Private or not private? That is the question.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by steve butler, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. steve butler

    steve butler Active Member

    What do people think about posters publishing private messages on the open forums?
    This has happened recently on the British open thread. I think private should be "private". If it's offensive then surely it can be reported to the mods.

    Apologies if this is in the wrong forum, was not sure where to put it :oops:
  2. Getzonica

    Getzonica Active Member

    I agree with you - I don't think it's good idea to post PMs on a public forum.
  3. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    Personally I agree with you too, but at the moment we don't have a specific rule about this. So we will have a behind-the-screens discussion about this too, and I will also ask Steven Mead's opinion.

    In the mean time, feel free to continue here :)
  4. Mr Guinness

    Mr Guinness Member

    Private means private for me.

    Rightly of wrongly, there are times when one enjoys a moan in private. I'd feel very uncomfortable it it became common practice for the receiver of a PM to then publish the communication openly in the forums in order to bolster their argument. Where spectators only get to see part of a conversation, the information posted could very easily be misrepresented by the poster for their own means.

    If the receiver of a PM feels that information contained within it is relevant to an ongoing thread - ask permission from the sender, then post stating that permission has been given. That would be my suggestion for an addition to the rules.
  5. themusicalrentboy

    themusicalrentboy Active Member

    I apologise for this but...... hehehehehehehehehehehehe.....

    Personal/Private Messages should be (IMO) what they say on the tin - completely private between the two parties.
  6. Mr Guinness

    Mr Guinness Member

    Mm, I fear I may have inadvertantly given away rather more about myself than I intended. :oops::tongue:
  7. johnmartin

    johnmartin Active Member

    Nope, I completely disagree. The sender of a private message should not assume any guarantee of privacy as soon as it has left their keyboard. Once in the hands of a recipient it becomes their property to do with as they please. Everyone should be wary of what they send and to whom.
  8. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    I'll certainly be wary of any pm I might send to you !!!

    So if a band is advertising a position, I pm the person who posted the advert, and then they post a list of all the people who responed - good idea?

    If private is not private why have the PM system?
  9. johnmartin

    johnmartin Active Member

    Why? I'm not saying I agree with those who might do such a thing I am simply stating the position with regard to ownership of information.

    No. As I said I don't agree with exposing info sent in a private message but it is no different from any other written form of communication.

    A confidential (private) message requires the explicit agreement of both parties to remain private. One cannot assume the trustworthiness of the other party. If you said something in private to a friend or relative you could have a reasonable assumption that it would remain private. If you said the same thing to someone you'd just met in the bar at a brass band contest would you have the same reasonable assumption that it would remain private.

    Case in point, the furore caused by Carol Thatchers private remarks which were subsequently exposed by Adrian Chiles.
  10. animal.22

    animal.22 Member

    WRONG WRONG WRONG on every level!!!!! If someone sends you a "PM" (whether it is private or personal) that "P" should be respected.If it is not, then the "sendee " must take it that the recipient of the message is absolutely NOT I repeat NOT trustworthy.

    BUT it does also put a measure of responsibility on the sender to be sure that the recipient is capable of holding and keeping the content of the message.
  11. johnmartin

    johnmartin Active Member

    Yes, I completely agree with you.
  12. Mesmerist

    Mesmerist Well-Known Member

    I`d be mortified if some of mine were published on here!
  13. animal.22

    animal.22 Member

    It's not often that anyone agrees(?) with me but I thank you John!!!!
  14. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Only my personal view, and not in any official "mods" capacity, I don't really see that revealing what is put in a pm is any different to quoting any other interchange. I do agree, though, that careful thought should be given before passing on what is said, but that should apply equally to any form of communication.
  15. scotchgirl

    scotchgirl Active Member

    I think you should ask the permission of the sender...I would be furious if a PM of mine was published because the 'P' stands for Private and not Public. If I wanted my PMs to be published publically then I am more than capable of posting them myself.
  16. JesTperfect!

    JesTperfect! Member


    While I can't think of anything that I've written in a PM that I would have a problem with other people reading (gosh, I'm a goody two shoes!), I would be hacked right off if someone DID air them in public.

    Not because of the content, it's the principle of the matter. PRIVATE message. The title says it all, surely?!
  17. johnmartin

    johnmartin Active Member

    I cannot believe the naevity of some people. Fair enough if you are exchanging messages with friends who you can trust but lets say you're having a heated discussion via PM with someone who you don't really know. Do you really have an expectation of privacy? What incentive is there for the other party to keep things private, especially if they think they are being attacked?

    I do not support public exposure of private messages. All I am saying is please be careful about what you put into print that can be directly attributable to you.
  18. Anno Draconis

    Anno Draconis Well-Known Member

    Quite. Unless I know, and feel I can entirely trust the recipient, I don't put stuff in PMs that I wouldn't post in the open forum - just as I wouldn't normally put stuff in an email that I didn't want made public. You just never know who's watching, on the internet.

    That's one of the things a lot of people don't seem to get about the internet - Facebook in particular. Unless you're particularly careful about your own security, anyone in the world can read stuff you post anywhere on the internet. That's kind of the point of it, I thought :rolleyes:
  19. scotchgirl

    scotchgirl Active Member

    There's a difference between someone gaining access to your private stuff via however dodgy method they choose, and someone deliberately posting something that's actually marked 'private' in the title...
  20. The Wherryman

    The Wherryman Active Member

    These examples are not applicable to this debate (IMHO).

    When an account is created here, there is a check box in the user's control panel. If this is checked, the user is agreeing to receive private messages. There is the option to uncheck it and not receive private messages.

    My view is that this creates, in respect of this forum, an "explicit agreement" or even a "contract" between the sender and receiver that such messages will be private. Should any harm, physical, mental, or financial be caused to the sender, or his/her reputation, by the unauthorised public revelation of a "private message", it would be very interesting (to me, at least) to find out if a court would accept a breach of contact/confidentiality/libel suit.

    One definition I have found for the word is "Not publicly known; not open; secret; as, a private negotiation; a private understanding". What's so hard to understand about that?

    Hi, Mezzy. I'll delete them for you, for a small fee of course.

    Oh, b*gger. That was supposed to be a pm :mad:

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