From the AROnline Facebook Group’s Admin Team
Social media is of the most engaging and instant forms of communication in the modern world. AROnline boasts a very active Facebook Group which has swollen to well over 4500 members – moderating this is no mean feat by any stretch of the imagination. The bulk of the content on the website itself comes purely voluntarily from a bandy gang of folk, most of which have worked at the coal face of our much beloved BL-ARG-related companies. The website itself is tightly administered and never ceases to surprise the us, let alone the readers, with the high level of information, entertainment and mind-blowing facts and figures. It’s fair to say that the site is the world’s most highly regarded for all things Austin to Wolseley.
The Facebook Group’s page is mainly your platform or soapbox for topics of a more general or tongue-in-cheek nature, opening up new avenues of discussion and for the making of new friends with like-minded people. But, as with any forum that encourages free speech, it sometimes gets a little fractious and tempers often can be frayed. We have received a sprinkling of complaints over the past few months from Facebook Group members who have been concerned or upset with some comments or postings on the Group’s page. In some cases this has caused a number of once loyal supporters to leave the group and find other homes for like-minded car lovers.
Every now and again Trolls enter the fray and do what they tend to do best but these can be dealt with swiftly and thoroughly with the click of a mouse. What we are asking of you is to consider your replies and comments while, at the same time, respecting other people’s opinions or postings. AROnline prides itself on being a nice place to be and, even though the Group’s Facebook page has no official tie with the website, word does come back to us from time to time regarding the odd less-than-ideal behaviour patterns on it. Upon closer examination, it has been noted that some remarks and comments would have left people open to legal action had members of the Admin. Team not stepped in quickly.
The answer is clean and simple. You must be aware that, as a member of the Facebook Group, you are legally bound by your individual actions and comments. Everyone has a right to their opinion and views on any topic discussed on the page, but before you hit that return key, think for a moment about the possibility of your actions being taken as offensive or inflammatory before you post them. Some recent comments regarding MG Motor for example have been, to put it plainly, racist and xenophobic. There is nothing wrong with voicing concerns about the last-remaining thread of what was MG Rover – it’s what and how it’s said that makes the difference between an honest opinion which stimulates discussion and a potential legal minefield.
None of us wish to take a hard-nosed stance towards moderation of the Group’s Facebook page but more Admins. have been hand-picked to keep the peace on the page just in case. All of us here at the sharp end applaud the common sense and good spirit that 99% of readers and contributors provide to the family better known as AROnline – after all, it’s your interaction which makes it all bond together. But it needs to be stated that any form of racist / sexist / xenophobic, generally disruptive or potentially hurtful activity on Facebook will not be tolerated and the end result will be a permanent ban and blocking for those who choose to ignore our polite requests for a little more consideration in future.