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Community Guidelines

Sharon_KSharon_K Posts: 163 admin
edited 29. Jun 2020, 14:36 in Community Guidelines

We kindly ask that only people affected by a personal experience with arthritis use the site. This includes family, carers and people with arthritis.  

  • NB. You must be 18 and over to use the Community.

All online communities need a few guidelines to help make sure everyone stays safe. Our guidelines will help you get the most out of this community and ensure everyone gets support and advice when they need it.  

Our Community is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week so that support is available whenever you need it. 

 Be supportive  

We’re a supportive and welcoming community. Please keep it friendly, informative and helpful. The community is primarily a place to give and receive support. Welcoming new members can help encourage people to feel included and inspired to share. 

Be sensitive 

Many members who are using the forum might be going through a difficult time, and emotions can be heightened so please bear this in mind. Some people posting might be feeling vulnerable, sensitive, or defensive as well as a number of other emotions. 

Be kind  

A few words of kindness can go a long way. Be especially nice to new posters – it can be very nerve-wracking to post on the forum for the first time. 

It can be hard to communicate tone of voice in written form. Take care with humour and irony, which can often be ambiguous and may come across as sarcasm. If you don’t understand what another community member means, try to assume the best intentions. 

 Keeping Safe  

Be careful about what you share online. Please don't post your real name, address, telephone number or email address in public on the Community. 

Likewise please respect the privacy of other users and don't repost or share any private conversations you have with anyone. 

Do share your experiences and support each other but please don't post any medical or other professional advice or discourage other users from seeking medical or other professional advice. 

 Celebrate difference and disagree respectfully 

A wide range of people with very different experiences use the forum. Differences and debate are very welcome, but this is no place for personal attacks. Please make your points politely and respectfully. Equally, be prepared for people to disagree with you and try not to take it as a personal attack when it is not meant that way. 

 Keeping it useful and honest 

Conversations on the forum can be wide-ranging, but if you post something that is unrelated to the original topic, we may remove it or move it to a more appropriate area. For word games and general conversations, please post in the ‘Chit Chat' forum. 

 Concern for others 

If you’re concerned about the well-being of another forum member, please alert the moderators using the ‘report’ button at the bottom of each post or email us at [email protected] and we’ll follow our safeguarding procedure. 

There might not always be a moderator online, so if you have an immediate concern about the well-being of a member, encourage them to contact Samaritans on 116 123 who can offer support 24 hours a day, every day of the year. 

 Be Effective  

Please don’t use the Community to conduct surveys, research or fundraising or seek volunteers for any organisation other than Versus Arthritis. 

Please don't offer to sell, advertise or promote anything on the Community. We'll remove any posts of this nature. 

Please don't spam the Community – this includes posting the same message more than once. Also please don’t post anything that could be harmful to our systems or service or to another person’s computer or systems. 

Please don't identify medical professionals or organisations by name when commenting, especially if you're posting a complaint. This is to avoid any risk of legal disputes. 

Please don’t post anything or encourage anything that could be illegal; this includes posting anything or doing anything that breaches the legal rights of others (such as copyright and/or intellectual property rights). 

Please don’t deceive, mislead or manipulate others. Also please don’t use more than one account on the Community.  

Posting a research survey or questionnaire

We do not allow any surveys or information gathering for the purposes of marketing or commercial enterprise unless posted by Versus Arthritis.

Please note that under our terms and conditions, you are not permitted to solicit members through our forums or private message to take part in your study.

For students: Unfortunately, we are unable to accept requests to post student projects. Please note that under our terms and conditions you are not permitted to post requests on the community nor to solicit members through our community or private message to take part in your study.

 How you can help 

If someone posts something you feel violates our community guidelines or terms of conditions, report it immediately then ignore it. Tap the “report” flag immediately below the post and select the appropriate reason for your report or email [email protected] Some people enjoy getting a reaction, and post nasty comments just to provoke a response. The best way to deal with this is to report it, then ignore it. The next time a moderator is online they will take appropriate action.

 How we will help 

We have a Senior Digital Community Officer and Online Community Officer who cover full time during office hours and manage the forum. Our aims when moderating is to keep the forum safe, legal and supportive. Volunteer moderators read every post - they log in on several occasions during each day including weekends, as do the Versus Arthritis officials.

We may edit or remove posts, or warn or ban users (temporarily or permanently) from the Community if they breach our Terms and Conditions (including if they don’t follow these guidelines). But we'll always try our best to contact the user concerned to explain why.  

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