Quote Originally Posted by Moghedien View Post
I was not debating the right of the private enterprise. . . (or) the right to post on this forum.

It is a private forum . . .
That is very true, this is a forum run by a business. However business forum or not, "best practices" in business today include the addressing of customer opinion, complaints and praises in a way that facilitates conversations. When any business selectively edits threads or shuts down threads without explanation they run the risk of diminishing their company brand.

I've attended a lot of trainings and listened to how major corporations are developing their forum, facebook, comment etc. policy and they, for the most part, edit or remove only those posts that contain personal data, profanity or illegal content.

This forum has several challenges that I don't envy the company and it's volunteer mods having to deal with. However I have experienced the "Staff Stealth Squad" removing parts of or shutting down threads without a word.

This type of moderation is dependent on the company's view of damage control and goes beyond the general forum rules. So you can't always train, educate or inform posters how to interact when this line is reached. It's not just based on freedom of speech or freedom of a company to protect it's brand, it's something murky and it causes (in my and other expert opinions) more bad will than good.

If a person wants to be a beneficial member of an on-line community they will post in the spirit of the community. If a business offers an on-line forum and gives permission to a community to post then they incorporate that into their brand at their own risk.

There are plenty of examples out there how top companies respond to "hot" posts and comments, facilitating conversation and improving the company image.

Boundaries are always going to be tested but usually it's pretty obvious when someone steps over that community line, whether it be the business or the customer.

The company has the freedom to pull the forum, the customer has the freedom to take their cash elsewhere. The win-win is finding that beneficial mix.