• Maybe as this thing develops, just keeping the first post updated with a ‘stuff LFGSSers can do’ list. Bullet points for MP correspondence, any useful links, email addresses etc

  • I can’t comment on the legislation.

    OK so do we take it that this is a work thing?

    finding a sympathetic Tory mp would be helpful.

    Anybody know of a sympathetic Tory? Don't all rush at once ...

  • No! Simply that I’m not an expert on the issues so I can’t provide an analysis of the impact. I do know a bit about consultations and do think joining up with representative bodies that have more clout and can make recommendations on how to improve legislation wld be helpful.

  • Brixton Cycles - more voices to raise the issue?).

    Hello there

  • that unfortunately doesn't apply. The service following into that category are services like disqus that focus only on comments.

  • So where are we at...

    So far I've emailed the impact assessment team and had a reply saying "Don't email us unless you're providing evidence of impact", but no guidance or help as to what evidence looks like... so I asked, and it's been silent.

    I've emailed my MP... autoresponder said "We will get back to you"... no-one has yet got back.

    I emailed the Secretary for Culture, Sports, Digital... no autoresponder, they may route email to /dev/null 🤷♀️

    I am trying to investigate what "links to the UK" means... i.e. where is it defined? If anyone knows please point me in that direction. The gist here being that if it passed in this form I would consider some transfer of ownership of the domain names to someone I trust outside of the UK and then move the hosting to the EU rather than London. This has risks (see recent Freenode politics) so I would really deeply need to trust this person but I have someone in mind - and the real question is how could I remain involved without creating a "link"? If I'm not employed, we have no servers, and I have no ownership... so I'm a volunteer only, does this work, etc?

    I'm also trying to assess what the real impact would be... i.e. is it feasible to fund raise a few grand to pay for lawyers to revise all T&Cs and also to create risk assessment templates for children and vulnerable adults, and what does the minimum compliance with the law even look like? But... there seems little point really asking this question now as the bill remains a draft and everyone keeps assuring me that it will be revised before it becomes law... that this is the gov wish list, but they only get to have some of their wishes come true.

    So right now... I'm in a holding pattern waiting to see if I need to respond to things (if any of my emails yield replies), or waiting to see what happens next.

    In so far as the emails I sent go... I reflected on why I started LFGSS in 2007 and it was because a relationship went bad and I was really low and wanted to meet people, stave off loneliness, renew myself, have fun. Meaning I wanted a place where through meeting people with a shared interest I could have a group of people with whom to do stuff, and that would help ensure a quick recovery from a period of sadness... to actively fend off risk of depression, etc.

    That led me to the next question... why do I continue pouring in time and money to running not just LFGSS but other forums... why do I care? Why not just let them close?

    And I realise something I said in the Microcosm pitch is deeply true. That I believe that by bringing people together around shared interests, that it helps people build friendships, relationships, and is hugely impactful at reducing loneliness and isolation - specifically in adults. And that from some of the darker threads on here, that support has helped avoid depression, reduce the impact of depression, kept people physically healthier, kept people mentally healthier, and goes a super long way to mitigate most of the risks of modern society, including the biggest killer of men under 45.

    I know why I run these sites at a cost, and frankly I've concluded that the government should be paying me... not that they should be writing laws that put these kinds of sites at risk.

    So my emails to MPs have focused on that... the low risk (we've no spam, take bullying and threats extremely seriously - way more than social media does), and the huge benefits (physical and mental health, one of the very few things that can actively speak of addressing loneliness and isolation in adults).

  • Thanks for continuing to work on this.

  • many thanks boss man. nicely put

  • On the "has links to the UK" I found it defined in the early part of the bill.

    5.a = significant numbers of users in the UK
    5.b = UK forms a/the target market for the service

    Section 6 mentions it but requires "material risk of significant harm to individuals in the UK arising from [the service]" - but this probably does not apply. However section 5 already applies.

    I'm not really sure how that would work... I mean, if it was a US entity with no employees or business presence in the UK, merely UK based users... why would the UK imagine we could force our laws onto a legal entity of another country with no business links to the UK and not falling under the jurisdiction of the UK? The UK gets to impose it's laws only on itself (people and businesses based in the UK) surely.

  • why would the UK imagine we could force our laws onto a legal entity of another country with no business links to the UK and not falling under the jurisdiction of the UK?

    History of colonialism.

  • As always @Velocio thank you for your efforts.
    I agree and support what you are saying around the purpose of LFGSS and other forums you have set up. Your contribution to bring people together using tech with your skillz since 2007, should be celebrated not scrutinised. Have you considered creating a change.org petition to challenge this bill?. If LFGSS can get 100,000 petition supporters this will get MP and Peers to pay attention. Even if this results with more intervention and moderation financed with subscription charges. Protecting administrators and members rights to operate in a fair and tolerant society is worth fighting for.
    Almac x

  • Forum saved my life in 2007.

  • So so do think it’s worth talking to campaigning orgs who are looking at this - they will have greater leverage and legal support to recommend drafting changes.

    From a quick google:
    https://www.techuk.org/resource/the-onli­ne-safety-bill-what-is-in-it-and-what-do­es-it-mean-for-techuk-members.html. (There are contact details at the end)

    The views of the BCS in here are interesting, especially in regulation of user generated content. Worth contacting them to find out how they are planning to respond:

    https://pictfor.org.uk/wp-content/upload­s/2020/11/PICTFOR-Online-Harms-Stakehold­er-Input-Report-1.pdf

  • why would the UK imagine we could force our laws onto a legal entity of another country with no business links to the UK and not falling under the jurisdiction of the UK? The UK gets to impose it's laws only on itself (people and businesses based in the UK) surely.

    Isn't that how the GDPR stuff works as well? As soon as a EU citizen's data is involved the law considers itself to take effect?

  • Have you considered creating a change.org petition to challenge this bill?.

    Would a gov petition be more effective? eg 100,000 -> debate in parliament

  • Well put there and thank you for all your efforts.

  • Thanks a lot for everything you did and do, you are truly inspiring and you surely have my support. As soon as things will get better for me I will get back on track to uphold my promise and I'll do everything I can to help this amazing community.

  • Well put, thank you for everything you do, and I hope this place will be running until the end of times. Would gladly donate to the fundraiser if it happens.

  • Do you still run it at cost? Do I/we need to raise my pay in? I haven't checked to thread were you mention running costs so bit updated.

  • Do you still run it at cost? Do I/we need to raise my pay in? I haven't checked to thread were you mention running costs so bit updated.

    TBH I'm unsure. PayPal has about £1.4k in it (topped up annually by Brixton Cycles, and monthly by Islington Cycles), which is a good couple of months. And the very regular big stuff deducts from that, i.e. Linode hosting, Sendgrid email. But I fail to bill everything through it as I don't have a card associated to PayPal any longer - so ad-hoc costs like domain names, certificates, software licences, etc... these I pay out of pocket for and consider as donations. Then sometimes PayPal drains and I cover the shortfall and don't bother to track the costs (these are the times I rattle the donation can and nag people), and other times PayPal sits at 3-6 months worth of donations and I just forget about it all as it's ticking over by itself (this is where it was late last year / earlier this year).

    So yes it's a cost... but clearly not enough that I ever need to be concerned about it and the majority of costs are definitely met by donations.

    I once used Xero to track this stuff in detail... but paying an extra $50 per month (at the time) to manage something that was cruising along nicely just seemed like a waste of money. So things like this, non-essential services... I just removed them so that the money that was donated went further.

    I don't really want it to be a business... so I don't run it as one. I'm happily employed and a side project fits more easily with employment than me having a side company.

  • Cool.

    I don't need to state it , do rattle that can for any need.

  • So yes it's a cost... but clearly not enough that I ever need to be
    concerned about it and the majority of costs are definitely met by
    donations.

    Thanks for mentioning it. All too often one forgets that something like this costs someone money. I just made a small contribution, because the forum has been helpful to me.

  • Some good advice here. Just thought I’d add that I suspect one really effective way to get politicians attention is to raise the potential for this to affect MumsNet and similar fora. That will really focus their minds.

    Also, find someone sensible in the House of Lords - the scrutiny chamber - who can and wants to challenge. I’ve no idea who that might be but a sensible cross-bencher or similar could have an impact

  • @Velocio I'm arranging an online meeting with my MP atmo. Aware of the general picture from the thread. Is there any specific problem one should raise? I would encourage other lufgussers to do the same.

  • It strikes me that there are any number of forums that could be affected by this: from Mumsnet, to here, to small but important hobby forums; possibly also sports clubs but I think most of them have move to FB, Twitter, Insta now.

    So a coalition of those affected who can point out the unintended consequences of the legislation with cross part support by MPs & Peers might be the way forward.
    Within cycling has this yet been discussed by YACF, TT forum, Retrobike etc?

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UK Online Safety Bill... if it passes, I may have to shutter LFGSS

Posted by Avatar for Velocio @Velocio

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