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espressologic
Community Manager

Your feedback needed: Updating our Community Guidelines

Hi everyone,

Late last year, SANE invited forums members to participate in a co-design activity where we asked for feedback on all aspects of the forums.  

One of the key pieces of feedback was that our community guidelines are too complicated, with a perception that these are sometimes inconsistently applied to members' posts by our staff.

Below is a new, simplified version of the guidelines that we are seeking your feedback on here in this thread.  Please feel free to ask any questions you have also about why we have certain guidelines, point out anything that is unclear, or anything you think we have left out that is important.

This thread will be open for feedback for the next two weeks, and will close at the end of the day on Sunday May 5. 

We will look to upload the revised guidelines, incorporating your feedback, in early June.

Thanks for your time.

 

UPDATE: Revised version will be posted later today (May 6), and we will leave the thread open for further feedback until Sunday May 19.

 

-----

 

SANE Forums Community Guidelines

 

1. Who Can Join


If you are aged over 18 and currently living in Australia, then you are welcome to join. We welcome people looking for peer support, connection or belonging, whether you have lived experience of a mental health condition, or care for someone who does.


2. Keeping It Safe


Emergency Help For Suicide, Self-Harm, Family Violence: The forums do not provide crisis or emergency support. If you or someone else is in immediate danger, please contact emergency services and do not post to the forum. If we see such posts appear, we will have to remove them and possibly contact emergency services on your behalf.


No Detailed Descriptions: Please don’t share very detailed posts where you name medications, eating disorder behaviours, self-harm, suicide methods, sexual behaviour, trauma or abuse. Please see our more detailed guide for posting safely about suicide and self-harm and eating disorders.


Supportive Discussion: Do not discourage other members from seeking help, or encourage harmful behaviour.


Avoid Rumination: The forums are a recovery-oriented space. We encourage the sharing of helpful content focused on well-being, recovery, and help seeking behaviours.


Report Posts Of Concern: Please report any posts you see that break these guidelines; our team may not have seen them.


3. Being Respectful


Stay Friendly: Avoid posts that are disrespectful, rude, hurtful or could make someone feel unwelcome.


Fair Discussion: Avoid saying things that name or identify other people, practitioners, services, or refer to breaking the law.


No Pressure: While sharing and supporting are encouraged, do not place pressure on other members to respond to your posts. Everyone participates at their own pace and comfort level.


No Self-Promotion: Please don’t try to sell anything, give professional advice, look for clients or ask people to join in on research.


Fact-Check: If you’re sharing something factual, please let us know in your post where you found the information.


Avoid Repetition: Please don’t repeat the same or similar message across the forums or within threads.


Responding To Emails: We may contact you by email to check in on your safety, explain a decision to edit or remove a post, or discuss your forums activity. Your response to these emails is expected and appreciated.

 

4. Staying Anonymous


Stay Anonymous: Use a forum name that doesn’t give away who you are offline or on other social media sites. Please stick to using only one forums account.


No Personal Information: Do not share any personal, identifying details such as names, addresses, or places of work or study. Please remember your forum member name and posts may appear in search engine results.

5. Breaking The Guidelines


We will edit or remove posts that break these guidelines, and we will email you to let you know this has happened. We will also explain our decision and, if appropriate, provide advice on how you can re-post safely within the guidelines.


For members who repeatedly break guidelines, then we may take any of the following actions:
• Place limits on the number of posts you can make
• Place limits on when you can use the forums
• Remove your forums access for a period of time
• Remove your forums access permanently

53 REPLIES 53

Re: Your feedback needed: Updating our Community Guidelines

Hi @espressologic , the new guidelines look good! I just have a few questions:



Under 2. Keeping It Safe:

 

"Avoid Rumination"
I respect and value that the forums are a recovery-oriented space. However, I think people with MIs do tend to ruminate. Could you please clarify what you mean by "rumination" here? Is it more than "overthinking"? 

 

 

Under 3. Being Respectful: 

 

"No Self Promotion" - "Don't ask people to join in on research".
Do you mean research that they themselves are conducting? Because I think there are valuable research questionnaires from the government or health organisations on MH or other health issues that are sometimes posted to let everybody know. What about those? 

 

 

"Avoid Repetition" - "Please don't repeat the same or similar message across the forums or within threads".

I think this one is a difficult guideline to establish or police. People with MIs have lifelong conditions which in a way do result in repetition. I think this point needs clarifying maybe?
For instance, I will always struggle with Hoarding Disorder. It will be a lifelong battle for me. Therefore it may result in the same issues cropping up in my thread, even though at times I'm winning, and at times I may be slipping backwards in the battle against hoarding. Similarly, many people battle with recurring SI or SH, so it may keep cropping up in their threads.  I'm not sure where the line is drawn for this guideline? 

 

Hoping you can clarify 🙂 Thanks again! 

 

 

 

 

@Zoe7  @Snowie  @Appleblossom  @Dimity  Do you have any thoughts? 

Re: Your feedback needed: Updating our Community Guidelines

Thanks for the tag @NatureLover 

 

I really like the no pressure point.

No Pressure: While sharing and supporting are encouraged, do not place pressure on other members to respond to your posts. Everyone participates at their own pace and comfort level. 

I think this is really important for members to realise. They need to do it at their pace.

 

I agree with @NatureLover on this one. Sometimes it is hard to not do this, especially when you are in crisis. Sometimes our brain only fixes ourselves to a few things.

Avoid Repetition: Please don’t repeat the same or similar message across the forums or within threads.

 

Other then that, I think the guidelines are good @espressologic 

Re: Your feedback needed: Updating our Community Guidelines

Many thanks for tagging me @NatureLover as I would otherwise have missed this important post. Thankyou for posting this @espressologic I'm grateful for the opportunity to respond and contribute. 

 

I endorse all of the questions and concerns of @NatureLover and @Snowie . And I'll add more

 

"No detailed descriptions". People with thought disorders especially first-time posters can have trouble with abstract thinking and can only describe what seems to be happening for them. I've lost count of the number of times I've been the first or only person to respond to first-time posters reporting and showing a degree of insight into thoughts bordering on  paranoia or psychosis. Responding compassionately and concretely is in my view extremely important. 

 

"Avoid rumination ". I'm not sure how you judge the difference between rumination and reflection in a single post. Avoiding rumination might be a good therapeutic guideline but as a directive it seems a little harsh.

 

"Being respectful". This is such an important point it deserves a little more  eg an introductory statement that mutual respect and tolerance are foundational values of the SANE community, and that antagonism and discrimination and hate speech are unacceptable. 

 

"Fair discussion" and "No Self-Promotion". You ban identifying other services. I'm surprised and disappointed.  SANE is not a silo. Some of the most valuable things I've ever learnt from forum discussions have been the names of community services and apps that I can use in my recovery. By the way, it continues to astound me that while you ban medical advice, diagnosis and naming medications you continue to allow diagnosis and recommendations from New Age practitioners. 

 

You also ban the sharing of research. I tend to agree that self-promotion of academic research is undesirable.  But SANE as a community I think has an important role to play in advocacy and awareness, and should be open to sharing news of important government initiatives and enquiries that are directed at the demographic SANE engages with. In fact it's something I look for and expect in participating in this community- to learn from my peers.

 

"Avoid repetition". I've avoided repeating points already made by @NatureLover but I strongly concur with her point that we all tebdcto deal with the same issues repeatedly. Recovery isn't a linear process and for many of us our MH conditions will be lifelong. It doesn't mean we don't deserve sympathy and support. As a community and as individuals surely we can be forgiving. But posting identical material in a short time frame might need investigation- the poster may be experiencing technical issues

 

Perhaps it's covered by your "No Detailed Descriptions" guideline but it seems you may have eased restrictions around sharing re diet and exercise. I was impressed by your newish fact sheet on diabetes and mental health.

 

Thanks again for the opportunity to comment @espressologic @tyme 

 

Dimity

Re: Your feedback needed: Updating our Community Guidelines

Hey there @espressologic ☺️🌺

thanks for posting this, I really appreciate the opportunity to provide feedback. 

I would prefer to see explanations for the guidelines; ie: if you’re telling someone some rules, please also tell them why that rule is in place..

1. Who can join: …and we have this guideline to keep our community safe by ensuring everyone is an adult/knows what it’s like to live with or be the carer for someone living with MH/MI…

Or something like it..

2. …emergencies… because this forum isn’t an emergency service, and we do not have the ability to provide crisis support. 
Avoid(instead of ‘No’?) Detailed descriptions: … and the reason for this is to prevent inadvertently distressing someone who may have experienced a similar type of concern.

..Supportive Discussion: make sure not to (instead of ‘Do not’ - use of language sounds to authoritarianism maybe?) … because we are here to encourage recovery/positive regard.

…avoiding rumination, and it’s description just doesn’t gel for me… I have no clear understanding what the message is, or how to put this into practice. If you mean don’t post your recurring thoughts, please say that 🙂. If you mean don’t do something else (of which I don’t clearly understand from this guideline), then please say that, and then give a reason for why this guideline exists. 
…report posts of concern: …because we want to help everyone maintain a sense of safety.. and you do that by the drop down and press flag, on a post… etc. 

 

3 ‘stay friendly’ seems like it should be called ‘fair discussion’, and the words behind ‘fair discussion’ should be titled ‘avoid identifying persons or entities, or breaking law’ (and as for all the guidelines, and explanation as to why this guideline is relevant to the forum space). 

..No pressure… this is essential! And what is also needed here is a description of the different titles of members on the forum - there may be different expectations of the different titles here is an example , and this then needs to be communicated across the forum so there is knowledge of what to expect and when, of each different member type. 

Avoid repetition… this is difficult considering conversations have a flow that is not predictable across a non linear, non contiguous conversational structure such as a forum. Maybe have ‘Be aware of reducing/minimising repetition across your posts..?’

 

The remainder seem ok, however I think explanations would be really helpful - concrete terms with explanations are often appreciated by people with MI because it’s much easier to understand with having to also carry high bandwidth use while coping, and often the entry into the forum is at a point of distress where brain bandwidth is a bit more loaded up than when free to process things/concepts more easily. 

thanks again for the opportunity to provide feedback 🙌🏻🌺🙂

🦩🌺

Re: Your feedback needed: Updating our Community Guidelines

@espressologic What strikes me the most about the revised guidelines is the 'negative' way many are presented - a lot of don'ts and do nots. There is also a lot of extra information in some that could be revised ie.

1. Who Can Join

If you are aged over 18, living in Australia, have a lived experience of mental ill health, care for someone who does or have extended family or friends you support.

 

There are some great points made by other members here also @Snowie @NatureLover @PinkFlamingo @Dimity 

 

I will come back here when I have more time

Re: Your feedback needed: Updating our Community Guidelines


@Dimity wrote:

"Fair discussion" and "No Self-Promotion". You ban identifying other services.


@Dimity , thank you - you picked up on something I missed - the little word "services" under "Fair Discussion: Avoid saying things that name or identify other people, practitioners, services, or refer to breaking the law."

I think possibly the new guidelines might mean "Don't identify a particular local service like a real life group meeting in a particular street and suburb of Melbourne, due to possibly loss of anonymity of members"? I'm not sure.

 

But I do agree with @Dimity  that the mentioning of other services in general is very helpful and vital, such as mentioning Blue Knot for domestic violence, or the Calm app, or MensLine Australia, or the BeyondBlue Webchat Service, etc.

 

So this little word "services" here needs to be clarified, I think...

Re: Your feedback needed: Updating our Community Guidelines

P.S. @espressologic  Is there any way to sort of "pin" this thread on the front page? I'm worried a lot of members might miss it, tucked away here. Obviously this is where it belongs, but I would've missed it if I hadn't checked under Forum News. 

Re: Your feedback needed: Updating our Community Guidelines

@espressologic @tyme @RachSANECEO I agree with @NatureLover that this thread should be more prominent.  Ideally it should be pinned to the home page.

 

Also could this news and updates section have some housekeeping please - there are member posts that seem to have got here by mistake.

Re: Your feedback needed: Updating our Community Guidelines

@espressologic I've been reflecting on the excellent points made by @Zoe7 and @PinkFlamingo about the tone and wording of the proposed new guidelines, in conjunction with the concerns already expressed about their meaning. 

 

Perhaps there's a fundamental misunderstanding here. Perhaps you're framing the Forums as a vehicle for social chat, whereas I've perceived the Forums as a helping community. Please accept my lack of tact as social ineptitude rather than aggression. I apologise if we do have different world-views,  and I'd misunderstood what the guidelines are premised on.

 

@tyme @RachSANECEO @NatureLover @Snowie 

 

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