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Thread: Important Announcement For Forum Users Who Are Not Also Gagb Members

  1. #1

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    Default Important Announcement For Forum Users Who Are Not Also Gagb Members

    Several years ago we were asked to enable non-members to join our forums and therefore to post without becoming GAGB members. This was agreed and resulted in two databases, one recording GAGB membership and another recording forum membership.

    The use of two databases has resulted in confusion (for example people donít understand why they canít vote as GAGB members even though they are forum members if they haven't joined both, and sometimes the incorrect status is shown in forums) and results in an ongoing maintenance overhead to keep records correct. The ever increasing number of users has resulted in the databases becoming increasingly unmanageable.

    We recently polled our members on this subject and they voted 136-6 to move to a single database which has now been ratified by the committee. People who are currently Forum Members and not GAGB members (as shown in their forum title or in their profile) will have their accounts locked unless they change to GAGB members before the 1st June 2012. This can be done by contacting upgrade@gagb.org.uk People who do not become GAGB members will still be able to read our public forums as a guest and their previous posts will still be recorded.

    We will attempt to contact Forum members who have joined in the last 18 months to invite them to upgrade but cannot guarantee that such messages will get through or that contact will be made.

  2. #2

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    Do you think a mass mailing is in order to inform those who are (or are not) members, but rarely visit? Perhaps with a link to the signup page?

    Thanks

  3. #3

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    That's what we're intending to do, please see the last line of my post above.

  4. #4
    Alan White Guest

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    I guess one should take comfort that at least six GAGB members feel that a caching organisation which purports to make rules for all cachers should allow those who choose not to be members a voice in the rules which GAGB claims apply to them. Nevertheless it is disappointing that an organisation which could do so much good for cachers and caching cannot see the benefit in having non-members contribute to its forums.

    It is not good enough to lock accounts as that would leave redundant personal data which I could no longer update; instead the accounts must be deleted. As the alleged reason for removing non-members is because the two databases cause confusion then all that is required is to delete the database that holds the forum-only members. All posts and personal messages must also be deleted or anonymised.

  5. #5
    Ve8 Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan White View Post
    It is not good enough to lock accounts as that would leave redundant personal data which I could no longer update; instead the accounts must be deleted. As the alleged reason for removing non-members is because the two databases cause confusion then all that is required is to delete the database that holds the forum-only members. All posts and personal messages must also be deleted or anonymised.
    A wise post.

    Under the data protection act I'm certain that if you hold personal data about someone that is incorrect you need to give them a route to update it. I know your not storing credit card numbers but things such as an email address come under the personal data header.

    The UK has some strict data laws, I don't pretend know to any of them that well but I think it would be good practice to remove the data including posts.

  6. #6

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    136 thought differently and majority vote rules

    Lilian

  7. #7
    Ve8 Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by mollyjak View Post
    136 thought differently and majority vote rules

    Lilian


    To be clear - I agree with the outcome, but I think the implementation requires a little more thought.

  8. #8

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    I would suggest that all of the Forum User accounts left as such on the implemention date be deleted, thus all details will be removed. Any posts made under those accounts will then be listed as by a Guest. Once the accounts are deleted all personal data, inclucing PM's, will be deleted from the system.
    Last edited by DrDick&Vick; 28th April 2012 at 02:27 PM.

  9. #9
    Ve8 Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrDick&Vick View Post
    I would suggest that all of the Forum User accounts left as such on the implemention date be deleted, thus all details will be removed. Any posts made under those accounts will then be listed as by a Guest. Once the accounts are deleted all personal data, inclucing PM's, will be deleted from the system.
    I agree

    A further benefit to this would be that if someone decided to become a member later down the line they would just need to re-register. Under the current intended method this couldn't happen without mod action as the username would need to be unlocked.

    I know the original posts would be marked as "Guest" but this would not necessary anonymise the info, to be safe I think they should also be deleted.

  10. #10

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    Then there would be loads od disjointed threads, many without the original posting.
    Posts are just a user's views and should not need to be deleted.

  11. #11
    Ve8 Guest

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    It's a little more than just keeping the forum looking pretty and looking at the post count over the past few weeks I don't think removing the posts will cause a big issue anyway.

    By locking or deleting a user you remove their ability to edit or remove content they have added (they could arguably own the copyright too). Even if the poster name changes to "Guest" it doesn't mean they no longer own it.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan White View Post
    I guess one should take comfort that at least six GAGB members feel that a caching organisation which purports to make rules for all cachers should allow those who choose not to be members a voice in the rules which GAGB claims apply to them. Nevertheless it is disappointing that an organisation which could do so much good for cachers and caching cannot see the benefit in having non-members contribute to its forums.

    It is not good enough to lock accounts as that would leave redundant personal data which I could no longer update; instead the accounts must be deleted. As the alleged reason for removing non-members is because the two databases cause confusion then all that is required is to delete the database that holds the forum-only members. All posts and personal messages must also be deleted or anonymised.
    Well, I completely agree with this

    But majority vote does rule here...
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  13. #13

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    If I ever cease to be a member of GAGB I hope that all my forum posts will remain in place with my name above them.
    ​​Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Dylan Thomas)​


  14. #14

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    Any posts I have made, on any forum, have been non secretive/non personal/helpful to others/general info and I would see no reason for them to be deleted.
    Maybe the best idea would be to simply ask the persons concerned whether they wish their posts to be deleted or not. This could be done in the same email that is to be distributed among the Forum Users.

  15. #15
    Ve8 Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrDick&Vick View Post
    Maybe the best idea would be to simply ask the persons concerned whether they wish their posts to be deleted or not. This could be done in the same email that is to be distributed among the Forum Users.
    Sounds like a plan, the devil as always is in the detail. What would happen to the non-responders posts by default?

  16. #16

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    as I am no longer a committee member I am unable to answer that, I have only been making suggestions like any other member can.

  17. #17
    uktim Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wombles View Post
    Several years ago we were asked to enable non-members to join our forums and therefore to post without becoming GAGB members. This was agreed and resulted in two databases, one recording GAGB membership and another recording forum membership.

    The use of two databases has resulted in confusion (for example people donít understand why they canít vote as GAGB members even though they are forum members if they haven't joined both, and sometimes the incorrect status is shown in forums) and results in an ongoing maintenance overhead to keep records correct. The ever increasing number of users has resulted in the databases becoming increasingly unmanageable.

    We recently polled our members on this subject and they voted 136-6 to move to a single database which has now been ratified by the committee. People who are currently Forum Members and not GAGB members (as shown in their forum title or in their profile) will have their accounts locked unless they change to GAGB members before the 1st June 2012. This can be done by contacting upgrade@gagb.org.uk People who do not become GAGB members will still be able to read our public forums as a guest and their previous posts will still be recorded.

    We will attempt to contact Forum members who have joined in the last 18 months to invite them to upgrade but cannot guarantee that such messages will get through or that contact will be made.
    It sounds like you need a better database manager!

    I'm guessing that this isn't going to solve your database problems ;(

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ve8 View Post
    Sounds like a plan, the devil as always is in the detail. What would happen to the non-responders posts by default?
    But then what are you going to do about posts (like this) quoting posts which are going be deleted?

  19. Default



    To be honest there's no simple answer and I suspect that from a legal perspective the safest option is to delete all the posts of those who don't request that their posts remain on the forum







    Life is too important to take seriously !

  20. #20
    Ve8 Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by uktim View Post
    It sounds like you need a better database manager!

    I'm guessing that this isn't going to solve your database problems ;(
    The double database thing confuses me a little as most forums normally run off one

  21. #21
    Alan White Guest

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    Perhaps GAGB could say whether it intends to employ any of the suggestions in this thread and if not how it intends to comply with its obligations under the Data Protection Act.

  22. #22

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    This is under discussion in the committee.

  23. #23

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    Providing any PERSONAL information supplied is accurate, and either secured, deleted or is able to be edited (any way of identifying that person), then the DPA doesn't come in to play.
    The DPA provides a method of either correcting or having deleted inaccurately held personal information - not anything else.

    The DPA does not give people the right to demand anything they want deleting - but gives them the right to ensure that all PERSONAL information that is held is accurate and they can edit or secure as needed.

    So, providing all non member accounts are deleted, and the posts remain as "guest" posts, then the DPA has NOT been breached, unless a "guest" post contains information such as "I am XXXX and my real name is XXXX", or anything similar that could persoanlly identify the said "guest" as a real person.

    Posting an opinion or similar as an anonymous poster does NOT breach the DPA - only personal details fall subject.

  24. #24
    Ve8 Guest

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    Thanks for a useful post :cheers:

    Clearly locked accounts cannot be edited so deletion is the only option there.

    As with the remaining guest posts if they stay they would all need to checked for compliance. That just leaves the copyright issue, how are your skills in this area .

  25. #25

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    As we are now descending into Copyright and it's legalities I would suggest that all posts, made by any Forum User who decides not to upgrade to full membership, are deleted. This will probably leave many threads disjointed and not that easy to understand but that would be a better idea than risk any copyright infringment. The only exception should be if the person concerned gave written(email) permission for their posts to remain.
    It is not any easy decision to make as there will always be one person who will come back to bite.

  26. #26

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    First of all - I AM NOT A LAWYER!

    Secondly, as I have said before, I am relatively new here and am not taking any sides - rather, I am trying to have a reasoned debate about the best way forward to allow all parties to reach a conclusion which is agreeable to all.

    I would have though that the basics of copyright would come into force. The author of the post always retains copyright on what they have written but they have also (implicitly) agreed to the forum publishing the article by actually pressing "Submit Reply". It also means that the author has no control over that posting - for example, I could print out that posting and no-one would be any the wiser. However, If I then plagarised this and attributed it myself (in print) and was found out, I would be in trouble.

    This does not give copyright to the forum owners but I would imagine that itwould allow the forum owners to have "Fair Use" rights (see http://www.copyrightservice.co.uk/co...t/p09_fair_use) which will allow quoting of material.

    I would think that if a person leaves the forum, they cannot ask for everything to be removed. Taking an analogy. I am an author (poster in a forum) and write a book for a publisher (Forum). I then decide to leave the publisher but that does not mean that I can take all of my past articles/books from that publishers back catalogue. I realise that it is more complex than this as there would be contractual obligations between the author and the publisher but the fundamentals are the same (I believe).

    I would imagine that a poster could insist on seeing any post or information held by forum under the Data Protection Act and Freedom of Information Act (and European Dat Protection laws).

    There is no legal contract in place (any terms and conditions signed up to are not a legal contract, I believe, as no remuneration has been given) which really muddies the water as well. This could get more complex if GAGB started to charge for access to the forum (nore not the GAGB itself unless one of the privileges for being a member was access to the forum) as they *may* have a legal requirement for "professional" moderation which reacts to "take down" notices.

    I don't believe anyone can say "anything posted to the forum automatically becomes property of the forum" (despite what places like Facebook say), but on the other hand, forums would become a farce if everyone removed their posts when they stopped being a member - after all the principal aim of a forum is to "share" knowledge and ideas.

    Personally, I would delete any posts that someone specifically asked for deletion to happen but leave others under fair use. If the content author then later asks for something to be deleted/anonymised, it can be but they would have to do this first before any progression to a court under copyright laws and I would think that it would be very costly for either side to discuss the finer points of copyright law and therefore it is quicker/easier just delete posting which are highlighted by the origial author. However, I do not think they can ask for any fair use quoting to be removed.
    Last edited by The Tares Clan; 10th May 2012 at 11:47 AM.

  27. #27

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    As usual we appear to be minutely examining a small tree in a large forest. I really don't believe DPA, copyrite or the price of wet fish in Grimsby have much to do with this. Cut the cord, let it go. Down to the one "fits all" forum user - people who wish to use a microscope can use as much forum space as they wish (it don't cost much) and our exceptionally good forum administrator(s) can prune any offensive or trolling posts. There should be benefits for those who are members of GAGB - but the main forums should be open to all - just apply to join them and one of the administrators will put you on - this small check only to weed out the obvious "spam" and commercial posts. As usual this post is my own opinion !
    Si vis pacem para bellum

  28. #28
    Ve8 Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Palujia View Post
    As usual we appear to be minutely examining a small tree in a large forest. I really don't believe DPA, copyrite or the price of wet fish in Grimsby have much to do with this. Cut the cord, let it go.
    Good to see the committee takes this seriously

  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ve8 View Post
    Good to see the committee takes this seriously
    There's taking it seriously, considering what is involved and then deciding nothing needs doing. Then there's always being determined to find a problem that doesn't really exist.

  30. #30

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    Under the terms of the DPA there is only the requirement to ensure that any personal data is kept save or in this case is removed.
    If anybody who has posted, on an open forum, feels pedantic or sensetive enough about any post they have made then they have, of course, the option to remove said posts before the proposed deadline.
    All posts of mine can remain in situ for ever as far as I am concerned as I feel that I have never said anything that I need feel ashamed of or that could embarrass me in the future, of course others may not be able to say the same and therefore should make use of the Delete facility.

  31. #31
    nobbynobbs Guest

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    While I would agree that the DPA only covers personal information my only concern might be that the people might not know that they have had their access to their personal opinions removed. It's one thing to leave a website by your own volition and have the option to delete all your comments but quite another to have your access revoked maybe without your knowledge.

    I'm not sure that this would still fall foul of any actual legislation because all that would really be required is the ability to go in at a later date and edit any comments made by that individual. That will then mean that the act can be complied with as it only really requires anyone holding information to make sure that an individual has the ability to correct incorrect items. So a fairly minor act of editing comments as they are raised.

  32. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by The Tares Clan View Post
    First of all - I AM NOT A LAWYER!


    There is no legal contract in place (any terms and conditions signed up to are not a legal contract, I believe, as no remuneration has been given) which really muddies the water as well.



    While I'm pretty much in agreement with the content of your post (Pragmatism is the best option !) you're actually totally wrong on the subject of contracts ! No remuneration or signature is necessary to form a legal contract AND if joining a forum involves agreeing to abide by the terms and conditions then you have made a contract







    Life is too important to take seriously !

  33. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Predictable Bob View Post


    While I'm pretty much in agreement with the content of your post (Pragmatism is the best option !) you're actually totally wrong on the subject of contracts ! No remuneration or signature is necessary to form a legal contract AND if joining a forum involves agreeing to abide by the terms and conditions then you have made a contract


    Bob,

    I did start saying IANAL but I guess you are correct but the terms and conditions of the forum *may* make an invalid contract. T&Cs cannot remove legal obligations and they have cannot remove inherent rights.

    It is like a shop saying, you purchased this freezer from us but it was not delivered and therefore you should take up the issue with the delivery company. I know of one shop that did this and stated this in their T&Cs. However, I had to point out (and they had to agree (eventually!)) that my contract was with them and that the lines in the T&Cs was invalid as it was in breach of the Distance Selling laws.

  34. Default



    None taken (or intended)

    Just trying to add a bit of clarity and while we're on the subject ...

    Personally I think that if the Committee were to post a notice of their intended course of action on the forum and also email it to the registered email addresses of the members affected then they could be deemed to have taken all reasonable steps and thus avoid any risk of legal action.

    Should a communication be received subsequent to the initial announcement and action then all they would have to do is to act on any instruction received to remove/delete information etc within a reasonable timeframe.

    Just remember that this is Great Britain, the legal system here is generally pragmatic and is based on case law and what a reasonable person would do under any given circumstances.

    Note that there are differences between English and Scottish law but the same basic principles hold true.







    Life is too important to take seriously !

  35. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by nobbynobbs View Post
    While I would agree that the DPA only covers personal information my only concern might be that the people might not know that they have had their access to their personal opinions removed. It's one thing to leave a website by your own volition and have the option to delete all your comments but quite another to have your access revoked maybe without your knowledge.
    What about people who get banned from forums? in the vast majority of cases I am aware of, they get banned, and the posts they made get listed as made by a "guest".
    Personal opinions are not covered by the DPA at all - only personal data that is incorrect. Not sure about copyright on posts, but i will do some research.

    Personally, if it was my decision, i would delete all non-member accounts, but leave the posts they made - if someone then really wanted their posts deleted, I might look at it on an individual basis.

    To be honest, this whole "issue" seems to be stirring the pot!

  36. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clipper247 View Post
    What about people who get banned from forums? in the vast majority of cases I am aware of, they get banned, and the posts they made get listed as made by a "guest".
    Personal opinions are not covered by the DPA at all - only personal data that is incorrect. Not sure about copyright on posts, but i will do some research.

    Personally, if it was my decision, i would delete all non-member accounts, but leave the posts they made - if someone then really wanted their posts deleted, I might look at it on an individual basis.

    To be honest, this whole "issue" seems to be stirring the pot!
    My opinion as well, well stired and a little shaken, and as I am not a Committee Member anymore I can get away with saying that hmy:

  37. #37

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    Mails have been sent this evening as follows:

    You are receiving this email as a ďForum UserĒ of the www.gagb.org.uk forum.
    Following a vote by the members of that GAGB it has been decided to have only one level of membership, ďGAGB memberĒ. Any Forum User who wishes to upgrade to full GAGB membership can do so by sending an email to upgrade@gagb.org.uk and including their username and words to the effect that they wish to upgrade to full GAGB Membership.
    As of the 1st June all other Forum User accounts will be deleted from the system. Posts that have been made by that account will remain and still show their old User Name but their status will be shown as Guest. If you have made any posts in the past that you do NOT wish to remain on view then please remove those posts yourself before the 1st June deadline.

  38. #38
    nobbynobbs Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clipper247 View Post
    What about people who get banned from forums? in the vast majority of cases I am aware of, they get banned, and the posts they made get listed as made by a "guest".
    Personal opinions are not covered by the DPA at all - only personal data that is incorrect. Not sure about copyright on posts, but i will do some research.

    Personally, if it was my decision, i would delete all non-member accounts, but leave the posts they made - if someone then really wanted their posts deleted, I might look at it on an individual basis.

    To be honest, this whole "issue" seems to be stirring the pot!
    Thank you for clipping only part of my post. Isn't what I said basically the same as you?

  39. #39

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    The only reason I clipped part of your post was because that was the bit I was commenting on - personal opinions do NOT fall foul of the DPA.

    The DPA only covers personal data, and gives a mean to correct any incorrect personal data that is held - that does not go to forum posts!

    i think people are getting worried about falling foul of the DPA when there is no need to whatsoever - The DPA is mainly there to prevent, for instance, credit reference agencies holding inaccurate information that could lead to problems getting credit - it does NOT relate at all to opinions posted on a forum.

    if it did, how busy would they be after people posting stuff while drunk? :cheers:

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