Important: a note about the 'nonce' threads and naming living individuals

Discussion in 'UK politics, current affairs and news' started by editor, Oct 12, 2012.

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  1. free spirit

    free spirit more tea vicar?

    fwiw, and this is conjecture, but I'm of the opinion that this crap about people in authority at multiple institutions all individually deciding to brush accusations against Jimmy Saville under the carpet just because he might pull the plug on his charity fund raising / stop being a volunteer porter etc to be a fairly obvious smokescreen.

    The only way I can see that Saville would have had the clout to get these allegations quashed so easily for so long would be if he actually had fairly solid incriminating evidence / information about the activities of others higher up in these organisations.

    In which case, Saville could easily just be the high profile tip of a very big iceberg, which in turn means that it's important that there are outlets available for people to openly post their experiences / information they might have against others to get it into the public domain.

    I hope posting this genuinely held opinion doesn't flout these rules, and no I don't have any specific information myself.
    Kaka Tim, dogDBC and frogwoman like this.
  2. Johnny Canuck3

    Johnny Canuck3 Well-Known Member

    We're talking about threats of legal action made in cases of alleged defamation. If the public figure is dead, there can be no successful action for defamation. If the public figure is alive, there can be a successful action - even if the allegations were ultimately proven true, but at the time of the publication, insufficient proof existed.

    The law is quite reasonable in this regard, imo: people shouldn't go around making heinous accusations unless there is solid proof to back the accusations up. Rumor-spreading is amenable to court action, as it should be.
    Maltin likes this.
  3. Pingu

    Pingu Credo

    i think some are missing the point. its not about not wanting to allow people to name and shame. its about rich people having the ability to shut the site down using injunctions etc that the site doesnt have the means to fight - even if the allegation is 100% true. it doesnt matter if the person doing the accusing has photgraphc evidence and a letter from the guys/gals mum saying they are a wrongun, until they have been done for it its still only an allegation. during the period between allegation and the daily mail headlines they can use expensive lawyers to shut urban down. the likes of the press can fight the injunctions etc but urban cant.

    if the ed gets a takedown notice and goes "fuck you - the guy was a kiddie fiddler" all that will happen is the host will take the site down as the lawyer adds them to the distribution list for a legal rogering.
  4. Mrs Magpie

    Mrs Magpie On a bit of break...

    ...and just make it clear, Biggus Dickus has been banned for two weeks for posting an allegation on a living celeb. His post has been deleted. I'm fed up to the back teeth of his juvenile boundary pushing. Twat.
    Nylock, twistedAM, Ceej and 4 others like this.
  5. Pingu

    Pingu Credo

    i guess an alteranitve option would be that you are allowed to make an allegation provided you lob a couple of hundred grand into the server fund. you get it back (less deductions for the odd curry or two) once a conviction is obtained
    equationgirl and Maltin like this.
  6. Maurice Picarda

    Maurice Picarda Actually, might as well flounce.

    A couple of hundred grand wouldn't get one very far if one was determined to persist with an allegation against a latter-day Maxwell.
    editor and Mrs Magpie like this.
  7. Mrs Magpie

    Mrs Magpie On a bit of break...

    Yeah, I think a minimum of £650,000
  8. Pingu

    Pingu Credo

    per post...
    Mrs Magpie likes this.
  9. Pingu

    Pingu Credo

    if this idea takes off btw i had better get an invite to the first curry
  10. Mrs Magpie

    Mrs Magpie On a bit of break...

    Unfortunately it would involve personal responsibility. Something that clearly isn't present when posters put editor, the mods and this whole site in the legal firing line for the lols :mad:
    petee, gosub and equationgirl like this.
  11. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat meh

    It is worth noting that the 'Daily Mirror' was successfully sued for libel in the late 50s by Liberace for hinting that the latter might possibly not be heterosexual. (more here)
    frogwoman likes this.
  12. stuff_it

    stuff_it stirred the primordial soup

  13. free spirit

    free spirit more tea vicar?

    I take back my previous posts.

    I've just been through all the Savile threads, and it's clear from them that Urban has zero interest in being any sort of a safe space for people to post up relevant personal experiences or experiences of others they're aware of regardless of the legal situation.
    firky, discokermit and DaveCinzano like this.
  14. pseudonarcissus

    pseudonarcissus fluttering and dancing

    Surely the local police station should be where such things should be reported. We now find out that there may have been credible witnesses to alleged behavior at the BBC. why are these people not being locked up for aiding and abetting? Rather like the US football coach. How can people witness rape of children and not report it to the proper authorities?
  15. wemakeyousoundb

    wemakeyousoundb and calm again

    According to a few reports those that did report it were told to keep quiet, pretty fucking disgusting affair all round really, I wonder if those that decided to cover it up for whatever reason can be done for non assistance to persons in danger or some other law.
  16. Idris2002

    Idris2002 Well, there goes the frying pan theory.

    Didn't it take the London Greenpeace people over a decade to win the McLibel trial? Could this site, and the communities around it, survive being offline for a decade? Or even a year?
  17. editor

    editor Forked with electrons

    They only won a few points in the McLibel trial, and the two people concerned had just about given up their entire lives to fight it. The libel laws in Britain favour the rich and powerful and my advice is to always cave in unless you really REALLY think the matter is important enough to risk everything on.

    I fucking hate the fact that this is the way things have to be, but it's better to survive and be a bit bruised than be crushed by some rich fucker.
  18. RubyToogood

    RubyToogood can't remember what goes here

    It's not a safe space. It's the internet. Any attempt to represent it as a safe space would give a misleading impression.
    Nylock, Corax, equationgirl and 4 others like this.
  19. Sasaferrato

    Sasaferrato Grateful for what I have.

    Have you any idea how much money would be involved? Besides, were a defence fund to be set up, the knowledge that there was money, could well spur on a potential litigant.
  20. longdog

    longdog What is it you can't face?

    The sums don't even come close to adding up.

    Even being conservative you're probably not going to get much change out of £100,000 just for the legal fees in a libel case.

    How many regular posters are there on here in total? 100? Lets call it 200 for the sake of argument. How many of those have £500 to spare to bail out a website because somebody's not capable of exercising a little bit of common sense?
  21. Meltingpot

    Meltingpot Living in our pools we soon forget about the sea

    Point taken, but I've seen about 420 one (admittedly unusual) lunchtime.
  22. Meltingpot

    Meltingpot Living in our pools we soon forget about the sea

    The annoying thing is that the law's easily fixed in this regard; all you have to do is make the penalty for a dishonest libel suit - one designed to shut someone up who's in fact telling the truth about you - truly prohibitive.

    If a journalist is telling the truth about a company, for example, and the company tries to launch a libel suit to shut the journalist up, he should be able to sue the company for the shirts off their backs.

    Bankrupt a few, and the others will soon start to sit up and take notice.

    There's another side to this; newspapers in the UK are free to print scurrilous and even blatantly false stories about people with impunity, knowing that most people don't have deep enough pockets and perhaps sufficient stamina and tenacity to take them on and win in the libel courts.

    There's a solution to this too; if a newspaper publishes a defamatory story about an individual, and that story is proven wrong, the paper should publish a retraction and apology for that story as prominent in the paper as the original story was. If the original story was a front page and heading, so should the retraction and apology be.

    Both of these would work but they'd be inconvenient for those in power, which is why they aren't being implemented at the moment.
    muscovyduck and Dowie like this.
  23. Maurice Picarda

    Maurice Picarda Actually, might as well flounce.

    Interesting question. Perhaps calls for a poll.
  24. 8115

    8115 sitting down is bad for you

    £100,000? Maybe for the preliminary arguments. Reckon on the best part of a million, to be safe. For one libel case.
  25. Wilf

    Wilf Dances like a Christian

    Agree fully with Eds OP. We all use urban as a free resource and we shouldn't do things that risk it's existence or cause needlless shit for mods. It's about posting as a grown up, not dicking about (well, not dicking about in ways that fuck the site up, I'll defend to the death my right to dick about....). In fact I'd guess most of the posts that could have caused problems were in the dicking about category, 'I be he's a nonce' type stuff. Can't promise to have seen all the threads, but the allegations/testimonies of actual abuse seemed to have been about Savile and Nutkins, who are beyond legal action. So yeah, I agree absolutley, don't do things that endanger the site just for fun (inc my own post about xxxxxxx :oops: ) .

    There's a however though, perhaps an obvious one: adopting what you do and say in response to threats is how power works and how genuine allegations, not the dicking about variety, are closed down. In fact those threats, implied or actual, kept Savile afloat for the last few decades. There's also Freespirit's point about urban needing to be a place where people can share things that have happened to them (and again, as far as I can tell, that only happened in relation to now deceased nonces). None of that is rowing back from what I said in the first para. If I was Ed I'd be constantly shitting myself about these legal challenges, pretty much as any other board mod/owner would. In terms of campaigning and risking the board I'd also want to make sure I didn't get into a legal case caused by dicking about posts, leaving the powder dry for something substantial, for example real and plausible accusations - and even then it would be difficult. So, what, I'm still agreeing with the OP and not making any digs about having a defensive mindset on this stuff. It's just a thought that this is ultimately how power works. :(
  26. laptop

    laptop Freudenschade

    I reckon it'd have to be personal penalties. Send a few directors to jail...

    There is a downside. Consider:
    • Company A sues journalist B for libel
    • The case fails - apparently decisively
    • Journalist B sues company A for malicious libel action
    • That case fails too (is it heard in front of a jury? Are there three jurors who just hate all journalists more than they hate drugs company execs?)
    The journalist (or newspaper) is now a lot poorer, and their reputation is rather damaged...
  27. DaveCinzano


    Two-way street.
    editor likes this.
  28. Wilf

    Wilf Dances like a Christian

    Yeah, I suppose it is (if I've got your meaning right). Just think it's fair enough for Ed to say don't cause hassle just for the sake of it, my 'dicking about' point. Same time, if we are talking about something serious and genuine, I'd like to think urban was willing to take some risks - even if that's easy to say and it wouldn't me taking those risks.
    Greebo likes this.
  29. editor

    editor Forked with electrons

    Bumped because it's starting again.

    Please DO NOT start throwing around names just because you think they may 'look like a nonce' or whatever. If you do, threads will have to disappear and you may find yourself banned.
  30. tommers

    tommers Your disco needs you

    Sorry Ed. It was a gag (I have no reason at all to think it's true), but I can see why it might cause you problems.

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