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Rolf Harris. AIBU in being pissed off that MN deleted an ENTIRE thread - with NO reason that I can see why - with many posts on regarding this previously?

(41 Posts)
StoicButStressed Fri 19-Apr-13 12:12:07

Context: About 6-8 wks ago, an OP (not me) started the thread 'My world has shifted on it's foundations...Rolf Harris.....' ......It was expressing how stunned/shocked/saddened she was that someone she has loved as a child had been arrested as part of Operation Yewtree.

At that point, even though there were NO reporting restrictions imposed by any Court (I.E. no-one and no outlet - MN or other - would have been in contempt of Court by allowing free speech including his name/fact he HAD been arrested), RH's name was not in the mainstream press. The reason for this was that his lawyers (Harbottle & Lewis if memory serves) had fired warning salvos to outlets 'citing the Levenson enquiry'. Today though, he has and is being openly named in all outlets (see link below).

The thread was a combination of others also expressing their shock; many asking questions as to how they were unaware he had been interviewed under caution in November and his house searched with a warrant & how on earth they hadn't seen that in press; clear clarification by some of the time-line of both that, the Harbottle 'gagging' for want of a better word, & his subsequent arrest (the one OP posted regarding); and - vitally - 'general" observations re child abuse (IE "LISTEN TO YOUR CHILD - CHILDREN DO NOT KNOW THE LANGUAGE OF ABUSE' )

MNHQ were very aware of the thread and - rightly - intervened with a warning that posts implying links with Jimmy Saville &/or possibly implicatory comments on posters own expererience of RH (however real those experiences were, IE posters who had had direct experience of working with RH and their 'experiences'/observations etc) would be deleted. Which they did. Ergo, the thread that remained post those deletions did not to the best of my knowledge have anything illegal in it given: i) no reporting or gagging orders in place; ii) anything REMOTELY referencing RH/posters direct experiences.

Yet a short while ago on my 'threads I'm on', I saw the following:

'My world has shifted on it's foundations...Rolf Harris.....'
Thread deleted
Deleted for legal reasons

WHY? And for WHAT legal reasons? (As I can see none & the above spells out how the thread HAD been modded where ness?) Feels more like censorship and the very opposite of what MN is about, including the oft stated 'we don't censor...' It just feels very....wrong??? Not just about preventing people access to legally available truths re RH, but the MUCH broader issue of our having the right to free speech here???

news.sky.com/story/1080222/rolf-harris-questioned-by-savile-police

BobblyGussets Fri 19-Apr-13 12:15:28

If it's the thread I've just been on OP, people were saying "he seemed dodgy" and naming other kids tv presenters of the past.

He has been accused, not found guilty of anything at this point, so therein lies the legal reasons.

Pickles101 Fri 19-Apr-13 12:15:29

TBH I can see why it was deleted. There's another one floating around now - he's not been charged yet and a lot of hearsay and 'opinion' seem to show up on those threads.

ConferencePear Fri 19-Apr-13 12:23:24

Perhaps it was because many posters were assuming that he had already been found guilty when he hasn't even been charged.

Trillz Fri 19-Apr-13 12:24:18

I think it is reasonable of MN to be very cautious around things like this.

StoicButStressed Fri 19-Apr-13 12:25:03

Bobbly & Pickles - no, it's not the one that's appeared today POST mainstream outlets finally naming him.

AND literally ANYTHING that was on there (even posters own accurate recollections, which I'm assuming were removed as could be prejudical) that even REMOTELY came close to the line was deleted by MNHQ at the time. Ditto, it WAS simply about his being accused (post house search and post previous interview under caution) - NOT about his guilt or otherwise.

If threads are deleted due to opinions (I repeat, NOT ones that crossed any legal lines) or thoughts, then where does that leave free speech? As if every thread with opinions or thoughts on were deleted, there would be NO threads at allhmm

CajaDeLaMemoria Fri 19-Apr-13 12:25:21

It may not be contempt of court, but it is slander, and MN could come under fire for allowing Rolf Harris and others, as yet unlinked to this enquiry, to be slandered across the site.

StoicButStressed Fri 19-Apr-13 12:33:45

Caja - there was no slander; that's precisely my point. ANYTHING remotely touching slander/libel/alliance with Saville/implying he was guilty etc etc ETC were ALL deleted. But then subsequently, an entire thread with hundreds of posts on WAS deleted - even thought it had NONE of the aforementioned within it?

And I repeat, I think MNHQ def WAS right to those that they did - IE RH it is now clear is arrested under 'Other' in Operation Yewtree; NOT as directly associated in any way with the Saville matters. What I cannot fathom though is why they then deleted entire remaining thread at some subsequent point? Both given it broke no laws AND the issue it flags re OUR ability to post/free speech etc?

Pickles101 Fri 19-Apr-13 12:35:58

No, I know the thread you mean, but I can still see why it was deleted.

ecclesvet Fri 19-Apr-13 12:36:31

Mumsnet is not run by the government, they have no obligation to respect your right to free speech.

It's entirely up to them how they wish to respond to legally risky threads - if it was me I'd delete the whole thread at the slightest whiff of defamation, rather than taking it right up to the "legal line" every time. Too risky.

marjproops Fri 19-Apr-13 12:39:11

Gosh I was just about to start a thread saying 'oh no, not Rolf now'.

beat me to it.

thats all i can say for now. js shattered my childhood totp and fixit memories and until i hear otherwise, ill not say any more. just feel so sad.

shewhowines Fri 19-Apr-13 12:42:02

yes, the naming of the other presenters, even though obviously innocent, would probably have bad repercussions.

shewhowines Fri 19-Apr-13 12:55:50

oops, sorry seems like that one is still there.

Icelollycraving Fri 19-Apr-13 13:08:30

I think they can realistically delete anything they like. They don't want to get sued. We don't pay to chat on mn,we don't own it although many would differ

fubbsy Fri 19-Apr-13 13:19:39

They can delete anything they like. They say so in the Talk Guidelines. They also say that posts that break the law are not allowed. It is obviously up to MNHQ to decide whether they think something breaks the law or not.

StoicButStressed Fri 19-Apr-13 13:27:12

I don't think any of us would presume to 'own' MNconfused & I very definitely don't - but I DO know we 'own' and have rights to free speech (obvious caveats being all those spelt out in OP) AND that MN are always so very clear re not censoring (again, that obviously does NOT include their clear duty to delete anything libellous/slander/presumption of guilt/anything prejudicial).

I am just baffled if honest as genuinely have NO clue why it was deleted - & at some point WAY after it was created and many had posted on it? INCLUDING help for MNers who may have been abused (NOT vis Operation Yewtree); ditto re what to look out for vis abuse as the thread broadened out. I think it's those 2 latter points - and their removal when they had the power to HELP people - that doesn't sit easy with me; as they, de facto, were also removed within entire thread deletion (& at risk of sounding like cracked record, THAT 'thread' deletion took place AFTER all/any individual posts were - rightly - deleted).

Will PM MNHQ and simply ASK why it was deleted, an if they could expand on the 'Deleted for Legal Reasons' - as I genuinely just don't get it?

BeerTricksPotter Fri 19-Apr-13 13:39:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pickles101 Fri 19-Apr-13 13:43:35

I think it's a bit rich to say MN are infringing on your rights to free speech! Was the old thread yours, Stoic?

StoicButStressed Fri 19-Apr-13 13:57:23

No Pickles - it DEF wasn't mine (was aware people may presume that given my concern/this OP, hence being very clear in my OP that it WASN'T mine).

And by 'free speech', am talking generally (obv.) IE a gazillion MNers (again not me) I know wanted MN to ban/boycott links on here to DMail after the Philpott front page, and MN's response was - again, rightly IMO - to refuse and reinforcing that by saying it would be 'tantamount to censorship...which MN won't do given broad church etc etc'

You've probably hit nail on head though as it's that kind of juxtapostion (IE that statement vs thread deletion) that makes no sense to me?

SoupDragon Fri 19-Apr-13 14:00:31

I know which thread and I was not surprised it was deleted for "legal reasons"

I imagine that it got far to complicated to delete every potentially problematical post and that the thread would make no sense should they have done so.

SoupDragon Fri 19-Apr-13 14:02:14

Personally, I think that unless you are prepared to pay their legal bill, MNHQ get to decide when to pull the plug on a thread for "legal reasons"

SoupDragon Fri 19-Apr-13 14:02:52

(and I mean "you" in general, not any specific "you" smile)

5318008 Fri 19-Apr-13 14:10:15

yes what Soup said

as always, feel free to start up your own chat board, take the risk upon yourself smile

clattypatty Fri 19-Apr-13 14:14:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

YoniMaroney Fri 19-Apr-13 14:21:48

I read the thread and it was full of 'He's no nonce, but X, Y and Z were, just look at them they even look like paedos'-type posts.

Quite rightly deleted.

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