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Forums at have been shutdown

  • 12-01-2005 11:58am
    Registered Users Posts: 145 ✭✭

    I wish to draw your attention to the fact that the forums at website have been shut down by Castlebar Chamber of Commerce without notice or explanation.

    Since they were introduced in 1997 these forums have provided a valuable service to the citizens of Castlebar and to visitors to the town. They have acted as a social outlet, an information and education resource, a means for ex-pats to keep in touch with home, a platform for democratic debate, and as a historical record of life in the town.

    A vibrant community has formed around these forums and its members have contributed much to enhance the image of the town around the world. With the removal of the forums this community has been destroyed.

    We tend to regard the internet as 'not really real' because it does not exist in a physical form. However the community that contributes to the forums at is very real and consists of real people. Removing the forums is the equivalent of demolishing a community centre.

    On the Castlebar Chamber of Commerce website it states that "t is the responsibility of the Chamber to encourage the community of the town to participate actively in the social and economic development of the town, thus ensuring a palpable sense of civic pride amongst its citizens."

    The forums at have given the community the means to participate in the development of the town. I am very disappointed that the Chamber of Commerce has decided to remove them.

    Write to the Castlebar Chamber of Commerce at:

    Castlebar Chamber of Commerce,
    Spencer Street,
    Co. Mayo.
    Telephone: +353 94 24845
    Fax: +353 94 24971

    You can e-mail them but as far as I know they don't read e-mail: [email protected]


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,040 ✭✭✭threebeards

    Yeah, I saw that yesterday and couldn't understand it. I wonder is it due to the fact that real issues were being debated and brought to the attention of locals meaning that local politicians were being brought to task or is there some legal issue regarding it? Either way, I don't think I'd have any interest in the site any longer with the forums now gone.

  • Registered Users Posts: 145 ✭✭Tuars

    Apparently a potentially libellous comment was made on one of the forums and the Chamber of Commerce (who are owners of the domain) decided it would be safer to remove the forums while they clarify their legal position.

    They are concerned that they could be held legally responsible for the libellous comments.

    What is the legal position here? Can they be held responsible? Has this situation arisen on ?

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,815 ✭✭✭✭po0k

    As far as I'm aware, yes they can be held responsible, as they are publishing such material in the public domain.

    Sorry to see them go, I posted on them a few times in the past.

  • Registered Users Posts: 145 ✭✭Tuars

    From what I can gather the comments made were fairly innocuous and not libellous at all. I think some one panicked and overreacted.

    They say that they will be back online as soon as they clarify their legal position. I think if they put some safeguards in place they should be ok.

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,815 ✭✭✭✭po0k

    Moderaters perhaps?

    Changing it to phpBB or similar might not be a bad idea.
    Last time I saw it it was still in the Usenet format.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 145 ✭✭Tuars

    The board is well moderated. Ironically, this seems to make them more liable under the law.

    They have tried to convert to the phpbb2 format a few times but it never took off due to the barrier of registration. Even though the current system is primitive it still records the IP addresses of all posters. I don't know if phpBB can offer much more protection than that. I'd say they will push to move to that format.

    I suspect that it is non-internet-savvy people in the organisation who are nervous about this. As far as I can see there is no basis for any legal action in this particular case.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,040 ✭✭✭threebeards

    The forums, or at least the main BB is back up and running albeit with a delay in your posts being 'live' until a moderator has seen it.