We felt that it was worth expanding on Guideline 6 to give members more information on what they may do when experiencing problems with another member. The Guideline states:
"Do not post about or use the chat room to discuss a problem with another member."
Such issues should be dealt with in two ways: (1) Contact a moderator describing the situation and asking for assistance; (2) Resolve the issue via email or Personal Messenger directly with the other person. This includes posting about concerns with another member of the board, even if that person is not identified in your post. Those concerns should be dealt with privately.
We recognize that in a large community there will be personality clashes. While we would hope that isn't a drawback to respectful communication, sometimes it's a fact that it can't be resolved privately between the members concerned or by bringing the issue to us. We will not always be able to intervene, and unless there's been a breach of board safety, we usually don't "take sides." This has resulted in some people feeling that their needs are being ignored but we do try to be fair to everybody and we won't kick a member out simply because another member doesn't like them or is very angry with them. There are several other things you can do if you're having problems:
You are free to use your discretion to block PMs from a member with whom you don't wish further contact. The pm blocking function can be located in the menu of your messenger. under "Messenger." Hit "PM Block List" and add the username of the member you don't wish to have contact from. We also suggest you block the person from any IM programs you may use. Another option you have is to set the member to "Ignore", which means you can't see their posts. This you can do in your control panel - see "Managing ignored users" under "Options."
When you do tell us about the issue, it helps to be specific rather than just saying, for example, "a member is harassing me." If you believe you have been harassed, abused or attacked by a member of this board, you need to send the moderators any PMs, emails or IM transcripts that constitute the harassment. IP addresses are also helpful. We take the safety of members very seriously, but we can do little to help without evidence. Please see these links for assistance in getting IP addresses: Finding IP Addresses in Outlook Express
and Finding IP Addresses in Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo
You need to cut and paste the information following these steps reveals, and email or pm it to us.
If you know who the member is, please tell us, and provide links to any posts in which you feel you were attacked, as well as any other specific examples such as descriptions of your experiences, emails or IM transcripts. We can't act on the basis of a general statement that you feel abused by so-and-so or you think so-and-so is a troll unless you tell us why.
Sometimes a member doesn't know if the the sender of harassing emails or IM's comes from the board or not. In such a case, please don't post things like "A person from Pandy's is stalking me/sending me mean emails/is a troll." This creates anxiety in the community. Just follow the above procedure - send us any communications plus IP addresses, and we'll try to determine if it is a member and work with you to keep this a safe space for you.
We've also found that members can feel guilty for "telling on" somebody, or they may worry about being seen to be bitchy or nasty. If anything at all concerns you, it concerns us, ok? Please tell us if you think we can help.
We hope this is helpful!
Take care all,