS, then it needs to be changed...I cannot imagine any other forum of this nature has that a TOS.
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  2. #2
    Moderator is offline Moderator 527 points
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    Moving to Suggestion Box with shadow.....

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by rokshana View Post
    frankly that's just plain stupid...the point of the TOS against personal names is to protect a person's privacy...for a private figure that make complete sense...but a public offical...the president of the US? the queen of england?, a senator from NJ? or a blockbuster? star has no expectation of privacy and their names should not be against TOS...simply put if it IS against TOS, then it needs to be changed...I cannot imagine any other forum of this nature has that a TOS.
    I agree that not allowing the proper names of officials and celebs is kinda ridiculous. However, after many users have tried to argue that professors, deans, school admin, etc, are officials and celebs, hence should be allowed to post their personal names and contact info, we had to rethink it. On top of that, the mods were often accused of being selective when enforcing the rule.

    So we figured the easiest way to enforce the no-name policy without bias is to not allow proper names across the boards....regardless of their celeb/official status. Otherwise, the burden would be left on the mods to decide which names would/wouldn't be permitted.

    Of course the other issue is the legal issue. By not permitting personal names, we're minimizing slander and, hence, protecting the users (yes, you can be sued for defaming a celebrity/official).

    Does this mean you can't discuss celebs/officials? Sure you can. In fact, you just did. Everyone knew exactly who you were referring to when you used their titles (i.e. "the president of the US? the queen of england?, a senator from NJ?").

    Is it a stupid rule? Yes, I believe most would agree that it is. But under the circumstances, it seems like the best solution unless something better comes along. Hope you'll understand.
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  4. #4
    rokshana is offline Member Guru 11644 points
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    have to disagree....i may not be able to define pornography but i know it when i see it...

    the mods should be smart enough to figure out that Chancellor M, while well known as the head of sgu, still has some expectation of privacy, while POTUS does not.

    and yes, while libel is possible with public officials and celebs, the standard is higher in that the statement must malicious in intent and well, false...opinions generally are not considered libel (heck the whole NY times op ed page would then be libelous.

    while it may follow the letter of the law, it certainly does not truly carry out the spirit...and frankly is pretty shameful on vmd's part

    as is moving this from the relaxing lounge where iwould be seen to hiding it on the technical forum where no one would see it. The relaxing lounge is just that...the post was not inappropriate in that forum. At best its just a bad decision on a mods part, at worst its censorship.
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  5. #5
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    Slaol is offline Elite Member 7164 points
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    Quite frankly, I disagree with this policy. I think a better compromise would be to allow the inclusion of names in direct quotations of published articles - and restrict the penalty for using names only to commentary posted by users.

    As a side note: Does this mean that we have to go back to every single post we have ever written and edit them to make sure we aren't posting names?
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  6. #6
    BrendaB_MD is offline Senior Member 510 points
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    Last edited by BrendaB_MD; 08-28-2010 at 08:07 PM.

  7. #7
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    Tipton is offline Ultimate Member 6138 points
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    The examples of "using names" on VMD have ranged from benign to malignant (anyone remember when the CMU founder's SSN was included in a post?). I agree that a blanket policy is much more effective and reasonable than trying to create a continuum of policies.

    Simply remember what the standard is and follow it as closely as possible. I have to go back and look at links and articles I post all the time since many times author's names are included in the link.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by rokshana View Post
    have to disagree....i may not be able to define pornography but i know it when i see it...

    the mods should be smart enough to figure out that Chancellor M, while well known as the head of sgu, still has some expectation of privacy, while POTUS does not.
    The Mods typically DO know, but the USERS are the ones who complain that the name of Chancellor M (and other school admins) should be allowed since he is a "public figure". Also, newer users see personal names posted (whether celebs/politicians/public figures/etc or not) and assume that all personal names are permitted.....creating even more work for the mods.

    Let's put it this way, what's easier for users to remember/mods to enforce

    1. Some personal names aren't permitted, but others are depending on whatever factors
    2. No personal names are permitted

    After trying #1 for a while, it proved to be more work than it was worth. After much debate, it was decided that #2 would be the better of the two options, albeit neither of the two were good options to begin with.

    But believe me, most of us agree that the rule is "stupid" and it wasn't an easy decision to come by. At the same time, considering the alternatives, it seems to be the best of several undesirable options. However, we're open to suggestions if you can come up with something that doesn't:

    • significantly increase the work/burden on mods
    • increase the legal risk to users



    Quote Originally Posted by rokshana View Post

    and yes, while libel is possible with public officials and celebs, the standard is higher in that the statement must malicious in intent and well, false...opinions generally are not considered libel (heck the whole NY times op ed page would then be libelous.

    while it may follow the letter of the law, it certainly does not truly carry out the spirit...and frankly is pretty shameful on vmd's part
    Yes, the standard is higher. But, as I stated, it IS possible and by preventing the use of names reduces the risks to users even further.

    Quote Originally Posted by rokshana View Post
    as is moving this from the relaxing lounge where iwould be seen to hiding it on the technical forum where no one would see it. The relaxing lounge is just that...the post was not inappropriate in that forum. At best its just a bad decision on a mods part, at worst its censorship.
    It depends on whether you meant for this discussion to be a suggestion for the VMD admin (Suggestion box/tech forum) or you just meant to vent about it without expecting any consideration for change (Relaxing Lounge). You'll notice that my initial response on this thread was rather immediate since I purposely gaze over the Suggestion box/tech forum regularly. I, and other admins, most likely would not have seen it in the Relaxing Lounge.

    The mod assumed you were trying to make a suggestion to the VMD admin rather than just complaining to other users. However, the mod LEFT A SHADOW LINK in the original forum (Relaxing Lounge) so that users can easily locate and follow the discussion if they wish. That is hardly in line with your accusation of "hiding" it....
    Doc
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  9. #9
    BrendaB_MD is offline Senior Member 510 points
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    Last edited by BrendaB_MD; 08-28-2010 at 08:08 PM.

  10. #10
    rokshana is offline Member Guru 11644 points
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    i just noticed that RJ had an infraction (essentially the one that tipped him over and bought him a temp ban) and its for a TOS violoation for proper names....and i have also seen others (mods too) use proper names their posts (abeit they are famous ones that shouldn't really be a TOS violation, but i digress....), but there does seen to be some selectivity about when this particular TOS violation is being enforced....if there is a zero tolerance policy to using proper names, then it should be done even handedly...or the policy should be changed to accommodate the posting of the names of public figures....
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