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The Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust Online Forum Guidelines

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Rebecca shoosmith
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The Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust Online Forum Guidelines

What is the Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust Online Forum?
This forum is a place for anyone affected by cervical cancer or cervical abnormalities in any way, including partners, family members, friends and supporters. Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust is committed to providing a safe and supportive environment for anyone wishing to use our online forum so that they can post freely about their condition and be treated with respect and sensitivity. In order to be able to provide this environment we ask that you follow the guidelines below. By registering and posting on our online forum, you are agreeing to our guidelines.

How is the Online Forum moderated?
The Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust Forum is reactively moderated. This means that when you post a message on the Forum, it will appear almost immediately. We don’t review posts before they go live unless you have links attached. In this case the post will need to be reviewed by a moderator before it is published.

The Forum is moderated and reviewed daily and we reserve the right to remove or edit posts, or implement necessary measures in order to ensure that our online community stays safe and supportive. Please see below for a list of rules for posting.

We always want to see healthy discussion / debate and removing a post is the final option to prevent things getting out of hand for whatever the reason. If we do remove a post, the author of that post may be contacted by a member of the moderating team for a clear explanation as to the reasons behind the decision.

By moderating our forum in this way, it allows us to continue to offer support 24 hours a day.

Who moderates the Online Forum?
Apart from the Director and Services Development Manager, other moderators are volunteers who have given up their own time to ensure the Forum is a safe place to go to for support and information.

We also ask you, as members of our online community, to contact us immediately if you find anything on the Forum that is offensive or inappropriate by either emailing [email protected] or by sending a private message to one of the moderator team listed at the top of the Forum.

Your username, biography and profile picture
You must try to select a username that is not offensive or inappropriate for our community. We reserve the right to refuse or amend an inappropriate username. For example, your username should ideally not contain reference to children or words that include “mum” names out of courtesy for members grieving the loss of their fertility. We would also ask you to be aware of what you choose to put as your signature and the image you use as your profile picture. Again, we ask you not to write about children or use pictures of children as this could appear insensitive at a time when you are intending to be supportive.

For your online protection, we ask that you do not use your full name as your username or include your email address, web address, telephone number or postal address in your signature / biography. Some internet searches will link to posts on the forum (e.g. if cervical cancer or screening are entered into the search engine) so this is also why it is better to remain anonymous.

For similar reasons, we also ask you to refrain from naming your hospital or healthcare professionals.

Be Supportive, Respectful and Kind
We ask you to be respectful of others beliefs and opinions at all times. Always be aware of the thoughts and feelings of others when you are posting, what might be acceptable to you could offend someone else. Members of our online community who use the Forum may be going through something very difficult and your support is important to them. By following the steps below you will be making a positive contribution to the online Forum and its community.

a.    Take the time to read your posts and messages before you submit them. Posting on an online forum is not the same as having a conversation face to face. Please be aware that a written comment might not come across in the way that you had intended and could unintentionally cause offence.

b.    Please use clear and understandable language – it is very important that those who wish to support you have a clear idea of what your problems and needs are.

c.    Please be patient there are users of all ages and abilities using the Forum.

d.    The Forum is public is read by many different people, from young women, the media, MPs, and potential funders of the charity and you need to ensure your message is appropriate for anyone to read.

If you do see something that offends you please contact the moderator team straight away either by private message or emailing [email protected] rather than try to handle the situation yourself. The role of the moderator team is to resolve these sorts of issues so that you don’t have to. Under no circumstances should a Forum user respond to an offensive remark made by another Forum user. Provoking a troublemaker or nuisance takes control of the situation away from the Moderators and makes their role more difficult.  

Any member of the community found to be sending offensive or bullying private messages to another member will have their account deactivated immediately.

Swearing, offensive / abusive language and content
We will not tolerate any forms of threatening, harassing or abusive behaviour.
This includes, but is not limited to, comments which are:
unlawful, harassing, defamatory, abusive, threatening, harmful, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, racially offensive or otherwise objectionable.

Please avoid using bad language at all times.

Please also avoid online “SHOUTING”. As a general rule in online communities, typing in all capital letters usually means that you are shouting. This can offend others especially if you are discussing a sensitive topic. We would ask that you try not to post all in capitals but use caps lock for a special occasion, for example “HOORAY, I’VE JUST FINISHED TREATMENT!!”

Keep it legal
You may not post any defamatory or illegal material of any nature. This includes text, graphics, video, programs or audio. Posting a message with the intention of committing an illegal act is strictly prohibited.

Only post materials to which you have the copyright or other permission to distribute electronically. You may not violate, plagiarise or infringe on the rights of third parties including copyright, trademark, trade secret, privacy, personal, publicity, or proprietary rights.

No Adverts, Promotion or Spam
Commercial advertising is not permitted, this includes links within posts and links in signatures. We do not tolerate spam of any kind and any posts that are considered spam will be removed immediately.

Please also be aware that our forum doesn't recognise emoticons/emojis so please refrain from using them as it might prevent your message from being posted.

Press, Media and Case Studies, Research
If you are looking for case studies for either media or research purposes please do not post on the Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust online forum. The purpose of the Forum is for support amongst women affected by cervical cancer and cervical abnormalities. If you wish to ask for case studies or help with research, please contact the Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust office directly on 020 3096 8100.

How to make sure your post is read on the Online Forum
By posting in the most relevant category and clearly labeling your post it will enable other members of the community to find, read and respond to your posts. It will also allow greater choice over what people wish to read. For example, some treatments for cervical cancer cause infertility and for those experiencing this loss, they may not wish to read news about pregnancy. Similarly, those who are going through a hard time themselves may find it harrowing to read about someone else’s experience. The forum categories are there to also assist in this choice.

Some examples of labeling posts;
a.    If you want information on something specific such as IVF, chemotherapy, hysterectomy etc, include this in the title.
b.    If you are posting good news please include what it is about, such as new job, getting married, receiving an all clear.
c.    If you are posting about pregnancy, not infertility, please be sensitive in your post title and include ‘ref. pg’ at the end.
d.    If you are feeling low or in pain then put ‘feeling low’, or ‘bad day at work’, ‘pain really bad’ in the title.

Failure to comply with the Forum Guidelines
Failing to adhere to our guidelines will result in the forum user being formally warned by email or private message. This warning may include suspending the account or placing the account under moderation (where posts will be reviewed before being published).  

If, after this warning, the forum user continues to breach the guidelines their account will be deactivated and they will be banned from the Online Forum. The decision of the moderators is final.

Data Protection
Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust will not publish or provide your email address to anyone.

Child Protection
For the protection and safety of children, this community does not support members under 16 years of age.

Please remember
The opinions expressed by this online community are purely the views of its members and do not reflect the views and opinions of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust.

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust does not recommend or endorse any drugs, surgery or treatments of any kind, but seeks to provide support and information on the current options of treatment available.

Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust reserves the right to update and change our Forum guidelines at any time. We also reserve the right to deactivate or ban forum users at any time if they are believed to be causing distress to other forum users. If you have any questions about these guidelines, contact us at [email protected]  and we’ll do all we can to help.

Rebecca Shoosmith
Head of Support Services & Deputy Chief Executive
Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust