Sunday 19 April 2020

UK Detectorist Don't Want Visitors Reading about What They do [UPDATED]

"Remember that [...] you are an
ambassador  for our hobby. Do nothing
that might give it a bad name. Never miss
n opportunity to explain your hobby to anyone who asks about it."

Most British metal detectorist forums do not like people seeing what they are up to, they are members only. One however 'UK and European Metal Detecting Forum (MDF)' for many years decided that "responsible artefact hunters" should have nothing to hide and what their members were writing would be not only of public interest, encourage more people to join the hobby, and also be beyond reproach. They therefore kept everything their members were writing fully visible to the public.

In cases where the discussion on the MDF Forum was revealing rather too much about the ethos of the hobby, the moderators sometimes deleted awkward posts, locked the thread (preventing further additions being made) or deleted the thread. Readers of this blog (as quite clearly the moderators of that Forum were!) will know how frequently when something visible on that forum was discussed here, the thread almost immediately disappeared over there.

Anyway Coronavirus has fixed that. Now the famous "a metal detecting forum near you", where you could see at first hand what metal detecting looks like from the inside" has slammed its doors shut in your face. Its members will pocket bits of the heritage, they'll happily use the freely available public information from archaeological reports to find unprotected sites to pilfer artefacts from, they'll graciously accept the Treasure rewards, but they'll not let you see what they are up to. It's all going to be behind closed doors now. Think about the meaning of that. Those closed doors tell you a lot about that hobby and those that do it.

Statistics today: Forum running since Sept 1st 2008 Total posts 897736 Total topics 104933 Total members 11243. Most users ever online was 2942 on Mon May 21, 2018 10:19 am.

Current usage  (based on users active over the past 60 minutes) 7 registered, 0 hidden and 348 guests. Those interested guests will no longer be able to see what is said without registering. My own registration to that forum in the past (three attempts using my own name) has never lasted more than about an hour before the moderators spotted it and cancelled it before I'd even said anything - see how much luck you have.

UPDATE 21.04.2020
The forum's moderators had to come up with an explanation of making their formerly open forum registered members only :
MDF Changes Post by mrix » Tue Apr 21, 2020 11:54 am
[...] However in these trying times with the Coronavirus situation and also not allowing ID requests its obviously going to be more quiet that usual.
We have known for countless years that far more people actually read the forums than register as members as we have always been completely open for anyone to read. In a attempt to get more of these people off the fence and hopefully contributing to the MDF any visitors now visiting the MDF will only be able to read the OP`s opening topic starter. [...] Some people will jump to conclusions and try and state we are trying to hide our content, this is completely untrue, Quite simply anyone can still register for Free and read all our content [emoticon] [...]
Anyone, Mr Rix? Paul Barford, Nigel Swift, Sam Hardy, David Gill and the Man from the Ministry too? Do you really want their contributions? Really?

No, this is a copout explanation, "we are not hiding anything from visitors, but we are hiding everything from visitors".

So here we are:
In total there are 562 users online : 56 registered, 8 hidden and 498 guests (based on users active over the past 60 minutes).
Yes, a lot of people are looking at this forum to find out what metal detecting is about. I would say that is their right. As it is their right to say something about what they see. Wouldn't you say so Mr Rix? OK, I'm game registration request on its way from Poland (it does claim to be a a UK and European metal detecting forum - and I do have a shiny yellow metal detector)... Mr Rix wrote to his members: "I simply offered the explanation just in case some members or visitors get drawn in and believe these untrue, unfounded accusations wherever they might read them over the net". "Wherever?" Mr Rix is welcome to read and reflect on what he sees on my bit of the Internet, let us see whether the feeling is mutual.

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