03 January 2013

Censorship on this Blog

A quick bit of housekeeping.

I had to reluctantly remove some comments posted to this blog this week. They were actually really good and some of the best I've ever seen here, but the problem was that in one sentence some serious accusations were made and the perpetrator was named.

Now, I've heard similar stories before. I know that a lot of nasty and horrific things happened at Boggo Road. I've spoken to enough people who were there to know that. However, this blog is in the public sphere and is not the place for making any specific accusations because I can be held legally responsible for material posted by others on this blog and be potentially liable for defamation.

If people want to share stories here that is fine, but as most commenters are either anonymous or unknown to me then I cannot allow open slather for people to accuse and NAME other people of committing crimes or heinous acts. To do so would be just asking for trouble.

I know that feelings can run very high as far as Boggo Road goes, but this is my blog and my rules. And the #1 rule is that I cannot publish any comment that a specific named person could take legal action on.

So if a commenter posts that they know that people were raped in the the prison, that's fine. But if they want to start naming names in the public sphere that's something else. I'm all for those stories being told - but not here.

I know I sometimes throw my own accusations around on this blog, but they are my responsibility and I make damned sure everything I say can be backed up with hard evidence. I am not prepared to take responsibility for accusations made by people I don't know about things I don't know of. If other people want to make serious accusations, please go ahead but do it in a way in which you take full personal responsibility for your words. Start your own blog even, or write a book.

This is not to protect one person or another, or to take sides. This is in the name of having a fair and consistent comments policy and making damned sure I don't get sued. I do have a wife and four kids here and we don't want to lose our house. I also have my own life to lead and my own work to do and have enough on my plate without any complications coming from a simple blog like this.

Yes, it is censorship, but there you go. It's my blog, my rules.

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