A third of online discussion forum users in Hong Kong say they have had posts deleted, with almost two-thirds saying the actions were self-censorship by forum administrators for political or other reasons. This was disclosed in a survey that has prompted a popular forum to create a channel for users' representatives to meet the site managers. Netizens Power, founded by Golden Forum chief executive Joe Lam Cho-shun; the operator of internet cafe MSystem Eddy Chen Lung-shing; and iProA chief executive Gary Chao Yuk-ming, polled 2,446 internet users on Golden Forum last month. Another 226 face-to-face interviews were conducted. Results showed 33 per cent of respondents said they had some of their forum posts deleted over the past year. About 47 per cent of these said it was because their posts were too politically sensitive, while another 18 per cent said their posts could have infringed copyright or constituted libel. Some 60 per cent said self-censorship contributed to the deletions while a further 28 per cent said the action could have been in response to complaints. 'Many internet users figure that they do not enjoy freedom of expression to the fullest, as they see their posts deleted mostly due to selfcensorship,' Lam said. Although the poll was posted on Golden Forum which he runs, Lam insisted that the site did not censor posts, suggesting that respondents could be referring to other forums. 'Out of 60,000 new posts created every day, we delete five to 10 of them,'' he said. 'The posts are deleted because of libel, copyright infringement or intrusion of privacy.' Nevertheless, the forum plans to step up interaction with its 23,000 users - nicknamed 'Golden brothers' - by setting up a committee of user representatives. The site will approach veteran members to stand in an election with users as the voters. The initial plan is for management to select all the candidates. But Lam said he would see whether it was possible for users to make some of the nominations. Meanwhile, a huge majority of users objected to a legal amendment proposed by the government's Intellectual Property Department that would impose a civil liability for placing copyright material in any medium without permission. The survey showed that 85 per cent objected to the amendment, many saying it would threaten freedom of speech. Nearly half supported the exemption of parodies. Netizens Power has set up a new website which allows registration by internet users interested in expressing their views on the issue. The amendment bill has yet to go through the Legislative Council.