Chatroom and Forum Etiquette
Please note that every new user will find their first Forum post will need to be moderated by our Forum Admin. This is to minimise spam posts, which unfortunately can be a problem for any online Forum. This may take up to 24 hours, however thereafter, your posts will appear as soon as you write them. Thank you for your understanding.
Forum and Chatroom Rules of Engagement
Registration for the GamCare Forum and Chatroom is free. However, registration means that you accept the these rules of engagement. 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 Chatroom.
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:
- You must be aged 16 or over to create an account (visit www.bigdeal.org.uk if you are under 16).
- All posts and 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 organisations or political activism. All media/research enquiries should be directed to [email protected]. We will only allow a research project to be posted in the forum if we feel it will not interfere with the recovery of our members in any way and we reserve the right to refuse any requests.
- 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 [email protected] 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 organising 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://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/ or write to your MP and do not use GamCare’s online services to recruit other petitioners.
Sharing your contact details
There may be times when you feel you would like to share your personal contact information with other members of the Forum. In these instances, we would caution you not to place your details in an open post, as these will be available to anyone (including those who are not Forum members), and the contact you receive may not always be safe, appropriate or helpful.
Our responsibility is to keep the Forum as a safe space focussed on recovery, and therefore there may be times when we deem it appropriate to remove contacts details that are placed in open Forum posts.
GamCare is happy to facilitate the exchange of contact details via email between members who consent for their information to be shared. Please email [email protected] and a member of our team can assist you.
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. You may also wish to avoid posting when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you need to talk about these feelings, please contact the HelpLine or NetLine 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 ‘cyber-bullying’ 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 cyber-bullying to [email protected].
You must register on this site with an email 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 email address, and the account has been approved. Registered Forum and Chatroom users are responsible for keeping GamCare up-to-date about their current email 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. Users email addresses are kept on a secure server. 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.
Disclosure of criminal activity
Any disclosures of criminal activities, abuse or self-harm where we believe the user (or the people they know) are in real danger, may have to be referred to the police or other authorities. This to safeguard all parties concerned. Such comments may also be removed or moderated by our staff.
Account Removal and Banned Accounts
If a user wishes to leave the Forum and Chatrooms, we can deactivate the account at their request which means they will no longer be able to log in. All posts will remain on the site unless exceptional circumstances exist, for example a safeguarding issue. Forum users should consider the fact that forum posts are public before deciding to post identifiable details about themselves and their families.
A person who wishes to move on from the forum may wish to have their posts re-attributed to ‘anonymous-user’. However GamCare would not allow users to continually leave the site and return to create new accounts as we feel this goes against the spirit and community of the forum and so we reserve the right to refuse this request. Members may wish to consider taking a break from the forum rather than deactivating their account completely if they feel unsure about whether they wish to return in future.
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.
Any questions regarding the Forum or Chatrooms should be sent to [email protected].
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!