Forum and chat room etiquette policy and rules of engagement
The GamCare Forum and Chatrooms are provided as safe and secure spaces for users (who may be gamblers and their partners, friends or family users) to share experiences, thoughts and feelings about their own recovery from gambling-related harm (also known as “problem gambling”). Forums and Chatrooms are facilitated and monitored daily by trained GamCare staff.
GamCare is a politically neutral organization which aims to support any and all stakeholder groups to develop social responsibility approaches to gambling. This means we work with gamblers, affected others (e.g. family members), funders, researchers, treatment providers, the gambling industry, and providers of a range of other services.
GamCare accepts that debating the political issues surrounding gambling and gambling-related harm can be of therapeutic value to users. However, the main purpose of the Forum and Chatrooms is to support recovery from gambling-related harm and so, to preserve the safety and integrity of these services, we will remove posts which directly aim to incite anger, violence or protest, or which encourage political lobbying or the advertising of products or services that have not been approved by GamCare.
Forum and Chatroom Rules of Engagement
Registration for the GamCare Forum and Chatrooms is free. However, registration means that you accept the Forum and Chatroom Rules. The rules are not meant to be exhaustive and we reserve the right to edit posts and/or, take other action in accordance with the purpose and principles of the Forum and Chatrooms.
By registering to use Forum and/or Chatroom services, you are agreeing to be held responsible for the information you post on these services and you are confirming that you accept and understand the following Rules of Engagement:
• All posts (i.e. comments) reflect the views of the author of that post. GamCare will not be held responsible for the content of any member messages or information posted.
• Please show consideration and respect for other users and for their opinions.
• Be sensitive to how your messages may be viewed and perceived by others.
• Try to use clear English with standard punctuation, capitalization and paragraphs in your posts.
• Do not post in ALL CAPS or in large fonts.
• Before offering advice, make sure your information is accurate. Remember, another user’s suggestion is not a substitute for a professional’s opinion. Also, what works for you may not work for everyone.
• GamCare staff are specially trained to ensure the therapeutic nature of the Forum. They are not permitted to self-disclose as the main focus must be on Forum and Chatroom users.
• In accordance with policy and procedure, GamCare staff will delete or edit posts (this is known as “moderation”) that are deemed to be against the purpose of Forum or Chatroom services.
• Please DO NOT upload images, video clips/films, or links to these, or post comments or messages which:
- are obscene, insulting or considered malicious to others;
- are disrespectful of other people's views;
- do not reflect the purpose or theme of the specific Forum or Chatroom;
- lobby against gambling industry services or promote political lobbying against the gambling industry or any other agencies
- disclose the identity or contact details of any other person without their explicit and prior consent;
- seek to engage with other service users for the purpose of recruitment for research, marketing, media coverage, usership organizations or political activism. All media/research enquiries should be directed to email@example.com. Invitations to participate in research projects will only be considered for entry in the Forum provided they meet the required criteria. For a full explanation, please view the following link. http://www.gamcare.org.uk/forum/index.php?tid=85028.
- post articles or excerpts from articles, comments, images or links that advertise any products, websites, third parties, agencies or services without prior permission from GamCare Management (please email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org and it will be dealt with by the appropriate manager)
- Any user who posts anything that may cause technical problems for GamCare or other users will face an immediate and permanent ban from the Forum or Chatrooms.
Please note: The GamCare Forum and Chatroom services are not spaces for organizing political action or recruiting other service users for the purposes of doing so. Should you wish to petition the Government about a political matter concerning problem gambling, please visit http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/, or write to your MP and do not use GamCare’s online services to recruit other petitioners.
Managing Your Distress
We realise that many Forum and Chatroom users will become distressed from time to time and may wish to discuss their feelings using these online services. However, please be aware that it may not be helpful for you, and it may be distressing for others, to disclose issues that are very personal to you or which involve ideas about self-harm or suicide given the group nature of Chatrooms and the public nature of the Forum. If you need to talk about these feelings, please contact GamCare’s National Helpline via 0808 8020 133 or NetLine via http://www.gamcare.org.uk/ where you will be signposted to other support agencies.
Zero Tolerance Policy
GamCare operates a zero tolerance policy with regards to the abuse of other service users or staff. This is known as “cyberbullying” where it occurs online. Personal or targeted insults, threats, obscene comments and aggressive outbursts directed at other service users or at staff will not be tolerated. Users who persist in engaging in this way may be banned from GamCare’s services. Please report any abusive posts or incidences of cyberbullying to email@example.com.
You must register on this site with an e-mail address that is valid. New users will not be able to post on the Forum or Chatrooms until they click the activation link sent to their registered e-mail address, and the account has been approved. Registered Forum and Chatroom users are responsible for keeping GamCare up-to-date about their current e-mail address.
Only one account per person is allowed. Registering more than one account will result in all of the user’s accounts being suspended, and the user may be permanently banned from using the GamCare Forum and/or Chatroom services.
GamCare does not sell, rent or trade user information and will always strive to maintain a high level of security to ensure users’ data are kept private and confidential. GamCare reserves the right to use anonymised information gathered from its services for research or marketing purposes: details
which personally identify an individual will always be removed. The content of the GamCare Forum is owned by GamCare; Chatroom postings are not retained by GamCare once sessions end.
Account Removal and Banned Accounts
If a user wishes to leave the Forum and Chatrooms, we will deactivate the account. Any messages and recovery diaries that you have posted on the Forum will remain visible to other Forum users and will only be considered for removal at your request or if they are in breach of our Rules of Engagement. Chatroom posts are not available for other users to view once sessions end.
Service users who continually breach GamCare’s Rules of Engagement, and who do not respond to attempts to guide or moderate posts, may be banned temporarily or permanently depending on the nature of the breach. We will retain information on banned users so that we can attempt to stop them from registering again and we may use their information should the need for further (for example, legal) action arise.
If you wish to remove a post or recovery diary from the Forum, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Please however be aware that the removal of posts may mean other posts that have been made in response to your comments may not “flow” or make sense. For this reason, GamCare reserves the right to contact you to discuss other alternatives to the removal of your post or recovery diary, such as moderating (i.e. editing) aspects of it.
Any questions regarding the Forum or Chatrooms should be sent to email@example.com.
We hope you can contribute positively to our online Forum and Chatrooms, and as frequently as you can, to help us to make this a thriving and rewarding community that encourages recovery from the effects of problem gambling!