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BOTM Winner, April 2013
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Discussion Starter #1
So last week I was on motocampers.com forum, and some woman made a comment about the fact that the forum is VERY conservative, considering that it's an adult forum. She thought it was a bit restrictive, as if children frequent that forum. A couple of the "moderators" chimed in, saying this is a "family friendly" forum and thus free from "smut" and foul language. Then they said if people want to talk "that way", they can go find another forum, because there's other forums better suited for that.
Then a few people made posts agreeing with these moderators, saying "well said". Well, I made a post disagreeing with these other posts. I stated that in my opinion, the censorship of that forum was excessive, to the point of bordering on communism, and that it seemed unamerican.
Well, I guess that struck a nerve with one "moderator". He quickly sent me an email advising me I have "been warned" that calling people names is a violation of forum rules, and that "continuing this behavior could lead me to finding myself by the wayside". I responded to him, stating that I didn't call anyone "a communist, or unamerican", but rather referred to the act of censorship as such. I then told him that motocampers.com has just found itself by MY wayside, as I don't want to belong to a forum that acts so Un-American. He then advised me that I would be "Gone in 60 seconds", banned for Life. As if I care. I did not use any profanity at any time. I just disagreed. He said I offended HIM, because he fought for this country. I told him to brush up on American history, to refresh himself on why and how this country came to be, and what the Bill of Rights stands for. Sorry for the long-winded rant. Just had to vent.
 

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The majority of forums are privately run. Being so, they do not fall under freedom of speech, etc. Many people don't seem to be able to differentiate the two.
 

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BOTM Winner, April 2013
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Discussion Starter #3
The majority of forums are privately run. Being so, they do not fall under freedom of speech, etc. Many people don't seem to be able to differentiate the two.
I must say that is a cowardly defense to stand behind. "We're privately owned. We don't have to be American. Communism is okay here".

What some people are unable to differentiate, is what is RIGHT and what is not illegal. Just because something is not illegal, does NOT mean it is RIGHT.
 

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I must say that is a cowardly defense to stand behind. "We're privately owned. We don't have to be American. Communism is okay here".

What some people are unable to differentiate, is what is RIGHT and what is not illegal. Just because something is not illegal, does NOT mean it is RIGHT.
That is what the laws say, right or wrong.

Just as this forum could ban anyone they feel like for any reason. THIS is the digital world we live in and you may not like it but you agree to it when you click that accept button.
 

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Sorry Tstorey,
But, freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom from consequences.

It is just as un-American and "communist" to expect everyone everywhere to have to listen to everything you have to say.

The freedom of association is a right derived from the first amendment. It gives people the right to hang out with who they chose.

Maybe motocampers was unrealistic in their censorship. I don't know.
But, the right to create an association that censors speech is perfectly American.

If you (or I) don't like the rules to be a part of a private entity; we have the right leave. We don't have the right to make them change the rules.

Scott
 

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Not only can the forum mods decide what is right or wrong for that forum, most have policies that say open challenge/disregard of a mod's cease and desist order or authority is sufficient grounds for banishment.

As mentioned earlier, you agreed to play by the rules when you signed on.

As a side note, several forums I go on also have "no beefs with other forums aired here" policies. That sort of thing is also grounds for warning and or banishment on those forums.
 

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I was in the Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Explorers, USMC, martial arts, power lifting, riding motorcycles and president of the local chapter of the Descendants of a Confederate Veterans. I'm as American as can be, stand by the Constitution and fear the government has gotten too big and too restrictive. However, I find that using profanity doesn't impress anyone. Instead, it shows a lack of respect and consideration of others. A site should not have to be "family friendly" to keep out profane language. If someone does not like the rules of a site, they are free to form their own. We are free to associate with like minded people. Not being critical, just expressing my freedom of speech.
 

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I must say that is a cowardly defense to stand behind. "We're privately owned. We don't have to be American. Communism is okay here".

What some people are unable to differentiate, is what is RIGHT and what is not illegal. Just because something is not illegal, does NOT mean it is RIGHT.
Tstorey, you just contradicted your own argument. Whose shoes are you wearing now?
 

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There are an abundance of places on the web where all sorts of smut are available. Why shouldn't like minded people not have the right to keep their forum their way? Imho forcing a group on a private forum to have to accept what they don't want is un-American and communist.
 

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Personally, I would not be a member of a "non-American, communist" website. Just because something is legal does not mean it is moral.
 

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tstory, while I agree with you that based on your story, they did ban you for a poor reason, I will say that they have every right to do so. The freedom of speech that we hold very dear as Americans is based on our 1st Amendment right, which only applies to government interactions with private citizens and wouldn't be protected specifically in the medium of a forum.

But banning someone for disagreeing with a moderator, as long as it is within the rules of the forum is pretty crumby of them.
 

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Moderators can pretty much do anything they like on a forum. Them's the rules of participating in a forum. I find that if for some reason a mod takes umbrage at what I say then it is 3/5ths of f*ck all use me getting all huffy about it. Best either to suck it up or move on. An internet forum is not a democracy.
Also peeps - a lot of us are not American even though we share pretty much the same values. Talk about Constitutions & similar are meaningless.
 

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But banning someone for disagreeing with a moderator, as long as it is within the rules of the forum is pretty crumby of them.
Disagreeing with a mod in a discussion topic is one thing but giving them the finger, so to speak, when they tell you stop doing whatever is your doing is a different matter, and generally grounds for being banned. Which, it seems, is just what happened.

Put another way, disagreement and insubordination are two different things.
 

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The majority of forums are privately run. Being so, they do not fall under freedom of speech, etc. Many people don't seem to be able to differentiate the two.
Very well stated. A discussion similar to this started in a discussion group operated by a development with an HOA that I used to live in. Residents felt that they were entitled under the Constitution to make any comments that they wanted, no matter how vile or untruthful or hurtful they were, claiming "freedom of speech" as American citizens.

The First Amendment to the Constitution addresses restrictions on speech by the government, and only the government. It reads as follows:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances”.

The right of free speech is often referred to as the right of free expression, i.e. it is not limited to speaking but includes writing and other forms of communication.

In practice, the right of free expression is not absolute in ANY country, although the degree of freedom does vary from one nation to another. In the United States of America, we enjoy fewer restrictions that almost any other country in the world. However, the right of free speech as guaranteed by our Constitution is not without restrictions by government. Here are some examples:

Free speech does not allow falsely “shouting fire in a crowded theatre”. Refer to Schenck v. United States, a case regarding distribution of anti-draft fliers during World War I. Other limiting doctrines, including those of libel and obscenity, can also restrict freedom of speech.

Here is an additional list of restrictions on freedom of expression that are commonly accepted in democracies and are punishable as crimes:

• Product defamation
• Obscenity
• Threats
• Lying in court (perjury)
• Speaking about a trial outside of court when the judge forbids it
• Hate speech, or speech that incites to violence
• Noise pollution
• Speech that contains a copyright infringement
• Company secrets or trade secrets
• Classified, sensitive or secret information to protect the national interest
• Sedition – mounting an insurtection against the established order, including subversion of the Constitution or resistance to lawful authority
• Treason – talking publicly about death to countrymen or the overthrow of our government

The key point here is that the First Amendment applies only to the government. It simply does not apply to non-governmental entities. Such non-governmental entities can make any rules that they want.
 

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Moderators can pretty much do anything they like on a forum. Them's the rules of participating in a forum. I find that if for some reason a mod takes umbrage at what I say then it is 3/5ths of f*ck all use me getting all huffy about it. Best either to suck it up or move on. An internet forum is not a democracy.
Also peeps - a lot of us are not American even though we share pretty much the same values. Talk about Constitutions & similar are meaningless.
Hey Fawlty,
Were not trying to exclude anyone with talk of the Constitution.
You're more than welcome to exercise your "permissions" as a member to post on this forum as you see fit. :D

The OP claimed that censorship was "un-American".
The Constitution talk is only meant as a rebuff to that claim.

I'm pretty sure that the servers, mods, and parent company are all U.S. based.
But, this being the internet; the members come from all over. I wouldn't be surprised it some of them came from 'communist' countries.

Scott
 

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That is what the laws say, right or wrong.

THIS is the digital world we live in and you may not like it but you agree to it when you click that accept button.
As mentioned earlier, you agreed to play by the rules when you signed on.
Main ingredient there friends, is when you click the box that says "I have read and understand the rules" you also signed away the right to cry if things don't go your way. How many actually read all that stuff included there? I skim it, but don't really read it unless I feel I have a problem with the site.

As has been said many times, here and many other forums, "This is a private entity, you are a guest here, act accordingly."
 

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Back in the Day (Remember Bulletin Board Systems and Modems?) I was almost reeled into a lawsuit amongst waring users on a bulletin board system I ran. I can understand the impulse to have a heavy hand on a forum. I don't support it, I just understand it.

The administrators of the forum you're talking about are certainly within their rights to run it as they see fit. They're making a mistake, mind you - but it's their mistake to make and I fully support you voting with your feet.

Every forum can't be as well ran as vulcanforums.com, after all.
 

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I've always viewed forums as the moderators' "home" that I have been allowed into. While in their home, it is common courtesy to follow any rules they deem proper. After all, it is their home. If I want to do something a different way, I am free to create my own "home" and establish my own rules - which I would expect everyone to follow while visiting. And it all comes back to that biker code of RESPECT.
 

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Hey Fawlty,
Were not trying to exclude anyone with talk of the Constitution.
You're more than welcome to exercise your "permissions" as a member to post on this forum as you see fit. :D

The OP claimed that censorship was "un-American".
The Constitution talk is only meant as a rebuff to that claim.

I'm pretty sure that the servers, mods, and parent company are all U.S. based.
But, this being the internet; the members come from all over. I wouldn't be surprised it some of them came from 'communist' countries.

Scott
Most (all?) communist countries have extremely restricted internet allowing it's members only to view government-approved websites. So I would doubt highly that, unless they are using proxies and other technologies to circumvent their government (Happens alot!), there are not any communist-dwelling members on this forum. If they are using technologies to circumvent their government; well then they aren't being very good communists are they?

That, in fact, is the danger when you mix the government with the internet. It's not less regulation, it's more. The constitution was meant for the government; not the people. It's job is to regulate the government and restrict the government (It's all restrictions; read it!) from doing things that the US founding fathers and various elected officials over time have felt is beyond the scope of the government.

If you want to use the argument that somehow the constitution of the United States governs the forum, then that makes the forum a government entity. I would seriously hope that's not what you'd want!

Furthermore, freedom of speech is an often-misunderstood right. Freedom of speech was included in the bill of rights because the founding fathers were, first and foremost, breaking the law simply by disagreeing with the king, BEFORE they even took up their muskets. Freedom of speech was never intended to mean you can say anything, anytime, to anyone (as examples posted above; fire in a crowded theatre, perjury, etc.). It meant you can freely criticize the government without the government having consequences for you. The government can't stop you from disagreeing with it, or even for seeking to change it or protesting it!

Forum rules ultimately fall under a mutual agreement. Just like how a non-disclosure agreement can regulate speech. If you sign an NDA, you are entering a mutual agreement to not talk about something; and you'll probably get something in return. (For example, tech journalists often get the latest high tech gear from companies but have to sign NDA's that expire when the devices are released, so they can release their reviews on day one but can't release them before release day). When you register for a forums, you are entering an agreement to take part of those rules, including in how you speak, in exchange for the ability to post on the forums and have other advantages (viewing uploading pictures, downloading attachments, etc.). Like an NDA, you are free not to sign it/agree to it. However, you also lose the privileges that agreeing it would give you!

Just the way the world turns.
 
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