We, the undersigned, desire the following freedoms on h2g2:
1) The freedom to communicate in any language we choose, whether common or rare, widespread or concentrated, alive or dead, without any discrimination against us based upon our choice.
2) The freedom to mention any URL we choose, in our conversations and our journals, on our home space and our entries, provided that URL does not break the BBC's standards or UK law.
3) The freedom to include any original image we've created, as well as any uncopyrighted image, in any entry, as well as on our home space, provided that the image does not break the BBC's standards or UK law.
4) The freedom to discuss any part of Life, The Universe and Everything. We wish to do that whether those topics we discuss are legal or illegal, political or religious, rational or nonsensical, provided that our discussion does not break the BBC's standards or UK law. (To clarify the "legal or illegal" part, we wish to discuss and debate the law itself in any way that does not break laws or the BBC's standards.)
5) These same freedoms, where applicable, on other BBC message boards, discussion groups, and conversation forums.
We believe that self-policing of content will always be more accurate than moderation, simply because the best people to judge the acceptability of material are those who are reading it and writing it. Context is everything, and the community will always have a much better understanding of the local context than the moderators. Also, if someone writes unacceptable material that is found and removed by request of other researchers, then the author of that material will be much lowered in the opinion of anyone who read or heard about it. The resulting social penalty is a serious deterrent for people who might otherwise repeat their mistake. A moderator's form email explaining what rules have been breached has *much* less impact. Currently, since people know that everything on the site has been read and passed by a moderator, they are much less inclined to complain, even about clearly unacceptable material.
We believe that these freedoms are possible and feasible with a system relying more on reactive moderation and self-policing, as is used by many other publishers of internet content, and relying less on pro-active moderation. We believe that such a policy would not tarnish the reputation of the BBC, nor damage its aim to be fair and impartial. We believe that such a policy would be legal, and would not bring the BBC under undue legal risk. On the contrary, we believe that such a change would attract a wider audience to the BBC, and would further improve the BBC's reputation for promoting valid discussion and providing quality services.
Thank you for your consideration.
Print out this petition, and collect as many signatures as you can from fellow h2g2 researchers. You should collect the following information: Real Name, Location (eg London, UK), h2g2 researcher number, email (preferably a permanent one, rather than from a 'hotmail' clone), signature, and date. They may also want to add personal comments. Physical petitions are more impressive than electronic ones, and get the best results.
[Peta told us, "I'm totally up for being supplied with the tools for change. (But don't email me - or *I promise*, I'll junk them, I CAN'T cope with more emails!)"]
NOTE: do not sign more than one posted petition - doing so is counterproductive as it makes us look shifty and unreliable.
SIGN UP HERE!
Please indicate that you wish to sign this petition in the forum below titled "SIGN UP HERE!" Give your Real Name, Location, and h2g2 researcher number.
Other suggestions for how to fix h2g2
(forum on the Brainstorming Board, check out post #52)
Protest Against BBC Policy Over Iraq [added 19 MAR 2003]
[Please let me know if there are other petitions or suggested solutions which should be linked from this page.]