Community Guidelines

Brynmor Member Posts: 1,795

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

Your Username

When registering, you will be asked to select a username. It is wise to stay anonymous on the internet, please pick a username that does not divulge your identity - for example, avoid using your first-name/surname as your username.

Your Admin Team are here for you

We have an Online Community Officer who is available during office hours and, if needed at other times to manage the community.

If you have a problem get in touch. Email [email protected].

Our aim when moderating is to keep the community safe, legal and supportive. 

Volunteer moderators cover the community every day, currently morning and afternoon.

Be kind to members new and old   

It can be a nerve-wracking experience posting for the first time, please be kind and supportive and help new members to feel at home. We are a supportive and inclusive community. Please keep all your comments friendly and helpful.

Your Avatar

When you register you are allocated an avatar by the system. Many members choose to change this to a photo or a picture chosen by themselves. Please make sure your avatar is suitable and appropriate for the Online Community.

Keeping Safe  

Be careful about what you share online.

Please don't post your 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. 

Be sensitive 

Members who are using the community 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 other emotions. A few words of kindness can go a long way.

It can be hard to communicate tone of voice in written community. 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

Conversations on the community 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' community. 

Posting links

You may add links to internal or external sites within your comments or private messages, but you agree to remain responsible for any links you add.

We reserve the right to remove any links in the online community that we consider inappropriate. Please remember that you must reference any content that is not your own (by linking to the original site)

Direct links to purchase products (e.g. Amazon links) are not allowed

Any links to sites relating to medical research or medications or similar must only be to credible sites e.g. those ending in .ac .nhs .edu .org Please don’t post links to any site with a .com address in this respect.

Celebrate difference and disagree respectfully 

A wide range of people with very different experiences use the community. 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 comments as a personal attack when they are not meant that way. 

Private messages

Private messaging allows online community members to chat with each other in private. If a member is concerned about the content of a message they should report it by forwarding a copy of the message to the Admin team at [email protected].


Moderators will check for unhelpful/unkind comments or ones that don’t belong in our community. They may edit or remove posts and, if needed, notify the Admin team. We reserve the right to decide what is considered a suitable post and we will do our best to explain our reasoning, however we do not always have to provide a reason, our decision is final.

Warning or banning users (temporarily or permanently) from the Community is always a last resort. We will contact you if we are worried and help you to keep to our Terms and Conditions (including these guidelines). 

Medical Advice

Please do not give out any medical advice. You may say what has worked for you but each member needs to contact their own health team for specifics about their condition. You should not be directive as this is a site for support and sharing ideas.

Discriminatory Posting

Please don't post or private message any material which may be discriminatory or cause offence, in particular on the grounds of an individual’s sex, race, religion or belief, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or reassignment, age, marital status, disability or working status.


Posting an offer to sell, advertise or promote anything on the Community is not allowed. We will remove any posts of this nature. 

 Spamming & Flooding

Please don't spam the Community – this includes posting the same message more than once. We also include flooding the discussions with multiple/frequent comments or lengthy posts to be included within this definition.

Please do not post anything that could be harmful to our systems or service or to another person’s computer or systems.

 Identifying Medical personnel

Do not identify medical professionals or organisations by name when commenting. This is to avoid any risk of legal disputes. 

 Illegal Posts

Please do not 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). 


Do not deceive, mislead or manipulate others. The use of more than one account on the Community is not allowed. 


Please take care with your choice of language. Swearing is offensive to some and should not be used.

 Research surveys and Questionnaires

You may not use the Community to conduct surveys, research or fundraising or seek volunteers for any organisation other than Versus Arthritis.

Likewise 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 community or private message to take part in your study.

For students

Unfortunately, we are unable to accept requests to post student projects.

 Concern for others 

If you’re concerned about the well-being of another community member, please alert Admin by emailing 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. 


There are many good causes and petitions that are worth promoting. However, our Online Community is not for that purpose and we will advertise only 3rd party issues and campaigns as sanctioned by Versus Arthritis.


Diverting, taking over or hijacking a discussion to promote an opinion, political point of view or idea is discourteous to those taking part in the conversation. Talking about a new topic is best done by opening a new discussion. Those who are interested will then join in.

Repeated instances of hijacking a discussion may lead to your account being restricted.