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Thread: Socks, Members and Opinion

  1. #1
    NattyBooshka Guest

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    Well, just got back from a few days away, and it seems that once again any oppinion differing from that held by some founder members is not respected. Sad to see Hornet no longer wants to be a member, and we too have considered our membership on a number of occasions... pretty much from our first reading of the forums. Is there a way of a member removing their own membership? Sadly, it looks like a few people will be needing it. Good luck to the committee, they are going to need it we think. This Association can do great things for us all, and for that reason we should all give them a chance to represent us. Personally, we will remain members, hopeful that the committee will become willing to listen to advice/comment/opinion without labeleing it s**t and the likes. If not we fear that there could be someone crushed in the rush for the door.

    We feel that just because somebody has spoken against the GAGB, a committee member, or an opinion... that shouldn't mean that they are looked at differently... afterall the point of debate is to compromise/modify your views in the light of the facts/opinions of others. If we're all as stubborn as those who won't listen to somebodys opinion now because of something they said last year, it's not the opinion that is s**t, it's the stuff we're stood in.

    We can see why a person would choose to use a sock puppet... it's because an opinion under some names, probably including this one, no matter how good will never be listened to by some of TPTB here.

    One more day and we have a committee... no matter how many or who they are, they need to be given a chance to give this association a chance of achieving what it was set up to do.

    Once again, good luck to the committee.

  2. #2
    Teasel Guest

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    Originally posted by NattyBooshka@Nov 3 2003, 07:37 AM
    We can see why a person would choose to use a sock puppet...
    Yes, so can I, though I've never used one myself. But a cacher's sock puppets should constructively and politely post opinions genuinely held by that cacher. Posting more extreme views than the cacher themselves holds, simply to "stir up the ants nest", must not be tolerated. I've said before that I personally would favour a more heavy-handed moderation policy towards sock puppets on these forums. Anonymous posting is a priviledge which should not be abused, lest we all suffer from its removal.

    Whilst it's questionable whether we could/should prevent sock puppets from posting in the forums, one thing which is beyond doubt is that they must not vote in elections. Not only that, but the general electorate must be confident that they are not voting. The committee are currently throwing ideas into the mixing pot to work out what changes need to be made.

  3. #3
    NattyBooshka Guest

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    We know that the GAGB is in good hands, and are pleased to hear that the possiblity of sock puppets voting will be addressed.

    Now let's see who wins the last round of the elections and let's then all get behind our committee. There are things we will disagree on, but we should all remember that the GAGB will be moving in the right direction. We all have different visions of caching in the future, and the GAGB will represent most of our views, most of the time, which is the best we could hope for it to do.

  4. #4
    BugznElm'r Guest

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    Originally posted by Teasel@Nov 3 2003, 11:44 AM
    Whilst it's questionable whether we could/should prevent sock puppets from posting in the forums, one thing which is beyond doubt is that they must not vote in elections. Not only that, but the general electorate must be confident that they are not voting. The committee are currently throwing ideas into the mixing pot to work out what changes need to be made.
    Nearly impossible to acheive that though without a proper membership application process. Will the committee consider this?

  5. #5
    paul.blitz Guest

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    Originally posted by BugznElm&#39;r+Nov 3 2003, 01:10 PM--></span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (BugznElm&#39;r @ Nov 3 2003, 01:10 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin--Teasel@Nov 3 2003, 11:44 AM
    Whilst it&#39;s questionable whether we could/should prevent sock puppets from posting in the forums, one thing which is beyond doubt is that they must not vote in elections. Not only that, but the general electorate must be confident that they are not voting. The committee are currently throwing ideas into the mixing pot to work out what changes need to be made.
    Nearly impossible to acheive that though without a proper membership application process. Will the committee consider this? [/b][/quote]
    My personal comments:

    This was indeed one of the things we discussed in our conference call last night.

    We haven&#39;t taken any specific decisions on that YET, but one suggestion that may be considered is to have a 2-tier membership:

    1) Full members would, like for any other formal organisation, be expected to provide their proper name, address etc (which would be held 100% confidentially - as it would in any club - and as such, release of any data is strictly limited by the Data Protection Act), as well as one (or more?) aliases they would use online. (This is like almost any other club / organisation, where membership details are NOT fully disclosed to non-committee)

    2) "Associate" members would not provide those details (ie this is what "sock-puppets" would sign up to), but the "facilities" available to them would be greatly limited. Personally, I would like it included that such memberships, and their postings, would be liable to deletion if their actions were felt to be against the GAGB


    Thus, a full member would, as far as OTHER members are concerned, have their anonymity, but in extremis, could be traced by the committee. This is no different from any other "normal" organisation.


    However, this is but ONE possibility, and I mention it here in order to promote positive dialogue on what members feel could be the way to go.


    Paul Blitz

  6. #6
    BugznElm&#39;r Guest

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    Originally posted by paul.blitz@Nov 3 2003, 01:26 PM
    1) Full members would, like for any other formal organisation, be expected to provide their proper name, address etc (which would be held 100% confidentially - as it would in any club - and as such, release of any data is strictly limited by the Data Protection Act), as well as one (or more?) aliases they would use online. (This is like almost any other club / organisation, where membership details are NOT fully disclosed to non-committee)
    Does this mean that the GAGB will have to become a "legal" entity now?

  7. #7
    Teasel Guest

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    I&#39;m not suggesting a full published membership list, as I don&#39;t think it would serve any particular purpose. However, the DPA in no way prevents members of an association from knowing the identity of the other members of the association. (Not the last time I read up on it anyway, though it is horribly opaque in some areas&#33 The only requirement is that members consent to the intended processing of their personal details.

    I appreciate that some may not wish their full names to be associated with their geocaching nicknames. However, as things stand, the privacy guarantees do not even allow me to say "Squiggly is a voting member of GAGB, but that&#39;s OK because Puddle is someone different". Tim and June fell foul of this excessive secrecy within hours of the announcement of GAGB when they were criticised for "outing" a certain Teasel as having signed up. This is a silly situation to be in.

    How about some statements to be thrown in the blender...

    1) A list of all account names and their membership type is publically accessible
    2) If an email address for an account is known, an icon to send that person an email will be available
    3) The committee maintains a database of the real names and addresses associated with each of those accounts.
    4) Accounts for which the committee hold personal details are eligible to be full members
    5) Accounts for which the committee do not yet hold details will be associate members
    6) An individual may have only one full account, but may have other associate member accounts (sock puppets tolerated, so long as they&#39;re polite and constructive)
    7) The committee will not divulge real names or addresses for any account names
    8) A membership form is posted to the given address and must be returned before full membership is granted
    9) A "membership fee" of 20p (or unused postage stamp) must be returned with the membership form
    10) A more substantial membership fee be charged, so that postal ballots become a possibility

    I&#39;ve numbered them for ease of picking holes. Just thinking aloud here, none of this is meant to be taken as a proposal, just as a brainstorming session to canvass opinions that the committee need to consider.

    I&#39;ll start you off... "I don&#39;t like the idea of number 10 because internet ballots are so much faster than a postal ballot".

  8. #8
    paul.blitz Guest

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    Originally posted by BugznElm&#39;r+Nov 3 2003, 03:01 PM--></span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (BugznElm&#39;r @ Nov 3 2003, 03:01 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin--paul.blitz@Nov 3 2003, 01:26 PM
    1) Full members would, like for any other formal organisation, be expected to provide their proper name, address etc (which would be held 100% confidentially - as it would in any club - and as such, release of any data is strictly limited by the Data Protection Act), as well as one (or more?) aliases they would use online. (This is like almost any other club / organisation, where membership details are NOT fully disclosed to non-committee)
    Does this mean that the GAGB will have to become a "legal" entity now? [/b][/quote]
    I guess that, because the organisation exists, then it is a "legal entity". The word that USED to be used was something like "an unincorporated members club".

    From a legal stand point, I guess the big question is: who is then legally &#39;responsible&#39;? The membership or the committee? If the membership, then there is a very good reason for i) members to have to provide certain details (real name, address...); ii) have a more "formal" membership, with a membership fee (as Teasel suggested, maybe just 20p or a stamp...).

    One of the MANY things we, as a committee, need to sort out&#33;


    Paul Blitz

  9. #9
    paul.blitz Guest

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    Originally posted by Teasel@Nov 3 2003, 04:17 PM
    3) The committee maintains a database of the real names and addresses associated with each of those accounts.
    ** Personal comment**

    Just a note for everyone, regarding the Data Protection Act....

    First of all, the DPA actually applies to EVERYONE, individuals, clubs, organisations and businesses. It covers specifically any form of data which relates to an individual, or from which the identity of an individual can be worked out. This means that a company address is NOT covered, but if it includes "the managing director" then that identifies an individual, so IS covered&#33;&#33;

    Generally, personal data help by individuals does not need to be registered in any way, but there is still an onus on you to keep that data secure, up to date, and confidential.

    If any data is held for BUSINESS purposes, then you MUST pay your 35 and register youself (just like if you have a TV, you MUST get a licence). As long as data is obtained legally, then you are pretty much allowed to do with that data what you want (as long as it is legal, and your registration lists what you are going to do&#33

    In the middle lies many organisations, which include the GAGB. Most of these do NOT have to register, but what the organisation is then VERY limited to what it can use the data for. Typically, the data is purely for the internal use of the organisation, in order to administer itself (eg send out newsletters, notice of meetings, phone someone to get someone to do something for the organisation).

    It must still be kept secure, up-to-date and confidential. The data may not be released without the individual&#39;s permission, unless specific permissions have been given at the time the data was provided (that allows, for example, a socialising organisation to provide names & phone number lists to its members, as long as the members gave their permission to do so).

    (Mind you, there is nothing to stop an organisation from registering, at which point they can do a lot more, just like a business can. However, bear in mind that an organisation is usually ruled by its members.... they can, using the organisation&#39;s rules, tell the committee what they may / may not do with their data&#33

    In the case of the GAGB, I would very much hope that the decision is taken that any membership data is kept confidential, and not made public.


    Paul

  10. #10
    Kouros Guest

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    Originally posted by Teasel@Nov 3 2003, 04:17 PM
    7) The committee will not divulge real names or addresses for any account names

    ...

    9) A "membership fee" of 20p (or unused postage stamp) must be returned with the membership form
    10) A more substantial membership fee be charged, so that postal ballots become a possibility
    7. The committee as it stands would not divulge the names - from what I know of the individuals elected thus far, they are true, honest people. But in two, three, five, or even ten years time, someone may be elected who does not share these morals (whatever the legal status).

    Perhaps accounts on here should be linked to their respective GC.com / NC.com / GCWW.com accounts, so that obvious duplicates and forgeries would be immediately apparent (lack of linked account, no finds after several months, etc.)

    Accounts would nt have to share the same name, but when they sign up, they would have to fill in boxes along the lines of...

    REQ. GAGB USERNAME: Calvin Klein
    USERNAME ON GC.COM: Marty McFly
    etc. etc.


    9. A membership "fee" of an SAE might be a viable possibility - and through this, a membership card is sent, with a code number on it. Without the code, a member cannot vote/post in the forums, and only one card is allowed per household. This would cause obvious problems, admittedly - what about families with more than one Geocaching member? And what about who would not wish to share their details?


    10. Sorry to be so blunt on this one, bit I don&#39;t like the idea of a full-on membership fee. For many people, Geocaching is a "free" game, and we should not impose mandatory charges on it. After all, the major listing sites do not, why should we?

  11. #11
    BugznElm&#39;r Guest

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    Originally posted by Teasel@Nov 3 2003, 04:17 PM
    However, the DPA in no way prevents members of an association from knowing the identity of the other members of the association. (Not the last time I read up on it anyway, though it is horribly opaque in some areas&#33
    Giving members a privacy option would be appropriate though. How the DPA looks on sharing info would be something the GAGB would need to look carefully into looking at how volatile things can be ;-)

  12. #12
    BugznElm&#39;r Guest

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    Originally posted by Kouros@Nov 3 2003, 05:46 PM
    10. Sorry to be so blunt on this one, bit I don&#39;t like the idea of a full-on membership fee. For many people, Geocaching is a "free" game, and we should not impose mandatory charges on it. After all, the major listing sites do not, why should we?
    I agree in principal. But membership to the GAGB won&#39;t mandatory to cache (I hope). However, this is the problem when associations are formed that are member driven - a whole level or red tape is introduced to keep things ticking and everything above board.

    Would I pay to vote? Quite honestly, probably not. Why? Many reasons but bottom line the GAGB would have to offer more. Would I send in a card? Don&#39;t know. Again, I guess we&#39;ve been on the reciving end of some pretty rough sticks in the past. The current committee seem quite sensible and I hope this lasts but some of the comments from founding members have, in the past, been pretty rough.

    I hope thisng get better now&#33;

  13. #13
    Teasel Guest

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    10. Sorry to be so blunt on this one, bit I don&#39;t like the idea of a full-on membership fee.
    Me neither&#33; Also, an organisation which holds funds becomes an entirely different beast, requiring treasurers, publication and approval of accounts and the like.

    The question of mailing members has been raised before and the objection was that GAGB couldn&#39;t afford the postage. Including 20p with the reply would mean that the committee can recoup most of the postage costs for things like registration for full membership, but would not allow a postal ballot (unless 100% of members voted&#33. Not that I&#39;d favour a postal ballot myself, though I do think that some sort of postal contact would go a long way to sorting out many of the problems GAGB is experiencing.

    Perhaps accounts on here should be linked to their respective GC.com / NC.com / GCWW.com accounts, so that obvious duplicates and forgeries would be immediately apparent (lack of linked account, no finds after several months, etc.)
    Maybe, but some sock puppets are active cachers&#33; There&#39;s also the question of GAGB&#39;s credibility. I know of no other organisation which allows people to join without giving either name or address. I don&#39;t have to give my name to anyone just to walk down a footpath, but if I want to join the Ramblers Association, it&#39;s a different story&#33;

    This would cause obvious problems, admittedly - what about families with more than one Geocaching member?
    The question of whether we adopt "one person one vote", "one team one vote", "one account one vote", "one household one vote" or what, is a separate question which will also need to be nailed down. Can we do that in another thread, though? Let&#39;s confine this thread to how much information we hold about our members, and how careful we should be to ensure that whatever voting rules we decide upon are followed.

    And what about who would not wish to share their details?
    Before GAGB, I&#39;d never come across an organisation which allowed people to vote in the committee elections without actually asking their name first. My view would be that anyone who did not wish to say who they are would still be allowed a full voice on the forums, but would not be able to vote in official polls or elections.

  14. #14
    Kouros Guest

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    Originally posted by BugznElm&#39;r@Nov 3 2003, 07:00 PM
    I agree in principal. But membership to the GAGB won&#39;t mandatory to cache (I hope).
    Just to clarify, I hope for the same thing.

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    194

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    I am a member of a profession.

    A such I HAVE to belong to a colleigiate body ( lets call it gc.com)

    I also have the choice to belong to a body that will represent my interests to my employers(landowners) (lets call it GAGB). As a member I have to inform them of my personal details.

    This ensures my viewpoint will be considered.

    I have no problem with being open in this forum.

    Dave Draycott

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