"You're banned!", but we can't tell anyone about it…

We got this letter from the Data Protection Commission a few days ago; apart from us not having a privacy statement visible (it’s now here), there is this silly issue of us not being able to tag users publicly as being banned. Still, it’s the first time in 10 years that we’ve had such a complaint…


14 thoughts on “"You're banned!", but we can't tell anyone about it…”

  1. I understand their point if I assume that the user wasn’t actually banned, but the way they put it is ridiculous. I assume ye’ll be setting up an Inactive group now? I wonder will that be a problem with the DPA too?

    I agree with the need for a DPC and the DPA, and most of the time I agree with what they do, but this one is a little kooky for my liking. They could perhaps have put a bit more thought into how they handled the compalint.


  2. If the user wanted to be removed, why didn’t you just delete them? All their posts would have reverted to “guest” – end of problem

    Or am I missing something?

  3. The term ‘banned’ has pretty negative connotations so I can see where the complainant is coming from – a reputation is something difficult to build and easy to tear down and shouldn’t be susceptible to a site admins whimsy (not to imply that this is the case here – sounds like an innocent mix up).

  4. Yep, I believe he was banned first and the request to remove came after… Not sure of the interval between them.

    The “Banned” tag is a default option in most forum software systems, but I guess that many people keep their identities fairly vague and it isn’t a problem whereas I believe in this case there was something more concrete tying it to the individual.

  5. It’s yet another treaty situation that is beyond my comprehension.

    At the very least Boards.ie users have now the additional benefit of a privacy statement. I am surprised that admin were unusually insensitive to a users request ( Cloud has mentioned that the user used a username that could determine their real name ) for the word banned to be removed from his user posts.

    Is it possible that registered users prior to the privacy policy and any new terms and conditions which might alter our contract so to speak. If users have some infractions then you would have to clean the slate before issuing the new terms and conditions and perhaps allow one username modification other wise there would be a biased risk for some at risk users that banned would be left under their username in posts if they accept the terms and conditions.
    It is another step towards losing a tiny right and coming under the sometimes tyrannical administration of boards.ie. when they force us to accept new terms and conditions.

  6. 10 years is not a bad run at all! There are few institutions with the number of unique users as Boards that could say dthat. And it does seem that the DPC would have no problem with the situation if dealt within the T&C/policies (i.e. he’s not saying that it would be something that users cannot consent to), so it should be easily solved without having to change anything other than the terms.

  7. It’s boardsies ball, and they can take it home if they want.

    I find the situation a little silly, but I don’t know the back story as to why the person was banned.

    It’s a public forum which has rules and guidelines, fall outside those and you are substitutable to the consequences.

    A quick glance at the registration rules:

    “The owners of boards.ie reserve the right to remove, edit, move or close any thread for any reason.”

  8. This is absolute insanity. It takes a fair bit to get banned from boards, what sort of muppet signs up with their own name, gets banned and complains about it? I’d say name and shame only you’d probably get another letter.

    Insane. I just cannot get my head around this.

    “I got banned – wagh wagh wagh – I want my rights – wagh wagh wagh – make the bad admins stop letting the public know that I’m no longer welcome here for something I did”

    You should add in another section to the T&C:
    Users that get banned will be elligible for a €100 administration fee whilst we modify our records

  9. Thank you for posting. Is that only in Ireland? What about USA and other countries?

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