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George Interviewed; The Founder Of Thailand's Biggest Forum Thaivisa, Answers The Critics


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Interesting. I have been running a pretty well known (internationally) genre based website and discussion forum for 12 years this July. I watched this site, and many others start from scratch.

It would appear that George's only mistake has been to come out publicly to answer his critics. Something which is virtually impossible anyway, at least not all of them.

I could fill volumes here. I have been threatened with Jail by the government, received death threats, legal threats, and the whole box and dice over the years. It is very hard to be all things to all people. many times i felt like chucking it in, but you hang in because you know you are really helping alot of people. Most people, are in essence, decent and good. God help us should it get to be the other way around!

One thing I do know is that more than a few people have some strange ideas about just what constitutes 'free speech'.

This is the first online dicussion forum I have signed up to since I founded my own in 1997.

Its a dirty job but someone had to do it! Good onya George! I tips me lid to you.

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ThaiVisa has changed over the years , but that is to be expected and respected.

ThaiVisa has supplied me with a wealth of information over the years , and of that I am thankful.

there are other forums where I can indulge in the fun banter that was around here originally.

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I think that you might consider that many people scroll through TV on most topics. They may all have an opinion but sometimes, like me. they may get too insensed by some of the moronic posts that do occur occassionaly and they may write something inappropriate if done while still angry. On many issues the posts are credible and some are humorous but the number of vitriolic posts sicken me sometimes. so I opt for not sending a post on many issues.

The posters I despise the most are those that always state "if you don't like it, go home". Sensible discussion and healthy debate have helped many solutions to be decided and it is not beyond belief that a Thai person reading some of the criticism might actually start to think that maybe there is room for change in some things.

Don't agree on this, I rather think it is beyond believe (although there might be some exceptions) that 'criticism' will lead to change but I really wish you would make more posts because it would definetely raise the level.

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One surprising statistic from this.....60% of Thai Visa's members only READ but do not post! Why? Nothing to say? No opinion? Can't be ar*ed? Strange! :)

I think there may be another reason why people are reluctant to post or hold back a bit if they do. Already covered in the interview

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Interesting. I have been running a pretty well known (internationally) genre based website and discussion forum for 12 years this July. I watched this site, and many others start from scratch.

It would appear that George's only mistake has been to come out publicly to answer his critics. Something which is virtually impossible anyway, at least not all of them.

I could fill volumes here. I have been threatened with Jail by the government, received death threats, legal threats, and the whole box and dice over the years. It is very hard to be all things to all people. many times i felt like chucking it in, but you hang in because you know you are really helping alot of people. Most people, are in essence, decent and good. God help us should it get to be the other way around!

One thing I do know is that more than a few people have some strange ideas about just what constitutes 'free speech'.

This is the first online dicussion forum I have signed up to since I founded my own in 1997.

Its a dirty job but someone had to do it! Good onya George! I tips me lid to you.

It's pretty high profile in Thailand, running a forum of this size, and I bet the admins get a lot of stick and abuse. Since the interview there has been a fair bit in the follow-up comments section. But perhaps a little like TV, a blog is not a democracy, more of a benevolent dictatorship - I screen comments before publishing, so tough luck on those detractors making crude and blatantly defamatory comments about individuals at TV via the backdoor. Constructive criticism ok, but not attacks on individuals; clearly the posters doing this failed to read the points made by George's lawyers about the law of defamation in Thailand.

I've been admin of a niche charity fund-raising forum for a few years, you even get hassled there!

Edited by wedders
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I think that you might consider that many people scroll through TV on most topics. They may all have an opinion but sometimes, like me. they may get too insensed by some of the moronic posts that do occur occassionaly and they may write something inappropriate if done while still angry. On many issues the posts are credible and some are humorous but the number of vitriolic posts sicken me sometimes. so I opt for not sending a post on many issues.

I can well understand this, and feel the same way sometimes (often?), but I personally think this reaction needs to be weighed up against the need to 'give something back'. That is to try and put back in (at least as much) useful info as is gained via the time/efforts of other contributors. I see some members really give a lot (not just volume but quality info), but a lot of others seem to join to post their one or two questions (75% of which could have been answered with a google search alone) ... presumably read the replies then b*&&^-off with no thanks or subsequent feedback that might in turn help others.

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Interesting interview on the whole, although no real dark secrets were revealed, when I saw the link I was hoping for something a bit more probing! :) The stuff about defamation was a bit of an eye-opener, and explains a lot of the moderating decisions.

Anyway, I know these were probably just throwaway comments, but I disagree with this in the intro:

...it has its promoters and detractors; it is loved and hated, envied and dismissed, praised and sneered at. No one is indifferent. Virtually every farang in the country with an Internet connection, whether or not they contribute directly, checks out the threads now and again. (They may pretend they don’t ;-)

Of all the farrangs I know in Thailand, the majority of them have heard of Thaivisa, but know very little about it. They will have perhaps just had a cursory glance at the forum every now and then, but will have never posted or read the site in depth. Certainly you'd say they are "indifferent" though, to refer to the quote above.

After these indifferent types, I'd say the next biggest group haven't the faintest idea what ThaiVisa is.

Then, a few people will have made a small scattering of posts, maybe half a dozen or so, perhaps when they had a specific question to ask, and then maybe posted a few replies to that question.

Finally, I know of only one person who's made anything like a large amount of posts - a friend of mine who's posted a few hundred times.

So, for me to have over 2,000 posts is very unusual among the expats I've come across here.

These people with several thousand posts - where are you all hiding? (Well, indoors posting on Thaivisa I guess!)

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Do you really have a CLUE about all of us ? You reported that the 15 day visa had gone to only 4 trips. It was all BS

:) Outstanding first post.

I gotta ask, WHO are you talking to & WHAT has it got to do with the topic of this thread?

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dantilley, you could be right, though most English-speaking farangs "with an internet connection" that I know are aware of the forum, and check it out now and again. Of course some have other priorities here in LOS :)

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Of all the farrangs I know in Thailand, the majority of them have heard of Thaivisa, but know very little about it. They will have perhaps just had a cursory glance at the forum every now and then, but will have never posted or read the site in depth. Certainly you'd say they are "indifferent" though, to refer to the quote above.

After these indifferent types, I'd say the next biggest group haven't the faintest idea what ThaiVisa is.

I agree.Thai Visa as the name implies is primarily geared at those expatriates that voluntarily decided -many after having come on holiday here- to spend time long term in Thailand as opposed to being sent here by companies or governments.A related point not made so far is that the majority of expatriates legally working with appropriate visas and permits generally have these requirements looked after by their company's HR department at one level or secretary at another.I can assure you that most of this group will never have heard of Thai Visa, although that may be changing with The Nation link up.Personally I think Thai Visa is a wonderful resource which could expand further by adjusting its visa runner image (look at the quality of the advertisers which tells you everything on this score) and becoming a genuine forum for all expatriates including the higher earning elite.This would probably involve a change of name.The commercial advantages would be quickly apparent with sponsors and advertisers keen to tap a better educated and more affluent audience.

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Ga-gai and garro the pair of you sometimes talk a load of rubbish, why don't the pair of you roll over and let the locals rub your tummy while you both wag your tails.

If neither of you have any complaints about the country then I suggest you have very low expectations of life.

I've traveled the around the world some since when I was 20 years old. I've been traveling as backpacker, regular tourist and for work duties. Seen a lot of different cultures and in periods even been living among natives in unknown corners of the world.

The truth is that I didn't have any high expectations on this country at all, when I decided to move here. On the contrary, I've been amazed how well everything work in a third world developing country like this. Moving to a place with low initial expectations is probably the key to success and happiness where ever you go. Everything that is above your low expectations, is a positive thing. A bonus. And besides... This country didn't come to me. I did come here on my own free will.

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jayboy, I suppose my point is that anyone who googles regularly, who is involved with/interested in Thailand, is very likely to come across a Thaivisa thread in the top 10 search results at some point.

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It was interesting to note the ThaiVisa legal advisor's comment that being able to prove that a comment made (in an article, etc) was true, was not in itself an adequate defence against defamation. This goes a long way towards explaining the lack of anything approaching investigative journalism in the Nation or the BB Post ... and the true state of democracy that exists here

There's nothing new in this concept. In Australia truth alone is not a defence to defamation. All Australian journalists know of the ridiculous situation concerning libel and defamation laws down there and they have been used in the past for people to hide behind and seek compensation through the courts for comments that were true but failed on the test of public interest or public benefit.

One of the significant differences between bloggers and journalists is that topics such as defamation are included as part of the professional training for journalists, whereas bloggers just pound out what they want without any regard for laws - or often the reliability of their sources.

Posting the requirements here in Thailand is dam_n good idea and anyone posting on TV should frequent themselves with the laws in force here.

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KUDOS to TV for setting THE standard of representing foreigners in Thailand...

Perhaps the stated 60% silent majority will be encouraged to also engage more now

Seconded.

And I hope there will be more engagement - sensible engagement - too.

Geerge also explained the reasoning behind some of the moderation decisions, which was helpful. If that had been made clear before it might have stopped some of the justified antagonism against them.

And george made the point that he is the final arbiter (which is correct) and can always be emailed if a mod is getting perhaps a little heavyhanded.

So that is the way. Either use the report button or copy and paste any mod communication to george.

He is actually a very fair guy.

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I have a brilliant brainstorming idea, .....given people often comment nostalgically on the old days, why not issue a George pardon to all banned members and reset all current member penalties to zero. It could be done on some auspicious anniversary. It would make everyone go 'O, I wasn't expecting that'.

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KUDOS to TV for setting THE standard of representing foreigners in Thailand...

Perhaps the stated 60% silent majority will be encouraged to also engage more now

Seconded.

And I hope there will be more engagement - sensible engagement - too.

Surely you jest, as I did.

Even a good parasite wouldn't destroy its hosts (....?)

Yet hope springs eternal- no matter how unlikely.

Again, congrats to TV for becoming the leading representative of Expats in Thailand, and for setting 'THE' standards to represent- set by self and the tone presented.

Edited by baht&sold
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I have a brilliant brainstorming idea, .....given people often comment nostalgically on the old days, why not issue a George pardon to all banned members and reset all current member penalties to zero. It could be done on some auspicious anniversary. It would make everyone go 'O, I wasn't expecting that'.

:)

You really think its advisable to bring back all those banned Nike shoe spammers?

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I have a brilliant brainstorming idea, .....given people often comment nostalgically on the old days, why not issue a George pardon to all banned members and reset all current member penalties to zero. It could be done on some auspicious anniversary. It would make everyone go 'O, I wasn't expecting that'.

It would be like inviting the Talban back into the government of Afghanistan. Can you imagine how resentful all of the folks at Geek-Door would get when you had to throw them all off again? Maybe better to leave well enough alone. :)

Edited by Ulysses G.
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Isn't that the beauty of Pardons though, that they come out of the blue and come after someone has been through a long convoluted process of being penalised in the first place.

And if Thailand can do it for people who commit the gravest offences to public morality, well ....it can't hurt to emulate the big heartedness of an entire nation.

Would people re-offend? I don't know. Would that Aussie guy who just got his pardon after his ill-fated book write a sequel? Doubt it. If he did, he'd be back in clink.

There's arguments for and against.

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actually, please email support (at) thaivisa.com if you have issues with a moderator.

Yes I think we would accept that and I would revise my post (78) accordingly.

On one occasion I actually pm'd a mod rather thab take a formal stance but got no reply

Despite that I think the procedure should be:

1. Pm the mod to give him/her the opportunity to justify or respond privately. This could then possibly be the end of the matter

2 If that doesnt work, as you say email support (at) thaivisa.com

3. As George says email him directly.

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