How easy is it for websites ( including ratemds) to allow freedom of speech without enabling online abuse ?

I feel that in certain situations the anonymity provided by the internet enables bullying.
- for example , while surfing youtube I came across some very hateful and lewd comments . I contacted youtube but they refused to take them down claiming that "they did not violate youtube policies"; they only erased the comments containing the words " kill him" or " kill them all".
- in a similar yet different line, I also browsed several professional websites and felt that some ratings were v malicious or suspicious .

Is it also that the current legislation does not allow website devs to fully control this issue?
Is it that there still is grey area between freedom of speech or abuse?
-I have an interest in this topic but lack the expertise so I would be keen to hear ppl's views.

Solutions to what problems?

Solutions to what problems? Can you point out specific cases of cyber bullying on this site?

I just edited my previous

I just edited my previous post I felt that some of my statements were a bit strong .

I am unable to give specific examples of ratings as they would point to specific professionals .
I can refer to a couple of threads started in this forum , as they provide the names and details of the targeted professionals . For example :
1. thread named " Dr X , dentist from hell"
2. thread named " Dr Y incompetent , unethical ...."

I do not know those professionals so I cannot express a personal opinion. I have the following issue with these types of threads : :
- If someone has concerns about a professional , he/she should post his comments in the individual ratings system or he should lay a complaint with the professional regulatory agencies.
- Or if someone wants to name a particular individual, he/she should be run by the moderator before considering making it public . Sometimes
people can become angry or a bit impulsive and post comments that were not well thought through .
- Or they can be deliberate. In this case ,quite ironic that these forum members had the courage to name the professionals and initiate what one might consider an attack on the reputation or even a campaign against these professionals . On the other hand , the same forum members lacked the courage to reveal their identity for well-known reasons

jsjs wrote: I just edited my

jsjs wrote:

I just edited my previous post I felt that some of my statements were a bit strong .

I am unable to give specific examples of ratings as they would point to specific professionals .
I can refer to a couple of threads started in this forum , as they provide the names and details of the targeted professionals . For example :
1. thread named " Dr X , dentist from hell"
2. thread named " Dr Y incompetent , unethical ...."

You still haven't cited any examples. If these two threads can be searched in the forum, just provide the links.

jsjs wrote:

I do not know those professionals so I cannot express a personal opinion. I have the following issue with these types of threads : :
- If someone has concerns about a professional , he/she should post his comments in the individual ratings system or he should lay a complaint with the professional regulatory agencies.

I think too many threads on individuals are initiated in the Medical and Doctor Related forum when they may be better suited as a response to a rating. However, there are instances where an event pertaining to a practitioner is news and regarded in the public interest.

jsjs wrote:

- Or if someone wants to name a particular individual, he/she should be run by the moderator before considering making it public .

No unmoderated forum would facilitate such a procedure. "Moderated" forums, where posts are pre-approved do so, and it can be quite labour intensive. Even then, moderators have no way of being able to interpret the authenticity of content.

jsjs wrote:

- Or they can be deliberate. In this case ,quite ironic that these forum members had the courage to name the professionals and initiate what one might consider an attack on the reputation or even a campaign against these professionals . On the other hand , the same forum members lacked the courage to reveal their identity for well-known reasons

I'm going to venture that you may be surprised that a good deal of negative ratings are from doctors' competition.

Thank you for clarifying this

Thank you for clarifying this for me. I am new to online forums so I made some uninformed assumptions about how they work or should work .
Here are some specifics as requested :

1. Comments about doctor's competence ( recent or old)
Dr Mehrdod Parsa Sedation Dentistry dentist from hell
Dr. Eve Bruce, incompetent, unethical plastic ssurgeon
Dr Robert McMullen, unethical psychiatrist in NYC and Mt. Kisco ought to be prosecuted
Rating Feedback for Dr. Pousti (447349)
Rating Feedback for Dr. Tsui (1082548)

Just clarifying that I am not referring to the forum mods / admins : I saw that they deleted some of these threads and kept the ones that had an appropriate balance of positive or negative comments.
I am having an issue with the clients who posted these comments. I saw a couple of similar threads initiated by patients who believed that they lost a relative due to medical misadventure - these are entirely appropriate. But for God's sake, nobody dies because of a tooth extraction or plastic surgery etc.!! Just calm down and express your views in an appropriate manner - contact regulatory agencies or post a negative review.

2. I see this one as being a more serious issue : naming specific professionals and accusing them of writing their own reviews - without evidence
. For ex, a user mentioned a Dr Akaja on 3 separate occasions I am quoting 2 :
-Looks like Ajaka has a team of people writing fake reviews.
-Dr Akaja manipulating RateMDs ?

Examples of more appropriate comments :
- Glowing Reviews. Not that I'm skeptical, but does there not seem to be an awful lot of glowing reviews being ... it be that the doctors and their families, are posting their own series of reviews. ( no names mentioned)
-I rated a dr once on here, not a great rating-well immediately two ratings popped up about how ... themselves if they wish(no names)

3. I think that more than 90% of the comments made on this website are appropriate. But some people do cross the line . This site gives a lot of power to patients and to other people ,and they should use it responsibly . I am not trying to side with the health providers that were targeted; I think that the same principle should apply to the setting in which the provider is the one that holds the power ( ie hospitals , assessments for ACC etc).

Ahhh, perhaps now we are

Ahhh, perhaps now we are getting to the bottom of you jsjs. Are you affiliated with Dr Joseph Ajaka? Perhaps have a good look at the rating and comment on Dr Ajaka from "unhappy cosmos customer". After giving a detailed, honest account of what she had been through, Dr Ajaka phoned her to defend and argue with her over what he did - although suddenly feigning concern a year after no contact with the patient, possibly prompted by seeing her rating Smiling. The next minute there is a post saying "this person must have gone to a different clinic". This looks suspect to even the most naïve of people - and we are all naïve if we believe there aren't cases of doctors setting up positive reviews on sites.

The trouble for Dr Ajaka is that Unhappy Cosmos Customer had the guts to defend herself against the false claim that perhaps she went somewhere else and not to Dr Ajaka!

Second, people CAN die from visiting the dentist or getting cosmetic surgery - in fact we had a liposuction case in Australia where a young, healthy lady died.

Third, when you suddenly see "rating under review" against all the negative postings on a Dr it certainly may be construed that the Dr, or an agent for that Dr, may have been in contact with ratemds in an attempt to get the negative ratings removed. If so, it is a blatant attempt at trying to skew ratings that I for one think it's fair the Dr is called out on it. It's different if just one negative rating is questioned - but not all of them.

By the way you say "a user" has called out Dr Ajaka on organising fake reviews. My reading is it is 3 DIFFERENT users - and I for one have been in contact with Unhappy Cosmos Customer as we had not dissimilar experiences with Cosmos Clinic liposuction. When you have been through the trauma caused by less than satisfactory cosmetic surgery it helps to speak with others that are in the same position. And speaking to other Cosmos ex-patients it seems some were entices by the glowing reviews of Cosmos Clinic on other "less professional" sites that are little more than advertising sites (thankfully NSW fair trading is now looking into these sites and the issue of doctors posting fake reviews).

Finally, there's no way an allegation of fake review writing is anywhere near as bad as the other examples you raise - eg. "dentist from hell", "incompetent unethical plastic surgeon" etc. Do you really feel that? If so, why do you cast questions over whether others are making fake negative reviews (and blaming your ex-staff)??

So jsjs, would you like to reveal whether or not you have any sort of association with Dr Ajaka?

This is getting a bit

This is getting a bit paranoid . I only picked up Dr .Ajaka as an arbitrary most recent example of someone being accused of false reviews - wish I picked smn else . I have no clue who Dr Ajaka is I am not affiliated with him he is not my ex-staff and my IP address shows clearly that I live in a different country . I doubt that ratemd would put themselves at legal risk doing what you suggested ; in fact, I am starting to empathize with them I see that some patients accused them of deleting negative reviews, one or 2 doctors accused them of not deleting them, damned if you do , damned if you don't.

I am not making judgements on whether Dr. Ajaka posted or not fake reviews as , I say again, I have no clue who he is and I did not meet any of his patients . I am also not trying to dismiss your accounts of your personal experiences as from reading them they seem plausible and extremely unpleasant .
What I was trying to say is that people should have more evidence to back them up before publicly making such claims. Or, if they feel so strongly about these issues they should try other pathways for example legal avenues before jumping into public shaming .

jsjs wrote: ...some people

jsjs wrote:

...some people do cross the line . This site gives a lot of power to patients and to other people, and they should use it responsibly...

From what I can see, the power is in the hands of the people who are called to be medical experts. Competent, ethical medical experts are necessary for justice and a safer healthcare system.

The voice of the patient matters, and that voice must be heard, but it needs to be heard by competent ethical medical experts who are held accountable for the opinions they provide. I would like to see a place where the patient's voice truly mattered and where healthcare professionals truly cared about the health and well-being of patients.

Does that place exist anywhere on earth?

Or is it just in heaven?

Competent, ethical medical experts can take us to a place where patient safety matters; where healthcare professionals' reputations matter; where the well-being of all matters.

They need to take us there.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4zDeeZHEng

That could be tough

That could be tough challenging. For example, is truth abusive?
The same types of truth are often put in patient records.
Patients can be ruined by such comments in their records far more than doctors can by their ratings on a website, yet patients don't have the advantages of doctors, whereby they can see their ratings, particularly if they are insulting, condemning, accusing, scandalous, demeaning, and/or erroneous.

You are right , and I've

You are right , and I've heard of such things as well. It's good that such sites exist because they give people a voice and tip the power balance a bit
.
I think I did not convey clearly what I was getting at .

From what friends and (nice) health professionals tell me , they do not fear patients as much ; they found that patients are willing to forgive the occasional human mistake provided that the health professional was generally competent and especially caring .
They said that in general patients prefer to complain against uncaring , ruthless health professionals.

My only concern about these sites is that they can be misused.
- For ex, most people are generally fair and nice but occasionally you encounter " the patient from hell" who likes to complain against everyone and everything and to make their lives miserable( ie posting several reviews from different computers, ipads etc)
- Or: re Problematic health professionals: these individuals do not only target patients with their abuse or subtle bullying ; they target some of their colleagues as this is safer ( complaints likely to succeed with Overseeing Authorities are from patients not from colleagues). Easy for them to target someone by posting fake reviews etc. I've seen and heard of some awful behaviours I dont think this is impossible.

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