Archived on 6/5/2022

Clarification please: Who owns this website now?

2 Nov '20

This website was previously owned by ‘Brighter Code Ltd’, a company registered at Companies House and itself owned by one Christopher David Beach (a ‘person with significant control’), who is listed as the sole director.

The website ‘Terms of service’ page now says that it is owned by ‘Tighter Code’. I note that it does not say ‘Tighter Code Ltd’ and that there is no such company registered at Companies House. The ‘Privacy policy’ page says that ‘Tighter Code’ is a sole proprietorship. (I should add that sole proprietorships do not register with Companies House, nor indeed anyone else.)

Ownership is said to have been transferred to @ForestHull, but I see no indication as to who @ForestHull actually is.

Given the somewhat notorious history of so-called sock-puppet accounts that have had direct or indirect connection with the previous ownership of this website, and given that our data has been transferred to this new owner, I would have hoped for a greater degree of transparency than this.

I look forward to clarification on this or correction as to where I’ve gone wrong in my analysis.

3 Nov '20

Topics, and also prominent banners, have explained the transfer for several weeks now. Those who opted in to notification summary emails will have received an email about this transfer.

Initial announcement (September): Life after Dot Life

Formal details of the transfer (two weeks ago): Site Transfer Notice

Terms of Service and Privacy Policy update notices (yesterday): ToS & Privacy Policy Update

I think that’s somewhat of an exagerration. Don’t believe everything you read on competing local forums.

If you’d like to understand more about the accounts I run (which include bots that retweet local news, and hyper-local Twitter accounts for individual roads in SE23), feel free to drop me a line and I’m happy to discuss.

Several people, including the chairman and vice-chairman of the Forest Hill Society have met @ForestHull in person and can vouch that he is indeed a genuine local resident.

It is understandable that @ForestHull would want a degree of anonymity, given the personally-targeted abuse that I received over the years, including organised hate campaigns hosted by the owners of competing local forums, the stalking of my home and extended family, and a written threat to pay my wife and baby “a visit”

ForestHull is dedicating a huge amount of time and effort to running this site, which is loss-making, and exists only for the benefit of the local community. I hope this community will rally together to prevent him being abused like I was.

He’s a kind and generous person. Please join me in wishing him well.

3 Nov '20

Hi @AndyS

I’m sure @ForestHull will respond more fully in the morning, but if you are questioning whether @ForestHull is an actual real person and not the former owner @anon5422159 then I can confirm they are not the same person, I have met both personally as has the new chair of the Forest Hill Society who is also a moderator on here @clausy.

I’m not sure what other details you want or what @ForestHull wants to disclose publicly on the forum.

Have a good evening.

3 Nov '20

I’ll also confirm that I’ve met @ForestHull and encouraged him to throw his hat in the ring to take over the site. I did so because he’s a genuine guy who really cares about Forest Hill.

As has always been the case, anyone who chooses to can ask for their account to be anonymised as an effective deletion. And as recently confirmed when an ex- member asked to rejoin, that truly is irreversible.

3 Nov '20

@AndyS - yep I’m real. Also the earth is also round, vaccinations are a really really good thing that save lives, and Elvis is still alive :upside_down_face:

Anyway, the key detail you allude to in the privacy policy is this:

I am operating as a self-employed sole trader. Trading names are forbidden from calling themselves ‘ltd’ as they are not limited companies and hence don’t register with Companies House - as you point out. Many tradespeople operate in this way, and since there will be little to no profit, this also does not need registering with HMRC (the threshold is earnings of £1000 or more). If we get anywhere near that in any year, we’ll collect ideas for donating to local charities and groups and then run a poll to donate away any of the money, rather than keeping it and being subject to taxation. Don’t get your hopes up though - given hosting costs I think will be very unlikely to break even, but if the losses are contained to something in the order of a Netflix Premium subscription or two, this is probably better entertainment for me anyway :slight_smile:

So note that no one pays anything to use the site - except me! We don’t generate income by selling personal data or anything like that. The only income is through small amounts of advertising from local businesses in the form of banners and pinned topics. I don’t plan to change that either, or in fact change too much as I think Chris has made a winning formula here. Instead my main concern right now is getting to grips with the many many settings, configurations and customisations on the site and keeping it running smoothly - it is easy to underestimate the huge amount of work that’s gone into since it’s inception, and it’s a massive pair of shoes to try and fill going forward!

Anyway, the reason I’ve taken on this site is because after Chris indicated that he wanted to hand it on, I recognised that is a resource that is too good to lose and so stepped in. I would have suggested a meetup or something to say ‘hi’, but we’ll have to wait until after lockdown for that one I’m afraid.

And finally your point of transparency. The site Terms of Service and Privacy Policy are completely transparent and have been well advertised. Sorry for being somewhat guarded about my personal identity, but this is not the only forum where the admin is somewhat guarded, and for good reason. Unfortunately I’ve already seen personally targeted criticism from a person I’ve never met, never wronged, and for no reason I can see other than for my good intentions of trying to perpetuate a local resource loved by many. I think this online bullying is really sad and it has a chilling effect on the community as a whole and I would hope that those with any influence would quietly try and put a stop to this blight rather than let it run on to everyone’s detriment.

3 Nov '20

Best wishes to the new admin and the moderation team. May this site go from strength to strength and help to promote vibrant and respectful discussion.

3 Nov '20

@ForestHull Thank you so much for respecting and responding to my concerns so constructively, in such detail and with good humour. You set an example to others. I’m also delighted to hear about Elvis.

@applespider and @oakr I’m grateful to you, too, for your reassurances.

I join @Michael in wishing you and this site well.

3 Nov '20

Sorry I’m a bit late to the party, but aside from @ForestHull being very real (he even came to my house with beer) we both offered to take off @anon5422159’s hands a couple of months ago. I can confirm that Chris no longer retains admin or moderation rights either. He has no special rights except being at a high trust level and being a member of an ex-moderators group along with a few others who have held that position.

3 Nov '20

He is indeed real, and buys a round quite willingly :grin:

3 Nov '20

After your dig at @anon5422159 in your first post, and given the gratitude and praise you’ve heaped-upon other people who’ve responded, I’m surprised that you haven’t extended him even a small courtesy for his quick and detailed reply to you and for offering-up his ‘baby’ to someone else who’s prepared to nurture it for the benefit of the local community.