Should the forum be behind a registration wall?

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jtaylor
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Should the forum be behind a registration wall?

Post by jtaylor » Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:32 pm

Given the concerns recently over prejudicing trials etc with some of the content on the Forum, I'd like to put an idea out there for feedback.

The Forum has often been compared to public groups on Facebook, where anyone can see/read etc., rather than the private groups where you have to be a member to read the content. Whilst public groups on Facebook (and also this forum) are indexed freely on Google, it's my understanding that member-only groups don't tend to get scraped by Google etc. and thus provide a minor level of privacy compared to completely open groups.

Thus, my thought is whether we should move the CH Forum to be behind a registration-wall (NOT a pay-wall - still completely free to register and take part) - i.e. can only read the content once you've registered, and answered the (admittedly rather easy) CH-centric registration questions.
I appreciate this really doesn't prevent others from registering and finding content, and it's not exactly Fort Knox in terms of security - but could this help us avoid falling-foul of potentially prejudicial topics of discussion in the future, and allow more semi-private conversations to take place?

I don't know, and not sure whether I want to do it - but I'd be interested in any experienced-based knowledgeable feedback on the idea, and whether it would be something we should do?

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Re: Should the forum be behind a registration wall?

Post by richardb » Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:51 pm

Julian,

I have the greatest admiration and respect for the way in which the moderators have allowed debate to develop, particularly over the last few weeks. It was clear to all of us that the school put great pressure on you to keep a lid on what has gone on for many years.

I cannot criticise the education that I received at CH which enabled me not just aspire to but join a profession - the law - which in all probability would otherwise have been closed to me.

As we are Charged on leaving the school, I have never forgotten the great benefits that I received.

On the other hand, those benefits do not excuse some fairly serious failings over the years.

We have once again been treated to a letter from the Head Master talking in generalities and platitudes. We know things have changed. The law and statutory regulation has required that that happened.

There is a level at which I believe that all OBs are entitled to an open debate about what went on. I was a pupil in Webb's boarding House for 3 years and could be a victim. My overriding memory of Husband is that he was deeply deeply unpleasant and a bully.

Provided that people follow some simple rules, there is no need to curb free debate. Those rules are:
1. You cannot defame the dead;
2. Defamation is all about loss of reputation. Webb, Burr, Karim, Husband and Dobbie are all convicted sex offenders and so have little in the way of reputation to lose;
3. If in doubt, do not name anyone directly or indirectly who has not been convicted.

I have been very privileged over the last few weeks as people have trusted me with information, no doubt due to my legal background. I have no doubt at all that what has played out in court over the last year or so has been just the tip of the iceberg. There is more, much more, to come out and I expect further complainants to come forward, as Spoonbill has already alluded to today on another thread.

By way of my own contribution, I will keep you straight on the law.

Can we give it a go?

Best wishes,

Richard

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Re: Should the forum be behind a registration wall?

Post by Janey Jam-Jar » Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:36 pm

Julian + mods (and rockers) have done the devil's own job keeping this forum going over the last few weeks. Thank you.

And thanks to richardb for providing a legal walk-through of the last trials. I'm really grateful for that.

Given the news that more complainants have come forwards, does that call for a debate about somewhere private for OB exploration of child abuse?

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Re: Should the forum be behind a registration wall?

Post by richardb » Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:01 pm

I don't see any problem in keeping this as they are.

Firstly, I cant see anyone coming on here and posting that they were sexually abused by those who have been convicted. If they do so, it will soon be moderated.

Secondly, if posters just stop and think before posting a name it will solve the problem.

Thirdly a variety of measures are now adopted to ensure an impartial jury. Prospective jurors could be asked if they have ever read the forum and excused in the unlikely event that they have.

I know four of the five who have been convicted, Dobbie being the exception so I know nothing of the circumstances in which he came to leave the school. One of the major issues with the first four is that the school allowed them simply to be moved on when they were caught with their trousers down.

I think it highly likely that further complaints will come out, not just against the five now in prison but against others too.

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Re: Should the forum be behind a registration wall?

Post by bakunin » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:12 pm

I think this is a very good idea because the constant deleting of threads for questionable legal reasons is very frustrating. Not blaming Julian at all - he is right to take whatever precautions are necessary to prevent trials being influenced, but I think the CH administration is using legal claims as excuses to prevent discussion and the tarnishing of CH's reputation.

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Re: Should the forum be behind a registration wall?

Post by richardb » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:14 pm

But they don't have any basis to threaten the forum now.

The trial is over.

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Re: Should the forum be behind a registration wall?

Post by Avon » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:19 pm

No, it shouldn’t.

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Re: Should the forum be behind a registration wall?

Post by Janey Jam-Jar » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:20 pm

Ok. I prefer discussion to be open. And in the case of child sexual abuse, keeping it under the radar enabled these men and others to commit the crimes they have been convicted of, and enabled the school to keep circulating unsuitable people in working with children. The abuse is one issue. Institutional complicity is another.

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Re: Should the forum be behind a registration wall?

Post by Janey Jam-Jar » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:29 pm

bakunin wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:12 pm
I think the CH administration is using legal claims as excuses to prevent discussion and the tarnishing of CH's reputation.
I think you're right. If those in the know had taken the correct steps in the first place, at least CH could to say yes, it happened, we found out, we acted. The reputation now, in the public domain and reported in the press, is of an institution that was complicit in abuse for decades.
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Re: Should the forum be behind a registration wall?

Post by richardb » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:34 pm

One of things that has got to many of us on here is that we know someone who was abused. We may not know that person's identity but we know it happened while we were at the school.

And there lies the problem. One way or another fir year after year, the school managed to cover it up to protect the reputation of the school.

We have had no real explanations from the school which is still keen to sweep it all under the carpet.

It needs open discussion.

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Re: Should the forum be behind a registration wall?

Post by Janey Jam-Jar » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:37 pm

Inquiry?

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Re: Should the forum be behind a registration wall?

Post by richardb » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:41 pm

Janey Jam-Jar wrote:
Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:37 pm
Inquiry?
I think there should be.

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Re: Should the forum be behind a registration wall?

Post by marty » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:46 pm

Is there not a halfway house option whereby posts (or whole threads) can be made private as and when required and so only viewable by registered members?
Paradise is for the blessed. Not for the sex-obsessed.

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Re: Should the forum be behind a registration wall?

Post by Avon » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:59 pm

There should be an enquiry. This was endemic. During my time at CH:

My history teacher was raping someone.
My chaplain was abusing multiple people, and the link between him and Bishop Ball merits further investigation.
My cricket coach was abusing multiple people.
My French teacher was an out-and-out psychopath, and later at Haileybury went on to abuse another pupil.

All of the above have been convicted.

The governance, pastoral care and competence of the senior leadership needs examination. Not only do we need proof that reoccurrence is unlikely but I think we need an examination of the past. Personally, I want portraits unhung, I want pensions commuted, I want there to be consequence for incompetence. But maybe that’s just me.

I’ve never felt less inclined to feel bound by the Charge.
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Re: Should the forum be behind a registration wall?

Post by richardb » Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:02 pm

And all this was going on as long ago as the late 1940s...

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