It has always been the aim of the moderators of this community to have "a hands" off approach and that the community would be very much self moderating. The moderators only stepping in rarely. BLF moderators are not around 24/7, and I don't know of many communities of this type where moderation is 24/7. Trolls are a fact of life - they will not go away. As one goes away another comes along to take its place. There is nothing we can do to stop trolls. One solution would be to ban all Hotmail, yahoo, hushmail etc email accounts but that would stop a lot of genuine people joining the community. What we do have control of is how we react to, and deal with trolls.
We have always advised members to "ignore and report" any troll behaviour. That reporting does not happen enough - and sometimes when reports are made it is not always obvious why the behaviour is being reported. In the past, and more recently, some members have been unhappy with the actions of the moderators - and on one or two occasions the integrity of the moderators has been questioned. Therefore the following changes in approach to moderation will be brought in:-
1. All reports of abuse will be actioned by the moderators - no discretion will be applied, no benefit of the doubt given. All reports of abuse will be actioned.
2. Anyone who uses the abuse reporting to cause mischief; to target another member or for any other malicious reason, will be restricted.
3. Links to websites outside the UK will no longer be allowed - posts containing links will be deleted (not just the link).
4. Discussions or comments about trolls should be kept to the existing blogs on the subject. - any new blogs or questions relating to Trolling will be deleted.
Moderation will continue to take place during office hours, so any reports of abuse will only be actioned on the following working day if they occur in the evening or at weekend. Health Unlocked do monitor the community out of office hours and at weekends but they will only take action in the most exceptional cases.
I don't expect that the above steps will affect the majority of people using the community - the majority of you will still provide and receive the support you are here for.
Please remember that those people who are unkind in their posts - who make unfair judgements of you - who ridicule what you write - they don't know you - all they know about you are the words you type, and the comments and opinions you give and make. Life really is too short to let people who barely know you cause you upset - and make you feel unsafe.
So please simply ignore and report.
Please don't respond to or comment on this post - they will only be deleted.