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query about deleted messages

(12 Posts)
bingawinga Mon 04-Mar-13 21:59:13

Thanks- I've put the libel reform site on my facebook page, sounds like something everyone should be supporting.
Also really like Mintyy's comment: in fact the more i think about it, the more libellous it feels to be labelled libellous (has it been done?). But suing my child's school would probably just be riduculous..

KatieMiddleton Mon 04-Mar-13 19:45:22

Sorry I posted and ran but I see Helen's posted the link smile

dothraki Mon 04-Mar-13 12:03:15

Ah Helen so if someone has posted libellous crap stuff I can sue them.
Hmm - very interesting smile

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 04-Mar-13 11:18:43


Mintyy Mon 04-Mar-13 11:12:36

Thanks for the link Helen.

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 04-Mar-13 11:10:39


Sorry to be late to this one.

And yes, what KatieMiddleton has posted is more or less it.

As the current law stands, we (as in Mumsnet, the site) are the "publisher" of your posts. And you are the "author".

Both of us are liable, legally, for the content of those posts if someone contacts us about - or reports - a post and says it contains libellous material and we don't delete it.

As we hope you understand, in most cases, we have no way of knowing whether the post being reported to us is actually libellous or not. And we don't have the time or the resources to investigate, amass evidence and/or mount a legal defence. So, quite often, we feel we have no choice but to delete. This does not necessarily mean we think what the poster has posted was therefore definitely untrue.

As we've posted many times before, we know this is frustrating (it's frustrating for us, too) and we have been supporting the Campaign for Libel Reform. We're hoping there might be some changes for the better soon.

Mintyy Mon 04-Mar-13 10:11:59

Agree, binga, it is strangely upsetting to have posts removed when you are only trying to have a discussion.

Mintyy Mon 04-Mar-13 10:11:11

Hi Katie - what is this "libel reform stuff" you are referring to? Is there a link?

I am interested in reading about this as I have had numerous posts removed from this and another forum (again about a school) which were not in the slightest bit libellous. Critical? possibly, libellous? no.

It got to the point where I was wondering who I could threaten for making false accusations about me using libellous language, when I most certainly had not grin.

bingawinga Mon 04-Mar-13 10:04:27

Thank you very much; reassuring to know (have to admit I was a bit upset) the reasons. Looks like I'll have to go off and start supporting libel reform!

KatieMiddleton Sun 03-Mar-13 23:57:11

I think you have to let this one go.

As snatch says MN are deemed to be the publishers so could face legal action. The rights and wrongs on the issue are irrlevant because MNHQ do not have the time or resources to investigate claims nor to fight a legal battle. They can easily delete a post which once their attention had been drawn to something they will.

I know it's tough when you feel you are doing the right thing and speaking the truth. I understand must be frustrating but it really isn't personal.

I think MN are involved in the libel reform stuff which will help with this sort of thing.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 03-Mar-13 23:50:19

MN, as the publisher of your comment, can be sued for libel. Unless they go and verify all your facts, all they have to go on is what you say.

bingawinga Sun 03-Mar-13 21:17:16

A while back, i posted on a couple of threads about my child's school (which I won't name in case this too is deleted). I did not break any Mumsnet guidelines; i did state that my child was unhappy there due to bullying, that academic standards had fallen of late, and that the new head was disliked by many. I received an email from Mumsnet saying that it appeared that I was deliberately targeting the school (or somesuch; can't remember the exact words) and my comments were removed. The comments of another poster who agreed with me, and said that their child was unhappy and bullied, were also removed. I would be really grateful if anyone could explain how I broke the rules; I was only stating facts (my child is unhappy; is bullied; lots of my friends don't like the new head) to advise posters who had asked for info on the school. Also, if (as it appears) negative comments about schools are removed (presumably when the school complains), how can Mumsnet be a useful forum for exchanging opinions about schools (or anything else)? How can I advise people or gather advice myself about other schools knowing that if someone writes that there child is unhappy there then their comment will be removed? I am guessing that the school threatened libel action. But stating a fact is not libel. I would really appreciated your thought on this.

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