Our expert says:
I would consider that I and H24 own copyright in whatever gets posted here, and that it could not be used without our consent, and we would be very cautious about the possibilty of embarrassing posters. Whatever people post here, though they are able to be anonymous, but their words are, of course, publically exposed. Our concern would be more about HOW any material was quoted, and WHAT was said about the posters. Similarly, what is said in letters to the Agony Aunts in a newspaper or magazine, is not confidential --- it has been published publically --- but you can't reprint the words without permission from the magazine / editor.
It would be hard to claim that doctor-patient conidentiality applies to these exchanges in this medium, as the basic requirements for such a relationship do not exist here.
I think that WE within H24 can make use of such material, as happens for instance at times where a question is quoted within the general site to encourage visitors to come to and use a forum.
And if I were invited to write for an academic or similar journal, or to present a paper at a professional or similar meeting, I would consider it ethical for me to quote from some situations and messages, while protecting so far as I could the particular identity of the poster. I hope that would be acceptable to our readers and regulars, because it would be primarily writing about myself and the forum I have created, and not about the specific individuals as such.
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