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PostPosted: 22 Feb 2009, 12:01 
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This latest bit of bleeding over from TR & RnR ideals of 'total transparency' has got me to thinking about the subject.

Ravenscape and Febble have both expressed that they don't think it's right to talk about people on the internet who are not 'members' or otherwise able to 'view' or 'google' the statements made about them. Including here. And I have to wonder what that concept is born out of. :dontknow:

A discussion board is a place that is literally hosted on a server somewhere. Some of these are free, but many are paid for by someone. Some places take donations, others have people who just pay out of pocket. Rational Pagans, for example, takes/solicits no donations, and has 'sole owners' who pay for the hosting, the bandwidth, the url registration - everything.

In this way, it's much like renting a private space, like, say, a storefront or apartment. While the space is rented, there's no-one (bar the police under the correct circumstances) other than the owner of the physical space who has any ability or right to allow themselves access, and in many of the rental contracts, owners need to give advance warning before entry.

Anyhow, inside that space, one could invite people in and talk about whatever they want. Or not. They can give people special rights and privileges of access. Or not. They can ask/tell people to leave. Or not.

But no-one invited or allowed in has any right to be there. No one has the right to pound on the locked door and force their way inside. And, people who put in listening devices, or drill holes through the walls to listen in are subject to criminal sanctions. Plenty of trendy night clubs, social clubs, or country clubs have 'guest lists' and screening processes to determine who's allowed to go into that particular place of business. It's not just homes that get this sort of protection.


And I don't understand why people think the discussion boards are any different. :umm:


Rational Pagans is a private space, with plenty of area that folks can view. Just because in a back room, we talk, and sometimes other people's names come up, there is no reason to think that we then have to contact those people and allow them to hear what was said, then give them 'equal time' to respond. It just makes no logical sense. If people are talking about me, over lunch, in their own home, I wouldn't expect to get a call, or even to think that they'll be sure to give me full disclosure about it on Monday. Or the next time we meet. Or ever, for that matter.

No one but the actual owners of a site have a right to have access to that site. If people give 'donations' with the understanding that there is no reciprocal transaction (no 'sale' of 'shares' or the like), then they are gifts; a one-way transfer of resources, and thus there is no 'right' given to the donors. Givers cannot dictate what is done with the gift when it's given. (Unless you have an official tax-free status, whereupon you may have some special rules and obligations).




So then, what gives people the idea that they have a right to be anywhere, read anywhere, and respond anywhere they want?

And what is the ethical or moral stance that brings this forth? (And here, I'm talking about ethical in terms of an agreed-upon social code of conduct, not just a means to 'lump together' people with similar behaviors.)

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PostPosted: 22 Feb 2009, 13:22 
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I agree 100%. And maybe this should be posted in Nialler's thread at TR. Nialler laughed about my pillow talk suggestion, but IRL it is rare that peple never discuss things with their spouse or partner. In fact it's only when official secrets are involved that there is normally any suggestion of imposed total confidentiality. And I know TR does from time to time seem to think that it's a nation state. But it's just a DB.


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PostPosted: 22 Feb 2009, 13:26 
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DMB wrote:
And maybe this should be posted in Nialler's thread at TR.


If you'd like to post the text (with a link, if you don't mind), I'd be fine with that. I'm not a member over there, but it's in a 'visible' area of the board ... :cheeky:

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PostPosted: 22 Feb 2009, 14:39 
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Well said, Hex. All of that applies to my forum as well. No one has a right to come into my home and listen to conversations I hold with my husband, my friends and my family. But somehow a private forum, that I pay for entirely out of my pocket, is different? No one is forced to join. No one is forced to stay. I have the right to invite whom I please and to exclude those with whom I have no desire to interact.

Folks can disagree all they want but the bottom line is that my forum is set up to function privately and it isn't going to change.


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PostPosted: 22 Feb 2009, 14:47 
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Right. (But obviously, you'd get it ... :cool: )

And some of what I'd like to see here is some of the opposite argument. I can't conceive of the rationale behind this demand. I'd love someone to explain it to me ... :dontknow:

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PostPosted: 22 Feb 2009, 15:01 
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I've quoted some of what you wrote and put in the link.


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PostPosted: 22 Feb 2009, 15:04 
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Yeah, Hex. I don't get really get it either. I imagine Gurdur will chime in here. IIRC he's gotten loads of shit about having a private forum.


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PostPosted: 22 Feb 2009, 15:15 
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I'd like to remind people that if they want to respond but don't want to become members, they can post a response in Brian's and it could be included here.

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PostPosted: 22 Feb 2009, 16:30 
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Stuff goes on in secret everywhere, as Jess has said. It seems to boil down to, A, people know they're being talked about where they can't read it, and B, they don't like it -- they think they're entitled to defend themselves, somehow, against any accusation, great or trivial, and that they have a right to know whenever someone is talking about them and what's being said.

I don't get that. Of course people are going to say things about you where you can't hear them. That's simply life, on or off discussion boards.

If someone could provide a justification for this fad for absolute transparency -- one which goes beyond "I have a right to know" and gives reasons why you have a right to know -- I'd appreciate it.

Rob

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PostPosted: 22 Feb 2009, 17:34 
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I'm reminded of how Pavlov's Dog has whined about people talking about him behind his back.

What does he expect?

And more generally, I agree with Hex and Mediancat here.


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PostPosted: 22 Feb 2009, 18:17 
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Cross posted from TR, at Jess's request:

Quote:
by me
Quote:
(by DMB)Hex at RatPags, who is not a member here, has posted an interesting discussion related to this issue: http://www.rationalpagans.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=4105

Quote:
(by Hex) In this way, it's much like renting a private space, like, say, a storefront or apartment. While the space is rented, there's no-one (bar the police under the correct circumstances) other than the owner of the physical space who has any ability or right to allow themselves access, and in many of the rental contracts, owners need to give advance warning before entry.

Anyhow, inside that space, one could invite people in and talk about whatever they want. Or not. They can give people special rights and privileges of access. Or not. They can ask/tell people to leave. Or not.

But no-one invited or allowed in has any right to be there. No one has the right to pound on the locked door and force their way inside. And, people who put in listening devices, or drill holes through the walls to listen in are subject to criminal sanctions. Plenty of trendy night clubs, social clubs, or country clubs have 'guest lists' and screening processes to determine who's allowed to go into that particular place of business. It's not just homes that get this sort of protection.

And I don't understand why people think the discussion boards are any different.


Please follow the link to see his whole post.


There is a huge problem with that analogy. If you have a private conversation with someone in a private room, that conversation remains confidential with regard to the participants. Only if one of them divulges the contents is confidentiality broken.

The internet is different. There is no guarantee of confidentiality. So if you talk about me in private with people you trust not to betray me, or to use your words to hurt me, there is no guarantee that at some future date, people you don't trust (or I don't trust) will have access to the record of your conversation.

And that is has important implications. Conversations on private boards are not like "pillow talk". They are like notes pasted to a private noticeboard that remain visible in perpetuity to anyone granted access.

Earljail makes a related point a couple of posts below the one in GunnerJ's link.


Gunner's link was to a post on RnR by Pendaric:

http://www.rantsnraves.org/showthread.p ... post208553


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PostPosted: 22 Feb 2009, 18:50 
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Actually, I would argue that it is much the same: Two people in a private room can have their conversation recorded and broadcast for the world to hear, just like someone can hack into a private forum and do the same thing. It's wrong either way, of course, just like it would be wrong for one of the participants to broadcast it, barring extraordinary circumstances.

In any event, that's not really an argument for transparency, and it's certainly not a case for the alleged right to know what everyone is saying about you at all times.

(If transparency is the norm, I request immediate access to RnR's legendary raid-planning forum and all PMs everyone associated with the Great Unpleasantness ever exchanged that so much as mentioned my name.)

Rob

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PostPosted: 22 Feb 2009, 19:00 
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Mediancat wrote:
Actually, I would argue that it is much the same: Two people in a private room can have their conversation recorded and broadcast for the world to hear, just like someone can hack into a private forum and do the same thing. It's wrong either way, of course, just like it would be wrong for one of the participants to broadcast it, barring extraordinary circumstances.

In any event, that's not really an argument for transparency, and it's certainly not a case for the alleged right to know what everyone is saying about you at all times.

(If transparency is the norm, I request immediate access to RnR's legendary raid-planning forum and all PMs everyone associated with the Great Unpleasantness ever exchanged that so much as mentioned my name.)

Rob


Of course a room can be bugged, but that makes a nonsense of Hex's analogy.

This was a point well-made by crazyfingers a while back, and it really made me think. We talk about "confidential" forums, but they aren't confidential at all. PMs are confidential. That doesn't mean they can't be leaked, or even hacked, but in principle the information remains privy only to the original participants, and can only be divulged by one of them. That is simply not the case with private forums where new members come and go all the time.

I have no idea who can see my posts here, and who can't, and even less idea who may come along at some later data and look.

Forums simply aren't confidential, even if they are private, because posts, unlike spoken words, are not ephemeral.


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PostPosted: 22 Feb 2009, 19:13 
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Febble wrote:
Forums simply aren't confidential, even if they are private, because posts, unlike spoken words, are not ephemeral.



You completely confuse yourself here. A thing may be confidential yet be non-ephemeral. Example: a letter. The word "confidential" never applied only to the spoken word, as opposed to the written or typed one also. Nor is a thing any less confidential in the first place if its confidentiality was non-respected or breached in any manner.


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PostPosted: 22 Feb 2009, 21:12 
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Febble wrote:
Of course a room can be bugged, but that makes a nonsense of Hex's analogy.

This was a point well-made by crazyfingers a while back, and it really made me think. We talk about "confidential" forums, but they aren't confidential at all. PMs are confidential. That doesn't mean they can't be leaked, or even hacked, but in principle the information remains privy only to the original participants, and can only be divulged by one of them. That is simply not the case with private forums where new members come and go all the time.

I have no idea who can see my posts here, and who can't, and even less idea who may come along at some later data and look.

Forums simply aren't confidential, even if they are private, because posts, unlike spoken words, are not ephemeral.


Yes, but this forum is not private, unless "not private" means "everyone on the planet must be granted unlimited access." I don't have an issue, personally, with the simple fact of Mac_Philo quoting what's being said here, because this is neither private nor confidential. (I have a problem with the uses he puts the quotes to, but that's an unrelated issue.)

But if Jess and Hex chose to make this off-limits to everyone who isn;t invited, and to bar direct quotations from it, they have the right to do that, and no one outside has any right to complain that they can't hear what's going on inside.

Just because it's written down doesn't mean it's not private. Or confidential, for that matter.

Using the "it's written down" logic, that would make my medical records not private; any transactions I have with a lawyer not private; my bank records not private; and so on. Even if I'm talking about someone else, that person has no right to know what I'm saying about them.

Of course, a private forum is not bound by rules of law; simply ones of trust. That doesn't make violating the confidences therein any less of an ethical and moral violation, and it still doesn't mean that Pavlov's Dog, say, has any right to know what's going on here, even if he's the only one not invited in, if this is a confidential/private forum.

Rob

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