These are the original messages from the 'Off topic Irish joke' debate which was held in uk.music.rave. The discussion is long and sometimes heated, and we have edited it for relevance. Most contributors have given us permission to use their names, and we have changed those where permission has not been granted.

We hope that you find the following pages thought-provoking.

From: PN

F writes:

M wrote:


>> We are all guilty of complacency when it comes to racial issues otherwise
>> we would donating a substantial part of our income to third world
>> countries.


Speak for yourself. Just because you may not have the guts to stand up for
others' rights doesn't mean you should tar everyone else with the same
brush.

And what rights have you stood up for concerning racial issues?

From: F

PN wrote:

F writes:

>> M wrote:

>> 
>>> We are all guilty of complacency when it comes to racial issues otherwise
>>> we would donating a substantial part of our income to third world
>>> countries.

>> 
>> Speak for yourself. Just because you may not have the guts to stand up for
>> others' rights doesn't mean you should tar everyone else with the same
>> brush.

And what rights have you stood up for concerning racial issues?

As I have no wish to belabour this in public, I've replied to this by email - but I've done my bit, and I started doing my bit in 1981.

F

From: F

AT wrote:

This has been a very interesting few days. I'll let you into a bit of a
secret, purely because I'm getting sick of this thread. My cousin Kaitlin (in

Ever feel as if you've been taken advantage of? I'd be interested to know what college and course your friend Kaitlin is on, just so that I feel comfortable that noone is wriggling out of appearing to have posted a racist joke to a rave newsgroup, not of course that I don't trust you, but the only information that I have about you is that a) you are a self-confessed troll*, and b) that you are perfectly willing to disseminate racist material

Looking forward to your reply, and consequent easing of my mind (I'd hate to think badly of anyone without cause).

* Trolling: Posting derogatory messages about sensitive subjects on

F

From: L

AT wrote: It's interesting to see how some people came over very PC and others took it as a linguistic joke. It is of course a joke aimed at the linguistic traits of the Irish but does of course help if you are aware of the Irish=Thick stereotype.

Sorry,

AT.

Hmmm...does anyone else feel just a tad taken advantage of here, as if umr is some kind of social science lab?

CL

From: AT

L wrote:



AT wrote: It's interesting to see how some people came
over very PC and others took it as a linguistic joke. It is of course a joke
aimed at the linguistic traits of the Irish but does of course help if you are
aware of the Irish=Thick stereotype.

>> Sorry,

>> AT.

Hmmm...does anyone else feel just a tad taken advantage of here, as if umr is
some kind of social science lab?

CL

Sorry if you feel this way. I wasn't intending to take advantage of anyone.

AT.

From: J

L wrote:

Hmmm...does anyone else feel just a tad taken advantage of here, as if umr is
some kind of social science lab?

Actually, yes. It's very bad netiquette, for starters. (Does *anyone* subscribe to news.announce.newusers and read the FAQs, I wonder?)

It rankled, and my original reply was a bit stroppy, but then took my own advice and assumed it wasn't meant that way.

Anyway, I was only a bit narked, and it did spark an interesting debate.

J

From: C

L wrote:

Hmmm...does anyone else feel just a tad taken advantage of here, as if umr is
some kind of social science lab?

Well I didn't contribute anything to the debate (mainly cos I was wading through the 260 articles that had been posted over the weekend), but and fill out my survey!" type articles). This case is particularly bad because no-one knew/had consented to be used as research fodder. I hope her university doesn't have an ethics committee. It will be interesting to read if/how this "experiment" is used in the thesis.

c.

From: AT

C wrote:


On Tue, 09 Jun 1998 12:41:13 +0100, L wrote:


>> Hmmm...does anyone else feel just a tad taken advantage of here, as if umr is
>> some kind of social science lab?

Well I didn't contribute anything to the debate (mainly cos I was wading
through the 260 articles that had been posted over the weekend), but
and fill out my survey!" type articles). This case is particularly bad
because no-one knew/had consented to be used as research fodder. I hope
her university doesn't have an ethics committee. It will be interesting
to read if/how this "experiment" is used in the thesis.

c.
The whole point of the research was for people not to realise they were contributing as this makes for a less biased result. And it was the universities idea to use the internet as a way to reach diverse groups of people rather than a controlled experiment which would inevitably produce less varied results.

From: T

Can you tell your cousin not to use my E-mail address in her dissertation, just my name, if she were to quote from me. I'm sure that the rest of people on UMR would have similar feelings re: their E-mail given out to all and sundry. I'm only saying this as my one-time comments re: fans of Real Madrid are wankers were published in a survey with my E-mail address and I got so much hate mail that I had to change my E-mail address! I'm sure she'd thought of this already, but just in case....

T

From: AT

T wrote:


Can you tell your cousin not to use my E-mail address in her
dissertation, just my name, if she were to quote from me. I'm sure that
the rest of people on UMR would have similar feelings re: their E-mail
given out to all and sundry. I'm only saying this as my one-time
comments re: fans of Real Madrid are wankers were published in a survey
with my E-mail address and I got so much hate mail that I had to change
my E-mail address!
I'm sure she'd thought of this already, but just in case....
T
--

Sorry I didn't make this clear before. Names and e-mail address will be withheld to protect the innocent. This research is only a very small part of a wider project being conducted in Ireland (north & south) and in a few uni's in the States. I can't say exactly how this will be used by Kaitlin, but I'm sure she'll be discrete, and I think she'll only use this as one example of how the research was conducted. Other methods of research used included: Questionnaires in selected uni's in Eire and the North. Interviews with people who consider themselves victims of racism in the States, (mainly Irish Americans who attend uni) done during a travelling holiday. I don't know the full details but will try to get them. I noticed a couple of posts saying that the research is not controlled and will not produce good results. The point is not to prove or disprove anything but to get a representative set of results from which a dissertation can be written. I agree it could have been better targeted but that was my cousins decision.

AT. ps. I'm sorry if some people took my comments in the wrong context. I was not trying to *bait* people and I didn't want to offend anyone.

From: W

AT wrote:

The whole point of the research was for people not to realise they were
contributing as this makes for a less biased result.
And it was the universities idea to use the internet as a way to reach diverse
groups of people rather than a controlled experiment which would inevitably
produce less varied results.

The thing is... there's a *huge* flaw in this research.

Surely the only people that were ever likely to contribute feedback your message were a) those that read the joke and were grossly offended by it or b) those wanting to defend the type of humour as harmless or whatever? That is, one extreme or the other.

I don't directly fall into either category... so I haven't added anything to the thread (and nor have many others).

In other words, there's no (or at least, very little) middle-ground in your research. And that's arguably *the* most important area!

W

From: K

AT wrote:

: The whole point of the research was for people not to realise they were : contributing as this makes for a less biased result. : And it was the universities idea to use the internet as a way to reach diverse : groups of people rather than a controlled experiment which would inevitably : produce less varied results.

Now that you've told people that they were being used for your little experiment, I assume you are going to ask people for permission to use their comments in the research paper? I don't think there's an actual law forcing people to do that (unless copyright law counts? ) but I see it as extremely bad practice to con people into participating in an experiment without their consent and then publishing the results without their permission.

If you're going to use dodgy methods to get your input, the least you can do is show some respect afterwards and give people the choice then. I don't think all of the people on this newsgroup would have volunteered for this experiment had they been informed in advance about it, so I don't see why they should be forced to participate in it.

S

From: PN

K writes:


Now that you've told people that they were being used for your little
experiment, I assume you are going to ask people for permission to use their
comments
in the research paper?
I don't think there's an actual law forcing people to do that (unless
copyright
law counts? ) but I see it as extremely bad practice to con people into
participating in an experiment without their consent and then publishing
the results without their permission.

We can accuse him of bad etiquette... but he doesn't have to ask our permission to use the comments cos they aren't protected by law. Basically you shouldn't write anything on usenet that you wouldn't post on a billboard in front of your mother's house.

From: K

PN wrote:

: : We can accuse him of bad etiquette... but he doesn't have to ask : our permission to use the comments cos they aren't protected : by law. Basically you shouldn't write anything on usenet that : you wouldn't post on a billboard in front of your mother's house.

I've been on the net long enough to know what I can or cannot say on a public newsgroup. Everything I say is already pre-censored. I have absolutely no problem with what I say on here and I think most posters here feel the same way about their posts. Still doesn't mean it's good manners to provoke people and then quote them in a personal research. It may be legal, but that still doesn't make it moral, ethical or right.

I doubt that the original poster would have thought it ethical for him to walk into a room full of strangers, (say, a convention about something totally unrelated to racism, psychology etc) , shout racial abuse and then tape the responses in the name of psychological research.

The only real difference I can see is that on the net, nobody can punch him in the face before he manages to apologise and explain his motives.

S

From: PN

K writes:


PN wrote:

:
: We can accuse him of bad etiquette... but he doesn't have to ask
: our permission to use the comments cos they aren't protected
: by law. Basically you shouldn't write anything on usenet that
: you wouldn't post on a billboard in front of your mother's house.

I've been on the net long enough to know what I can or cannot say on a public
newsgroup.

You can say anything you like to any newsgroup, unless it's moderated. IMO some ng's should be like this but would you like UMR to be moderated with an individual censoring what you read? At the moment, if you don't like what is being written, you can try and chase them off, ignore them, or report the offensive post.

Everything I say is already pre-censored.

Okay, but what is your point here? Yeah, you are careful what you say.. but what does that mean in terms of what other people write?

<snip>

Still doesn't mean it's good manners to provoke
people and then quote them in a personal research.

That's what i meant about bad etiquette...

It may be legal, but that still doesn't make it moral, ethical or right.

No, but you shouldn't impose your own morals on other people. He hasn't done anything legally wrong.. you can always report him to his domain to tell them he has been using the net for malicious purposes though.

I doubt that the original poster would have thought it ethical for him to
walk into a room full of strangers, (say, a convention
about something totally unrelated to racism, psychology etc), shout
racial abuse and then tape
the responses in the name of psychological research.

Nobody was forced to reply to his post.

The only real difference I can see is that on the net, nobody can punch him
in the face before he manages to apologise and explain his motives.

Yes, but that is kind of the beauty of usenet isn't it? I'm not defending what he wrote.. i'm defending his right to do it. What about you?

From: AT

>> Still doesn't mean it's good manners to provoke
>> people and then quote them in a personal research.

I'm sorry to have provoked this reaction. Nobody will now be quoted in this piece, after discussion with my cousin and her having read this thread, she's decided to just use this as a few paragraphs of her dissertation. No names or e-mail addresses will be quoted either.


That's what i meant about bad etiquette...

>> It may be legal, but that still doesn't make it moral, ethical or right.

No, but you shouldn't impose your own morals on other people.
He hasn't done anything legally wrong.. you can always
report him to his domain to tell them he has been using
the net for malicious purposes though.

I agree that it is not in the spirit of the group and was bad netiquette, and I know realise with hindsight that it would have been better to have approached this in a different way. I apologise if anyone feels taken advantage of.


>> I doubt that the original poster would have thought it ethical for him to
>> walk into a room full of strangers, (say, a convention
>> about something totally unrelated to racism, psychology etc), shout
>> racial abuse and then tape
>> the responses in the name of psychological research.

Obviously not.


Nobody was forced to reply to his post.

>> The only real difference I can see is that on the net, nobody can punch him
>> in the face before he manages to apologise and explain his motives.

Good job too or I'd probably be black and blue by now:)

From: K

AT wrote:

: : : I'm sorry to have provoked this reaction. Nobody will now be quoted in this : piece, after discussion with my cousin and her having read this thread, she's : decided to just use this as a few paragraphs of her dissertation. No names or : e-mail addresses will be quoted either. :

Now you see, M, this is what *I* call an apology :)

<snip>

If that is indeed the truth, I'll be satisfied with that. Of course, we still haven't established that this WAS an experiment, as opposed to a justification attempt for that joke gone horrible wrong, but seeing as it's a choice between: a. Believe you when you say it was an experiment and when you apologise for it - (result - As far as we're concerned, nobody's quoted anywhere and the G has seen the error of his ways) b. Not trust you and end up either thinking we're gonna be quoted anyway (result - unhappy people on UMR) or thinking there was never any experiment at all (result - a new long thread about how nasty it was of you to lead us on and tell us it's an experiment)

Option b seems like too much of a waste of time. So I'll go with option a. :)

: Good job too or I'd probably be black and blue by now:)

Probably not on UMR cause the majority of people on here are non-violent, but you'd probably get quite a few long lectures :)

S

From: K

PN wrote:

: : You can say anything you like to any newsgroup, unless it's moderated. : IMO some ng's should be like this but would you like UMR : to be moderated with an individual censoring what you read? : At the moment, if you don't like what is being written, you can : try and chase them off, ignore them, or report the offensive post. :

I don't think you understood my point there. What I mean is, there are things I would not say on this newsgroup because it's a public forum and I can never know who's reading it. For example - we know this newsgroup is monitored by the police, so I wouldn't, say, post about the date/location of an illegal party or start a thread about who my favourite drug dealer is and how they could be reached. Also, it's my personal choice to keep alot of my private life out of this newsgroup, for no reason apart from it being the way I am. Other people choose to post about their personal lives, but I think they choose to do that even though they are aware of the fact that they have no control over who reads their post. I'm not talking about external censorship to keep some stuff off the newsgroup. I don't believe in censorship, I do believe in good judgement. I censor my own posts and so do alot of other people here.

: > Everything I say is already pre-censored. : : Okay, but what is your point here? Yeah, you are careful : what you say.. but what does that mean in terms : of what other people write? :

I wasn't talking about other people, I was talking about myself. There are people on here who are careful and people who are less careful. I agree with you that people who post to usenet and then are shocked to find out that their posts were read by people they didn't expect are being naive. What I was saying was that I already have this in mind when I post.

: No, but you shouldn't impose your own morals on other people. : He hasn't done anything legally wrong.. you can always : report him to his domain to tell them he has been using : the net for malicious purposes though. :

I think people should speak out if they think they're being used. If you think otherwise, that is your choice, and you're welcome to do nothing but if you expect other people to do nothing about it, then you're imposing *your* morals on them...

I didn't really contribute to that thread so I don't think my comments will be much use to anyone but I do think this sort of behaviour should be discouraged and here I am discouraging it. To tell you the truth, I can't really be arsed to make a big fuss about this, but if I could, (be arsed, that is) I'd send a nice letter to the university in question (if I knew which one it was) explaining why this sort of behaviour shouldn't be encouraged so that it doesn't happen again.

: Nobody was forced to reply to his post. :

Nobody would have been forced to reply to him in a room full of people either, but the fact is, people would and he knew it. Nobody forces us to post to usenet at all and yet we do, does that give spammers the right to get our email addresses from the posts and email us crap? His post was , apparently, designed to get a response. I didn't bother responding to it in the same way I don't bother replying to 99% of the crap posted to usenet but some people decided to reply. The fact that someone wants to rid their newsgroup of what they see as a racist element doesn't give anyone the right to take advantage of them.

: Yes, but that is kind of the beauty of usenet isn't it?

I always thought it was the sadder side effect of the net that cowards and jerks can act out their antisocial fantasies while hiding behind their computer screens. Personally, I try not to differentiate between netiquette and etiquette. Unfortunately, alot of people don't.

: I'm not defending what he wrote.. i'm defending his right to : do it. What about you?

His legal right? sure, we've established that. His moral right? I don't think so.

S

From: R

K wrote:

PN wrote:

:
: We can accuse him of bad etiquette... but he doesn't have to ask
: our permission to use the comments cos they aren't protected
: by law. Basically you shouldn't write anything on usenet that
: you wouldn't post on a billboard in front of your mother's house.

I've been on the net long enough to know what I can or cannot say on a public
newsgroup. Everything I say is already pre-censored. I have absolutely
no problem with what I say on here and I think most posters here feel the
same way about their posts. Still doesn't mean it's good manners to provoke
people and then quote them in a personal research.
It may be legal, but that still doesn't make it moral, ethical or right.

I doubt that the original poster would have thought it ethical for him to
walk into a room full of strangers, (say, a convention about something totally
unrelated to racism, psychology etc) , shout racial abuse and then tape
the responses in the name of psychological research.

The only real difference I can see is that on the net, nobody can punch him
in the face before he manages to apologise and explain his motives.

Exactly.......

R

From: J

PN wrote:

Basically you shouldn't write anything on usenet that
you wouldn't post on a billboard in front of your mother's house.

<tries to remember 2.5 years of usenet postings>

<worries>

;)

True enough, though.

J

From: F

K wrote:

Now that you've told people that they were being used for your little
experiment, I assume you are going to ask people for permission to use
their comments in the research paper?
I don't think there's an actual law forcing people to do that (unless copyright
law counts? )

The Copyright Act states:
(f) Defences to Internet Copyright Infringement
(1) Fair dealing and other exemptions
  The fair dealing exceptions are set out in
  Sections 27(2)(a) and (a.1) of the Copyright Act: 27
(2) The following acts do not constitute an infringement of copyright:
  (a) any fair dealing with any work for the purposes of private study or research

So assuming our AT is telling the truth about his purposes copyright law does not protect any poster.

F

From: C

F wrote:

(a) any fair dealing with any work for the purposes of private
study or research;

So assuming our AT is telling the truth about his purposes copyright
law does not protect any poster.

Yes, but it isn't private study or private research (like all bad laws, this is ambiguous). The results will be published publicly.

And anyway, I *still* can't believe a university will allow such claptrap as research.

c.

original threads: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 

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