Saturday, August 25, 2012

Here We Go (3)

We should have mentioned earlier that while comments are going to be left open with no need to register, at least for the time being, comments that have no serious point to make, but rather seek  to make puerile gibes about JPs doing the job because of the status it gives them at the golf club and suchlike trolling rubbish will be deleted without hesitation. The comments are open for mature and constructive discussion of matters in the courts. Wit is welcome, mindless carping is not. The team will exercise editorial control to try to keep the blog on topic and, to repeat, it isn't a democracy. It's a blog. We really don't want to get into pre-moderation of comments, but if we have to, we have to.

That's more than enough introspection for a while.

41 comments:

  1. For one, I feel that comments by the those not in the judicial circle are not welcome here.

    Is the everyday public commenter regarded as a nuisance?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1. You could exclude the public easily. But you would then have given up the basic justification for this blog, per Neuberger:

      "...foster the already developing community of active informed court reporting on the internet through blogs, and tweeting; we should support the responsible legal journalists; we should initiate, support, encourage and assist public legal education. The great strength of our society is that it is built on the competing voices of free speech."

      2. The courts are a public place, and not the private domain of the 'judicial circle'. Many other people work with / for the courts, including staff, occasional witnesses, family law types, social workers, probation service, the police, and, not least, the ordinary public who are looking for some sort of response after what the local scrotes have done to their car / cat / front garden / favourite pub / etc. I would submit that there is a large and beneficial difference between a blog about the courts involving all interested parties, and a blog involving only your 'judicial circle'.

      3. If you regard the "everyday public commenter (sic) as a nuisance", then, to me, it suggests a lack of listening skills. My own view (as a public commenter) is that listening skills are essential for someone who is an effective member of the 'judicial circle', as well as other professions who find themselves in courts from time to time.

      Delete
    2. "For one, I feel that comments by the those not in the judicial circle are not welcome here."

      I think then perhaps that you are being a trifle over-sensitive. Many of us (and this can be substantiated) were reading this blog well before we became members of the judicial circle, (not that I am, of course, admitting to any such thing).

      And more than a few people were inspired to join that circle by this blog.

      Personally, I think that this is one of its raison d'etre (although I have no idea if that last word should be pluralised or not).

      Delete
    3. If it is one of several things, those several things will be plural (or possibly an uncountable). Therefore the above should be plural.

      Delete
    4. Biker, in this instance, I would say "raisons d'ĂȘtre".

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    5. Tarnation.

      And in this case you would be 100% right!

      Delete
    6. Nonsense. Of course we aren't. Or at least if we are regarded as a nuisance then the regarders are doing it very quietly indeed.

      We do seem to have accumulated lots of actual magistrates here, either by gravitation or by being magically turned into magistrates by the touch of the blog - but there's plenty of us ordinary folk here as well even if we don't comment much or at all (and it's probably as well to remember that when tempted occasionally to drift into internal magistrate-land speak).

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    7. The fact that you want very much to say something doesn't necessarily make that something of particular interests to listeners. Your job to make it so. Never blame others if you're a feckless bore.
      In the course of a Tribunale trial, while the defense barrister made his closing speech, he noticed one of the three judges had dozed off. Much offended, he demanded that the presiding judge shake his colleague up, but that judge only glared and growled: " Counsel, you talked him asleep; you talk him awake."

      Delete
    8. Linked-in hosts a closed magistrates network to facilities private discussions, keeping this one open is a service.

      Delete
  2. By no means. Most of the time we don't know who anyone is, and we don't care. It's what you have to say that matters.

    We get our share of trolls and we shall carry on deleting their rubbish until they finally take the hint.

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    Replies
    1. What is your definition of a troll?

      Delete
  3. It's a bit like defining a rhinoceros. It's a chore to put into words, but you sure as hell know it when you see it.

    You could always try Google or Wikipedia or suchlike.

    Some of the team is off to the pub now for a nice Sunday pint.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My definition of troll: one who posts provocative verbiage purely to get a reaction, without meaning what they say.

      You will note that if the poster means what they say, they are not a troll.

      I assume you agree with this definition.

      Delete
    2. Oh, get away with it Anonymous. I've just looked this up in Blackstone:

      The actus reus of trolling is making a post/comment that is EITHER (a) divergent from the the content or direction of the thread without good cause, or (b) of an insulting, menacing, obscene or perverse character.

      The mens rea is either intent to do one of the above, or recklessness as to whether the topic is diverted or as to whether anyone (whether another commenter or not) might be insulted menaced obscened or perverted or something like that, or plain dumb stupidity.

      There are two complete defences to the charge, namely benign intent and good humour. It is a partial defence to exhibit good humour and abject apology after the event.

      Oh sod it, it is late at night and I can't keep this going any longer. Night night all.

      Delete
    3. I meant the text seriously and after seven years of reading am def not a troll.

      It's purely that I have posted comments before and been ridiculed with the responders not taking into account that I do not have the depth of knowledge of the subject as they.

      Delete
    4. I do hope you understand that my riposte(?) was intended as parody ;)

      An awful lot of it - particularly when it comes to responses from other commenters - is, I think, down to being recognised as being not that sort of person, which is where anonymous commenting is a bit risky. At least if I say something stupid and accidentally provocative people will (I hope, I really really hope) recognise that's out of character and I might have misread something ...

      Delete
  4. That sounds remarkably like getting back to the blog as it used to be and I'm all for it, even if it means you only get twenty or thirty comments rather than sixty or seventy or more, mostly off the point.

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    Replies
    1. Absolutely, payasoru,

      Business as usual would be nice. I'm kind of missing it in the current furore. And frankly, the number of comments is not all that important - sure it is a nice source of feedback, but not necessarily representative of who actually reads here.

      Delete
  5. What a lot of pumped-up self-important baloney.

    Either you're in the business of censoring voices you don't want hear, or you're not.

    And if you're not, you have to put up with it -- and that's it.

    Censors need to grow up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Said the man without enough cojones to say any name, let alone a real one.

      Hey, real comments, even ones that disagree with Bystander strongly, have been welcome the entire time I've been reading (about 3 years, now). But, man, does it get tiresome reading "so you're a " from the samepeople over and over.

      Delete
    2. "Censors need to grow up."

      The words 'pan', 'kettle' and 'black' come to mind.

      Delete
    3. Whilst censers need to smoke up.

      Ay thang ewe.

      I'll be here all week. Drive home safe, look after mum. You've been a wonderful audience.

      Delete
    4. Bad Yogi, you are factually incorrect. Either that, or you have a genuinely bizarre definition for "real comments". I am going to guess that this does not worry you at all.

      Delete
    5. Yes, I will show you the many comments that have been... deleted... wait, there's a problem there.

      Delete
    6. Yep, and as someone who reads pretty religiously, and sees the comments that have been removed, they were NEVER of the "disagree strongly" type , but always of the "attack without regard for reality" ones.

      So, that's my experience. Did you, mr anon, post something specially tasty that was removed? Why not actually say that?

      Delete
  6. Eh? My comment has been removed and all it had was a constructive suggestion about how to reduce trolling and make the comments easier to follow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe the BS Team didn't consider it to be constructive?

      Delete
  7. I very much look forward to the brave new world of the Bystander Team, and long may it continue!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Surely, one of the rights of the "owner" of a blog is that they can include, or exclude whatever they want. If I choose to make comments the owner doesn't like, or doesn't agree with, then these can be deleted at any time. This right may be exercised because I have an opposing point of view, represent an unappreciated section of society or use execrable grammar. BS has, as far as I recall, never used that right on anything I have written, but I must not assume he (and now his team) never will. If, for example I were to promulgate views in favour of, or opposed to a candidate for the forthcoming Police and Crime Commissioner elections, he may well do so. If I express a view of the rights of JOHs to blog, or interpreters attendance at court, or the consultation on careless driving, then I may, or may not, be expunged (at least my comments). I would expect not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The sensible response during a conversation when a would-be wit keeps interrupting, is to say, "Look, we aren't interested. Please go away. I prefer to talk to these people here."
      Nothing to do with censorship, just the freedom to choose the company one keeps. If you don't like that, it isn't going to change, so why not wander off to the other end of the bar and annoy someone else.

      Delete
    2. Nice strawman. The difference (in nice short words) between a spoken and a written conversation is that in a spoken conversation, only one person can talk; interruptions are physically possible. In a written one, interruptions aren't possible.

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    3. Hijacking" a conversation can happen just as easily in comments as butting-in in speech.

      Delete
  9. AnotherNorthernJP28 August 2012 at 10:52

    @Anonymous (though which of the many is not clear). A debate is not a debate when one party is not identifiable. Most of what Bystander removes is either simply offensive or off the point. It is not censorship, you and those with similar views can set up your own blog and expound to your heart's content. If people want to read you then they will. I suggest for a start you read this http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/27/web-bizarre-synthesis.

    I

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed.

      A blog is NOT a debating forum - in principle, or in practice (since the software makes following any such debate difficult, and the persistent use by some of 'Anonymous' makes it near impossible).

      The purpose of the Comments feature is just what it says on the box : to allow people to comment on postings. It's not really there to feature point, counter-point, rebuttal and cross-examination.

      People who write of "free speech" and/or "censorship" really do not understand what the word 'blog' means.

      Delete
    2. "Certainly there is a lack of understanding here. I notice that what "Biker" is advocating closely resembles an echo chamber. Unless "Comments" means "Only comments that agree with me"?"

      Now you're just trolling. And poorly at that; comments from people who disagree with Bystander have very frequently appeared on this blog. But we won't know if any of those are yours because you choose not to post under an identifiable username.

      That said, it remains a blog, not a forum for debate.

      Delete
  10. Keep it up Bystander. Don't let the buggers grind you down. I really do enjoy the blog (and as a JP I know the cr*p we have to put up with). To have a JP prepared to talk about our work in an open forum is an asset and helps explain what we do. And to let the public (and I don't say the word 'public' in any derogatory sense - I'm a member of the public most of the time!)to get an insight into our work can only be a good thing.
    Stick to your guns BS.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Bystander, you should continue as before, because if your number is called for what you post on here then continuing membership of the magistracy is not worth the candle. The values of you and your fellow magistrates are above those of a secretive senior judiciary which is hand in glove with the administration.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Team Bystander, this ostensibly innocuous post explaining the new system is already getting tedious on account of the ubiquitous anonymi. Dreaming up a pen name is no major intellectual exercise as is shown by the facility with which so many commenters to this blog have conjured up a name which makes them recognisable without identifying them.
    So could I suggest that those who choose, for whatever reason, to remain 'anonymous' and thus sew confusion, be blocked from comment. Any other pseudonym, fine, but 'anonymous' no. And if that is undemocratic, pompous (add any other insults of your choice at this point) censorship, well TOUGH.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I quite agree.Let's have some imaginative aliases (but nothing unseemly, of course)

      Delete
    2. Thank you for your response - even if I did write 'sew' when I should have written 'sow'.

      Delete

Posts are pre-moderated. Please bear with us if this takes a little time, but the number of bores and obsessives was getting out of hand, as were the fake comments advertising rubbish.