It is with regret that I have decided to withdraw my co-sponsorship of Hampton People's Network after three years.

The original aims of HPN were excellent - an opportunity for local groups and businesses to advertise forthcoming events, a forum for local events and activities, an opportunity to ask advise from other users about amenities and businesses in the area and some light hearted dialogue about local matters.

I am disgusted by the libellous and scurrilous comments that seem to have become the norm for some contributors. When someone asks for recommendations for a local builder, plumber, estate agent etc, I would have hoped that responses would be exactly that - recommendations based on experience. Alas, it seems that some people feel it is acceptable to discredit businesses and individuals, to post libellous comments and in some cases to post comments based on rumour and supposition.

Paul Johnston has done a sterling job in managing the site and I would personally like to thank him for his efforts - but I can no longer associate myself with a site that is littered with cynical, negative, libellous and downright offensively rude comments.

I do realise that the very people who have brought about this decision may well have their own views on my decision, but I hope the decent supportive and well meaning users of the site continue to try and eliminate this disturbing trend.

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Steve,

Firstly, I am sure, I and many other positive contributors are grateful to you for your past sponsorship and support of HPN.

You are aware of my previous businesses and, I regret to say,you have my total support for the decision you have made and the reasons that you have given, as it could have been my business in the firing line in the past.

Good luck and see you soon,

H.

P.s Any good 'Chilean Carmenere' in stock!?

Your positive contribution to local life does not go unnoticed. It's such a shame that there are so many people who will always want to bring down anything that has good intentions.

  

People/Members on this forum share their desire for opinion on local tradespeople whether its good or bad, they are after all inviting opinion.

If one wishes to discontinue sponsorship (of which we have all been very grateful) of this forum why not do so with discretion instead of a rant on what is good or what is bad.

Members, like me, are big enough and ugly enough to make a sound judgement on trade suitability without taking the views expressed on here as gospel

It's a forum after all!

I suspect a lot of it comes from the fact that this is a quiet forum with a relatively small number of posters.

The aims I suspect where always going to be difficult to manage ie as a message board for organisations and business about upcoming event and also as a forum to discuss.

Could this website have Moderators?  I have never frequented a site that doesn`t have them. If HPN had Moderators, then problem solved (as far as I can see)

Unfortunately, Sue, it is a bit more complicated than that. First of all, some people have to do the moderating and that takes a certain amount of time and effort. That's not an insuperable barrier, however, and hopefully some people would be happy to do this. The second and bigger issue is deciding how much moderating we want done. Clearly, if I say that Happy Henry's restaurant is simply run as a front for drug dealing, then my comment is libellous (even if it were true) and should be taken down. But what if I say that the food at Happy Henry's is disgusting or that all the serving staff have the charisma of orangutans? Both these comments are unkind and likely to be either untrue or an exaggeration, so should they both be removed? But what if the person simply says: Happy Henry's is a bad restaurant and I really would not recommend that anyone eats there? Should this be removed for being negative or is it just fair comment and should definitely be allowed?

To date my aim has always been to intervene as little as possible (only when the comments seem definitely libellous or are clearly offensive) and hope that if someone slags off Happy Henry's restaurant unfairly, other members of the site who are happy customers of Happy Henry's will jump in to say what a wonderful place it is. My views are changing a bit, but this site is a community site, so we do need to decide as a group how we want to do things. I do think it is a terrible shame that people like Steve who have done a lot for Hampton and for this site end up with mixed (or negative) feelings about this site. Personally I think we do need to stick with a high degree of openness and the right to disagreement, but that we need a clearer set of principles about what is and isn't acceptable and that all of us need to take a more active role in making sure that the norms of our community are norms we can be proud of.

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