One of the things I had to think about when I created Eventpeg was, what sort of groups should I allow – or if I should even dictate what is acceptable?
It has always amused me that sites such as meetup.com feel they have higher moral principles than the rest of us, and can decide what adults are allowed and not allowed to do.
Sure, they have the right to determine what they allow on their platform – it is theirs after all. But if you don’t like it, then don’t use it. Just because something is well known and has been around for years, doesn’t mean you have no choice but to use it.
Where do you draw the line as to what is “acceptable”?
Should I refuse a group that has a weekly “pig on a spit” barbecue because it would offend vegetarians, Jews or Muslims? Should I require that a self-help group is run by a licensed mental health practitioner? What is so wrong with people wanting a dating group? Should I refuse gay groups, or certain political or religious groups?
It seems to me that once I start deciding what consenting adults are allowed to do, I am heading down a slippery slope of playing some sort of moral judge. Unless they are doing something illegal, people should be able to do whatever they want.
Certainly, some people may find a particular group offensive to them, but that is why there is the option to make a group private or hidden. Private groups can still be found in the directory, but you cannot access any of their content, or see their events unless you join them. Hidden groups do not appear in the directory, can choose not to have an “About” page, and can be effectively invisible to anyone that has not received an invitation to join.
People are not idiots, and are quite capable of deciding for themselves whether a group is something they may be interested in. No one is going to force them to join a group if they don’t want to. As an adult, you read about what a group is offering, weigh up the pros and cons, and make up your own mind if it would suit you.
The world is a strange place and some people have weird ideas about what is fun or beneficial, but they have the same right as anyone else to offer a meet up for their idea. Political correctness and big-brother tactics often cause more problems than they prevent. No one wants to live in a “Nanny State”, where we are treated like children with no ability to look after ourselves.
So, no, I don’t want to play god and cast judgement on who can and cannot have a group on Eventpeg. If what you are doing is legal, then go for it! If I think your idea is something people would rather not know about, then you can make it a hidden group. You are then free to use all the site facilities, without anyone else knowing you even exist.
Some people may say I’m leaving myself wide open to legal liability issues, but if what you’re doing is legal and you only allow adult members, then liable for what? Let’s bring sanity back to online group sites and stop worrying about tin-plating our backsides!