16 September 2007

ARRSE ARmy Rumour SErvice Moderators

On 2 June I joined the ARRSE forums in order to test opinion about Daniel James’ right to be tried by a Court Martial. I made it clear that I did not wish to discuss the actual details of Daniel’s case, as this is currently sub judice.

I was surprised by the hostility and apparent fear of the forum moderators at any mention of Daniel’s name.
For example, another forum member posted an excerpt from a BBC report about the case, and this brought rapid closure of the discussion, even though the forum posting only repeated material already in the public domain.

On 13 July I made another comment on the forum about Daniel’s wish for a Court Martial. I was invited into the ARRSE Chat Room, where I was left in no doubt what other forum members were thinking: “hang the c*nt” and other insults were hurled at me. Within minutes of this dialogue finishing all the chat comments and my non-controversial posts were removed from the forum.





ARRSE Moderators are trained to be biased

In the early hours of 11 August I posted another comment on the ARRSE forums, this time regarding an item that had just been aired on the BBC’s Newsnight programme about the MoD’s concern that soldiers were putting information on the Internet about what they were doing in Iraq and Afghanistan. I never mentioned the name “Daniel James”, and I was amongst several other forum members posting into a thread that I had started.

I was surprised when the thread suddenly disappeared, apparently censored by the moderator. Within minutes I received an email:

from British Army Rumour Service <noreply@arrse.co.uk>
to parellic [at] googlemail.com
date Aug 11, 2007 12:24 AM
subject Account Suspended


Your account at British Army Rumour Service has been suspended.

A short while later I left a message on the ARRSE website for the forum administrator:

‘I have received an email informing me that my account at the British Army Rumour Service has been suspended.

Can you please tell me for what reason my account was suspended, as I do not believe I have infringed any of your rules.’

from The Army Rumour Service <admin@arrse.co.uk>
to Mike Smith
date Aug 12, 2007 8:32 AM
subject Re: [Ticket#2007081110001503] British Army Rumour Service Feedback

Hi Mike,

Could you tell me your username and I'll look at it. Usual reasons are prolonged pain behaviour (but you should have been warned about this) or ‘spamming’ the forums with advertising (you wouldn't have got a warning about this). If neither of those fit then it could well be a mistake.

Regards,
Rob
Good CO


Site Admin
The Army Rumour Service

www.arrse.co.uk

from Mike Smith
to The Army Rumour Service <admin@arrse.co.uk>
date Aug 12, 2007 12:27 PM
subject Re: [Ticket#2007081110001503] British Army Rumour Service Feedback

Hi Rob,

Thank you for getting back to me.

My username on ARRSE is Gunner-smiff

I thought my behaviour was quite tame compared to some of the posts I have read on ARRSE, but perhaps I have been too honest in telling the truth.

Regards,
Mike


I didn’t receive any decision about my request and so I sent another email to ARRSE:

from Mike Smith
to The Army Rumour Service <admin@arrse.co.uk>
date Aug 16, 2007 4:58 PM
subject Re: [Ticket#2007081110001503] British Army Rumour Service Feedback

Hi again Rob,

I still seem to be suspended. It looks like my membership No. is 27559 if that helps.

Regards,
Mike


from The Army Rumour Service <admin@arrse.co.uk>
to Mike Smith
date Aug 17, 2007 5:09 PM
subject Re: [Ticket#2007081110001503] British Army Rumour Service Feedback

Mike,

I've just had a look at your posts on the site and also visited your blog, your wikipedia entry and a few other pages that I’ve found on google. I have to say that I wasn’t previously aware of your case but it makes interesting reading.

Anyway you have clearly come onto the site to further your own agenda and I’m afraid that this isn’t acceptable. One of our moderator team spotted this and removed your posts and asked us to suspend your username which is what we’ve done. I’m afraid that we will not be re-activating it.

Regards
Bad CO


from The Army Rumour Service <admin@arrse.co.uk>
to Mike Smith
date Aug 17, 2007 5:13 PM
subject Re: [Ticket#2007081110001503] British Army Rumour Service Feedback

Hopefully my last cleared that up but just in case it didn’t:

Suspended as you have no real Army link and are using the site to push your own agenda.

Account will not be reactivated.

Regards
Bad CO


Site Admin
The Army Rumour Service

www.arrse.co.uk

Well, that seems fairly blunt; I don’t feel this approach is really justified because there are other forum members getting away with bigoted and unacceptable behaviour on ARRSE. And doesn’t everyone push their own agenda - it’s calling voicing your opinions.

As it says on the ARRSE Homepage:

‘ARRSE users include serving, ex and future members of the British Army, their family and friends, and an ever increasing and very welcome number of users from the wider military community; the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Royal Air Force and non-British armies and military.’

The fact that I have friends who have been members of the Army leads me to believe that I fall within the scope of the above statement - at least that is how I interpret the rules.

Apart from my basic qualification to be a forum member, I have also worked on projects in the past that benefited British armed forces, including the Army. I was involved with a submarine listening device that was used in the Falklands War, as well as various pressure transducers that were widely deployed in military equipment, and I played an important role in improving the anti-stall valves used in aircraft that would have carried British troops. I could list a lot more, but I suppose this is not seen as relevant to supporting our armed forces.

In 1977 I worked on the fuze system for Britain’s free-fall nuclear bomb, and due to my vigilance I discovered a design fault that caused unwanted spikes in the timing waveforms on one of the circuit boards. Nobody else had spotted this problem, and my discovery eventually led to the re-design of the earthing system on the board, which was not adequate. If I had not found this fault, then it would have been far more costly if it had been discovered later, and this could even have resulted in unacceptable risks to our servicemen had that fault remained in the equipment.

Apparently the ARRSE moderators take no notice of the real world. They are extremely sensitive people, who are afraid of criticism and any offence they may cause to the MoD. However, while ARRSE moderators are happy to censor fair comment, they have not shown themselves to be as conscientious when bigoted and biased comments are published on their forums.

12 comments:

  1. Anonymous7:50 PM

    Hi, I'm one of Arrses bigoted posters, and no, I haven't read any of your posts, most likely because they've been removed.

    Now, despite the fact that the Mods can be a little overzealous and remove posts and users who they feel are in breach of forum policy, you ill get absolutely knowhere by saying things like 'Unlike some, I'm not a bigoted poster' as this will alienate them still further.

    You might have done some laudable work for the Armed Forces, but I would suggest that you try and come across a little less like a throbber, and start again, with a different username, a different login email and a different password.

    Perhaps if you build up a little kudos amongst the other users BEFORE you start gobbing off, you might find a little support for your cause when you do.

    Just a thought.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous8:02 PM

    I understand your comments, but you came onto a British Military Website to support a traitor!

    I was the person that invited you into the Chat Room, and you presented no evidence to support your case.

    Try telling the whole truth!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous12:50 AM

    Sometimes, when told to fuck off, the best thing for all concerned is that you fuck off.
    Cheeribye.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous1:12 AM

    http://www.arrse.co.uk/wiki/Michael_John_Smith

    His Wiki entry on ARRSE.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Bravo_Bravo9:43 AM

    You're a bit whiney, aren't you?

    ARRSE is not an MOD forum, private; if they don't like what you say and they delete your account then tough.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous3:26 PM

    I am an ARRSE Moderator and I haven't been trained for anything specifically. I just react - wildly and inconsistently - to anything that takes my fancy. I contradict myself frequently and post completely random crap in an effort to look like I know 'the score'.

    I am an ARRSE Moderator. I am a bully, a racist. Yet I can deal with all that because I am not a fcuking whining little cunt like you.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hello brother. You say you are an ARRSE moderator, but I have no way of knowing if that is true or not, because like many other of the people leaving comments here you choose to remain anonymous. Like a rabbit scared to be caught in the beam of the headlights?

    I respect that you have the right to air your views and that is why I published them. But I also have a right to speak, and whether you think I am whining or not, I will not be silenced. Please don't tell me, that if you had been "stitched up" by false evidence, then you would quietly walk away - I am no coward my friend.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous4:43 PM

    Look you fucking moron! No one gives a shit about you as all you want to do is slander the british army in any way you can. As a proud member and a Gunner still serving in the army i hate reading around on the net and finding snarky comments by the public.

    Yes the sun doesnt shine out our arses and yes when we come home from overseas we dont get warm greetings and the reason for most of the hate is not from the truth that is told on TV or on the intraweb its because of pricks like you with nothing but an agenda to slag us off and make us public enemy no.1

    People like you cause problems in our country and it makes me a sad panda indeed to wear my uniform sometimes.

    Your 59 years old.... Grow up!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am sorry my anonymous friend that I appear to have upset you. I can assure you that I am not attempting to slander you or the British Army, and I don't see how you could have read that message from anything I have written here on my blog?

    If I am attacking anybody it is the moderators who police the ARRSE forums, because they made it quite clear that they found it unreasonable that I should have raised questions about the Daniel James case.

    I merely made the point that a soldier who has been accused of breaking discipline should be entitled to face a Court Martial, and not a civilian court. I would have thought that any soldier would agree with such an argument, but apparently not?

    I would never slag off any member of the British Armed Forces for serving their country, and so please do not make it appear that this is what I am doing on this blog.

    My blog is mainly about our right to expect justice and fairness in criminal trials, and in that I have come up against the bloody-mindedness of the MoD, who appear to cover-up the truth and never answer the questions I have raised with them.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Anonymous9:04 AM

    Expect justice and fairness in CRIMINAL trials! enough said dont you think.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Yes, I agree that is what we should expect, and in many cases I am sure that this 'justice and fairness' does occur.

    Unfortunately, when the evidence is ambiguous, the Police and Prosecution can jump to conclusions and add a bias which was not there in the basic facts. I know in my own case that perfectly innocent details were manipulated to support an argument that was not true, and this will become clear when I tell the whole story of my trial.

    It is rather like a dodgy scientist, who wants to use limited or selective evidence to prove a theory that could not be supported if we knew all the facts. Such issues have arisen when the tobacco companies wanted to show that smoking was not addictive and harmless to health, or in the case of Gulf War Syndrome that it was something in the imagination of the soldiers affected.

    In Official Secrets Act cases it is easy for the Prosecution to hide their dirty tricks and false assertions behind the closed doors of an "in camera" courtroom, and we may never know exactly what is the truth.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous9:03 PM

    I often visit ARRSE and have found allot of help full info and i have also found big headed tossers (usually the member that have been on for a long time) and cant believe that they think they are better than civvies! as kid i always wanted to join the forces, i tried to cover up my asthma and failed to get in due to reoccurring ear infections so i tried to fight for my country but if this is the prime example of how you come out of the forces thank fcuk i didnt!
    the amount of ignorance on that site i would expect from Americans but British!??! also freedom of speech is not tolerated you will be bashed if no one agrees with your opinion. if your a sheep that will follow the herd go join.

    one last note their lack of respect for the dead is unbelievable. note: EDL thread. he may have been a thug but to degrade his grand farther is sick. i hope the guy that insinuated digging up an ex serving soldier grows up and never uses family as a weapon!

    ReplyDelete