The decision to pass on unofficial times is a considered one. To be clear, I am passing on “fencline” rumour that is circulating in the Public Domain. Unofficial means not Official Information that Official bodies have decided to publish. They publish Official Information that they choose to and that is a private matter for them, just as it is a private matter for me regarding unofficial Information I may choose to repeat.
I focus a lot of my efforts on Display Teams as they are the public face of the RAF and information about them is in the Public Interest. There are some fans that have worked hard to become closer to the team (Which Includes; Reds, Blues, Admin Team and any other personal at RAF Scampton) for the purposes of getting access and information ( such as training times) for themselves. These people then decide for themselves who they pass on information onto and the flow of information continues with those people choosing people to pass it on too, so on and so forth. What I do is gather this information and make it available to everyone equally, so everyone can access the same information without bias or personal opinion. If I am in one to one contact with someone I only repeat this unofficial information with the express permission of the person giving me the information, I simply ask them if this is private information or public information. If they say it is private I do not pass this information on, if they say it is public then I do pass this information on. In any case I also agree with anyone to keep their identity confidential. I also gather information already in the public domain from a vast number of places including social media platforms, websites and forums, but to be clear; by this time it is in the public domain already. More information about this is contained within our Source Information Policy.
The benefits are that with this information people can watch practising when they are able to do so and in this specific case there even is a purpose built area for them to watch practices from at RAF Scampton. More often than not the Team decide to publish this information themselves. This is their right just as it is my right as an individual free from contract or agreement, to choose when and when not to repeat something I have been told. This is the same right that other private individuals exercise on a daily basis when they choose to share the same information with anyone, whether in person, at the fencline or online, I am no different.
My information can at times fill in the gaps for people, but it is not always correct information, as are the nature of rumours. Sometimes this helps people who may need more notice living further away or people who cannot afford to spend a whole day somewhere in hope of a practice. I do at times receive messages and emails from people (and people with children) who would have otherwise missed experiences. They often describe these experiences as “amazing,” “once in a lifetime” or “life changing,” but I can only take credit for passing the information on, the magic comes from the Team, which includes every member of the Team supporting the Pilots as well. Sometimes this could mean a few more people watch a display than would have done so without my information but it can also have the effect of reducing the number of visitors that would have otherwise waited for the majority of the day instead. Or because people know more about practices a few days ahead of time, they may choose to miss the next one in favour of later date or time. This gives loyal fans more options and as an individual my following is far smaller than any of the Official accounts concerned.
I wish to be supportive of RAFAT and the RAF in General and if there is anything I could do to help with specific issues I would consider it very carefully indeed. Whenever possible I always state that I am unofficial, not connected to The RAF/MOD in any way and never try to hide that fact. I am an individual and reserve my right to communicate in a digital world whether that be through social media, blogs, websites or forums .