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Complaints and ethics


Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 14 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have, to put it mildly, mellowed.

I'm not a believer in brushing the past under the carpet. I've written some offensive rubbish on here in the past: deleting it and pretending it never happened doesn't change that. I hope that stumbling across something that's 14 years old won't offend anyone anew, because I hope that people can understand that what I thought and felt and wrote about then is probably very different to what I think and feel and write about now. It's a relic of an (albeit recent) bygone era.

So, given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views may well have changed in the last 14 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider inappropriate, offensive, embarrassing, or all three.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken, and embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

This isn’t the most riveting of posts, but I consider it to be quite important – even if, on days like these, I really wish I had a suitably qualified Grauniad-style independent editor to refer things to!

First of all, lawyers from The National Lottery have been in touch to insist that I remove their copyrighted logo from a post from a couple of months ago. I think I was probably on the right side of the law, having published in a reporting context something which was (or so it appeared) presented by The National Lottery. Their lawyers argue that the banner was a fake, and defamatory to their client. Unfortunately, I neglected to keep details of the original site to refer them to in order to confirm that the banner wasn’t faked, and so I complied with their request and removed the logo from the server, and replaced it with a description.

Next up, an ethical question from an independent party relating to my HP Support Blog: Why had I chosen to name individuals providing service, when my complaints were specifically with those individuals. That’s a fair comment, and there’s probably a potential for libel if the tone of the post is considered defamatory to the identified individual, so I’ve removed all references to names. That has meant editing a couple of comments, including one by an anonymous party, which I’m not overly comfortable in doing. However, I’ve clearly marked the changes in the comments, and pinged all of the edited posts. They are: Friday’s update, Monday’s update, Tuesday’s update, One week on, Day 13, and Day 14. The comments in question are here and here. For further clarification, I have also published this post on the HP Support Blog.

Finally, this post. Is it disrespectful and unfair? I think not. I have form on the issue of discussing religion: Witness this and this. I do not consider it part of my aim on this blog to protect religion, and certinaly not be protect one above another. Instead, I aim to be even-handed, and actually reflect my own views (this is, after all, a personal blog). If that means criticising actions of religious leaders that I find unacceptable, I shall do it, just as I would criticise the actions of any other community leaders. I’m not omnipotent, and hence can’t report every evil or every good performed by every relgious person – but I do blog the ones which catch my eye. Therefore, the post stands unedited.

As ever, you can complain about posts either publically via the commenting system, or privately via one of several methods: Email me, SMS or MMS “simon” followed by your message to 60300, leave me a voicemail on 0845 638 1916, or fax me on 0845 638 1918. Charges of phone calls and text messages appear along with full details of all contact methods in the site guide.

This 952nd post was filed under: HP Support Blog, Site Updates.

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15th December 2007.

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