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Thread: A few questions

  1. #1
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    Default A few questions

    It has been bought to my attention a fare few times that a "private message" isnt private and others on here can and do read these messages which I guess is may be a requirement of having this type of forum

    So I guess the questions are

    does some read our PM's at all ?

    if yes does someone read all PM's ?

    If not how is it decided which PM's are read and why ?

    Is there any benefit to the club by reading PM's ?

    It also has been suggested that people can read emails sent thru ACMOC, is this correct ?

    and if it is correct I guess the rest of the questions above would apply

    I dont know if any of this is correct or not but enough people have raised this with me over the years I thought I would ask

    I would have thought if this was happening we should all be notified somewhere that people can and do read what we might send and to be aware of this before sending something

    And if any of this true I guess they shouldnt really be called a "private message" because they arent

    I guess also if you dont want anyone to read it and turn things around then perhaps dont type it


    Once again these questions have been raised before to me over a number of years and I dont like rumors so thought I would just ask and then put everyones mind at ease

    To me it makes little difference as I hardly do either emails or PM's on the bulletin board


    Paul

  2. #2
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    Default Answers, sort of.

    Some responses from what I know (which isn't much):

    "It has been bought to my attention a fare few times that a "private message" isnt private and others on here can and do read these messages which I guess is may be a requirement of having this type of forum "

    Response: A user here shouldn't assume that anything on this website is private. The entire purpose of the website is for public communication. On this website, and I believe, on most others using a bulletin board format, the terminology "private message" isn't meant to construe that the message is actually private between the two parties. It simply means that the message is not going to be viewable by all users and readers. In general, postings on bulletin boards are viewable by all users of the website. Often, as in our case, posts in the general viewing section are even viewable by guests and the general public.

    A private message then, is a message sent by one user to an individual or group of individual registered users. It isn't viewable by all users of the website. It isn't really private, though. Administrators and maintainers of the website can always see all information in the database. As such, as with any electronic communication, there should be no expectation of privacy as a public transmission and data storage mechanism is being used to transmit the message.

    In general on our bulletin board, private messages are not locatable or readable by the general public, nor by registered users other than the intended recipient or recipient. I don't believe moderators can view or research private messages in general. I'm sure administrators can and I'm sure as a moderator, if I requested copies of private messages from a specific user for a justified reason, I expect I would be provided those messages.

    " So I guess the questions are

    does some read our PM's at all ?"

    I don't believe anyone, including administrators or other maintainers of the website make it a practice to read any private messages except those addressed to them.

    " if yes does someone read all PM's ?"

    As expressed above, I don't believe anyone regularly reads any messages except those addressed to them. I would hope that if a user exhibited behaviors outside of those expected or allowed on the bulletin board, that administrators and moderators would use all resources available to them to monitor the behavior and ensure that it conforms to our rules and expectations. Those tools would include investigating private message activity.

    " If not how is it decided which PM's are read and why ?"

    As explained above, my expectation is that the only reason a user's private message activity might be monitored was to establish that they are conforming with our rules. I would hope we would investigate that activity along with any other on the bulletin board if someone appeared to be transgressing.

    " Is there any benefit to the club by reading PM's ?"

    The benefit would be maintenance and enforcement of rules of behavior, ensuring that the website remains as popular and attractive to all users as it has been. If discussion and activity on the bulletin board is allowed to drift outside of the rules and norms set, the community will eventually change and the website may not become the good face of the Club to the public that it has been up to this point.

    " It also has been suggested that people can read emails sent thru ACMOC, is this correct ?"

    This is no doubt correct, as it is about any email sent through the internet. All emails are carried through the internet backbone by handoffs from one public server to another. No email can be considered to be private and just about anyone out there in the world can intercept, copy and read anything we send electronically. There are exceptions to this statement, where encryptions and encodings are used to protect privacy, but nothing on this bulletin board or provided by the Club meet these standards.

    " and if it is correct I guess the rest of the questions above would apply"

    " I dont know if any of this is correct or not but enough people have raised this with me over the years I thought I would ask "

    " I would have thought if this was happening we should all be notified somewhere that people can and do read what we might send and to be aware of this before sending something "

    " And if any of this true I guess they shouldnt really be called a "private message" because they aren't"

    " I guess also if you dont want anyone to read it and turn things around then perhaps dont type it "

    Your last statement is probably the most correct approach. This website, anything posted on it, and any emails originating from or sent to it or through it are public. They should be considered such and if you are concerned about anyone in the world reading what you are typing here or sending through here, I would advise that you don't type or send it in the first place.

    I hope this is helpful. My statements are from my best understanding, but I'm not on the Magazine and Website Committee so don't take them for correct or official statements. They're just the best I can do from my personal understanding.

    Pete.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Thank you very much Pete

    As I said in Australia it has been raised with a fare few times now that people think this is the case and I have always told people that I have no doubt that it would be the case as it would be a common sense part of running the forum to ensure it is used in the manner that is intended to be used

    There is some concern as to who has the ability to read PM's and emails sent thru the forum and as to why they read them when people have raised this with me and I do feel this a fare concern

    I have the same standard response "if you dont want it repeated dont send it"

    I also wonder are PM's private messages or personal messages ?? I dont know either way and makes very little difference to me as I rarely send PM's

    So I hope this answers all the questions of people who have spoken to me about this and might I add that the answers are pretty much what expected them to be

    And one more thing, the only reason I asked was become members in Australia have asked me and as Im on the committee of chapter 18 I feel that when Im asked repeatedly questions like this I need to follow up and ask the question

    I also feel I need to ask these questions in a public forum as all can then read the answer

    This is in no way trying to stir the pot so to speak I just figure if I get the answers it should end this matter once and for all

    I hope that this is now fully answered to the people that have approached me

    once again thanks Pete for taking the time to answer


    Paul

  4. #4
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    Default

    Well after chewing this over for a few days I have some more questions

    Who in ACMOC has access to view the PM's and emails sent, not names of people but position held by these people in ACMOC ?

    Is it ensured that when peoples positions change passwords etc are reset that are required to access this information ?

    Is there a protocol that has to be met before accessing personal information in ACMOC by ACMOC people ?

    If there is a protocol, how is it ensured that this protocol is maintained ?

    I have since thought of numerous reasons why this information could and should be accessed, does ACMOC have any reasons that must be met before accessing this information or can this information be accessed willy nilly as people see fit ?

    Who are the moderators on this forum as the only one that comes to mind is Pete and the few other forums Im on have several moderators

    Thanks for all or any answers

    Paul

  5. #5
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    Default Emails and Private Messages.

    To your questions:

    Who has access to view private messages sent through the bulletin board or emails sent through the ACMOC domain?

    All administrators of our bulletin board would have access to view any private messages sent through the bulletin board. Those administrators include our contract maintainers and support people, the Chairman of the Website and Magazine Committee, our volunteer administrators and moderators.

    The only way to administer and maintain the database, review and ensure content is appropriate and not damaging, meaning containing malicious code or content, is for all of these people to have access and the right to review. As a practical matter, I doubt anyone actually looks at any of this content unless there is a specific complaint, concern or issue with the database. The volunteer administrators and moderators and even the Chairman of the Website and Magazine Committee would probably be practically reliant upon the contract administrators to provide access to this content, as I'm sure none of us know how to access it directly without help.

    Is it ensured that when peoples positions change passwords etc are reset that are required to access this information ?

    Yes. When a moderator, volunteer administrator or the Chairman of the Website and Magazine Committee change, their passwords or accounts would be modified or removed to ensure that someone no longer serving in a capacity won't have access to modify or monitor activities which should only be accessed by people in a given position.

    Is there a protocol that has to be met before accessing personal information in ACMOC by ACMOC people ?

    We don't have a robust formal policy for such access. In general, the Magazine and Website Committee and the Committee of us volunteer moderators and administrators collaborate about any concerns or situations. This means you have at least four people involved in review, consideration and decisions about discipline, database integrity, security and the like.

    If there is a protocol, how is it ensured that this protocol is maintained ?

    The primary insurance that the protocol is maintained is the collaboration of those four or so people. If one person takes action without discussion or input from the other three, the other three will generally investigate and if something appears out of line, will report to the Board of Directors about a concern. We do not have dual control in the form of a required approval from multiple people for our contractors to take action or provide information, though.

    I have since thought of numerous reasons why this information could and should be accessed, does ACMOC have any reasons that must be met before accessing this information or can this information be accessed willy nilly as people see fit ?

    We have some general guidelines which those on the Committee have an understanding about. There are not formal written rules. One of the difficulties in maintaining a site like this, and providing a forum for communications, is that the content needs to be subjectively reviewed and the standards subjectively applied. It is difficult to define in objective terms. We combat the subjective nature and each take a personal reality check about discipline, review and behavior by maintaining communication amongst the Committee and relying upon each other to keep things centered, avoid emotional influence and ensure that if we take an enforcement action, it is justified and appropriate.

    Who are the moderators on this forum as the only one that comes to mind is Pete and the few other forums Im on have several moderators

    The moderators are currently: Bruce Vinkler (B4D2), also Chairman of the Magazine and Website Committee, Erik Christenbury (Chriscokid), Walt Cheatham (D7 3T) and myself, Peter Bloom, (Garlic Pete).

    I hope this is helpful,

    Pete.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Thanks for your reply Pete I think you have provided me and the the people who have raised concerns over the years with me about this with all the answers that we may ever need

    Once again I would like to say again this is in no way a attempt to stir the pot so to speak, rather the exact opposite as in provide the answers to concerns raised so as to make this a more harmonious place and when I am asked in the future I can refer people to this thread

    Pete thanks for taking the time to answer all the questions and queries fully


    Paul

  7. #7
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    Default Questions.

    I appreciate your asking the questions.

    I don't see this at all as stirring the pot. This is a public forum, people stumble across it, hopefully enjoy it and start participating.

    If this thing works right, as people come to enjoy and continue using a resource such as this, they value it and come to rely upon it.

    There are many aspects of operating a forum like this that happen quietly in the background and those things are what set the tone, create the environment and help keep things on track. Most of the time, the casual user or even a regular participant is probably not aware of and probably doesn't much care about all those things.

    Sometimes though, issues arise, misunderstandings might develop or simple things might be subject to misinterpretation.

    Your inquiry about "private messages" is one of those things. Using those two words could lead the user to the mistaken impression that a message sent that way is truly private, meaning the only possible readers would be the sender and intended recipient.

    Those words weren't ever intended to mean the message is private from any other readers, they were intended to mean this channel is a way to communicate with another forum user without automatically allowing all of the rest of the public to read them.

    A couple minutes thought should bring any user of electronic communication to realize that, by definition, any communication through that method can't be truly private. That doesn't mean that a particular user would have that thought uppermost when they wrote and sent a message.

    By you asking these questions and me answering them, we have at least given all users the opportunity to hear our thoughts, consider our interpretations and they can at least have an expectation of what we who help run the forum will do and how we do it.

    Your discussion and questions also help us who do help run the forum to consider concerns you or other users may have, but which might not have occurred to us either. I can say that over the years, both before and after I got involved in the little bit of volunteer work I do, moderators and administrators of this forum did modify and adjust their procedures based upon input from the users. I think the forum overall is better, more attractive and we have more users now than ever before partially because of this process of openly discussing policies, procedures and concerns and modifying those policies and procedures when warranted.

    Please keep contributing and keep asking questions like this. As we all heard in school, if you are thinking a question, it is just about assured that ten other people have the same or a similar question. Only one out of those ten people will actually speak up and ask the question. If you aren't that person, the question may never get asked and the answers will never be known.

    Pete.

  8. #8
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    Default

    A clarification.
    No one reads private messages other than the two parties involved in the exchange. There are protocols in place to assure that your communications are kept private. Given our electronic era and the potential for underhanded and illicit proceedings taking place, nothing is absolutely sacred. Should a person who is registered to use this board fall under suspicion, there are avenues to access all correspondence. With extreme caution, our webmaster can identify messages, but cannot read them. I, as administrator do not have access, nor do any of the moderators. No one can directly ask our webmaster to access personal data or messages. Should a law enforcement agency seek info or access, they would provide legal request for such and we would obey the letter of the law.

    The moderators of this board are:

    Me (B4D2)
    Erik (Criscokid)
    Pete (GarlicPete)
    Walt (WaltD73T)

    Adco personnel have moderator access as do our staff, but they do not moderate the board.

    Repeat, NO ONE READS PMs.
    933 42A, D4 7U, 2- D2 5U, 2- D2 4U, PV 15, LaPlante Choate C-20 scraper, and always with an eye out for more

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