Positivity on SE23.life

It’s amazing to watch a new community form, with positive and good-spirited posts on all kinds of topics. I look forward to more people gaining trusted “Verified” status and joining us to help shape the direction of this site.

There has been an isolated post this morning that was a little critical of one of the other local forums, and its creator. The creator emailed me to complain, and I quickly worked to resolve his concerns. The author of the post in question had given me permission to edit her posts, so I modified it to remove the name of the forum, and the creator of the forum. I also put some automation in place to replace future mentions of the creator with Steve Shaw and mentions of his forum with :black_medium_small_square::black_medium_small_square::black_medium_small_square::black_medium_small_square:.

It’s a little sad to do this as I am a proponent of free speech, and I’m sure we have plenty of good things to say about this person and his forum, but we need to err on the side of caution and avoid being critical of him, because as the creator pointed out, this could be construed as defamation or libel.

[UPDATE: this automation has now been removed]


Once again, the “local residents” spoke, you listened and acted accordingly. It is a shame to have to put any kind of censorship in place. But in this case it has specifically been requested by the owner of both words so to speak. So is just respecting their wishes.

Hopefully this will be the end of the matter and any other political issues relating to site running and management, and the positivity can just keep spreading. The growth has truly been phenomenal, so let’s focus, keep up the enthusiasm (not too much though eh!) and keep building a better and better listening, interactive, caring community.


We’ve now reached the inevitable consequence of censorship in that a legitimate cross-posting has been blocked due to a blanket ban on mentions.

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The situation with the other SE23 forum is uniquely complicated, but as I’m sure you’ve seen on this site, we welcome links and mentions of other websites including other local forums.

As @Bolgerp demonstrated on the topic he started (with his second post), he was able to link to the other SE23 forum using the markup: [title](URL)

Whilst the title was automatically altered to remove mentions of the other SE23 forum, the link still worked.

No posts have been blocked regarding this, as far as I can tell?

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Well, none that I can see…

I’m not overly precious on this, I just find that unless it’s kiddie porn or beheading videos, most forms of censorship say more about those seeking the restriction than is achieved by the restriction itself.

I don’t think you can call it censorship when the owner of the content asks for it to be removed. If we were blithely blocking other sites, that would be another matter.


If the issue was copying content, then it’s either plagiarism or outright copyright infringement if it goes beyond fair use. Redacting a portion of a URL is censorship and defeats the whole purpose of the World Wide Web. If the BBC asked us to stop creating hyperlinks to their website, then I think we would consider that censorship too.

It’s splitting hairs really. My point is really that someone being a bit precious and threatening libel has had a minor impact on our ability to communicate. Curiously, there is a bill before parliament on a related subject, but not directly on libel.

Not if the link still works - which it does - only the text of the link is not visible. Can’t really see an issue - what the difference between this and the link on the other page. In both cases the link still works and in both cases the name of the site is obscured.


Functionally, this is true, but I can choose whether I, as a poster, write www.bbc.co.uk or write something else instead. Having that choice taken away is a minor inconvenience, but there could theoretically be an important reason why I would need to write the whole URL.

Be that as it may, we came to an agreement with the owner of the other site and will honour it as long as he wants, in the interests of being neighbourly.


@Moto_Hodder Simply put, the owner of the other site can make things difficult for this site. Your minor inconvenience can be a pain in the proverbial for us. I wish it wasnt so but it is. Please respect this.


We were put in a very bad position by the other individual & felt we needed to respect this individual’s wishes otherwise some individuals from here may have got in trouble. Myself included.

I completely agree with freedom of speech, but we really didn’t have a choice in this matter.

Feel free to pop in for a chat as I can talk all I like as an individual, and I can also verify you which means you may make more sense of this by reading posts in the lounge.

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The reality is, it is no different from shortened URL’s on Twitter and other social media sites. If the information in the post is detailed, and I have a reason to click the link which says “read more” or “click here”, I am happy to go ahead and read it.
If a post appears which just says “read this” and nothing else, I am unlikely to click it.

Whilst I can see there is a certain level of curiousity about the matter, the function of a working link is all that is required, regardless of how it is worded.

In short, the internet is FULL of things like this. What’s the difference unless you read more into it than there actually is?

As for the theoretical reason for needing to write the whole URL… Hmmm. By clicking a shortened link you would arrive at said URL, so not sure I can see what situation would make this different.

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I’ve not been here long but I do love this site. Keep up the good work guys!


I think it is time to move on from the initial forum wars. It makes sense not to discuss by name the other forum on this forum, but linking from one to another for relevant posts should be allowed without the need for little black squares, especially since the link works anyway.

So I suggest that the site name is only censored when mentioned in isolation (with a space after the site name), not when it is a link to a specific post. Banning such linking is probably not the intention of the other forum administrator, and even if it was, there is no legitimate reason to prevent another site linking to your own, that’s just the rules of the internet.

I think you are right @Michael. Quite apart from that there is the issue of link safety & confidence where a user should have a clear idea of where a link would take them too - I realise that this is dependent on how the link is presented.

I look forward to a post existing on the other forum linking to this one though… Nonetheless, it would be good if this site can rise above such pettiness.

I suspect the other forum creator is watching this topic. Perhaps let’s wait for him to comment. I’m happy for people to link to his forum, and I’d prefer to lift automated censoring altogether.

In terms of distinguishing links from mentions of the forum it’s fiddly as there won’t always be a space before/after the domain in a mention.

As mention of the other forum has slowed to a trickle, I am happy as a mod if we remove the automatic redacting and manually monitor mentions. i can’t see the other admin objecting to links back to his forum as long as it is done in a spirit of community and sharing local information.