The somewhat hand-wringing, more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger phaseology used by CB there seems to me a little at odds with the real world. "The opportunity to make unsubstantiated serious comments/allegations against people or organisations is no longer available to us.
It is sad that society is coming to this, but this is the environment in which we all have to exist and we all need to abide by the rules that society imposes."
I cordially invite posters to consider Visordown, which many here post on. Not I'm not saying this forum ought to be like VD (before you all start wrinkling your noses
), but the fact is that freedom of expression, and, indeed, the freedom to give someone a good s l a g ging off, seems hardly to have diminished recently.
Ah, you may say, but VD's owners (now a bike mag, more or less) *could*, in theory find themselves liable in court. Well, maybe. But it's a big maybe.
For an even better example: who would be most aware of the law in this area than the talkboards of a national broadsheet newspaper? I invite posters to consider the International section of the Guardian talkboards. I can't access them at work, but I believe the link is http://www.guardian.co.uk/talk/0,,546387,00.html
A bigger collection of free-range loonies and psychos you couldn't wish to meet! I know of their rep cos I post on their film and TV board, which fortunately is quite different. But the point remains that if the Guardian can preside quite happily over that farrago, we may be worrying just a teensy-bit too much.
I concur with the poster upthread who said that we should conduct ourselves without personal abuse etc.
Hoever, I also think that occasions some posters should follow couchie's good example, and grow a rather thicker skin!