For the past five months, EHI Primary Care has not permitted reader comments to be posted against news items concerning TPP.
This editorial policy has created confusion and led to suggestions that EHI is biased against TPP or censoring discussion.
Neither is true. We have suspended the facility to post comments against articles concerning TPP because of two written threats of legal action by TPP over individual reader comments, which the firm alleges are damaging to it.
We have vigorously rejected such claims and we have invited TPP to engage with critics and explain their position.
At no point has the news reporting of EHI or EHI Primary Care been challenged, although TPP has complained about it on several occasions.
This is a shame, because the company has been one of the most innovative vendors in the UK health IT marketplace in recent years and we feel our coverage reflects this.
The decision to suspend reader comments on articles about TPP was made reluctantly, after careful consideration, and having taken expert legal advice.
We were unwilling to have a position whereby EHI Primary Care's functions could be compromised by the disruption and distraction of legal claims, regardless of the fact that we believed that we had done nothing wrong.
We will continue to vigorously defend the right of readers to make comments on EHI and EHI Primary Care, something we consider a valuable service to the UK health IT community.
But the threat of a potentially costly and disruptive legal action made it necessary to put in place these unique measures.
However, given the concerns raised by readers we felt it necessary to provide an explanation of our editorial position. We regret not having done so earlier.
After a five month hiatus, we are now going to try once again allowing reader comments against articles relating to TPP, but will pre-moderate such posts.
This is a process that will inevitably delay comments going live. Bear with us. We will have to err on the side of caution for the reasons outlined above, and urge readers to re-read EHI’s community rules to inform all their comments.
Where posts are not published it is because these community rules have not been followed. They can be summarised as follows: don't generalise, don’t make unsubstantiated statements, don’t libel or defame individuals or companies, don’t be offensive, be nice to others.
Should a dispute with any other party arise in the future we will be open about them and inform readers of the nature of the challenge.
We look forward to the continued expert insight and wisdom of your reader comments.
Jon Hoeksma, editor, eHealth Insider.
© 2012 EHealth Media.
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