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Action against a forum.

Action against a forum.

Postby Hairyloon » Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:24 pm

On another forum that I use, a member is kicking up and threatening legal action because they think that the moderators are getting personal. His posts, which do not appear to breach ant known rule have been removed without explanation.
I think it an empty threat: he's probably bluffing and even if not, I am not clear what action it is that he seeks to take.
Nor is it my problem, but I thought it might be interesting to explore the possibilities.

If the claim is one of discrimination, then he quite possibly has a case. I don't think it is, but I can see how such a claim might arise.

I can see an argument that there is a contract that there is a breach of: The forum provides a service and the members provide content, so there is consideration from both sides, and it is hard to argue there is no intent to be bound by legal relations when there is a comprehensive T&C that must be agreed to.
The implication is that moderation is to enforce the rules, to maintain order and it will be fair and reasonable: possibly therefore there is a breach of contract.
If there is such a breach, then what is the damage? Loss of the time and trouble put into the posts? That should not amount to much.
Could they possibly seek an injunction to force them to enforce the rules according to the rules? Seems unlikely.

In any case aside from discrimination, whatever the member does, I can see nothing to stop the forum from simply booting him out afterwards...
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Re: Action against a forum.

Postby Millbrook2 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:31 pm

I can't see that there is an argument that there is a contract in place. What you describe is not consideration IMHO.
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Re: Action against a forum.

Postby Hairyloon » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:57 pm

Millbrook2 wrote:I can't see that there is an argument that there is a contract in place. What you describe is not consideration IMHO.

I assume that you refer to the posting of content rather than the provision of the service.
The posted content is surely intellectual property of some sort: at what point does intellectual property become property worth considering?
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Re: Action against a forum.

Postby Millbrook2 » Thu Aug 10, 2017 1:06 pm

Not necessarily, is the forum free to join?
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Re: Action against a forum.

Postby Labrador » Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:14 pm

How long was the member a member? :D
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Re: Action against a forum.

Postby Hairyloon » Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:54 pm

Long enough, I think.
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Re: Action against a forum.

Postby Hairyloon » Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:09 pm

Millbrook2 wrote:Not necessarily, is the forum free to join?

Free to join, but the T&C lay claim to any and all intellectual property.
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Re: Action against a forum.

Postby diy » Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:50 am

I'm assuming moderators in there sole discretion have the right to remove posts? Can you find that somewhere in the terms?
Are either party unable to terminate the contract without notice?
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Re: Action against a forum.

Postby Hairyloon » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:40 am

diy wrote:I'm assuming moderators in there sole discretion have the right to remove posts? Can you find that somewhere in the terms?

It says:
Moderation
22. The moderators and administrators on this forum are volunteers who help the Website run smoothly, by moving, editing and removing posts. However, it is not feasible for them to read every post. We have no control over what is posted and the views or opinions presented are solely those of the author. If you have a query or feedback about a moderator, or a moderating decision, then please contact the admin team via this form. The admin team are responsible for reviewing moderating decisions. We do not actively monitor posts as they appear and therefore we are unable to accept (or allow) such queries to be posted via the forum. 

And:
8. You agree to comply with the <no names> Forum Rules, set out below (the “Rules”) and with the decisions and requests made by the moderating team. 

Are either party unable to terminate the contract without notice?

It is much the same as here: you might stop posting, but that does not terminate your account or the contract.
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Re: Action against a forum.

Postby Millbrook2 » Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:56 pm

What does it say about intellectual property?
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