Petition for Greater Freedom on h2g2

12 Conversations

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.


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

Brainstorming Board

Third Way

(forum on the Brainstorming Board, check out post #52)

A1000080 [added 19 MAR 2003]

[Please let me know if there are other petitions or suggested solutions which should be linked from this page.]

Bookmark on your Personal Space



Infinite Improbability Drive

Infinite Improbability Drive

Read a random Edited Entry

Written and Edited by


h2g2 is created by h2g2's users, who are members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the Not Panicking Ltd. Unlike Edited Entries, Entries have not been checked by an Editor. If you consider any Entry to be in breach of the site's House Rules, please register a complaint. For any other comments, please visit the Feedback page.

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more