How can people feel safe using yahoo message boards for what they were designed, when they have their freedom of speech threatened if they use one wrong wording or make one critical comment? How does one define what is allowed and what is not? The only 'code of conduct' ie yahoo TOS/disclaimer is way too cumbersome. These baord were designed as an informal excahnge of ideas about a company, not as some legally correct gospel of facts to be pored over by lawyers.
Why should analysts have the right to express opinions which can severely effect a companies stock price and affect the wealth of millions and then also have the right to prevent their views being shared and criticised after they have released them into the public arena? are they 'above' criticism- can they not be held to any standards?
Is a huge corporation really so impotent that they cannot defend their actions by pointing to performance graphs or admitting occasional errors and have to try to 'gag' and intimidate individuals by using their vast financial resources to start mega law suits which few individuals could hope to have the resources to fight?
Why doesnt yahoo better police the boards for obvious TOS violations and enforce a more rigorous code of conduct? if CSFB can sue for libel, will we soon see individual posters sueing each other for libel over message board disagreements? where will it all end? Does CSFB really believe that people all take evry post they rad on a message board as gospel and are unable to dissiminate information and make their own judgement call on what is fair and what is not? Do we really need the message board police and money hungry legal teams a la Soviet Union to rule these public forums with the threat of ruin hanging over anyone who steps out of line and criticizes what they belive is a bad call by a broker or bad performance by a company?
If anyone thought people such as myself and razor were being paranoid when we have suggested in the past that these boards are monitored by companies/influential people, then this story and other recent tales of bashers being sued should shake off this complacency.
If the posters had been residents of Iraq posting from within that country rather than US and Irish citizens, would they have been allowed to get away with the same or worse comments to the ELN board while the US citizens were traced and sued for a million dollars each? The information would still be available for people to read the same wherever the poster's origin? surely in an intenet world old laws/legal conformities are largely out of date/ need major modification. How can murderers and psychos be allowed to walk the streets while people who in the vast majority of their posts concentrated on giving top quality info to fellow investors regarding a stock, face ruin? (continued)
So many questions, so few answers- i'd love to read anyone elses views on this matter. Sorry to stray off topic again, but I think this is a matter of some urgency for anyone who uses the internet or truly believes in freedom of speech to consider?
My personal response to all this- well let's just say I won't be requiring CSFB's services anytime in the near future- some of the posts by people on the ELN board may well have been out of order/poorly phrased/erroneous/overly critical and perhaps should have been deleted by yahoo or had the offenders nudged to be more careful about future posts- but this is ridiculous. These investment banks and brokers have almost all of the odds stacked in their favour especially after this long bull market, most of them are rolling in dollars- often gained through mediocre performance, yet a company still feels the need to use all of their might to try to frighten the little men and put themselves on some apparent plane of excellence where their research is the work of god and cannot be debated- Perhaps the brokerage industry should be asked more questions, like are they personally faithfully holding all the stocks they rank as 'holds' and why they regularly downgrade stocks only after they have already lost half of their value or more? oh sorry i forgot, the truth can hurt can't it.
But at the end of the day, it is us the individuals who are responsible through our actions in day to day life, through our investments in mutual funds, companies and our purchases and jobs, who make these companies the titans that they are- and they should at the end of the day be answerable to us- their stockholders (either directly or through index linked/managed pension funds) and customers. We should make it clear to them( ie the likes of CSFB) when they have gone too far and abused their position of trust and power, either by boycotting their products and services or writing to management at the companies or by voting against them at shareholder meetings.
I'm thinking about posting a message of solidarity to our fellow message board posters on the ELN board to wish them luck in their fight for freedom. Nothing major, just a gesture of support, and my cheque will be in the post too if this does turn to a trial- What do you all think?
It sure is some story, and i'm convinced that this is very much all about freedom of speech and the first amendment. Is the USA about to join the failed dictatorships of the world and effectively allow freedom of speech to be stifled and to force people who want to express their own humble opinions in what they thought was a free and self enforcuing debating forum to live in fear of reprisals? I certainly hope not. America is great- remember July 4th and all of the wars- remember what America fought for, because the very principal is being challenged right before your very eyes by a major foreign banking/broking institution.
Now i must stop and go to bed because im starting to sound like kahlmy! lol
Take care all, and enjoy your freedom. It's precious.
Your ideas and perspective seem much more effective than my boycott of tea.
We all do business with brokerages houses, mutual funds co's, banks, and insurance companies. Perhaps we should inquire if they are supporting CSFB is their current actions, either directly or by their custom. Perhaps we need a CSFB-free zone for individual investors.
The Internet has changed all that, and many of these companies are furious that critical comments, adverse information, and other assorted revelations are flowing freely.
Yes, mgmt does monitor these boards (or pays someone to do it for them). We should all be concerned whenever a corporate megalith decides it has the right and power to surpress legitimate discussion and freedom of expression.
Long Live the Elan Eleven ! Everyone send an ounce of Dog Sh*t to CSFB !