CarerWatch Discussion Forum Taken Down

 
UPDATE
22nd August
Letter to Atos Legal Department
 
We are sorry to have to announce that the CarerWatch discussion forum is currently unavailable and that we cannot get in touch with all members for the moment.
 
We have been informed by our hosting company that we are under threat of legal action by ATOS and have therefore been taken down.
 
As we were not contacted directly by ATOS and have received no complaints we are unaware of any issues causing concerns.
 
We will therefore be writing to ATOS to try and resolve this problem.
 
Any updates will be posted here and if any members would like to hear more about what is happening please contact us at admin@carerwatch.com
 
Meanwhile don’t worry – the group will soon be back – and you can continue to discuss issues on this blog, our Facebook page and Twitter
 
 
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42 Responses to “CarerWatch Discussion Forum Taken Down”

  1. charles47 Says:

    Surprising that the board owners caved in first without insisting ATOS go to you first.

    Obviously you got under their skin. For which well done and keep at it!

  2. malka Says:

    so much for free speech………….

  3. Cheryl Says:

    ATOS lol obviously they don’t give a toss aboutthe right of free speech.

  4. WokStation Says:

    Rehost in a country where UK law doesn’t reach. Then ATOSsers can go to hell.

  5. Rob Kay Says:

    Big guys like ATOS dont beat up little groups like CW unless they are running scared. They just dropped a huge clanger, and they will live to bitterly regret it.

  6. DWP Examination Says:

    They got us too but thanks to Phil at Black Triangle we are back up again. Dont let them win, free speech rules.

  7. After Atos Says:

    Make a note, and we After Atos found they usually attack over the weekend making you psychologically suffer and cutting you off. dwpexamination forum went yesterday and BT server got attacked. So everyone take note and keep eyes out and keepa list of any similar things. A list of such things has to ask the question How many disabled sites and forums does Atos have legal actions against? Have to share info on this. Keep eyes peeled and on your guard and any funny things with Facebook. like posts not posting or communications and friends cut off.

  8. IconicImagery Says:

    Actually I think that says more about the crappy hosting company than it does Atos. …

  9. jl Says:

    This is unbelievable,what did the last world war get fought for?I know people will say that this view is old hat but all those boys and men who died for us to be free and now we are being controlled by a French Internet company ———-employed by our own government who are betraying their own people!It smacks of policies used in opressive regimes like Saudi,Syria and China,fear,censorship,lies and attacking the weak,sick and vulnerable !
    What would our forefathers say about their sacrifice for this country if they could see our government gagging people’s rights to be free to talk,paying a company to give them a miraculous clean bill of health and intimidating and bullying like this?

  10. nerd8192 Says:

    I would like to help if I can, I have a web server which is based in the US….

  11. Atos moves to shut down criticism | Tentacles of doom Says:

    [...] have also shut down a support forum for carers, CarerWatch, by contacting their server host directly and having it taken down. This has removed a vital [...]

  12. ken Says:

    Have you written to the hosting company asking for a copy of all correspondance from ATOS to them?
    Its only fair, if the hosting company are going to take you down, they provide a copy of ATOS’s complaint.

    ATOS should also provide you with complete, specific details of the alledged breaches, so you can investigate, and if they are not true, is it not possible for legal action to be taken against ATOS?

  13. Indigo Jo Says:

    ATOS were able to do this because in the UK, web hosting companies are liable for defamation suits stemming from what their customers put on their websites. They have no interest in fighting your corner as the cost of legal action would vastly outweigh the cost if losing your business. Anyone hosting content of a controversial nature is well advised to host it offshore. Mine is in the USA.

    • Lee melon Says:

      According to Press reports the hosting companies that Atos are having success with are all in the USA, not the UK.

      • CreativeCrip Says:

        And looking at a few the actual hosting companies – they were bad choices from the off, not one would make my list of recommendations to potential clients. Free or cheap saves money but they are the first to cave under the slightest threat to their bottom line. My recommendations are always N. American based, barring that would be the Netherlands or Iceland.

  14. Dawn Says:

    I am aware of five other websites/discussion forums that have been threatened with libel action by Atos, although evidence is needed to prove it.

    In my view this is threatening behaviour and an attempt to stop freedom of speech, so I will be contacting my MP to bring it to his attention, when I have gathered the evidence.

    The last statement I read from;
    Lord Freud “Enabling legislation for the personal independence payment is contained in the Welfare Reform Bill, which is before Parliament now.
    It would be inappropriate to speculate whether the assessment required to deliver the personal independence payment would be awarded to Atos Healthcare or any other named provider”.

    Please take the time to read through the number of issues raised in parliament about Atos.

    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/search/?s=Atos

  15. The perils of hosting political content in the UK | Indigo Jo Blogs Says:

    [...] Atos moves to shut down criticism | Tentacles of doom (also see Carer Watch) [...]

  16. harpymarx Says:

    As ken says it is worth asking for a copy of all correspondence from Atos and the hosts? This is utterly shocking, and with private companies being allowed into the public sector expect more attacks on debate and free speech :(

  17. Parsifal Says:

    I would be questioning how ATOS has accessed comments posted in a closed forum, the only explanations are that either you have not set your permissions correctly and they are open to public view, this does not appear to be the case, or ATOS has staff members or an organisation tasked to infiltrate closed boards where necessary and monitor closed as well as open forums which might contain material which is critical of ATOS’ operations.

    I am no legal expert but the fact that ATOS has approached the web hosting organisations rather than the board admins would suggest that they do not have a strong case and that they are aware that a web host is likely to immediately take down a board rather than first investigate and if the allegations prove true, which I very much doubt they would in the case of carerwatch, possibly face court proceedings.

    When you are up and running again, which I am sure that you soon will be, can I suggest that you make regular back-up copies of the board so that if ATOS attempts this again you are able immediately to check the validity of their allegations, I would also routinely log off and check that all forums are hidden and keep an eye on your membership.

    This action by ATOS, which seems entirely disproportionate to any threat to their reputation particulary in the light of recent criticism by the select committee, large welfare rights organisations and certain sections of the press, has the makings of a huge PR disaster for ATOS, no-one likes a bully, in particular no-one likes a corporate bully, one can only hope that this gets the publicity which it deserves.

  18. Atos moves to shut down criticism » DPAC Says:

    [...] have also shut down a support forum for carers, CarerWatch, by contacting their server host directly and having it taken down. This has removed a vital [...]

  19. Statement from #CarerWatch Discussion Forum re: #ATOS #mhuk #disability | Dawn Willis sharing the News & Views of the Mentally Wealthy Says:

    [...] http://carerwatch.wordpress.com/2011/08/21/carerwatch-discussion-forum-taken-down/ Share This News!!!!StumbleUponDiggRedditTwitterFacebookEmailPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in News, Views, All Topics. Bookmark the permalink. [...]

  20. Gagging criticism part deux « Harpymarx Says:

    [...] you gagged if you criticise them however minor, discuss them on forums and so on. Look at what has happened to CarerWatch. These private companies have a tendency to go straight to the host without going to the forum/blog [...]

  21. malka Says:

    very sound stuff, we need to be on the offensive not the defensive they are corporate bullies…………….this is why so many disabled and sick people are being driven to despair………….make this public…

  22. dave neenhan Says:

    Actually its great news as its concrete evidence that ATOS management is on the defensive and not thinking or acting rationally as the C&D’s and pressure on hosting companies to take down critical blogs – the Department of Health has done this too by the way – just sends a very loud and clear message that the cutting criticism and publicly minded exposure of corporate fraud & wrongdoing is really hurting ATOS.

    Keep it up and find a decent hosting company and mirror sites /forums and distribute info as widely as you can. ATOS latest scandal widget, etc.

  23. BLACK TRIANGLE ANTI-DEFAMATION CAMPAIGN IN DEFENCE OF DISABILITY RIGHTS Says:

    http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=281:

    Article 21 – Freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information

    States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that persons with disabilities can exercise the right to freedom of expression and opinion, including the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas on an equal basis with others and through all forms of communication of their choice, as defined in article 2 of the present Convention, including by:

    c) Urging private entities that provide services to the general public, including through the Internet, to provide information and services in accessible and usable formats for persons with disabilities;

    d) Encouraging the mass media, including providers of information through the Internet, to make their services accessible to persons with disabilities;

    Solidarity!

    Black Triangle
    Anti-Defamation Campaign
    In Defence of Disability Rights

  24. carerwatch Says:

    Received via email

    “”I hope you manage to get this resolved, as a carer I appreciate all you are doing,
    stay strong, bit of a mantra for carers
    Best regards Patricia”

    “”Keep up the good fight, Mark””

    “”Hope you can resolve this. Contacting my MP to help raise awareness “”

  25. Atos Origin vs the internet – stop Atos censorsing the web! | the void Says:

    [...] CarerWatch forum, which is an online meeting place for thousands of disabled people and carers has been taken offline by the hosting company after legal threats made by Atos Origin regarding unspecified comments made on the forum.   Atos [...]

  26. carerwatch Says:

    via email

    “Dear Carer Watch,

    Just to let you know, many best wishes are sent to you from friends on facebook, from many disabled, carers and families and many of the other disabled sites, profiles and forums that are set up and running at this time.

    Please keep strong and let us know how things are and what the actual legal challenge was and what it objected too?

    Yours

    AA Aunty Admin

  27. Careless Carer Says:

    What a pity website not hosted by Google’s Blogger I don’t believe they would have just closed you down without any prior discussion – if at all.

    I’d be inclined to take my web page elsewhere “Freedom of Speech”

    With a bit of luck this could go viral on Twitter

  28. Atos Healthcare Accuses Online Critics Of Libel | eWEEK Europe UK Says:

    [...] and their unpaid family carers – via the site’s server host. According to a post on the CarerWatch blog, the website administrators have not been contacted directly by Atos and are unaware of any issues [...]

  29. Parsifal Says:

    Well done for getting ATOS’ removal of the Carer Watch forum into Community Care and the Morning Star online, both of which contain the following statement by an ATOS spokesperson:

    “While we fully support the right of people to express their opinions, it is our duty to protect the reputation of our employees and company against false and malicious allegations.

    “In such circumstances, we will look to take any necessary steps to ensure that these unsupported claims are addressed swiftly and appropriately.”

    I note that ATOS has not given the administrators of Carer Watch an opportunity to substantiate the posts which led to ATOS’ allegation that the forum contained: “false and malicious allegations” before having the board removed and making the above statement, no doubt the ATOS legal team will provide Carer Watch with the evidence it has of the “unsupported claims” in order to substantiate this statement, failure to do so could lead to suspicion that the spokesperson’s statement cannot itself be substantiated and could therefore be construed as false.

  30. malka Says:

    Let’s see if ATOS can substantiate their claims…………even if they can they should not be able to shut carerswatch or any other site down, just because they can….Bullies through and through….

  31. P Benson Says:

    The only way Atos could have viewed the board in my opinion was join Carerwatch as a member.
    Carerwatch is not a site for Atos members.They should keep their noses out.
    The DWP must be paying them far to much if they can afford to have people monitoring the internet and joining closed groups.
    I know Atos are a IT company,they probably have web crawlers looking for certain words.

  32. Anony Says:

    Stay strong CarerWatch. Don’t let the b*stards grind you down.

    Atos have behaved absolutely appallingly. But the truth will always out on the internet. Look at how those superinjunctions failed.

    My advice is to write to Private Eye with the full story. They know no fear in these matters.

  33. Discussions with Atos « Carer Watch's Blog Says:

    [...] As most readers of this blog will know Carerwatch discussion forum was taken down last week. Full details here. [...]

  34. Atos Scandal? Which one? | DaveD's Blog Says:

    [...] be ignored. The company appears to be on a crusade to shut down any website that raises concerns. A private forum has been taken down, leaving many disabled people and their carers feeling vulnerable and alone. [...]

  35. DaveD Says:

    I wonder why the think heavy-handed censorship is a good idea? It never works these days.

  36. toiract Says:

    Perhaps blog hosts should not take their instructions to close a site down until they get issued with a legal notice from a court of law.
    This is a similar panic reaction as to that of a police spokesperson demanding the closure of a particular site a few months ago.

    The way to counter this is to ensure that your discussion groups comments are well spread out to other interested sites.

    Take advice too about moving to another host if this one does not let your discussion groups air their views.

    Carer’s save the state a great deal of money by enabling people to remain in their own homes and should not have to put up with this sort of threat from a company whose toes want trimming. Especially one that is enriching itself by treating the sick and disabled in such an appalling manner.

  37. Stop Atos From Censoring the Web! | Disinformation Says:

    [...] Carer Watch forum, which is an online meeting place for hundreds of disabled people and carers has been taken offline by the hosting company after legal threats made by Atos Origin regarding unspecified comments made on the forum. Atos [...]

  38. Well Actually Says:

    The charity Sense About Science has a publication called “So you’ve had a threatening letter. What can you do?”

    Although it was written with science writers and bloggers in mind, it is still a useful read for those Atos campaigners who have been threatened by Atos. In it are such gems as the claiment (e.g. Atos) must specifically say which words it considers defamatory – and why. Just saying something undefined is libellous is not enough.

    Often generic threats of libel are made in the hope that they will shut people up. Standing up to the bullies is often enough to make those threats vanish. To those campaigning against Atos – get informed!

    Guide: “So you’ve had a threatening letter. What can you do?”

    http://www.senseaboutscience.org/data/files/resources/59/So-youve-had-a-threatening-letter-FINAL.pdf

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  40. CarerWatch Discussion Forum Taken Down | Adult Care Blog Says:

    [...] carers, has been taken down due to a threat of legal action by ATOS healthcare.CarerWatch has said it is unable to get in touch with all members for the moment because contact details were lost in the sudden [...]

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