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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Thread deleted

    I have deleted a thread in this forum, and edited another that related to alleged violations of Alaska game laws. The first provided information from the trooper reports, and the discussion took off from there.


    It is true that the information in the police and state trooper reports is public information. Newspapers have often printed this material over the years, and there may be some value in that. However, I doubt the wisdom of discussion of those reports in an interactive media like these forums. There is too much potential for unwarranted character defamation.

    The first problem I see is that the accused do not necessarily have an opportunity to respond to the conversation. They might not even be aware of the online discussion. Even if they might want to participate in the discussion, their legal advisors may caution them against it. Another problem is that if later the charges are dropped, or a jury finds the accused innocent, the character defamation is already done. And, there may be no way of adding that important ending to the discussion.

    After discussion on this topic, the hunting forum moderators have agreed that we will no longer permit the contents of police blotters or state trooper dispatches, etc. to be copied and pasted here, and discussion of material from that source will not be allowed. I am posting appropriate changes in the forum FAQ.

    David

  2. #2
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Default

    This website is often touted as the premier spot to get online info concerning hunting in Alaska. If that claim is to be continued, I see it as very important that prospective customers can get the full range of info on the different hunting services. I understand the desire not to allow character defamation, but I very much disagree with your decision to NOT allow posting of public information.
    Those of us familiar with Alaska and it's various information sources know where to look to get the scoop on who's in trouble. Not so your average lower 48er looking for his "hunt of a lifetime".
    This decision does a disservice to the very people you wish to attract.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  3. #3

    Default Big Brother

    How about that whole Freedom Of Speech thing?

  4. #4
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    Red face I agree

    Have to agree with others here. Unless this forum turns into a soapbox for guides/ transporters/outfitters willing to fleece fellow hunters!! Though not infalible, the state troopers speak for us.Let me ask the moderators this, who would you send your hard earned cash to, which you saved for your trip of a lifetime? No, police reports are the public domain. Bill.

  5. #5
    Member jeff p's Avatar
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    Thumbs down well said mt

    Martentrapper spoke it well
    Its not my pages here & i dont control the delete button but as an out of state hunter I will miss this information as it is (was) very usefull so i dont make the same mistakes? It is a shame I saw public information but no personal attacks.
    It is true that Alaska & other places have great beauty to reveal but I also know there is a harsher side ,its sad that THIS SITE WANTS EVREYTHING SUGAR COATED as in nature as in life thats not the way it is. In the future as new readers come here they will think its the land of oz. (till they go there & find out that Alaska has its problems just like everyplace else). I dont know great site but I would re-think some of it keeping it civil is great but this I dont know David it is a good conversation & definatly pertains to Alaska hunting its not always a bed of roses but only showing the good how UNCIVIL is that?
    regards Jeff

  6. #6
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    Default

    I can see both sides on this but instead of not allowing the blotter to be posted why not say "names are not to be posted" If you are preparing for a "Hunt of a Life" you may not know the questions to ask and if there is some evidence of wrong doing you might want to ask the transporter or guide you booked or are getting ready to book some more indepth questions you wouldn't have normally done.

    Information on the event and how the law is writing it should be able to be discussed but without the names input, a hunter can go search that information on their own.

  7. #7
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Another Side to the Issue

    Nobody likes to be told what they can't do, therefore it's natural that some of the discussion of this will be negative.

    This was a very difficult decision, brought on in part by the reality that some who post here will use any freedom granted to destroy the good name of folks who have been accused of something but not convicted. Unless you have found yourself on the receiving end of false accusations, especially ones that have a direct impact on your livelihood, it is nearly impossible to understand the devastation a few careless words in a forum like this can have. I have personally been the recipient of false accusations concerning my guide license here in this forum; accusations that were leveled at me from another guide whom I did not know and had never met or had dealings with in any way. Because there were no legal issues involved, I was able to freely discuss his questions here and clear the air. But now that very same guide finds himself in court, defending himself against some very serious charges. He cannot defend himself in this public forum, though some attacked him when those charges were originally levied against him. I have steered clear of public discussions about his situation.

    Are these issues in the public interest? Yes they are. But I believe most of us are mature enough and smart enough to figure out how to communicate the things that really need to be known without tearing people down in public. At the same time I hope we have the maturity and self-restraint to avoid drawing conclusions (as tempting as it is to do so) when it comes to legal issues that have not been decided by the courts. One false charge can completely break a guide operation, when hunters jump the guy and scare his clients away. The ripple effect impacts many potential clients, and before long the guy is in a hole so deep he cannot climb out. Meanwhile, his public accusers (the ones who post here and in other forums) happily go on their merry way, waiting to jump on the next bit of bad news.

    It's a thorny problem, but I concur with the decision of the rest of the moderators in this case. Now, it's up to all of us to figure out how we can communicate important FACTS to each other without destroying someone who is either unwilling or unable for legal reasons, to defend himself here at this time.

    Regards,

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
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  8. #8
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Default Blotter...

    If you want to view the trooper blotter info, go to their site and view it -

    http://www.dps.state.ak.us/pio/dispatch/index.asp

    I think the point David is trying to get across is that he doesn't want this forum to be a breeding ground for rumors, hate, and discontent regarding what is in the blotter postings. The "Innocent until proven guilty" concept is being lost in the conversations which have erupted from this information being posted.


    No one is limiting access to the police blotter, the owner of this site just doesn't want guide/individual bashing on his site. Pretty simple.

    Lets talk about hunting success/failure and time proven strategies.
    AKmud
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    The porcupine is a peacful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

  9. #9

    Default

    I agree completely.

    Here's an additional thought: Put yourself in the position of the moderators/owners. Wanna get sued? I sure wouldn't, and therefore would work to establish a track record of fairness and reason. I keep waiting for some of the more prominent and poorly moderated whiner sites to have their insurance and budgets tested by big, fat lawsuits. I bet they will rethink their policies about "freedom of speech" after the fact, even if they win.

  10. #10

    Thumbs down Unfortunate

    While it seems unfortunate that a regular contributor to this forum is alleged to have involved himself in the said circumstances, what differentiates the matters at hand from gaurding the "good-ol'-boy" network of operations in this state.

    Hunters come to this forum for many reasons, and even negativite reviews are helpful in making our next hunt free from others' mistakes.

    For example, what's the difference between <the most recent> situation and <a big name sports figure's> alleged violations that were digressed day after day on this forum?

    Is it because <the person most recently appearing in the police blotter> has been a regular contributor here on this forum, or the fact that he is "liked and respected" by a certain Moderator?

    Additonal thought, however, is that this site has continued to provide outstanding hunter feedback in many positive ways. It would, however, be easier to accept if the same standards were applied to every member and to every thread, instead of favorable ones. As it is, some posts are flaming and allowed to remain while others are not. It's hard to view certain moderator decisions as equal and fair, that's all.

    Webmaster note: names removed and <replaced so>
    Last edited by Webmaster; 09-28-2006 at 10:08. Reason: clarifying positive comments about site standards

  11. #11

    Default

    How long ago were the <big name sports figure> threads posted? Long time, I think. Lots of policy changes and refinements since then, so I don't think it's fair to paint both issues with the same brush.

    Webmaster note: name removed
    Last edited by Webmaster; 09-28-2006 at 10:10.

  12. #12
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    Red face Tough issue. . .

    This is a tough one. It's nearly unthinkable that the forum should disallow the posting of public information, but entirely reasonable that the forum needs to ban gossipy speculation about that public information.

    As I see it, we're like kids with a fragile toy, and the parents have two options: 1) Take the toy away, or 2) Teach the kids proper restraint.

  13. #13

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    You're a wise man Marcus.

  14. #14
    Member Alaskantrapper's Avatar
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    Angry

    Im going to pipe up here, I fully support the forums decision on this idea of posting blotters. Most of you know where to find those blotters, they dont need to be reposted on here so that the person involved can be drug threw the mud.

    Unless you have been in someone elses shoes and been IN those blotters you have no idea what it does to your life when you have a Guides license. Not even as much as the license itself but your character. Alaska overall is a small place, how about all your "friends" who read this information. The damage is done once that stuff is posted in the blotters, why add fire to an already BAD situation.

    What is even harder is trying to prove your case (explain yourself), you not only have the folks who read the blotter, friends, family, NOW you have people on the Alaska outdoor directory spreading the word faster then hotcakes. You sure learn who your real friends are.

    Again, you have no idea how it feels to be accused of something, then cleared unless you have been there! We were just lucky we had a video tape that saved our butts.


    I hope this ban continues and some of you can come to terms with this idea. Contributor to the forum or not, what if it was one of you?


    Debbie
    Last edited by Alaskantrapper; 09-28-2006 at 08:51.

  15. #15
    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BoDean View Post
    While it seems unfortunate that a regular contributor to this forum is alleged to have involved himself in the said circumstances, what differentiates the matters at hand from gaurding the "good-ol'-boy" network of operations in this state.

    Hunters come to this forum for many reasons, and even negativite reviews are helpful in making our next hunt free from others' mistakes.
    Bodean,
    Some of us thought long and hard on this. I personally don't want freedom of speech curtailed in any way. Blotters are public record. But, its what happens soon after their posting that gets to be problematic for many of us here. There are limits to freedom of speech, my friend.
    One has to understand that unjustifyably yelling "fire" in a crowded theatre is totally irresponsible (and unlawful) and its about the same here with the sometimes continuous barrage of flames directed at a published offender-- alleged offended I might add!
    A person has no chance at all to clear their name. They are already basically convicted in the court (forum) of public opinion. Its dead wrong.

    The "good ole boy" comment is simply unfair. I know very little about the outfitter in question. What I do know makes me glad he been a contributor here. And I think I can safely speak for others too. Thats as far as that goes, period.

    As far as the info you seek to make your Alaskan experience the best it can be, well, I think you will still find it here. Positive and negative lessons and info can be found in abundance through the stories and personal comments. Just not the names.
    If you're in doubt about someone, ASK. The ODD has a very handy private message system. Its not a guarantee, but you'll likely get a host of responses to your questions.

    Frank
    Last edited by Webmaster; 09-28-2006 at 10:11.

  16. #16

    Default Fire

    Well I sure hate to see good people drug through the mud. I'm not sure if I like the whole "there are limits to free speech" argument though. Talking about public information on a public forum is nothing like yelling "FIRE" in a crowd. And remember, it's only "unlawful" to yell Fire if there is no smoke.....if you see smoke its your duty to warn others.....to do otherwise would be just plain wrong......because were there is smoke there is fire.

  17. #17
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    Default

    Your guns are next.


    Man I lost about 8 post through that deleting/editing.

  18. #18
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    Default Information

    I agree with Marcus on this one, I think the blotters should be allowed, but no speculation. My reasoning goes like this.

    This site is used by out of state hunters to plan their hunts in Alaska. While I'm a resident and would never use a guide, if I was in the market, I'd want to know any pertinent info before I booked a hunt. Knowing someone I booked with was charged with a violation is something I'd want to know before hand. This is something that could affect your hunt in several ways. First, if the whole premise of how you do business (in this case apparently transporting in an illegal manner) is in question, you may have to decide not to do business anyway, or risk another citation. Or you may have to drastically change the way you do business to a manner that may not be what you advertised in flyers or on your web-site. These are things as a prospective client I'd want to talk over with you before I booked. If I had no information of what had happenned, I'd miss the chance to bring it up when I contacted you.

    Also, there's a chance you'd be taking my money and not be able to provide the service advertised. Even if you eventually refunded it, it might affect my ability to book with someone else. Especially if I saved up for a long time for my "hunt of a lifetime". I might not be able to book with someone else without that money at hand. This could also affect the timing of my hunt. Maybe I had to put in for time off months ahead, and suddenly I find you can't provide the service at the time I booked. If no one else can provide that service in the time slot I've prepared for, I might be out of my hunt for that year. I'd want to discuss all that with you too.

    I think you're doing hunters a disservice by your new policy of no posting of blotters or other pertinent info about guides.

    I'd let the info be posted, but nothing else, (no speculation or flaming) except for the info on how the case was settled. If you want to be of use to hunters, I see no other way.

  19. #19
    Member Alaskantrapper's Avatar
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    Default Guns

    Yup! Send all your guns to

    P.O Box &^%%^
    Wasilla Alaska 99687



    <grin>

  20. #20
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskantrapper View Post
    Yup! Send all your guns to

    P.O Box &^%%^
    Wasilla Alaska 99687



    <grin>




    Need a better address.

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