Last week thedragon posted a comment in the 'Posts' section entitled 'Objection!' about the restriction of Dwimble on the forum. There were various comments in response to this and also under related posts. I responded but due to a technical problem with Health Unlocked, the post did not appear in 'Latest Activity' and so I'm posting a slightly shortened version here to make sure it is seen by more people. I want to set the record straight about why Dwimble was restricted and why we did not remove the posts about the halcyon bracelets.
6 days ago Tiredparent Administrator
I am very disappointed about some recent comments from forum members. As Administrators, we are sometimes asked to delete posts or restrict forum members for all sorts of minor reasons. In this instance, we had very good reasons, and yet we were accused of acting inappropriately. Do we need to go to you each time to explain what has happened and get your agreement before taking action?
I restricted Dwimble last week for three reasons:
- he posted a link which I felt was likely to cause offence (‘Your RLS is not a disease. It's a blessing in disguise’). I deleted it.
- the post contained a link to a website which included an advert for a document promising a 'cure' for $30. I sent him a detailed message explaining that we did not permit advertising and that this was why he’d been restricted. He denied knowledge of the document and there is now no reference to it on any of his sites. His website and related sites may or may not contain useful information but the advert made me feel he was using them as a vehicle for promoting this document. Being restricted means that someone can still view the site but not post comments or send personal messages under that user name. Their previous posts remain visible (if they have not been deleted). Unsurprisingly, Dwimble used a new user name to get round this. We restricted Dwimble and sent him a note explaining why so that he was aware of the rules of the site. These are the procedures we follow if anyone breaks the rules. If despite the warning, users continue to break the rules, then we may decide to ban them which permanently blocks the user from all of HealthUnlocked, erases all the content already posted, and blocks the user from signing up again.
- On 5th Aug he posted on our forum ‘A list of remedies that will lessen your RLS’ and a link to his website and then on the 9th Aug he posted ‘Your RLS is not a disease. It's a blessing in disguise’ also linking to his website. I felt that to have two posts for the same thing in the same week was a bit much. Clearly he has absolute confidence in his beliefs but I do not want our forum to be his soap –box. (ie, platform for him to repeatedly express his views and dominate the forum).
In response to the comments about the halcyon bracelets, when I first became aware of the bracelets, I spoke to the lady selling them and explained she couldn’t advertise them on the forum. She has not done so - the original post was put on by a forum user. Therefore there was no need to remove her posts or restrict her.
The Administrators are volunteers (and RLS sufferers) and we do this role because we feel passionately about supporting sufferers and sharing information. We are trying to ensure that the forum remains a useful tool for everyone and we can't please everybody all of the time. No doubt, if I hadn't deleted Dwimble's post and restricted him, some users would have complained. I find it very disheartening that I spend a huge amount of time helping to manage this forum,(as do the other Administrators), and yet some users have no qualms about criticising what we do. If the Administrators didn't do this role, the site would turn into a free for all. I have had several occasions when I have been close to resigning from the role as I have been so fed up with the petty arguments, the stress of this sort of issue, and the amount of time the role has taken up.
Rosie, Vice Chair RLS-UK