Saturday, August 8, 2009 censors Jim's first post!

The post was 'Depositors do not have a quarrel with the people of the Isle of Man'. Some members of manxforums regularly break the Terms & Conditions of the use of the Forum, but it seems that when it comes to free speech on a topic that can only be welcomed by members, a moderator decided unilaterally to delete the post without any explanation for the reason for doing so. Furthermore I have been banned from posting on the Forum without me being notified as to the reason for this!
I have not contravened any of the Terms & Conditions of the Forum.

As I have posted elsewhere in this blog, 'democracy does not fit well on the Isle of Man'.


  1. This may to do with the conduct of another depositor using the nom de plume of a member, who proved very disruptive on the site.

    Alternatively, I have a reasonable suspicion that 3 members posting were one & the same person, which would provide a good reason for a third identity to be curtailed.

    "As I have posted elsewhere in this blog, 'democracy does not fit well on the Isle

    The conduct of a private members' forum in some way reflects on the behaviour of the Manx government? That is a complete non-sequitur.

    Finally, it will be interesting to see whether my posts here appear or are "censored"!

  2. Sir/Madam, you have chosen to make unfounded and inaccurtate allegations sheltering behind anonymity. Nevertheless your comment has been published here, albeit moderated to exclude the identity of members of manxforums.

    The Forum administrator has the means to determine whether someone is being a 'glove puppet', & though posting as such is not against the Forum's terms & conditions the administrator is at liberty to advise a member that this is not acceptable and to warn that if this manner of posting continues then membership will be denied.

    The Forum is in the public domain & membership is open to people living outside the IoM. It has a reputation for being seriously defficient in its moderation, permitting blatant insults of members (against the terms & conitions), 'trolling' & allowing members to engage in 'flame wars', rather than promoting genuine discussion on issues of importance to the contributor & to the IoM.

    Manxforums is is administered & moderated in an extremely prejudicial manner. As such it is autocratic rather than democratic.

  3. Broadly, I would agree with you that ManxForums is "seriously deficient in its moderation": as you rightly point out, trolling and flame wars are commonplace, to such an extent that a member was forced to pay out damages for comments made on there. Nonetheless, I stand by my point: the conduct of this forum should not (thankfully) be taken as indicator of the standard of formal democracy within the island.

  4. Sir/Madam: thanks for your further comments. It is a great pity that the administration & moderation of manxforums did not foster & encourage open discussion on an issue that has put the IoM very much under the spotlight on the international stage. More people would have joined in the discussion if the forum had been properly & responsibly moderated.

    My guess is that unless there is a radical review of the way manxforums chooses to operate there will not be any mature, sensible, constructive debate when it comes to discussing the forthcoming findings of the Foot report & the Judicial Commission. Indeed, it would not surpise me if these issues ever saw the light of day in the forum.

    Countries that have strong democracies have strong political forums where guys in the street can share their views in lively discussion. This is one of the ways democracies flourish. manxforums does not encourage such debate & that in turn suggests that there is weakness in the way democracy functions on the IoM. OK, perhaps there is no interest in politics on the IoM. Perhaps an oligarchic type of government suits the population. If that's the case then indeed democracy does not fit well on the island.

    Interestingly the website lists the IoM but does not give it any rating for its World Democracy Audit.

  5. I agree: it is a pity that sensible discussion could not be conducted on ManxForums on that topic. However, that is a broader issue concerning the site, which has several persistently disruptive users. I also believe you are probably correct in your assumptions about the nature of any threads concerning the Foot Report and the Judicial Commission (although I do not imagine that either will come to any firm conclusions that merit extensive discussion). That said, I am sure there will be threads of some sort devoted to them.

    Although there is little in the way of party politics here, I would disagree that the Isle of Man is an oligarchy in any meaningful sense. Most of our MPs are from working-class backgrounds, as opposed to, say, Jersey, where well-connected multi-millionaires predominate.

    Finally, there is nothing suspicious about not having ratings for the island – it does not appear to assess any non-sovereign territories.