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  • All board admins need to read this.

    I have been running my message board for just about 4 years. It is a small community - very close-knit.

    Over the years, my boards had reached all the major milestoes. A couple of our members had their first child. A couple others moved in together. We had marriages announced, divorces announced, graduations, etc. Everything except death.


    That was until last week.


    Over Labor Day weekend, one of our beloved members was found dead of an apparent alcohol overdose. You may have read the story in your local paper, or even seen it on the news, as the death of Samantha "sambamboogie" Spady made headlines nationwide. We were all heartbroken.


    Shortly after her death, our formerly happy little community was invaded by unscrupulous media reporters seeking out any posts of hers that they could use to label her "an alcohlic party girl". They found what they wanted, and before I could even react, I found Sam's quotes being published in newspapers and mentioned on television.

    They would say things like "Sam was an honors student, a gifted artist, and a wonderful person... BUT... we uncovered writings on an internet message board as well as photographs that would suggest she was a girl who loved to drink."

    To read such words truly hurt. I had never met Sam, but over the course of 2 years, we all got to know her and we all were great friends.


    My board used to receive maybe 5 or 6 signups per month. As the story of Sams death spread, and as news of her postings on my board, traffic increased - a lot. In a matter of days I had almost 120 new members, most of which had signed up simply for the ability to search Sam's posts Kinda how everyone runs out to look when then see a car wreck. It was very upsetting. Of course by this time I had disabled the features already. Her friends and family were also stopping by to read her words as well as our tributes, so I could not simply disable the board and deny them access.


    Now I am engaged in a bitter fight with the local newspaper who signed up on my site to grab her comments. I know I have no legal recourse, but I am doing what I can.

    I just wanted you all to be aware of what can happen. This has been a nightmare week for a message board owner, and I hope none of you ever have to go through the same thing - but be prepared, just in case.


    -Justin
    Last edited by VAN; Tue 14th Sep '04, 10:48am.

  • #2
    can you not stick a disclaimer type thing at the bottom something like...

    'Copyright © 2000-2004 your url.com
    Any unauthorized usage and/or quotations from this site on other websites
    or in the press are copyright violations and will be pursued as such.
    Violators will be prosecuted under United States copyright laws.'

    Comment


    • #3
      I have a similar disclaimer, but they are pretty much worthless, unfortunately.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by VAN
        I have a similar disclaimer, but they are pretty much worthless, unfortunately.
        Not true, especially if you know the paper or print article that did it. Tell your local newspaper you will take them to court if they use the quotes.

        MGM out

        Comment


        • #5
          Why dont you take action against them for plublishing out of context quotes. State that by using meesages posted to your site they have used these to fuel untrue myths and that the quotes themselves were made as light hearted / sociable comments, that is the community nature of the site.

          I dunno if either is liable or what , cant remember bugger all from school lol

          Still my best wishes to you at this time and to the Family and firends of the deceased. I too unfortunately lost a close family member recently and know too well the pain and heart ache you all must be feeling

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm really sorry to hear that, no one should be exploited like that even in death. The media just lives for this sort of thing, they had and have no damn bussiness using such quotes without family permission imho. And wrose you are left with the backlash of all this because a few idiots could'nt mind their bussiness on a slow news day!

            My best to the family and your member base, death is hard on everyone and every community.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by VAN
              I have a similar disclaimer, but they are pretty much worthless, unfortunately.
              Not true sir... all newspapers have competitors. These competitors would love to get hold of how other papers have abused the system - especially if it is them who have missed out on the story...

              I'd start informing that newspapers competition - or at least tell them that this is what you are intending to do.

              So sorry about this dilemma though, and I hope eveything gets sorted for you. Sorry for the loss of your forum friend... very sad indeed.

              John
              John

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by TheMusicMan
                Not true sir... all newspapers have competitors. These competitors would love to get hold of how other papers have abused the system - especially if it is them who have missed out on the story...
                Yeah, well in this case, both of the cities major papers are owned and operated by the same publisher. (Denver Post & Rocky Mountain News)

                I am currently looking into my options, and one of those options is to send a copy of my grievance to every newspaper within the state of Colorado.

                Thanks for the replies, everyone.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by VAN
                  Yeah, well in this case, both of the cities major papers are owned and operated by the same publisher. (Denver Post & Rocky Mountain News)

                  I am currently looking into my options, and one of those options is to send a copy of my grievance to every newspaper within the state of Colorado.

                  Thanks for the replies, everyone.
                  You have my thoughts and best wishes as you do so VAN. I sincerely hope this turns out fine for you.
                  John

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It is of course sad to hear of this -- a tragic loss without a doubt.



                    While you may not like what was printed there is very little you can do, the news media has the fair use act which lets them publish just about anything regardless of your copyrights. I would suggest you consider contacting a few reputable news sources to help straighten the record; they are much more likely to listen to you providing them with additional information than with threats to which a legion of attorneys will respond to.
                    Ted & the Giftery.me Team

                    New features released for Product Review Forums 1.3 (4.0)
                    Helpful Answers (3.8) (4.0) | Limited Guest Viewing (3.8) (4.0)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by VAN
                      I have been running my message board for just about 4 years. It is a small community - very close-knit.

                      Over the years, my boards had reached all the major milestoes. A couple of our members had their first child. A couple others moved in together. We had marriages announced, divorces announced, graduations, etc. Everything except death.


                      That was until last week.


                      Over Labor Day weekend, one of our beloved members was found dead of an apparent alcohol overdose. You may have read the story in your local paper, or even seen it on the news, as the death of Samantha "sambamboogie" Spady made headlines nationwide. We were all heartbroken.


                      Shortly after her death, our formerly happy little community was invaded by unscrupulous media reporters seeking out any posts of hers that they could use to label her "an alcohlic party girl". They found what they wanted, and before I could even react, I found Sam's quotes being published in newspapers and mentioned on television.

                      They would say things like "Sam was an honors student, a gifted artist, and a wonderful person... BUT... we uncovered writings on an internet message board as well as photographs that would suggest she was a girl who loved to drink."

                      To read such words truly hurt. I had never met Sam, but over the course of 2 years, we all got to know her and we all were great friends.


                      My board used to receive maybe 5 or 6 signups per month. As the story of Sams death spread, and as news of her postings on my board, traffic increased - a lot. In a matter of days I had almost 120 new members, most of which had signed up simply for the ability to search Sam's posts Kinda how everyone runs out to look when then see a car wreck. It was very upsetting. Of course by this time I had disabled the features already. Her friends and family were also stopping by to read her words as well as our tributes, so I could not simply disable the board and deny them access.


                      Now I am engaged in a bitter fight with the local newspaper who signed up on my site to grab her comments. I know I have no legal recourse, but I am doing what I can.

                      I just wanted you all to be aware of what can happen. This has been a nightmare week for a message board owner, and I hope none of you ever have to go through the same thing - but be prepared, just in case.


                      -Justin
                      This reads frighteningly similar to something I read a while back.


                      Cheers,
                      Robert
                      Visit NoizPollution.com // Your Music Source

                      Do not PM or email me for support, you will not receive a response. Please post all requests for support in the main vBulletin forums or via the support system in the main members section of the site.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Quiet a sad tale .... hope it works out for you.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The best of luck with your community.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks for the comments.

                            You know what would be a great feature for a future release? The ability for an admin or other with permission to hide all posts from a user. Enter a username, tick a checkbox, done.

                            As of now, the only thing I could have done would have been to delete evey one of her posts (not an option, of course), or mass move all threads started by her to a private forum, and then move her individual posts as well. Not the best solution considering she had nearly 1,000 posts.

                            The ability to hide all posts may not need to be used very often (hopefully) but in my case it would have made a world of difference.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by VAN
                              Thanks for the comments.

                              You know what would be a great feature for a future release? The ability for an admin or other with permission to hide all posts from a user. Enter a username, tick a checkbox, done.

                              As of now, the only thing I could have done would have been to delete evey one of her posts (not an option, of course), or mass move all threads started by her to a private forum, and then move her individual posts as well. Not the best solution considering she had nearly 1,000 posts.

                              The ability to hide all posts may not need to be used very often (hopefully) but in my case it would have made a world of difference.
                              Make such a usergroup and then use a conditional in the postbit template to hide the contents. Hardly fullproof but would probably stop most casual users.
                              --filburt1, vBulletin.org/vBulletinTemplates.com moderator
                              Web Design Forums.net: vB Board of the Month
                              vBulletin Mail System (vBMS): webmail for your forum users

                              Comment

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