Inconsistent censorship - threads moved to chatter section

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Wednesday 26 March 2003 2.26pm
Dear Mr Hatts

I was surprised that you moved two messages to the chatter section which far from being chatter were talking about important issues such as third world poverty and the destruction of local economies (such as Southwark) by the main 5 supermarkets.

That said perhaps you can apply your chatter policy to several other threads in the forum such as "Village Pizza", "Bermondsey Kitchen" and "Stagecoach Charlatans" amongst others? I do not see why these inane banters, about whether or not takeaway pizza is better from Cucina or Village Pizza and whether or not Bermondsey Kitchen is any good, do not qualify in your mind as chatter. Especially as I know you are so keen to avoid blatant unpaid-for advertising on the site.

Anything less would make me suspect you and the site of biased political censorship.

Post edited (26 Mar 03 14:32)
Wednesday 26 March 2003 2.51pm

The SE1 discussion forum is for discussion about topics relating directly to SE1. The chatter forum is for other, more general stuff, including political discussion.

Check your facts before having a go at James, who does an excellent job managing this website.

The Lady
Wednesday 26 March 2003 4.06pm
Dear Miss Jo

I'm sure that James can stick up for himself but seeing as you rushed so quickly to his defence I will apply the suggestion you gave on one of the removed threads and merely assume you fancy him (go on put us all out of our misery and admit it!).

Also as you are the originator of the thread entitled "Bermondsey Kitchen" - can you explain why after the 5th message it does not qualify as inane banter (albeit banter about a restaurant in SE1)and hence should also be relegated to the chatter section.
Wednesday 26 March 2003 4.30pm

I'm sorry that you don't agree with my decision to move those two threads to the chatter section, though I find your response is somewhat over the top and unecessarily accusatory.

As The Lady Miss Jo Jo says, the 'SE1 Discussion' section is for general discussion about SE1 shops, services, transport, restaurants, planning issues and the like, and the 'Chatter' is for discussions that don't have a direct link to life in SE1 (ie more general social or political issues).

I will readily acknowledge that the distinction between the two sections isn't clear at the moment, especially since I changed the settings to bypass the page which gave the option of choosing which forum to view and made 'SE1 Discussion' the default.

I will also admit that the rules about advertising etc are not readily set out anywhere, and I plan to rectify that very soon.

There are loads of other things that need doing on the site, but although I try to run it as professionally as possible it's a spare-time activity for me and I certainly don't run it to get rich.

Regular visitors may have noticed that some aspects of the forum are a bit rough around the edges (for example the list of threads has gone back to being poorly spaced with all the thread titles bunched on the left). This is because I upgraded the forum software to the latest version a couple of weeks ago and haven't had a chance to manually reapply all of the customisations that I made to the previous versions. I was hoping to do that today as I unexpectedly had a day at home, but I haven't had a chance yet.

I can assure you that my decision to move those threads has nothing to do with political censorship, but merely keeping the main forum relevant to current SE1-specific issues.

The issues of third world debt and the power of the supermarket giants are undoubtedly important and I am happy to provide a platform for reasoned discussion of these matters, but I do reserve the right to choose which part of the site is used for that purpose.

Of course other threads will wander off-topic, that is inevitable in any thriving online community.

The fact is that SE1 issues are our raison d'etre. There are loads of places where you can discuss third world debt, but not many where you can talk about pizza takeaways on the Old Kent Road.

Best wishes,


Editor of the London SE1 website.
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Wednesday 26 March 2003 10.18pm
I don't see the point of segregating the earnest discussion of bendy busses from some inconsequential chitchat about chest waxing as I consider both topics to be examples of SE1's multifariousness.

I am interested in anything that the contributors to both SE1 forums have to say in equal amounts.

Well, OK, nearly anything. Why not just jumble it all together and let us sort out the tangle of threads?
Thursday 27 March 2003 8.51am
James has my vote - great web site and well managed!

Adele if you're not happy vote with your feet?
Thursday 27 March 2003 9.07am
Dear James

Thank you for your reply. Your efforts to maintain this site are much appreciated and I agree with others that the site is excellent. I am sorry if the tone of my message was overly accusatory but I guess I was just a bit concerned that these threads had been moved and yet other threads, which seemed to be unbelievably chatty, were still present in the forum.

I don't see anything constructive about "voting with my feet", as Dave suggests, as this would be totally dismissive not only of all the admirable efforts that go into the upkeep of the forum but also the usefulness of the forum itself. So sorry Dave but I'm staying. :-)
Thursday 27 March 2003 9.12am

Good... I'm actually quite glad, because as in most things in life variety is the spice of life. Can't say I agree with you all the time Adele but you do have a certain passion that I would really miss!

Thursday 27 March 2003 9.52am
Thanks Adele

It's impossible to please everybody - the chatter section was originally set up because people complained to me about the 'sillier' (body waxing etc) and 'heavier' (third world debt etc) discussions were getting in the way of the local topics that they came to the site to read.

I hope you won't be unduly upset that I have moved this thread to the new Feedback section :-)


Editor of the London SE1 website.
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Thursday 27 March 2003 5.09pm

Can you please set up an 'Adele's important topics' section,as it would save me time and effort by allowing me to ignore it completely. other suggested names for it are 'misinformation service' or 'cobwebs'
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