Ethics and freethought  permalink

Closure of the Religion and ethics message boards

This discussion has been closed.

Messages: 1 - 50 of 66
  • Message 1. 

    Posted by Religion_Host (U1716878) on Monday, 13th June 2011

    Hi all,

    I wanted to let you know that we will be closing the BBC Religion and Ethics messageboards on Monday 27 June.

    The messageboards will remain visible after this date but the opportunity to add new comments or open new threads will no longer be available.

    The BBC Religion and Ethics web sites will remain. We will also be introducing a new blog later in the year.

    Aaqil Ahmed, Commissioning Editor Religion and Head of Religion & Ethics, has posted a blog with more details below.

    www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/...

    Religion_host

  • Message 2

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Major Higgs-Boson (U225196) on Monday, 13th June 2011

    Can I have a rebate on my TV licence then?

    Report message2

  • Message 3

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Scaramunga (U4485565) on Monday, 13th June 2011

    I don't suppose it occurred to anyone to ask if any of the users would be willing to moderate the boards for free?

    Report message3

  • Message 4

    , in reply to message 3.

    Posted by Major Higgs-Boson (U225196) on Monday, 13th June 2011

    Alex would jump at the chance.

    Report message4

  • Message 5

    , in reply to message 3.

    Posted by DG_Young (U13914090) on Monday, 13th June 2011

    Asking someone to moderate a torrent of discussions for no payment and also holding them accountable for the way they do so is probably not a viable combination.

    Report message5

  • Message 6

    , in reply to message 5.

    Posted by Scaramunga (U4485565) on Monday, 13th June 2011

    Plenty of other forums manage it.

    Report message6

  • Message 7

    , in reply to message 6.

    Posted by TooManyPosts (U2440869) on Monday, 13th June 2011

    As someone who has used these boards for years, I'd like to register my disappointment at this decision. I've posted on many BBC boards over the past seven years, and I think I learnt most from these boards.

    Report message7

  • Message 8

    , in reply to message 6.

    Posted by DG_Young (U13914090) on Tuesday, 14th June 2011

    Name one.

    Report message8

  • Message 9

    , in reply to message 8.

    Posted by Cheapjack (U1199036) on Tuesday, 14th June 2011

    'The book?...

    Oh, it doesn't matter.

    Report message9

  • Message 10

    , in reply to message 8.

    Posted by Scaramunga (U4485565) on Tuesday, 14th June 2011

    Pretty much every non-profit small interest forum operates according to your requirements.

    Report message10

  • Message 11

    , in reply to message 10.

    Posted by DG_Young (U13914090) on Tuesday, 14th June 2011

    Not true.

    The average small-interest forum does not have an unpaid moderator, available from the moment the forum opens in the morning to the moment it closes in the evening, capable of moderating any post that could be potentially criminal, and who could legally be held accountable for their actions by a third party providing the message board facility.

    On the other hand, there are sites where someone is legally employed to do the moderation, which involves money, and sites with unpaid moderators where there is no guarantee that the moderators will do their job in accordance with their own house rules, let alone in accordance with the law.

    The BBC needs to ensure that, for example, nobody publishes the aliases of Thompson and Venables or the details of a super injunction. A legally binding contract would give them a near guarantee that somebody who agrees to prevent this actually does so. A volunteer would be hit or miss.

    Report message11

  • Message 12

    , in reply to message 11.

    Posted by Scaramunga (U4485565) on Tuesday, 14th June 2011

    The average small-interest forum does not have an unpaid moderator 

    No, they have groups of voluntary unpaid moderators who might only be on call for a couple of hours each day. Also, when you have a healthy forum community, the general users pretty much police themselves anyway.

    I appreciate that when it comes to the BBC the legal issues are more problematic. Is there any reason why the BBC couldn't simply state that any comments made on the BBC MBs do not represent BBC policy etc etc?

    They do it with programming so why not the MBs?

    Interestingly the comments system for BBC online content (which will supposedly replace the MBs) has to be moderated. Won't it be more difficult and costly to moderate thousands of web-pages as opposed to a small set of message boards?

    I don't think that they've thought this through.

    Report message12

  • Message 13

    , in reply to message 12.

    Posted by DG_Young (U13914090) on Tuesday, 14th June 2011

    Policing themselves and being legally accountable for their actions are not the same thing. When an organisation is legally responsible for all their content (as opposed to off-line content), the difference is critical.

    Report message13

  • Message 14

    , in reply to message 12.

    Posted by Major Higgs-Boson (U225196) on Tuesday, 14th June 2011

    Is there any reason why the BBC couldn't simply state that any comments made on the BBC MBs do not represent BBC policy etc etc? 

    The recent Ryan Giggs fiasco is a perfect example of why the BBC cannot be seen to be allowing certain things to be published on its web site regardless of any disclaimers it might put up.

    Report message14

  • Message 15

    , in reply to message 13.

    Posted by Scaramunga (U4485565) on Tuesday, 14th June 2011

    I'm banging my head against a brick wall here.

    I can't be bothered to get into another pointless argument with someone who doesn't appear to speak the same language as I do.

    Report message15

  • Message 16

    , in reply to message 15.

    Posted by Major Higgs-Boson (U225196) on Tuesday, 14th June 2011

    I can't be bothered to get into another pointless argument with someone who doesn't appear to speak the same language as I do. 

    Best go and find someone who will agree with every banality you can think of then.

    Report message16

  • Message 17

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by ronaharmony (U14830516) on Tuesday, 14th June 2011

    Ah well, still freethought but keep it to yourself, no more discussion - censored!
    Shades of Salman Rushdie and Danish cartoons. Every topic on this board daily reveals the truth about Islam, I wondered how long it would last; and the big boss has a Muslim sounding name!
    Knowing the BBC's reputation for tact and neutrality, I expect he is an atheist; putting a Muslim in charge of religious affairs would be like putting an Orangeman in to referee a Rangers/Celtic match!

    Report message17

  • Message 18

    , in reply to message 17.

    Posted by Smeagol (U14266477) on Tuesday, 14th June 2011

    I think they should close all the messageboards down, even including the ones for radio one listeners to discuss the relative merits of rap, deep house, and lyrical hip-hop!

    I know a woman who does internet moderation from home on flexible hours. Last time I met her she was on £9.00 an hour. Shame really that opportunities for UK people to do a job that disabled people working from home are able to do will be considerably reduced if the cuts in the BBC's messageboards are followed by others. Still what's a few people's jobs compared with the need to keep the world service going?

    Report message18

  • Message 19

    , in reply to message 16.

    Posted by Scaramunga (U4485565) on Tuesday, 14th June 2011

    Best go and find someone who will agree with every banality you can think of then. 

    Rude to the end smiley - erm.

    I don't expect everyone to agree with me, but it's a fruitless exercise attempting to have a discussion with someone who seemingly doesn't understand plain English.

    Report message19

  • Message 20

    , in reply to message 19.

    Posted by DG_Young (U13914090) on Tuesday, 14th June 2011

    In M6 you made the claim that plenty of other message boards managed to do something which you have not been able to demonstrate they manage to do. Instead you described in a later post something else they did.

    The point remains that without having someone on a contract, and it would be highly unlikely the BBC could draw up such a contract with someone in exchange for no remuneration whatsoever, the message boards could not be moderated to the extent that the BBC would require in order to avoid any adverse legal consequences from what the contributors post.

    Comparing apples with oranges does not change any of this.

    Report message20

  • Message 21

    , in reply to message 19.

    Posted by Major Higgs-Boson (U225196) on Tuesday, 14th June 2011

    Rude to the end  

    Do you actually read the things you post?

    I pointed out that if it hadn't been for the moderators the BBC would be repeatedly leave itself open open to prosecution and cited the example of the recent Ryan Giggs fiasco.

    Your response was that you " can't be bothered to get into another pointless argument with someone who doesn't appear to speak the same language as I do." and then you accuse me of being rude?

    Priceless, thanks for demonstrating what an utter waste of BBC budget these boards have become.


    Report message21

  • Message 22

    , in reply to message 21.

    Posted by Scaramunga (U4485565) on Tuesday, 14th June 2011

    Rude and solipsistic.

    I was addressing DG_Young. Presumably you didn't bother to check?

    Report message22

  • Message 23

    , in reply to message 22.

    Posted by realgonecat (U12681374) on Tuesday, 14th June 2011

    I guess it is fitting this board should end with a spat. Major and I first met on these boards way back when the science boards existed, and we started out arguing about mammoths, and whether North American aboriginals had a hand in their extinction. Man, that was a long time ago.

    No Freethought board in those days. I posted on the pagan board, even though I am not a pagan, because I didn't know where else to post. So a handful of us suggested this board, and suggested it, and suggested it, and finally, after about a year, we got it, and it turned into a cesspool from the get-go. It seemed like every poster EXCEPT freethinkers felt like coming here and behaving at his absolute message board worst.

    So, I disappeared for a very long time, coming back off and on, hoping things would settle back into the comfortable groove which got me first posting on the BBC, but it never did.

    I won't repeat the heartfelt sentiments I expressed over on the pagan board in my farewell to them, mostly because I'm too lazy to type them out twice, but I will say goodbye now to all the posters who remain and who know or care who I am or the posts and emails and friendship we shared.

    And I will close with my real name, with which I first posted on these boards. I won't be participating on any BBC blogs. But for those who do, enjoy yourselves, and have a nice life.

    Cheers,


    Jimmy Davies

    Report message23

  • Message 24

    , in reply to message 23.

    All this user's posts have been removed. Why?

  • Message 25

    , in reply to message 23.

    Posted by Betty (U1722779) on Tuesday, 14th June 2011

    And I will close with my real name, with which I first posted on these boards. I won't be participating on any BBC blogs. But for those who do, enjoy yourselves, and have a nice life.

    Cheers,

    Jimmy Davies

     


    Well, there's a blast from the past!

    I've seen your new screen name before and I had no idea it was you.

    Shame this has to be 'hello and goodbye', but I'll get loads more work done if these boards close, to be honest!

    Jimmy, something you said to me, years ago, inspired me more than I could ever explain, and changed the course of my life. You made a difference to me. Thank you.

    Kay

    Report message25

  • Message 26

    , in reply to message 25.

    Posted by Major Higgs-Boson (U225196) on Tuesday, 14th June 2011

    Hi Kay

    That's intriguing.
    He does have a way with words doesn't he?

    Report message26

  • Message 27

    , in reply to message 22.

    Posted by Major Higgs-Boson (U225196) on Tuesday, 14th June 2011

    Rude and solipsistic.

    I was addressing DG_Young. Presumably you didn't bother to check? 


    Oh no not again.

    For the uninitiated, two words: "public" and "messageboard".

    Report message27

  • Message 28

    , in reply to message 27.

    Posted by Scaramunga (U4485565) on Tuesday, 14th June 2011

    And that's an excuse for your mistake?

    Report message28

  • Message 29

    , in reply to message 25.

    Posted by realgonecat (U12681374) on Wednesday, 15th June 2011

    Hi Kay. You're welcome.

    Shame this has to be 'hello and goodbye', but I'll get loads more work done if these boards close, to be honest! 

    Just realised we still have a couple of weeks, and in my case, since I was posting here about once a month, if that, it is the idea of posting here, more than the actual posting, I will miss.

    Jimmy, something you said to me, years ago, inspired me more than I could ever explain, and changed the course of my life. You made a difference to me. Thank you. 

    Shucks, you should have told us what that something was. Glad I helped you out; just wish my words were ever that helpful to me.

    If I remember correctly, didn't we post each other on the Christian board? There was a time I went there frequently, before I knew better, and I would taunt the natives with posts like: "Male pattern baldness is the mark of Cain."

    I thought I posted a very convincing argument in that regard, but folks generally responded to my thread like crocodiles being poked by a sharp annoying stick. I seriously miss that banter, though. I got after the science friendly, too, like the old poster SEF, was she ever a hoot, and as brainwashed and intolerant as the superstition addled lot she decried, and gloriously unaware of it. She claimed her IQ was twice that of the average Brit, and then proceeded to cluelessly supply all the proof we would ever need such could not be the case---that being her every post. smiley - smiley

    Still, I will miss her.

    Last thing I want to leave with you is an observation about the two types of posters I have scuffled with on these boads, because if anything happened here which influenced me to the degree you say I influenced you with something I posted, it was the difference between these two types of posters.

    As I mentioned earlier, I scuffled with Major initially, but we soon developed an abiding respect for each other, and formed a friendship off these boards.This was true with many posters I eventually befriended.

    The other type of poster was unyielding, and despite heartfelt efforts on my part to be magnanimous, to extend olive branches, they refused to graciously except any contrition, refused to say, sorry, Jimmy, just a misunderstanding, "glad that's over," Major's exact sentiments when we finally came to an understanding. I bring up this difference because it came to me, eureka fashion, that this inability to graciously give an inch was not merely one aspect of who they were as people, this unyieldng pigheadedness DEFINED them as a human being, and I suspect they have incrementally destroyed any meaningful relationship in their lives and turned to these boards to fill that void, but eventually treated most posters exactly like the IRL people they drove away.

    I have three boys, and the thing I figured I could best do for them, was instill that capacity to be gracious, magnanimous, while at the same time never playing Chamberlain to some joker's Hitler. I guess that is an example of Godwin's Law (the probability some poster will bring up Hitler increases as the discussion plays out). This made me come up with Jimmy's Law, which is the surety some poster will bring up Godwin's Law not soon after some poster brings up Hitler.

    I wanted that to be my lasting contribution to message boarding, but alas, no poster ever brings it up but me. smiley - sadface

    It's 3:28 in the morning here and I couldn't sleep, so you have that to blame for this post.

    Jimmy

    Report message29

  • Message 30

    , in reply to message 29.

    Posted by Scaramunga (U4485565) on Wednesday, 15th June 2011

    this inability to graciously give an inch 

    It's pretty much what derails every thread on this MB, turning each discussion into an argument about arguing.

    Strangely I don't encounter this on any of the other forums I use.

    Report message30

  • Message 31

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by DUKE-OF-HAZARD (U14311984) on Wednesday, 15th June 2011

    >>>The BBC Religion and Ethics web sites will remain. We will also be introducing a new blog later in the year.<<<

    Host

    That's a bit of a disjointed affair, and what are we supposed to do till then, twiddle our thumbs?

    Report message31

  • Message 32

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by surayoucantbeserious (U14208302) on Wednesday, 15th June 2011

    As a user of these boards for over 8 years I am very saddened by this.

    Sura.

    Report message32

  • Message 33

    , in reply to message 28.

    Posted by Major Higgs-Boson (U225196) on Wednesday, 15th June 2011

    And that's an excuse for your mistake? 

    No mistake, for once I agree with D G, I was replying to something you said.
    Did you think you were having a private conversation?

    What exactly is your problem?

    Report message33

  • Message 34

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Starmanblues (U14816546) on Wednesday, 15th June 2011

    Hi Religion_Host,

    What a shame the messageboards are going. I hope you find a job soon. You say..."The messageboards will remain visible after this date but the opportunity to add new comments or open new threads will no longer be available". The same was said about Poetry Corner another BBCi site but nothing is visable now and I expect sooner or later the same will happen here. So anyone out there who may want to keep a copy of their post better ensure they have a copy before it's too late.

    Report message34

  • Message 35

    , in reply to message 28.

    Posted by Jack-in-the-Green (U14769647) on Wednesday, 15th June 2011


    However, the cost of maintaining this messageboard has become impossible to justify for a relatively small group of users.
     

    I remember when the servers used to crash and when moderated users' comments used to sometimes not appear until 5 hours after they posted them and the excuse was always that there were far too many users to cope with. I always suspected that was an excuse then, and I suspect it's an excuse now.

    Report message35

  • Message 36

    , in reply to message 35.

    Posted by Oak_King (U14612120) on Wednesday, 15th June 2011

    I remember when the servers used to crash and when moderated users' comments used to sometimes not appear until 5 hours after they posted them and the excuse was always that there were far too many users to cope with. I always suspected that was an excuse then, and I suspect it's an excuse now. 

    Spot on smiley - ok

    BB )O(
    H

    Report message36

  • Message 37

    , in reply to message 33.

    Posted by Scaramunga (U4485565) on Wednesday, 15th June 2011

    Major,

    You were replying to what you perceived to be an insult directed at you.

    You made a mistake - end of story. Or do you have problems with basic comprehension as well?

    Report message37

  • Message 38

    , in reply to message 30.

    Posted by realgonecat (U12681374) on Wednesday, 15th June 2011

    Hi Scararmunga.

    Strangely I don't encounter this on any of the other forums I use. 

    Other BBC religion boards, or other forums across the net?

    I almost posted that this freethought board is no different than the other BBC religion boards, but I have to partially agree with you.

    Partially, because claiming you "don't encounter this on any of the other forums" seems ludicrous. but perhaps you meant it as a general state of affairs, and did not mean in every instance. Just trying to see your side of it. smiley - smiley

    But that point aside, I suspect this board is especially unpleasant at times precisely because it is a freethought board. I am always amazed by the number of people who (professing a belief in some arbitrary fairy tale) consider people who profess a belief in an arbitrary fairy tale, (particularly THEIR particular arbitrary fairy tale) as the real freethinkers, and consider the actual freethinker (those who profess no belief in any particular arbitrary fairy tale, or who argue against the validity of any arbitrary belief system) as being the ones with the closed minds.

    Hope you're still following this...

    So, they all come here, ready willing and able to POSE as freethinkers (just as a racist poses as "culturally conscious") but determined to attack the very idea of actual free thought, which they fear, resist and resent, and the actual freethinkers do little to defend the freethinking "faith," because such an idea runs contrary to the spirit of freethinking; freethinkers don't seek fellowship very often, almost never form ranks when reailty hostile vitriol floods their forum, and are more likely than regulars on other forms to turn on each other. They see the distinct urgency of where they differ as trumping the shared perceptions that made them declare to be freethinkers in the first place.

    Ronald Reagan's asinine political axiom: "Thou shall not speak ill of a fellow Republican," does not work for "fellow travelers" and will always only be an effective weapon for those willing to say and do anything to press their advantage, like supporters of Ronald Reagan. Freethinkers are not like that, and those who attack freethinkers almost always are, and freethinkers will NOT form a united front on this forum against such people, it's just not what freethinking is all about.

    Of course, realising that does not change the reailty one iota. The dynamic appears dishearteningly impervious to well-intentioned alteration.

    Jimmy

    Report message38

  • Message 39

    , in reply to message 38.

    Posted by Scaramunga (U4485565) on Wednesday, 15th June 2011

    realgonecat,

    I was talking (generally) about non-BBC forums.

    Obviously there are going to be misunderstandings wherever you go, but on the BBC religion forums they seem to occur more frequently and are accompanied with a greater degree of animosity.

    I think you've got a good handle on some of the reasons for the animosity and friction on these boards. I also think that the diversity of opinion often leads some posters to jump to conclusions about what they think others are claiming and no amount of explanation can undo those first misplaced impressions.

    People too readily read between the lines and operate on assumption rather than bothering to ask for clarification.

    It's a shame really, because these things undermine the more rewarding discussions that occur on these forums.

    Report message39

  • Message 40

    , in reply to message 37.

    Posted by Starmanblues (U14816546) on Wednesday, 15th June 2011

    This is I expect a perfect example of why the boards are going.

    Report message40

  • Message 41

    , in reply to message 37.

    Posted by Major Higgs-Boson (U225196) on Thursday, 16th June 2011

    You were replying to what you perceived to be an insult directed at you. 

    You're powers of perception are so accute you can tell when I'm offended even when I'm completely unaware of being so.

    Take another look, I was agreeing with D G, probably for the first time ever, my reponse was not a mistake, if being disagreed with feels like banging your head against a wall, find somewhere it won't happen.You could feed the ducks in the park, they never answer back.

    Report message41

  • Message 42

    , in reply to message 41.

    Posted by Scaramunga (U4485565) on Thursday, 16th June 2011

    I think you've lost track of how this thread has unfolded:

    I pointed out that if it hadn't been for the moderators the BBC would be repeatedly leave itself open open to prosecution and cited the example of the recent Ryan Giggs fiasco.

    Your response was that you " can't be bothered to get into another pointless argument with someone who doesn't appear to speak the same language as I do."  


    My post, which you quoted above, was not a response to your comments about the BBC and Ryan Giggs. It was a response to DG Young and the way that he completely ignored the fact that I conceded to his point about the legal problems associated with BBC run message boards.

    Like I said before, you made a mistake. Now, do you really want to carry on with this nonsense?

    Report message42

  • Message 43

    , in reply to message 25.

    Posted by SusanDoris (U2850104) on Thursday, 16th June 2011

    Shame this has to be 'hello and goodbye', but I'll get loads more work done if these boards close, to be honest!

    Jimmy, something you said to me, years ago, inspired me more than I could ever explain, and changed the course of my life. You made a difference to me. Thank you.

    Kay 

    Well, it will be difficult to think of you as not 'Betty'! As I've said on the CT board, I do hope you'll become a member, even if you don't have time to do much posting there, of NGL. I have always admired your clear, straightforward, down-to-earth, commonsense posts.smiley - ok smiley - ok

    Susan

    Report message43

  • Message 44

    , in reply to message 29.

    Posted by SusanDoris (U2850104) on Thursday, 16th June 2011

    realgonecat:
    Well, if there was a monthly language award, I'd most certainly vote for your post! I have stuck to the CT board most of the time I've been here - which was way back when SEF was here! - but have looked in on this and R&E occasionally. Today I'm having a better browse through as time is, unfortunately, short.smiley - sadface

    Susan

    Report message44

  • Message 45

    , in reply to message 42.

    Posted by Major Higgs-Boson (U225196) on Thursday, 16th June 2011

    My post, which you quoted above, was not a response to your comments about the BBC and Ryan Giggs. It was a response to DG Young and the way that he completely ignored the fact that I conceded to his point about the legal problems associated with BBC run message boards. 

    It looks very much like a reply to two people who disagree with you.

    Report message45

  • Message 46

    , in reply to message 45.

    Posted by Scaramunga (U4485565) on Thursday, 16th June 2011

    There were to very big clues that it wasn't:

    1. "Message 15, in reply to message 13."

    2. "I can't be bothered to get into another pointless argument with SOMEONE...."

    You just aren't in the habit of reading posts properly.

    Report message46

  • Message 47

    , in reply to message 46.

    Posted by Major Higgs-Boson (U225196) on Friday, 17th June 2011

    You just aren't in the habit of reading posts properly 

    The reply still stands, doubly so now.

    If you don't want to be disagreed with, find somewhere else to post your decrees.There's a man down the road shouting at the traffic, I think you two should get on just fine.

    Report message47

  • Message 48

    , in reply to message 47.

    Posted by Scaramunga (U4485565) on Friday, 17th June 2011

    The reply still stands 

    No it doesn't. You were replying to a comment that was an expression of my frustration at D G Young's inability to appreciate that I conceded the point he made about legal issues facing the BBC.

    My comments had absolutely nothing to do with my not wanting to be disagreed with.

    This is the second time I've explained this, so why are you struggling to take this on board?

    The irony is that your continued thick-headed attitude to this misunderstanding means that my comments about understanding plain English now apply to you as well.

    Report message48

  • Message 49

    , in reply to message 48.

    All this user's posts have been removed. Why?

  • Message 50

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by DUKE-OF-HAZARD (U14311984) on Sunday, 26th June 2011

    Hello Host

    What time can we post up to on Monday? Could somebody please let me know right away please?

    Thank You smiley - smiley

    Report message50

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The BBC Religion and ethics message boards are now closed.

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We will be introducing a new blog later in the year. Aaqil Ahmed, Commissioning Editor Religion and Head of Religion & Ethics, has a blog with more details.

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