On social and community web sites, including forums and chat rooms, it is sometimes difficult to remember that what you post is visible for all the world to view.
Messages you post to any public community forum is available for anyone to view, copy, and store. Most public postings made on the Internet are archived by search engines (ie. Google). Thus, on the Internet, your public messages can be accessed by anyone at anytime -- even years after the message was originally written. Before you post a message to a public forum, ask yourself if want an employer or family member to be able to read your posting in years to come.
It is possible to participate on community sites, like HealingWell, and stay safe and protect your privacy. Here are a few guidelines:
1. Never post or give out personal contact information (ie. offline address, phone numbers, etc.). Do you really want people you do not know to know your home address or personal phone number?
2. Don't post your email address in the public forums. This is easily harvested by spammers and others. You can display it in your profile to be viewable by other members, if you wish, but they still may be potentially used by spammers. Email addresses in profiles are hidden by default.
3. Do not use your "real" first and last name for your Display Name or in your posts. You can change your Display Name in the Control Panel if you are logged in. The goal is to remain anonymous, especially when sensitive health information is concerned. You do not know if your future employer will "Google" your name and come across posts.
4. Be Discreet. Be careful about
what other personal details about
your life that you may share online that may make you "less anonymous". Do you really want a future employer or health insurance company knowing about
your personal health history?
It is possible to participate in the community forums and chat rooms to find the support you need, if you do it both safely and anonymously. It is your responsibility to be proactive about
Also, links to your social networking sites, such as your personal websites, blogs, Facebook, MySpace and other sites that may contain private info is easily accessible or searchable, once it is posted to any public site. Think safety, think privacy, think how things can appear 10 years from now.
On another note and subject:
We seem to always discussing the DON'Ts when discussing the Rules, so I thought I might share some DO's from Peter's Rules and Information Page. I added a little tidbit to the end to maybe help people to understand we Moderators job better.
1. Check for
open topics. Before posting a new topic, please check to see if there is already a topic
open on the subject.
2. Ignore bothersome members. If there is someone on the forum that bothers you, select the Ignore button at the top right corner of the post. You won't see any posts from this member again.
3. Report posts that violate the rules and guidelines by selecting the Admin alert
button at the top right corner of the post to notify the administrator. We will act on the report as quickly as we can. Do not reply to the offending post as that typically only encourages the poster.
4. Use good judgement. NEVER rely on information or opinions exchanged via the forums or chat rooms to replace necessary, personal consultation(s) with qualified health or medical professionals to meet your individual health or medical needs. Remember that what's right or has worked for one person may not be what's right for you.
5. Lend a helping hand. A bit of compassion can go a long way toward helping people with life's challenges and reaching out can help alleviate feelings of loneliness. We're all different, but we're really all the same. At sometime or another, we all need or want help or simply someone with whom we can share our burdens or successes.
6. Don't be afraid to share. If you're feeling alone or hurting, don't be afraid to share your fears and tears. If you're rejoicing about
the results of a recent medical test or treatment, share that too.
7. Welcome new members. When newcomers arrive, say "hi" and welcome them. Help new folks "learn the ropes" about
how to find information and resources, save time, and how to get involved. You will also find a lot of help using the forums themselves.
8. Use descript
ive titles for new posts. Avoid "generic" post subjects like "Help" or "Question". You will receive a better response to your posts by being more descript
the content of your post.
9. Shorten your signature if possible to save bandwidth. Uncheck the "include signature" box if you post more then one time in the same thread.
10. Food For Thought - Hey Brothers...When possible combine your
questions into one thread instead of starting a new one... Also when
possible try to find answers to your questions in previous threads.
We need to try and free up some time/effort and resources for new
members that join us...
Know Your Moderators:
HealingWell.com Community forums and chat rooms are moderated by volunteers that have some special understanding of your health condition. While they may not have answers to all your questions, moderators are here to help in any way they can. Moderators have the right to edit or delete posts without prior notice that violate of the rules above. They are also responsible for keeping promoting participation in the forums and chats. You can spot a moderator because their posts indicate that they are moderators. We are always looking for new moderators to help with our many disease/disorder topics. Find more about
Each moderator, being human with different life experiences, may see things through slightly different eyes and some variance is to be expected. However, moderators promise to base their decision making on the content of posts rather than personal feelings about
the person posting in them.
If you have a question for a moderator on a decision, you can email them and discuss it privately. They may not see things the same way you do, but they are
open and approachable.
Users that do not abide by the rules may be subject to having their posts edited or deleted, their member account permanently banned from further access and/or deleted without notice.
Rules and guidelines may change at any time, please re-read them regularly.
Post Edited (James C.) : 10/9/2010 7:53:07 AM (GMT-6)