an observation

I have been a reader and poster to this site for a number of years now who used to post regularly but stopped because of personal reasons. A few threads over the last few months though mean that I can not just sit and read but feel have to add my own comments from hopefully a less biased viewpoint as an ‘outsider’ so to speak.

From reading the threads some of which can be very informative from my own perspective as I am on a number of asthma medications some of which have changed recently I am saddened by what seems like harsh ‘policing’ of posts which because they are contrary to mods views and those of mods friends get shot down/bullied off the site or posts edited/deleted and banned. I know there is a need for moderators but I think that they should try to be more impartial.

The ‘brittle’ gang has long been a contentious issue and cause of upsets on the site in the past. The fact that inevitably you will get the extreme ends of the spectrum of asthma coming to the site for support is an inherent problem. But I do not think that this should mean brittles/severe asthmatics get sensored for describing experiences and asking questions about them. Maybe for newcomers a general warning about the fact that some threads may be sensitive and apply to only the minority of asthmatics would be apt. Must also take into consideration the fact that the majority of people reading the site will be adults and as such should trust them to be able to make their own judgements on what they are reading. This is the world wide web when all is said and done and a lot more graphic information on procedures etc can be found by simply googling.

Some posters can come across quite aggressive though they probably don’t realise it or mean to. Rather then deleting their posts a pm suggesting a better way of wording their post so as not to come across as so would be more constructive. Freedom of speech is one of the few freedoms we have these days and I think it is important that all people get a say and threads not closed just because one persons rant/ask for help might spark others feelings and opinions. So long as it doesn’t get personal whats the problem?

I personally would like less infighting and more exploration of peoples opinions on treatments, protocols and ways of dealing with an illness that is little understood and underfunded in comparison to other major diseases such as cancer.

I go in peace now,


27 Replies

  • I would like to add my support to this post, and say that i agree with your observations. Very well put!!!!

    From a very tired Seahorse who has no energy to argue with anybody!

  • Well first of all I would like to say the mods do an often thankless task keeping this site up and running. Since I have used the site there have been many episodes of 'Trolls' which thanks to the mods have been resolved. I have only seen one post deleted recently and in light of her previous uncontained rants I suspect it was more of the same. I think its a really unfair comment to suggest if you arent a friend of the mods your posts are harshly policed.

    Anyway what I really wanted to say was why on earth do people insist on mentioning things like 'Brittle gang' like they are segregated. I understand Brittles may have more regular itu admissions,vents,more meds and a choatic lifestyle BUT any asthmatic can end up in ITU,have a frightening attack or take high dose meds. Personally I dont know why this split happens, surely the site is for all asthmatics to share experiences and gain support. Two years ago in our village a 12 yr old boy and 11 yr old girl both had fatal attacks within 6 mths of each other, they were both boxed as mild asthmatics on minimal treatment who hadnt had admissions since toddlers. So the point i'm trying to make, probably badly is this awful illness doesnt recognise who is in what 'gang' and all asthmatics have similiar problems and fears whatever the label.

    I would like to think people can post regardless of how severe they are, I am always interested in peoples experiences and views as long as they are being straight. There are times people post dramatic and far fetched accounts, I would rather these people were challenged than left to carry on posting and scaring new members. On the other hand some genuine people need to go into explicit details to enable them to cope with an experience and I agree a warning tag on post would be the best way to deal with this.

    Julie ( Mum of 12 yr old who is Brittle,severe,difficult and whatever other label he has had over years!)

  • I am extremely saddened and very disheartened to read this.

    Particularly, it saddens me that people make such judgements about the moderating team without knowing in the slightest what actually goes on behind the scenes, and how much discussion takes place before a post is removed or a user banned. I particularly resent the implication of nepotism. There has been very, very little removal of *any* posts over the past twelve months, in fact I would struggle to remember the last time anyone had to delete a post prior to last Sunday. I don't think you can argue that the ""Brittle Gang"" are victimised - two of the moderating team are ""brittles"". And, as far as I am aware, there has been no infighting over the past twelve months. Maybe I am just completely oblivious, but if there have been issues, no-one has brought it to the attention of the moderating team or webeditor.

    I have said this before and I will say it again. Free speech, yes. But moderation is needed. To have a private forum where all the ins and outs and graphic details are discussed, fine. But this is NOT a private forum, it is the very front of Asthma UK, where a lot of newly-diagnosed people will come seeking advice and reassurance. It is also access by a significant number of under-16s, and as such we have to apply Child Protection policies. For what it is worth, we are currently working at developing a ""no holds barred"" area for the boards where such topics can be discussed that will feature a disclaimer regarding distress, etc. As regards warning newbies, if I can refer you to EmilyH's post on the ""only given one inhaler thread"", which contains such a warning, a practice which has been in place for some months now.

    I do wonder why this has been raised in public, being as it seems to principally be concerned with the moderation and administration of the boards; I can't help but feel it would have been better addressed via PM and email to Webeditor, so that it could be properly discussed and resolved. I don't think it helps to generate a welcoming air to the forum.

  • **Prologue: It took me so long to write this that it has cross-posted with something Cathbear wrote over 40 minutes ago! Apologies for the bits of this that cross with what Cath has written - hers is no doubt much better than mine!**

    This is a post of two parts! The second part (from the paragraph that starts ""Right..."") is all about what we think we might be able to do about the issues raised.

    However, the first part deals with our public accusation of mistreatment of Asthma UK members, which I feel duty-bound to respond to. I am deeply saddened by this, because it seems to be aimed at belittling the work of the Asthma UK moderating team. Perhaps it should be remembered that we do this on a voluntary basis, and that we are always acting in what we genuinely believe to be the best interests of EVERYONE on the site, and not just any one group of people. You have to remember that this site is accessible to anyone of ANY age; we simply can't allow posts that would be offensive/disturbing to anyone - whatever their asthma, however old they are, whatever they are offended by! - to remain in place without some kind of qualifying comment or the remote possibility that they may need to be edited.

    As moderators, we NEVER delete posts unless there is a very good reason. The last post that was deleted was removed because the poster in question sent an e-mail to Webed asking whether they could post it, and upon being asked not to for the sake of the board, chose to post it anyway! Despite the message title making it appear that it contained medically-sensitive information, the warning that it may offend was because it was essentially a needless flame-post, and two of the youngest members of the message board posted following on from it saying that if this was the way members of the board were going to behave, they would stop posting here. We can't allow posts that turn people away from the message board so quickly to remain on view, I'm afraid.

    If we need to edit a post, we will always leave behind a tag explaining why the edit has been made. We will NEVER completely remove a post, either - rather, we will edit out the contents and leave behind a message explaining our actions. Everyone has a right-of-reply if they think a moderating decision is wrong; simply PM one of the mods (or e-mail Webed) and the matter will be discussed.

    As Julie has said, before our recent post removal I can't actually remember the last time we had to take such an action.

    I am deeply offended by the insinuation that moderators would delete or edit posts, or worse ban members, just because we disagree with them! That's a very, very hurtful thing to say - perhaps you should try being a moderator for a week, and try to please everyone at the same time, and see how you get on. Sometimes we have to make decisions that people may not agree with, but I will strongly defend the integrity of all of the moderating team to the last, and am thus bitterly disappointed that anyone can make such an assumption about any of the mods here - it is not nice to be accused of such things when all you are trying to do is look after the well-being of the general membership of a charity-funded message board on a voluntary basis.

    Right, having said that, the rest of Scampy's post does make a very good point; why can't brittle asthmatics talk openly about their experiences on this message board when much worse can be found on the Internet just by doing a quick bit of Googling?

    There are a couple of reasons for this, but also there may be a solution - we mods do a lot of discussion behind-the-scenes about what we can learn from decisions we have to make, and we have had a possible idea. Read on...!

    Why can't we allow uncensored posting? As I've said before, this board is accessible to anyone. More to the point, it is accessible to any one of any AGE, and this is where we have to be careful. Cathbear and I are both CRB checked with Asthma UK so that we can moderate the kids Kick Asthma message board, and the Charities Commission has a very strict set of guidelines about the activities of registered charities. Quite simply, if we allow posts to remain on the message board that could be distressing to minors, Asthma UK could get into serious trouble - and that's despite the disclaimer that exists in the T&Cs.

    Child protection (""safeguarding"" as it is now called) on the Internet is a very big issue, and as such our hands are remarkably tightly tied by this. What we need is a way to separate out the sensitive stuff so that those that would be bothered by it don't need to read it.

    So here's our idea; why not add a new ""Talking Point"" specifically for this? It would mean a big chunk would need to be added to the T&Cs, but it would also mean that an essentially censorship-free area of the message board could be created.

    What do you folks think? It is, after all, YOUR message board!

    Thanks for reading this far! Oh, and thanks to everyone (there are a lot of you) who has offered PMs of support throughout our time as AUK mods.

    Julie - thank you so much for your post in this thread. It's true that there is an unfortunate self-segregative element to the tag ""The Brittle Gang"" - perhaps people aren't aware that it's a ""gang"" that half of the moderating team belong to as well! Hopefully our idea for a new area will help remove this self-imposed tag and allow more open discussion.




  • I feel I should make a comment here, although Cathy and Steve have already made many of the points that I would wish to make.

    I am also saddened and disheartened at these accusations of censorship, favouritism and lack of impartiality, and bullying. Behaviour like that would go against everything that I personally believe in, and everything that being a moderator stands for.

    We do a difficult and often thankless job, as moderators, and the decisions we have to make are never easy. As Cathy says, a great deal of 'behind the scenes' discussion goes on before any action is taken. It is only very rarely that a post is actually removed or edited - in the vast majority of cases, if something is said which is causing problems on the board, the moderators will post or PM attempting to enable posters to resolve the problems themselves (as indeed was done in the most recent instance - unfortunately our requests - and those of webed - were completely ignored). 'Locking' posts by asking people not to post anything further on them (we lack the software capability to formally lock them) also happens very rarely. In the six months since I have been a moderator, I can only remember one or two instances when this has occurred.

    As someone with brittle asthma and experience with multiple ventilations, respiratory arrests and so on, I can understand the imperative to post and discuss such issues. I know how powerful it can be to discover that there are others who have been through similar distressing experiences. One of the main benefits that I have personally gained from this forum is contact with, and friendship with, others who have been through these things. I stand by my assertion, though, that an open forum, accessible to any person of any age, is not the right setting to discuss some of the more sensitive issues. The argument that more graphic information can easily be found by Googling is specious - just because it is accessible elsewhere, doesn't mean that Asthma UK should be involved in the distribution of potentially distressing material.

    These sanctions are absolutely not intended to victimise or discriminate against people with brittle or severe asthma. Anybody posting potentially sensitive information, whatever the severity of their asthma, will be subject to the Terms and Conditions and will be asked to be similarly sensitive in their posting.

    I am saddened by the perception that there is a divide between the 'brittles' and the 'non-brittles' on this board. I feel very strongly that Asthma UK is for everyone affected by asthma, regardless of the severity of their condition. I am very aware of the fact that asthma can be very frightening and distressing regardless of how it presents. As Julie has pointed out, severe attacks are not the preserve of brittle asthmatics alone, and we are all at risk if we don't manage our asthma appropriately.

    I agree it would be very useful to have a separate area on the board where sensitive topics could be discussed more freely. I think it is important to stress that this area would not be for brittle or severe asthmatics only, but for any adult with an interest in discussing issues that are not appropriate for the main board. I think it is also important to make it understood that this area would not be unmoderated or not subject to revised Terms and Conditions - we still have a responsibility to make sure that people do not make personal attacks on other members.

    I hope and believe that the majority of people on Asthma UK feel that the moderators act in a way that is fair and impartial to protect the interests of the forum as a community. If I did not believe that, there would be very little point in carrying on as a moderator. I do what I do, like all the moderators, because I believe in what Asthma UK stands for, and what an invaluable source of support it can be to anyone affected by asthma. I would not want anything to undermine that.

    Em H

  • As one of the brittles on the board, who didn't have that label when I started posting, I have found the discussions very helpful over the past few years. I do not think there has been favouritism or bullying by the mods - I think they do a very good, but very difficult task, with very little thanks, in their own time.

    There are subjects which are not suitable for discussion on an open forum, especially one which children may read- and we have to be aware of that, and sensitive to others. For example some of the details of my admissions scare my friends, several of whom are doctors - so would be frightening for asthmatics who are aware that these things could happen to them. I am lucky in that I have access to others who can understand and with whom I can discuss these things. Also there have been times when message board users have asked questions regarding the impact of asthma on, how can I put this, intimate relationships, which wouldn't be appropriate for younger readers.

    I would be sad to think that there was a brittle/non-brittle divide, although some threads are clearly more relevant to brittles (eg sub cut terbutaline). I would hope that we would be welcoming to all, and in general that is what I have seen on the boards.

    I may not post very often any more, for a variety of reasons, but I do still read the boards regularly, and hope to be able to help those who have asthma of any degree as well as benefiting from others' experience.

    So in summary, thanks mods for doing what you do, and lets have somewhere we can talk about these sensitive issues more freely.


  • Well the admins can be nice and polite but I don't have to be, no doubt a warning for flaming will follow this however, I am sick of people thinking they have some right to come along and accuse moderators of things that are totally untrue. Scampy, you have come back here after goodness only knows how long and really said some nasty things about the Moderators making totally unfounded allegations or can you prove what you have posted in which case rather than post it here why not go to AUK and ask them to investigate it.

    To everyone else I am sorry I am not flaming I am just angry that once again unpaid voluntary work gets rewarded with accuastions and lies.


  • Scampy, I must say I find your allegations totally unfounded. I have always found this to be a friendly, welcoming, informative and helpful site. I have no knowledge of the frequent editing / bullying / banning of which you post. I might miss some things because I am not here that often, but I really am not aware of posts being heavily policed by mods at all. Quite the contrary, in fact.

    I have always found the mods to be very balanced and fair their approach to moderation. Without exception, I have found the mods to be helpful, knowledgeable and polite, both on the board and in PM's. Considering they do this job for no remuneration and in their own time, I think we all owe them a debt of gratitude.

    I am surprised at this thread in fact, because it is so contrary to my experience on the AUK board.

    I think the separate area for more ""sensitive"" posts or posts with more adult content. It seems to me to be the only sensible way forward.


  • I agree with owl, bex and sleepymazza. I think the moderators do a fantastic job and have never been aware of brittle asthmatics being treated any differently. (I am brittle). Over the last couple of years I have found the site helpful and informative.

  • I think the mods do a great job too. I've lost my label of brittle asthma having been seen at RBH (replaced with equisitely allergic or something equally as odd) but as i never felt part of a ""brittle"" gang on here it doesn't matter to me!!

    I have enough stress in my life without reading about stress on here I think the whole thing should just be allowed to lie so that we can get back to what we do best supporting each other, supporting new users and eating chocolate.

  • As I'm currently eating chocolate I have to agree with your last sentence, Marmite.

    (Green and Blacks, 70%, if you're interested)

  • only if its nut free:-)

  • I fully support what Cathy, Steve, EmH, all the other mods, Bex, Marmite and Julie etc have said.

    There has never been a ' Brittle Gang'! We all have varying degrees of asthma here from the very mild to the very severe and we support each other right across the board! The mild / newbies get support from the severe or more experienced and the newbies and us severe asthmatics get support from the severe and also the mild which is fantastic. There are a few blips and ups and downs but overall we support each other.

    Yes, I may help and advise more to the severe or uncotrolled asthmatics but I do make an attempt to support and advise newbies and mild asthmatics too where I can.

    This board is directly associated and hosted by Asthma UK, the leading asthma charity in the UK. It has a very high profile in the UK.

    If unscensorded messaging, flaming and general abuse of people occured on these boards how do you think that will reflect back on the charity?

    And also as mentioned, this board is often the first port of call for new asthmatics who can be very frightened at the diagnosis they have just received. If they feel uncomfortable reading things here they may miss out on some vital snippet of information that can greatly affect their health.

    The boards are open for all to see (i.e. you can view without logging in) and for all ages.

    How can we know the age make up of who is reading the boards - that is impossible to verify.

    I have had a lot of support from these boards and wish to go on providing and receiving support.

    Anyway, enough of my thoughts!

    Chocolate all round, though most of the egg has been demolished!



  • Hiya,

    I don't usually get involved in these types of things, but when I was first diagnosed (15 months ago) I found this site a massive massive help. As somebody who is one of six children, have twelve cousins and two nephews and nobody else in the whole family happens to be Asthmatic. And yes I mean nobody at all, not even any of my Grandparents, Anuties and Uncles or even many of my friends have any sort of chest problems, I really dont know how ive managed to be the only one in the family when its HUGE!! but i have. I came away from the GP in tears, not that they did a bad job, I just knew I'd be alone I have one Asthmatic friend I see once in a blue moon as we're all at different uni's now. I didn't know the first thing about the condition and so didnt know what to expect, what qu to ask, i wasnt even 100% sure how to use an inhaler!!

    I typed Asthma in on google, this came up I had a good look round the site and then on to the boards and immediately felt 100 times better.

    Without the mods, this forum couldnt be run, and people like me who can barely spell the word Asthma would be completely lost.

    I'd also like to add I am nowhere near Brittle (I think im just about described as moderate rather than mild, and only because my attacks are unpredictable in when they will occur and how bad they will be) and I still post fairly regularly and get lots of help, comfort and support off all members of the boards, including the mods.

    Right, said my piece now, hope everybody is ok and take care all!

    Claire xx

  • In response to some of your posts I would just like to clarify what I meant. Maybe from reading your responses I was not so clear in my writing…

    Firstly, Bex I do not think you have been inflammatory just posting your point of view on what I wrote. As stated I have not ‘suddenly returned’ I have been reading the site regularly and do post occasionally the most recent being in December last year.

    Note I put ‘seems like harsh policing of posts’. And that ‘I do know there is a need for moderators’. I am a moderator on a site myself. I did not mean all posts but that in some instances different ideas are ‘knocked’ for the want of a better word such as alternative therapy for managing asthma such as buteyko. Not all therapy’s are going to suit all people but exploration of ideas should be I believe encouraged. Was as well thinking of the 'sensitive' topics that have been raised as too.

    Also, Peak Steve on another thread has written himself “Over the last few months we've had to remove a couple of threads that were created by non-brittles but which contained content of an adult nature. These would be acceptable on the new area.”

    My intention was not to attack the mods or anyone else in particular but more general comment that sometimes people can be quick to judge solely from their own experiences and not look at a situation from another’s point of view, especially if that person is less knowledgable. Or, alternatively not see see past the way in which something is written and thus comes across but may nevertheless have quite valid points. I was also speaking from my own point of view and realize not everyone will agree with my view.

    Another support site which is run by a charity, of which I am a member (not for asthma and not a moderator for) has had issues over posts similarly and they have been handled differently. Hence my observation. On reflection re under 18’s reading posts issue, it is probably fair to say that this site would be less likely to be visited by anyone under 15 so may not be deemed such an issue. They do though have general disclaimer and also a glossary of terms used within the board to help newbies understand some of the terms used within threads, esp with regards to procedures etc. and useful links to other informative sites. I was therefore not implying that the more serious/offensive post should be left unsensored but that maybe the level at when sensorship action is taken could be adjusted.

    Your reasons as to why threads have been moderated in the past taking into account u18’s policy thus explains this. *Hands up* maybe I should have been more specific rather then generalise but was trying to stay within the t&c’s. This will hopefully be addressed on this site with a ‘talking point’ section as raised by peaksteve.

    Julie I apologise for the use of the words ‘brittle gang’ on reflection I could have written this better. I do know that some of the mods themselves are brittles/severe asthmatics. When I first joined the site there was more of a distinct split on the site, this has improved. I was not meaning to point so much at a divide between two types of asthmatics but trying to highlight the fact there is inevitably more people on the site that are at one end or the other of the spectrum and as such maybe to make those not of the more brittle/severe type are made aware on signing onto site in first place that a lot of the discussions regarding hospital admissions are disproportionate to the majority of asthmatics as the site attracts a lot of those in this situation naturally for support and help.

    I did not say that the site is unsupportive in fact I even said that I have found some of the threads informative especially of late and thus helpful. I have also met people through the site whom have given me an unimaginable level of support through the last couple of years.

    ps. thanks to those that have pm'd or emailed me in support

  • Scampy, many thanks for returning to this thread and responding to the issues raised. I think we are all starting to come to a shared understanding. I'm glad you can see our position where it comes to under 18s and more sensitive posts. Could you tell us a little bit more about how things have been managed on this other site you mention?

    Being slightly more controversial, may I just pull you up on something? You say in your latest post ""My intention was not to attack the mods or anyone else in particular"" - of which I am glad and I thank you for clarifying this. However, this contrasts sharply with your initial post, in which you expressed that you were... ""saddened by what seems like harsh ‘policing’ of posts which because they are contrary to mods views and those of mods friends get shot down/bullied off the site or posts edited/deleted and banned. I know there is a need for moderators but I think that they should try to be more impartial."" As EmilyH said in her response, this statement was probably the most controversial part of the post, as it goes against all of our personal and professional values.

    I would be interested to hear more about how other message boards handle things like this, as we all learn from each other - we recently collaborated with the British Lung Foundation on an issue, and Webed is now in dialogue with other charities regarding how they manage sensitive issues. Any additional insight others can add would be invaluable.


  • Cathbear has, once again, said most of what I would wish to say in response to this! I am reassured to hear that you did not intend your initial post to be a personal attack, Scampy; however, I have to say that it felt very much like a personal attack to me at the time.

    One thing that I would like to pick up on - I don't believe that we are in the habit of 'knocking' new or alternative therapies such as Buteyko. In general, my response to posts on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) would be to present the evidence, if there is any, to note any warnings, contraindications or potential side effects, and to advise people to discuss it with a doctor or pharmacist before starting any new treatment. I don't believe that this is 'knocking' CAM in any way; rather it is providing an informed, balanced and above all safe response, which is our responsibility as doctors and moderators.

    Another issue is the fact that when new users post praising one particular form of CAM, they have sometimes been revealed to be involved in commercial activity related to that, and have been attempting to advertise this on the board - this is, of course, against the Terms and Conditions. This may explain our often slightly wary response to people who appear to fit this profile.

    I also don't feel that, for the most part, people are 'quick to judge solely from their own experiences'. Of course, there are always exceptions, but I think most people have a good understanding of what a heterogeneous condition asthma can be, and appreciate that their experience of it may differ greatly from that of another board user.

    We have a wide variety of opinions, experiences and severities of illness on this board, and that generates some really interesting and worthwhile discussion. I feel that, in general, people are really good at respecting others' opinions and keeping the flavour of the discussion calm and non-personal. If discussion and disagreement does descend to a personal level and is causing upset, the moderators will intervene to try to get things back onto a friendlier footing - that is part of our job. However, we do not readily alter posts or ban other users - this occurs only rarely and after a great deal of consideration and discussion. I know that this point has already been made; however, I think it bears repetition.

    You refer to posts of an adult nature being removed; as Steve has pointed out, this is something that we have a LEGAL obligation to do for Child Protection reasons. In cases where we have had to remove posts of this nature, we have always tried to follow this up with a PM to the person concerned, explaining why this action has been taken and also trying to answer the question asked.

    I am adding all of this because I feel that it is important that people have an appreciation of the 'behind the scenes' work that we do as moderators of the board. I'd also like to point out that, contrary to what some people have been suggesting, the development of a new 'sensitive subjects' area would actually require MORE work on the part of the moderating team, not less. The area would not be unmoderated, and a great deal of discussion would have to occur (and indeed has already occured) about the use of the new area and the revised Terms and Conditions.

    I am really pleased by the amount of discussion that has been generated by Steve's post on the proposed 'sensitive subjects' area; I hope that we can move forward with this and help to solve some of the issues that have been raised.

    Em H

  • Just a note on observations.

    I think I understand what Scampy was trying to say and glad she has re-posted with more clarification.

    I read the post and thought how brave of her to open up and post what as she said "" HER OBSERVATIONS"". Let's remember A dozen people can look at a picture and they all might see it from different angles and each persons observations will be different.

    Hopefully thank goodness we all can respect each others individuality and from the listening to all views / opinions / observations we are open enough up to see the full picture. From seeing the full picture we may then put forward idea's on where the picture can be improved and move forward.

    Hope this makes sence


  • scampy everyone is entitled to their say,

    i think you have just said what a few people have been thinking and not dared to say before?

    well done for speaking out and i hope more people dare to come forward and say what they think in the future?

    after all it is a forum that everyone should be able to have their say 'within reason'

    mel xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  • Is this really a forum where people dont 'dare' to speak up so sit quietly keeping observations to self till someone is 'brave' enough to speak up?

    If this is this case I am oblivious to it as there is often lively debate with different views being put across... I must have head stuck in clouds some where :-)

  • Thank you, Julie - I hope that the majority also feel that way.

    D58 - I'm afraid I completely disagree that Scampy was ""brave"" to bring up the point that everyone should have the ability to discuss their condition without censorship. It was a very valid point, and one that I'm glad we've had a chance to discuss - because it has enabled us to put into motion our long-standing plan to add a new area to the boards just for this - and for that I am very thankful to Scampy for starting off the debate. I'd also like to thank Scampy for providing us with some good information about how other message boards deal with this; it's been very helpful as we plan what we are going to do.

    But ""brave""? No, this is a discussion board, and open discussion has - and always will be - encouraged.

  • Julie I too missed the embargo on not saying what I thought. I am careful not to post graphic descriptions mainly because I don't tend to remember much and when I am told what happened to me I am scared by it I am sure some poor unsuspecting 1st timer does not need the pants scared off them with it. I am certainly not going to be posting ""emergency crisis"" posts cos by that time I am well past the ability to post anything. I am not going to get into a ""more meds than you debate"" asthma was - last time I looked - not a competition and I will not be dragged into one. All the above are common sense I would have thought for an open message board.

    D58 if you are suggesting we should ""dare"" to post about issues other users have with mods then that would be a serious breach of confidentiality if they contributed and the mods would not because they are bound by rules and guidelines not be able to participate therefore the ""debate"" would result in a whole bunch of hearsay and accusations being posted without actually achieving anything. I don't know about the rest of you but I don't want to see disagreements with mods played out in the open last time I looked that was not what this board was about.


    hoping she has not overstepped the line (again) with this post

  • peaksteve,

    i never said that scampy was brave?

    i said she had bought up a topic that i knew a few people had thought about and not dare say!!!!! i said nothing about her being brave!!!

  • Mel - you're right, of course. However, you have again said that Scampy has said something that others ""dare not"" say, so I think I can safely read that as her being brave! Whatever your reading of the situation, I still disagree with those sentiments.

  • In general, I very much hope that this is a site where people can express a whole range of opinions, and where we can have a lively and civilised debate on those opinions. It's reassuring to read from Julie and Bex that they feel that this is the case.

    However, when one person's opinion becomes an accusation that the moderators are guilty of 'harsh policing', 'bullying' and lack of impartiality, that is a lot more difficult. These are serious accusations and very hurtful things to say about someone. Although Scampy has come back and stated that her post was not intended as a personal attack on the moderators, I fail to see how it can be interpreted otherwise. The comments made attack not only our moderating style but our personal integrity.

    Discussion of the restrictions on sensitive subjects is interesting and useful, and has already been of use to us in enabling us to lobby for a new area of the board and try to develop some guidelines for this area. Discussion of the style in which the board is moderated would be more appropriate by PM to the moderators or by e-mail to webed.

    If I really believed that Scampy's comments about our moderating style reflected what the majority 'have been thinking and not dared to say before', then I would hang up my hat right now.

    Em H

  • Dear oh dear, I am apalled at the accusations leveled against our Moderators. I firmly believe that AUK is the happy safe community that it is largely because of our Mods. I feel safe to post on these boards and indeed to gain info. With reference to Scampys mention of Butkeyo, i woke up in Recuss because of using this technique so obviously i think it crucial for some posts to be edited and for a balanced view to be expressed over alternative therapies. I learnt to my cost that there is no magic cure for asthma but some interlopers to this site give rise to false hope and without the Mods presenting the full facts we would have a one sided view.

    The Mods work tirelessly and do an often thankless job, their professionalism, impartiality, integrity and dedication is second to none. I and i'm sure many others have gained much from these boards and this is largely due to the work of the Moderators. I am so sorry that the Mods have had these totally unfounded allegations levelled at them and would like to say a huge thank you to them for making this a happy safe place to be. Please don't feel disheartened there are a great many of us who are truely appreciative and very thankful for the 'job' that you do. It is not an easy job to do, but please remember i and i'm sure many others have gained much from these boards and without your input i would not have gained so much and had a safe place to learn about and come to terms with my asthma. MODS YOU ARE THE BEST! YOU ARE ALL STARS! HUGE THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU. And i really hope that you can dismiss out of hand these ridiculous but painful, personal accusations that have been levelled against you. Please don't lose sight of the fact that there are a great many of us who are indebeted to your exemplary moderating, Lois

  • You know, a few people this week have asked us why we still moderate here despite everything that gets thrown at us. Well, there's your answer, right there.

    Thanks, Lois. It really does mean a lot to us all.


    (slightly overwhelmed mod!)

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