PistonHeads.com Forum

Naming and Shaming



Original Poster:

34,312 posts

209 months

Thursday 16th August 2007
quotequote all
I'm often asked why the 'no naming and shaming' rule exists on PistonHeads.com.

Why can't 'bad dealers' be outed etc?

Well, there are a number of reasons. Firstly it's simply a matter of fairness. All too often I've heard a 'horror' story about a dealer only to later talk to the dealer involved and find that there are considerably different views on what actually took place.

There are bad customers out there as well as bad dealers. Some people expect too much, distort the facts in their favour, etc. etc.

Who are we to act as judge and jury when someone posts something bad about a business? We can't verify the 'facts' as presented. If the dealer doesn't even know that the message has been posted then it's very unfair on their business to be slated in public with no opportunity to respond.

Even if the dealer or company does frequent this site, is it right that a dispute should be argued out in public? That's no way to resolve matters sensibly.

PistonHeads then becomes involved as a 'publisher' of what may be libelous, making matters even more complex. If we're asked to remove comments by a company and we consider them potentially libelous then we will take them off the site. That then leaves you open to litigation, not us.

Disputes are best dealt with in the real world through normal channels. Doing it online merely opens a can of worms for the person posting the message, for PistonHeads and for the business being discussed.

We've no desire to become embroiled in disputes and start providing transcripts of threads to solicitors (yes, it has happened).

Many people do not realise that they are opening themselves up to accusations of libel too. "But what I posted was true" is a frequent retort. That's as may be, but all too often emotions creeps into messages and people end up stepping over the line, putting themselves in a position where they could invite a whole heap of trouble.

So, the answer is that we ask people not to indulge in 'name and shame' discussions. It's the simplest solution found.