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Should we limit blatchat to Lotus 7 club members ?

Nick Woods

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This has come up a lot recently in several threads so I thought I'd start a proper topic for debate.


Personally I think blatchat should be open to anyone, because lots of people who are thinking of getting a Seven will be able to (and do) use the site to help them in their search. I found my car through here before I joined L7C and if I had been forced to join L7C first I may well not have bothered.


I do think though that the current system is open to abuse, so here's an idea. No doubt some (all?) of you may disagree but thats what debates are about isnt it ?


Anyone should be able to read blatchat without restriction, but you can only post if you satisfy one of these two conditions :-


1) if you are a paid up member of the L7 club, just prove it by providing membership number etc




2) if you are not an L7 club member, register on the site as normal but then provide some proof of identity which includes your address, for example a photocopy of a driving licence (or gas/phone bill etc for those who dont have a licence yet). Until the proof has been received you can still read but not post.


Aliases can still be used but real name and addresses should be supplied to the system administrators, who will keep them private - this allows people to still use nicknames but also allows the administrators to identify people in the event of the system being abused.



P8MRA - The greenid=green> one with redid=red> wings

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Quite a difficult onus on the site admin to validate all members but I agree it's a good idea. You could work it a bit like Friends Reunited where anyone can read it, but you have to pay if you want to post contact info. In this case you have to either join the club and submit your membership number or submit some other validation of id. It'd have to be something you can enter on an email, so how about using Blunckett's new id card scheme? wink.gif
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I think the forum should be open to all but the post should have a marker to indicate that it originated from a member, that way you sense the mood of the club and not the public. I think this could be done by linking the membership number to the password. If at a future date there was a sense of humour failure it would be an easy matter fo the moderator to find the identity of the miscreant from the membership number.


Next week I'll show you how to get rid of famine in the third world countries and cure all incurable diseaseswink.gif



Deeps smile.gif

Deep down you know it makes sense.idea.gif


Edited by - deeps on 4 Jul 2002 14:06:47

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Hello Nick


What do you mean by "the current system is open to abuse..."?

What kind of abuse do you think about?


I'm personnaly not a member of the L7C (not the point in this thread to discuss why), and I must say I would be quite upset to be excluded because of that.

I agree that many L7C members have helped me a lot and I thank them one more time. But I also hope I have helped some of them.

If there is a real threat of abuse, I have no problem with giving a proof of identity.


Long life to the Blatchat!




Cosworth 1600 BDR

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I agree with the whole concept of identity cards and think that everyone should have a barcode tattooed onto their body at the earliest time we can manage.


The fact that I am in the process of buying up every tattoo shop in the country has nothing to do with this attitude, I just don't like the idea that any of the British Public should ever be able to escape Government scrutiny.


It is our convert monitoring of private e-mails that brought this excellent idea to our attention.


Keep up the good work.


Pip pip.



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Have you considered how difficult this would be and how much work it would create for our already multitasking team?


It's not always the non members who misbehave or cause trouble.


Alex Wong




/ __ __ /

___ _//__T/__/_ ___

/ (_) (_)/

/`-'/o/ _______ /o/`-'/

/ /// ( VDU7X ) // /



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I abhor censorship, BlatChat should be open to all to view and post. An "ignore user" function is in my head if I need it really.


I find most of the banter and misbehaving entertaining, the recent postings were ott but would not prompt me to impose draconian posting policies. Ask yourself in total honesty if you enjoyed reading the recent anti FA thread or would rather it had never ocurred. I might not agree with the views (and posted as such) but it did entertain me is the truth of the matter.



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I hope this forum remains open, I live in the USA and have a 7 in transit this week so I will be assembling it in the next month or so. I have learned a tremendous amount from the forum and and ask several questions and recieved well thought out answers. I suspect I will need help during the assembly and certainly this forum is one source of that.
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Like a few people here, I am no longer a member (for various reasons) but have benefitted from the enormous wealth of knowledge. However, I would like to think that I have contributed to this knowledge and hence would be tolerated as an outsider.


Low tech luddite - xflow and proud!

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The unpleasantness that I object to most is all the "you started it" and "i'm going to get you banned/sued/sacked/hanged/drawn/quartered" nonsense. In my day that sort of playground nonsense was sorted out with a clip round the ear'ole for both protagonists who went away with their ears glowing with shame.


FWIW, I think that Blatchat is enhanced by being a free-for-all and ignoring the admin overhead there is no reason for change.


... but I have come up with an ideaidea.gif:


If something seems to be boiling up between two blatchatters, why not have a duel where the argument gets a 24 hour period in which only the two duellists can post. At the end of which we have another 24 hour period to vote for a winner - just a yes/no vote, no commentary. Could be fun.

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Just to make things absolutely clear, I am not suggesting that blatchat become L7C only, quite the opposite - I want it open to anyone.


What I am suggesting is that we make it easier for the adminstrators to trace people who post here, in the hope that the very fact that people can be traced will make them think before posting personal attacks on others. Hence the pre-registration idea.


ISP's can ususally identify users from IP address and the date/time if they want to, but I dont think they will without a good reason such as a police investigation or court order.


Jeff - by 'abuse' I mean the fact that it is easy to create a new id using a temporary email address and use it to make offensive postings under complete anonymity with virtually no chance of comeback. There have been several of these recently, just look at the recent thread about Arnie to see an example.



P8MRA - The greenid=green> one with redid=red> wings

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Personally I think the site administrator does enough good free work for us all without expecting him to fulfil a thought police function (I hope I am not being too creepy!).


I find it amazing just how much upset free speech seems to generate. Let 'em all have their say.

Freedom I say! Freedom or death! (perhaps I'll go and lie down for a bit)


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This is a hard one to answer as this site unlike most others has a large membership of genuine lads who share a common interest and also have met up or chatted in the past. The content of the site is also very decent unlike some other car related sites I ventured on to when I first went on-line.i.e. full of faceless "brave on the internet" dick heads who came on to have a go 'cos they couldn't do it in real life......I felt like dumping the modem 'till I found this site via the club. The banter that has raised this issue I did'nt think was overly offensive if the people doing the talking were" known" to the person they were having a go at....that's life!!!....BUT it seems daft having a site where most guys use real names and proper addresses and divulge info. and at the same time having anonymous sh1t stirrers giving stick and hiding under stones. I'm not against anything being said.....it's a free country but lets make things even.....submit names addresses etc. and I reckon that's OK. One thing has always made me laugh about the web....you get people diving in and dishing out abuse to people they don't know, yet in real life it doesn't happen........It's just the picture people passing themselves off anonymous conjures up for me...same as on the phone.....if anyone witholds their number when they dial me then they can fu*k off good style!!!!!!


Kenny SLR Membership no. 2871 details provided



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As a someone who uses this forum to learn about stuff whilst saving for when I can get a Caterham, I'd be gutted if it went members only. That said, I can see how anonymous stirrers can get annoying. The video game site I frequent has 10000+ members. The admin there got round the problems he had by giving moderator rights to a few guys he felt exemplified the spirit of the board. They can check IP addys, ban people, lock threads, delete or move posts, etc. Clearly the demographics of this place means it's less likely that there will be people who can keep and eye on things all the time, but even so, I should imagine there are a few who spend enough time here already so as to be able to lend a helping hand.


Edited by - Ian Kellar on 4 Jul 2002 20:21:52

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Perhaps the most abusive posts have been removed before I see them but I have read nothing which deeply offends me.


I dont agree with Mr. Woods that being identifiable would make people less likely to be rude.


If someone did behave unacceptably, what would administrators do? Has anyone ever been naughty enough to deserve a ban?


Lets leave the ID cards and burocracy to the government, they have a bottomless pit of our money to spend.

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I would vote to keep it open to all, because:


People have bought 7s and joined the club AFTER reading blatchat.


I like to look at the wscc quality replica site (without joining the wscc wink.gif )


Being, or not being, a member cannot be a foolproof method of identifying wind up merchants


One man's meat is another man's poison (Ref point 2 smile.gif)


We all have the capacity to ignore (OK except you Mrs Whitehouse)


But the "Duel" idea sounds fun.



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