Forum: Highland / Highland

Highland - General
Clarification: Official Highland Rules and Dance.net
By linhPremium member Comments: 2688, member since Sun Mar 07, 1999
On Thu Feb 28, 2008 02:35 PM

Dance.net is here to support and promote Highland dance around the world, and one of our primary goals is to promote free speech. However, we do not represent any of the various international Highland dance governing bodies.

Therefore, the moderators and I cannot and will not enforce the rules of a dance governing board or body, and the governing board or body is solely responsible for its own members.

For example, if something is written that, in your opinion, violates a code or ethic of a specific governing body, we are not sanctioned (nor do we desire to be sanctioned) to take action on behalf of that body by removing said comment. If it violates our dance.net Terms of Service (TOS), then we may remove it at our discretion.

Please keep this in mind when you mod-report comments. The moderators are doing a great volunteer service here on behalf of the community, but they are governed by the dance.net TOS and not some outside governing authority.

Your feedback is, as always, welcome.

Thanks,
Linh
dance.net

19 Replies to Clarification: Official Highland Rules and Dance.net

re: Clarification: Official Highland Rules and Dance.net
By scotdancer Comments: 953, member since Sat Mar 27, 2004
On Thu Feb 28, 2008 05:53 PM
As a member who did mod-report a post this week, I can understand and appreciate that your team is under no obligation to uphold the standards of any organization to which you do not belong. However, the post in question publically named two individuals and questioned their integrity as judges. I am not a lawyer, but in my mind this qualifies as a form of slander, which in many places is an offence punishable by law.

The terms of service on this site read:

User agrees not to post material that is knowingly false and/or defamatory, misleading, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a person's privacy, that otherwise violates any law, or that encourages conduct constituting a criminal offense.


In my opinion the whole thread, particularly the post where judges were named, qulaified as defamatory, which why I reported it. It was this type of discussion that shut down another highland dance forum, and I would hate to see this almost always completely enjoyable resource go down that path.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for an excellent site that provides another resource and some fun for dancersd and their families.
re: Clarification: Official Highland Rules and Dance.net
By linhPremium member Comments: 2688, member since Sun Mar 07, 1999
On Thu Feb 28, 2008 07:36 PM
However, the post in question publically named two individuals and questioned their integrity as judges. I am not a lawyer, but in my mind this qualifies as a form of slander, which in many places is an offence punishable by law.

In the US where this site is based, speech is greatly protected, and those comments appear to be an opinion which cannot be libelous/slanderous.

Here is the text of the comment to which you are objecting:

OK .. in the sprit of the origional question. How about (name removed). This guy's judging was so off base at the (event removed) that he rarely matched the other judges. This guy is all about politics. And lets not forget (name removed). Again, you have to question a judge who's marks are so off from the other judges.

In my non-legal review, this is someone's opinion and opinions are not libelous. You may not like these opinions, but the poster is entitled to them.

Also, public figures like politicians, movie stars, and judges have fewer privacy rights than private individuals. The bar to claim libel/slander against public figures is quite high.

So in my view, personal opinions like those don't violate the dance.net terms of service. He/she did not call out one of our members, and was providing controversial opinions of a public figure and the person's public duties.

In my opinion the whole thread, particularly the post where judges were named, qulaified as defamatory, which why I reported it. It was this type of discussion that shut down another highland dance forum, and I would hate to see this almost always completely enjoyable resource go down that path.

Again, the defamation claim would not pass muster in a US court of law. And if need be, dance.net will rise to any legal challenges to protect our members' speech.

Additional references:
en.wikipedia.org . . .
en.wikipedia.org . . .

While some may find criticism of judges/judging to be distasteful, I find censoring the critics to be a far greater crime. Perhaps a middle ground is to allow criticism but leave out names. Maybe even create a special forum where these discussions can take place. Thoughts?

Linh
re: Clarification: Official Highland Rules and Dance.net
By imadanseurPremium member Comments: 16604, member since Thu Dec 04, 2003
On Thu Feb 28, 2008 08:21 PM
^Agree which is why I didn't remove anything that was mod reported. Mod reporting something and asking us to remove something and DEMANDING it and telling us what a crappy job we are doing and how disgusted you are with us and the website is another. There were some people that weren't very nice about us not taking action on this.

If you want clarification of a rule why not just private message a mod and ask politely why we wouldn't remove it rather than attacking us for running the website how we believe Linh wants it run?
re: Clarification: Official Highland Rules and Dance.net
By ifinance Comments: 2275, member since Mon Jun 26, 2006
On Thu Feb 28, 2008 09:22 PM
First of all, let me add my voice to the chorus of Highland dance enthusiasts who LOVE LOVE LOVE the Highland board on this website. Some of us are on here every day and can be rather protective of the forum's integrity. I cringed when I saw the thread that inspired this topic of discussion. I was appalled by the post that referred to specific judges and requested intervention from the moderators. I'm very sorry if anyone was disrespectful in their requests. I know that I was not.

I agree that freedom of speech is extremely important. I can even see Linh's point when he argues that the poster was expressing an opinion. May I suggest a compromise? How about if new members would be prohibited from posting a remark which criticizes a named individual from the dance world. This would keep someone from starting a new account solely for the purpose of saying something that they wouldn't say under their usual screen name. Piperboy's comment was his/her only comment. The account was created that day. What is the likelihood that this individual usually posts under a different screen name on this board? Isn't that against the rules? If not, maybe it should be...

Just my thoughts. I'll be interested to hear yours.
re: Clarification: Official Highland Rules and Dance.net (karma: 1)
By justdoit Comments: 1282, member since Tue Jul 20, 2004
On Thu Feb 28, 2008 10:51 PM
Do we always have to have a new "rule" when somebody crosses the line of propriety. I thought his comments were addressed (criticized) with alacrity by the board...we self-corrected. This could be a one time only event, let's not go overboard proposing new rules.

I too am in favor of free speech and that means that sometimes people may express opinions with which we don't agree or they might speak in bad taste. But it is rare here. And when it happens it is usually pointed out. Let's rise above it.
re: Clarification: Official Highland Rules and Dance.net
By HIGHLAND_JnK Comments: 731, member since Sat Nov 03, 2007
On Fri Feb 29, 2008 03:28 AM
To my mind (and in my humble English opinion) I have to say I too cringed at reading what I thought amounted to a personal attack on the integrity of someone who was unlikely to be able to defend themselves. In truth the whole negative tone of the thread made me quite cross :P

I would certainly be happy to support the position of 'free speach' but please without direct reference to the real name of the individuals attacked (as in the quote posted by Linh above).

I also am completely hooked on the Highland board and as a 'fairly' new-to-the-sport dance dad with two seriously commited dancing children I have to say my learning curve has been made so much easier by DDN. :D

I also think that Ifinance is likely to be correct in assuming the identity was created just for this attack but I also suspect / know there are enough responsible DDNers out there to squash or at least balance such irrisponsible use of the board under the sheer weight of well mannered, constructive and supportive posts.

I do hope that if this is a multiple account that the Mods find it and take whatever action they deem apropriate in this case and especially in respect of any such posts which may adversely affect our younger members. If this is not a multiple account and the account is genuine I hope that the poster will be better mannered in their future posts.

I also hope that with this discussion - and that surrounding the original post that whoever 'this poster' actually is that they are now feeling just a little ashamed of the way they posted.

Just my tuppence
Best to All
Mike
re: Clarification: Official Highland Rules and Dance.net
By scottiedog440 Comments: 1877, member since Thu Jun 21, 2007
On Fri Feb 29, 2008 03:40 AM
Hi, I too pushed the Mod button on this one (twice) and was very polite. First time when it first popped up then after the questioned post.I did not respond to this thread because that was my way of protesting. Don't answer posts that you find offensive and soon they get buried back deep, by continuing to respond it keeps them in the front where everyone reads them. I simply don't respond to ones I don't like to move them on. Being an American citizen I understand the need for Freedom of speech, I just felt this whole thread was not in the best interest of our young dancers like my daughter who frequents this site. I am glad it was modified and am sorry others were rude to you about this posting. Obviously many felt strongly about it enough to report it to the Mods.
re: Clarification: Official Highland Rules and Dance.net
By imadanseurPremium member Comments: 16604, member since Thu Dec 04, 2003
On Fri Feb 29, 2008 07:35 AM
Edited by imadanseur (79325) on 2008-02-29 09:09:13 added wording.
How about if new members would be prohibited from posting a remark which criticizes a named individual from the dance world.


So how many posts do they have to have before one has a strong opinion against something in the dance world? I don't see how this makes our site better or supports new members opinions. Just because they are new doesn't make their opinions any less valid. If they have to have 20 posts in order to come across strongly in something they believe in they they'll just star farm their way to those 20 posts.

There are many people that do a simple google search and see a subject that interests them and they start an account so they can specifically address that topic. We have had similar situations in the teacher's forum, disco forum, Irish forum etc. We have never removed posts there either. I don't see why the Highland area should be different if the actual post isn't violating the terms of service we already have in place.
re: Clarification: Official Highland Rules and Dance.net
By hylndlasmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7170, member since Wed Sep 22, 2004
On Fri Feb 29, 2008 09:13 AM

I do hope that if this is a multiple account that the Mods find it and take whatever action they deem apropriate in this case and especially in respect of any such posts which may adversely affect our younger members. If this is not a multiple account and the account is genuine I hope that the poster will be better mannered in their future posts.


Just so I can set everyone's minds at easy....I did research the member in question and sent a few PM's to the accounts associated with the IP. The other account was innocent in any wrong doing as the computer where the IP came from is a PUBLIC computer....the member who's IP matched is a long standing member who has never cause me or the Highland Board any grief. Therefore I'm inclined to believe them when they only have one account.


The other account however, I have yet to hear back from them...but they have been warned that such behavior will not fly while I'm at the reins.
re: Clarification: Official Highland Rules and Dance.net (karma: 1)
By ally_f Comments: 715, member since Tue Jul 27, 2004
On Fri Feb 29, 2008 05:40 PM
Good heavens! Whatever has been going on here? Never mind, I don't want to know.

Linh, imadanseur and our dear very own hylndlas, I'm sorry people were rude. This is such an unusual situation from what I can see. Despite the fact that I did not read the original thread (and frankly, have no desire to) I hope you don't mind me offering a few comments on the issue.

Many of us here have "defected" in the past from another board that shall remain nameless because it got so awful precisely because of these kinds of posts. And we all really do respect the mods and the mod's wishes that one does NOT call out members, but mod-reports a thread instead, which I'm assuming most people did (I would've, from the sounds of things).

So it seems to me the problem came when the posts weren't removed, or whatever, and folks got mad and took it out on the mods? And from what I understand some people were really ragging on Maggie? Please, please, those of you who did that, I ABSOLUTELY understand your desire to not have us turn into another place like that other board, but yelling at the mods is NOT the way to get it. These people don't make a cent doing this, they are volunteers. I have always requested a reason if a post of mine is mod-reported or if an action is or is not taken on a post I have mod-reported and in general I get a response within 24 hours with a clear explanation of the action taken (or not). That's plenty good service, believe me.

Mods, thank you for doing your jobs so well under difficult circumstances. We are all trying to walk the line between "self-correcting" as justdoit says, and not being vigilante style pseudo-mods. And for those members (like ifinance and scottiedog440) thank you as well for looking out for other members and doing the right thing -- I know there's a lot of young folks on here and I certainly wouldn't want them to have seen a venomous post like the one you're describing.

Thanks also for the clarification on what's slander and what's not!
re: Clarification: Official Highland Rules and Dance.net
By HIGHLAND_JnK Comments: 731, member since Sat Nov 03, 2007
On Fri Feb 29, 2008 07:22 PM
MANY thanks Hylndlas we are very very much in your debt...

I did not intend to cause so much fuss by my earlier post in this thread and I most certainly believe in the Mods (and Linhs) ability to keep the Highland board clean, particularly if it comes to inapropriate posts. Thank you all for cleaning up the posts on this subject. I have to say though that it seems as though a moderators life (in terms of Gilbert and Sullivan :D ) is not 'a happy one'.

We all have different views of what is appropriate and so each would like to see none step over our own particular line. As there are so many differing views I might in the future like to be able to call on Linh or Hilndlas to arbitrate but I most certainly won't be questioning of defaming the aid I call for.

Scottydog, I love the idea that we can let an unpopular post sink like a stone... however, I'm not so sure we should or can. There are some things which I think the board's members have to address and stand up for.

I really don't know what Ally_f means by the 'other' board but 'we' like it here just fine thanks as almost everyone is fantasticly friendly and supportive... I suppose I could have said earlier that I believe if the members are divided on a post they could discuss it to a point where honour is satisfied. Well fine I say, let words be mightier (within reason) than the sword as there are enough well meaning members on this board.

I suspect in any case that the weight of opinion will ensure we'll not just 'have at it'.

There is one thing I am slightly confused about though and that is this 'calling out' another board member??? Please, what exactly is it? I suspect I could guess but just in case could someone please enlighten me?

Imadanseur - I can only agree, I'm all for the idea of spirited dicussion, But I still don't agree with the 'name and shame' approach of the earlier post. Please all, let civility reign on the Highlnd board. With that I'll now hold my peace on this thread with but with thanks to Hilndlas and Linh.
re: Clarification: Official Highland Rules and Dance.net (karma: 1)
By RoadtotheIsles Comments: 475, member since Fri Aug 10, 2007
On Mon Mar 03, 2008 07:29 PM
Sad reality -not all who join DDN do so to support & promote.

There are more than a few examples where unknown individuals have managed to join DDN post one to two ATTACK posts/comments and then promptly disappear.

This is not a case of freedom of speech or someone just wanting to voice their opinion.

The intent is to do major damage.
re: Clarification: Official Highland Rules and Dance.net
By ifinance Comments: 2275, member since Mon Jun 26, 2006
On Mon Mar 03, 2008 11:42 PM
..

Seeing as this one is still alive and kicking, I thought I would add the definition of libel to the sticky and the discussion:

li·bel

1. A false publication, as in writing, print, signs, or pictures, that damages a person's reputation.
2. The act of presenting such material to the public.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 03 Mar. 2008.

In my opinion, Piperboy’s statement was libelous, but I accept that definition is somewhat open to interpretation with respect to the words “false publication.” As linh respectfully submitted, one could interpret the statement as Piperboy’s opinion. Since it would be unreasonable to ask a moderator to determine whether Piperboy’s statement was false, I support deleting the names and location he mentioned and leaving the rest of the entry in tact. I never thought the thread should be closed or deleted. I just didn’t want to see these judges’ names dragged through the mud by someone who appeared to be disgruntled.

BTW, my feelings were hurt by your response to my idea justdoit. I don’t mind that you disagree with my idea. I just wish you had worded it differently.
re: Clarification: Official Highland Rules and Dance.net (karma: 1)
By justdoit Comments: 1282, member since Tue Jul 20, 2004
On Tue Mar 04, 2008 12:24 AM
Ifinance, I sent you a PM. I nNever meant to hurt your feelings and I am sorry if it did.
re: Clarification: Official Highland Rules and Dance.net (karma: 1)
By ifinance Comments: 2275, member since Mon Jun 26, 2006
On Tue Mar 04, 2008 05:39 AM
^ Thank you for the PM. I feel much better. You are truly a class act :)
re: Clarification: Official Highland Rules and Dance.net
By ally_f Comments: 715, member since Tue Jul 27, 2004
On Tue Mar 04, 2008 07:45 AM
^^ And THAT is the DDN Highland Board I've come to know and love. Now I'm extra glad this is a sticky. Want to know how to resolve a problem with another member on DDN? ifinance and justdoit just showed you how -- with honesty, class, tact, and accountability.

Love it.
re: Clarification: Official Highland Rules and Dance.net
By HIGHLAND_JnK Comments: 731, member since Sat Nov 03, 2007
On Tue Mar 04, 2008 07:57 AM
Hear ! Hear !
I'll second that - well done- A lesson to a few I would say
Bravo
re: Clarification: Official Highland Rules and Dance.net
By Faithy Comments: 104, member since Tue Jul 15, 2008
On Sun Feb 22, 2009 11:59 AM
Wow, I love this site to get online to check-out new articles for my daughters dancing. I love all the people I have met, I have been doing so for about almost eight months I would say. This is ridiculous, politics sure do ruin a GOOD-THING! I say, possibly I shouldn't state my opinion, but I am not good at such things, but lets just enjoy this site, because it is a great resource center. The people who want to use it as a chat room, then do so on Yahoo, just a suggestion. I believe in freedom of speech, FOR SURE, but I don't think naming people on here is doing any justice to anyone. There is so many toils and snares so to speak in the world today, lets just enjoy what little bit of civilized fun there is LEFT,-and I would say Highland dancing is a great place to start, lets keep it clean and if we something bad, PRIVATE MSG works great! I think this would be a great practice for all of us, including myself, I know if only things were this simple.....however, I wouldn't want to loose this wonderful dance site, it truly has made me some wonderful friends and I have learned some really valuable dance needs for my daughter from this site.
I hope everyone works this out, take care all....

Comment #8808915 deleted
Removed by Odessa (22571) on 2010-02-06 16:14:36 starfarming. please don't post unless you have something constructive to add to the conversation.


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