Hi Cort,

Dr. Yes wrote:


Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Yes View Post
I am also uncomfortable with this idea. Otis pointed out correctly that stuff is potentially easily disseminated on the internet anyway, through a variety of means (e.g. add-ons in Firefox, etc etc) -- however, that doesn't mean we should add to that potential.

My concern about privacy is based on the documented activities of various disability insurers and legal representatives who, in medical cases incl. lawsuits, have been known to use thorough internet searches to find evidence against individuals. I (naively, I suppose) have put out quite a lot of personal information on this forum, and have been regretting it of late (I will ask to have my first name deleted from several posts by others, but I can't find them all)... I have at least one legal battle potentially on the horizon and am not sure how to deal with this issue without going back and deleting partial or entire posts and asking others to delete quotes from same. [If those members are still active!] So the additional linking feature compounds an existing problem, as far as I am concerned.

Some members are not so anonymous, as there are specific bits of personal information in our posts which are unique, or almost unique, to us and would make it relatively easy for someone to establish our identity. Yes, the initial mistake was ours for putting that information there (my defense is ignorance; I'm new to this Interweb thing ), but now that it's out there the concerns exist.

I think Otis is also right that Google is essentially a larger problem... which is why many members were asking to make part or all of the Community Lounge private (I believe some said it would be Google-proof; if it is, I still think that would be a good idea).

I agree with Maarten that the members should be consulted and duly notified before such decisions are made about this site. I also would appreciate Cort's answer to Maarten's questions about legal ownership of the content of our posts.

You answered:

Quote Originally Posted by Cort View Post
Another hornet's nest! I will check about the standard rules for 'property rights' for online forums. We will follow the standard procedures. My focus was on protecting Phoenix Rising users from having their stories ripped off without their knowledge or without receiving benefit from them.

Anyone who posts anything on the Forums has, of course, free reign to use them however they wish. As I said, my focus was on protecting other people from using their posts without their permission.

We will make decisions about the Forum based on my others ideas regarding what is most beneficial for it. This is not a democracy - we're not going to put everything up for a vote. On the other hand, Forums members opinions will always play a significant role in the process of determining how Forum will be run -as they have in the past. Ultimately, however, one person is responsible for the Forums and that is myself - the decisions in the end are mine.

We'll work over the posting to Facebook issue here and in the admin area. I viewed it as an opportunity for people to get the word out about threads they find valuable. Again I will note that my understanding is that only the top post in a thread - the starter post - not a post plucked out of the middle of a thread - are uplinked to the site. I did not anticipate that this would alarm some people.

This is not a black and white issue; some people are clearly alarmed - I understand that. Others see it as an opportunity. I would note that many Forums have this capability and that the Forum package has had the capabilities to provide links to social networking sites since its inception. The ability to reach out to other sites is not new - the enhanced ability to do it is. The issue, though, is clearly more problematic than I ever guessed actually!

The Forums are and will remain VERY public. Anyone with concerns about potential hazards should, as always, be careful about posting personal information. If your username reflects your real name we can always change it.

Another fine answer, Cort: That's the spirit! Thank you very much indeed!

I'll be back later with some quotes that also concern Dr. Yes's concerns, that are also on the top of my mind since reading about linking in Facebook etc. from this forum as a matter of course:

My concern about privacy is based on the documented activities of various disability insurers and legal representatives who, in medical cases incl. lawsuits, have been known to use thorough internet searches to find evidence against individuals.

And the quotes I'll later offer are about the present commercial 'information-gathering' a.k.a. 'commercial personal data-mining' a.k.a. 'spying' on the internet , that are quite frightening and not by far as well known as they deserve to be, and are mostly happening secretively, behind one's back, for lack of legislation for the internet, and may be a danger for decades to come, for some.

More later about this, but most of this "hornet's nest!", in Cort's words, seem to have been solved in principle at least for the members of this forum - which is a relief to me, albeit that the dangers I just spoke of keep existing just as much.

So more about this later,

Maarten (relieved ).