Online groups

Forum: Let people have a say before they're kicked out

There are social groups online for hikers, campers, cyclists, cooking enthusiasts, overseas travellers, mountaineers and many others.

People are free to join any group of their choice if they share the same interest. But more often than not, the groups are run by individuals who act as prosecutor, jury and judge.

They set rules that all members are expected to follow. If the administrator deems that you have stepped out of line, your name is deleted without notice and you cannot question why you have been kicked out of the group or explain yourself.

Natural justice requires that a person receive a fair and unbiased hearing before a decision is made.

There must be adequate notice, some form of recourse and no bias.

This means that any decision, however fair it may seem, is invalid if it is made by a person with any interest in the outcome or any known bias that might have affected his impartiality.

And a decision cannot stand unless the person directly affected by it was given a chance to state his case and to know and answer the other side's case.

I am disappointed that these administrators seem to be acting according to their whims and fancies.

Heng Cho Choon

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 01, 2020, with the headline 'Let people have a say before they're kicked out'. Print Edition | Subscribe