Fighting 15s and The Miniatures Page

Fighting 15s woke up this morning to a message from a customer welcoming us to the growing group of exiles from The Miniatures Page, also known as TMP.

Indeed, our account on TMP (theminiaturespage.com) has been locked and therefore Fighting 15s is no longer able to engage, as Fighting 15s, with this US-based wargaming news page and forum.

What Fighting 15s had done was get involved with a discussion on TMP about the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), which came into effect on Friday and which affect any business, website or organisation worldwide that collects or uses personal information about EU citizens. TMP Editor Bill Armintrout had posted in response to a question about where was TMP’s privacy notice that the poster should “Check the site FAQ”.

Now TMP’s FAQs say a limited amount about what TMP will do with users’ personal details, and do not themselves constitute an obvious privacy policy. And so we questioned that, writing:

“TMP may promise in the FAQs not to sell on information about membership, however, it engages in direct marketing to its users through email campaigns to encourage them to take up supporting membership. Because TMP engages in direct marketing to EU citizens or residents, it therefore will fall foul of the GDPR. It would take precisely one disgruntled TMP user to make an issue of this, so you better hope you don’t have any lurking on a ‘Foreign Union UK’ forum.”

This post has, as far as we can work out, since been deleted by the editorial team.

We know that TMP engages in direct marketing about supporting memberships because we ourselves receive such requests. Hence we know that TMP will fall foul of GDPR – though we ourselves have doubts about the extent to which that matters given the EU’s ability and will to pursue small, non-EU businesses. Our advice was purely to get TMP to realize that its long resistance to having a privacy policy was stupid, and that perhaps it was prudent to have a proper privacy policy so everyone knew exactly what TMP does with users’ personal information.

GDPR has been in effect for precisely one day and already complaints have been filed against Google, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-44252327).

Perhaps our oblique reference to UK forum frothersunite.com (FU-UK), known for a long-running and scatological campaign of ridicule against Bill Armintrout and TMP, rather than pointing out the legal truth of a matter with the intention of helping is what resulted in a locked account, but we shall never know. But it is clear to us that Bill and TMP can’t handle the truth.

There are, of course, more modern-looking, active sources of wargames news and discussion than The Miniatures Page that don’t shut for maintenance for two hours every morning just when you want to read them in the UK. We recommend that you try some of the following:

The Wargames Website – UK-based wargames site for news plus forums

Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy – industry news page from one of the top wargames magazines

Lead Adventure Forum – excellent, moderated forums mainly about gamers’ projects. A friendly place to be, it’s our go-to forum of choice.

The Wargamers’ Forum – replacement for defunct forum The Guild. Again, moderated.

In the meantime, some music from the Isle of Wight: