Internet Forums



What an interesting weekends racing we have just had, none more so than the Irish Derby, which turned out to be very controversial indeed.

In case you missed the race Alessandro Volta ridden by Johnny Murtagh veered across the course interfering with both Curtain Call and the favourite Tartan Bearer.
It was a nasty incident and not very good riding. Consequently Alessandro Volta was disqualified and placed behind Tartan Bearer, arguably he should have been placed behind Curtain Call as well.

It was a bad ride by Murtagh, however if you take a look at some of the internet forums you would not believe some of the allegations being made.

There are people accusing Murtagh of deliberately making the manoeuvre to take out his two rivals.

I would love to know which planet these idiots reside on. Of course more likely they are talking out of their pockets.

These forum postings do raise an interesting question surrounding the internet. The accusations against Murtagh are only the latest example of some dubious postings.

Even more savage were some of the accusations made against Jim Bolger over the running of New Approach. Although it has to be said the matter was not helped by some very inflammatory reporting in certain parts of the media.

If some of these allegations appeared in the printed media there would be a very strong case for implementing legal proceedings by the aggrieved parties. I would suggest that Messers Bolger and Murtagh would both have very good cases over what has appeared in the forums in recent weeks.

Yet on the internet forums the situation seems to be more difficult. Yes the laws of libel do apply to the internet, just as much as they do to “traditional” media, but there seems to be a greater reluctance to act..

The trouble with forums is so many postings are made anonymously –these posters who are quite happy to abuse and libel others are never prepared to make the accusations openly. Sounds like cowardice to me.

Any cretin can make an accusation hidden behind a non de plume. It takes a man to make an accusation openly. So my advice to these internet jockeys and trainers is “if you don’t have the guts to make your comments openly, then shut up.” Nobody likes a coward.

Hopefully, and I hope it is someday soon, one of the aggrieved parties is going to take some action against one of these anonymous posters.
Indeed these posters don’t even have the intelligence to realise that they can be traced, no matter what name they choose to hide behind.

I have no problem with criticism, as long as it is valid, constructive and based of factual evidence.  What is unacceptable is to accuse someone of telling lies or cheating without a single shred of evidence.  

What right does someone have to effectively question anothers integrity without having to justify said accusation?

Forums should enforce strict registration procedures where members can only post if they use their real identity which has to be verified before being allowed to post.

Postings on forums should also be as strictly enforced as in the printed media in terms of content, especially in terms of libel and defamation.

Yes it makes more work for those who run the forums but if they wish to host forums then those responsible need to accept responsibility for what appears.

If a newspaper defames an individual it is both the author and the publisher, usually represented by the editor, who ends up in court.

Before you ask, yes I do post on internet forums. However in every single case I post using my real name and identity. I also post as if I were writing in the printed media, taking full cognisance of the legalities of what I am posting. If I am unsure of the facts of something I am posting I will preface it with something like “I believe” or “I understand” – it is quite simple really.     

Do you agree with the Beast?  Click here to feedback your views.


Back to Beast Home


About Us | Legal | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | 2006 - 2013 Paul Ostermeyer .......... UK Horseracing Data licensed from the British Horseracing Authority. Irish Fixtures © Horse Racing Ireland