This Discussion Forum Policy sets out certain rules that will govern your use of the discussion forums (the "Discussion Forums") available at www.dlf.org.uk, www.livingmadeeasy.org.uk and www.dlf-data.org.uk and also the separate forum at www.youreable.com (this "Website") including some guidelines that we hope you will find helpful.
The Discussion Forums are available to all users of the Website to look at. Only registered users of this Website ("Forum Users") are able to post messages. These Discussion Forums are provided to give you the chance to discuss issues, including your equipment needs, with other users and ask for advice from our advice team. As in a real community, Forum Users are asked to respect other Forum Users and their rights.
The Discussion Forums are divided into different areas, with each area dedicated to particular topics of discussion. Please ensure that any discussions you begin are started in the appropriate area so that other people know where to look for them.
Joining the Forum
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 Youreable Forum.
You must register on this site with an email address that is valid. New users will not be able to post on the Forum until they click the activation link sent to their registered email address, and the account has been approved. Registered Forum users are responsible for keeping their Youreable account up-to-date about their current email address.
1. Discussion Forum Policy
1.1. Your access and use of the Discussion Forums is subject to your acceptance of, and compliance with the provisions of this Discussion Forum Policy and any other legal notices and/or instructions which may appear in the Discussion Forums (including in any messages or attachments posted on a Discussion Forum) from time to time.
1.2. IMPORTANT: By accessing and using the Discussion Forums you will automatically be taken to have read, understood and accepted this Discussion Forum Policy. If you do not agree to be bound by this Discussion Forum Policy, please cease to access any Discussion Forums. If you fail to observe any of the provisions of this Discussion Forum Policy, we reserve the right, at our discretion and without notice, to remove or edit any messages you may have left on a Discussion Forum and/or to exclude you (either temporarily or permanently) from the Discussion Forums and/or terminate your access to all or any parts of this Website, depending on the nature and severity of your breach.
1.3. If you are notified that your posting privileges have been suspended or terminated, you will not attempt to reregister as a User of the Discussion Forums or make any Posts on it in any guise whatsoever.
1.4. When former Users whose posting privileges have been removed do reregister or otherwise disrupt the Discussion Forums, this spoils the Discussion Forums and can cause severe distress or disturbance to other Users. Dealing with the unwanted Posts of former Users distracts us from the core purpose of the Website and ties up management and technician time. Therefore, in such circumstances we reserve the right to:
- Report offenders to their ISP.
- Charge offenders for the administrative costs of identifying and removing their posts at the rate of £50 per hour necessarily spent plus any external costs that we incur.
- Take legal action to recover these costs.
- Report offenders to the authorities if their actions appear to amount to a breach of the Computer Misuse Act 1990 or any other relevant criminal legislation.
1.5 This Discussion Forum Policy may be amended from time to time, and we therefore suggest that you review it periodically.
2. Posting a Message on a Discussion Forum
2.1. When posting ("Posting") a message or a reply (including attachments) ("Message") on any Discussion Forum, you will need to be logged in as a registered Forum User. The following information will appear in your Posts.
- Username - This will be published alongside your Message. It will be the Username you created when you registered;
- Location – Once again this will be published alongside your Message if you provided it when you registered. This will enable geographical queries to be responded to more effectively. Please do not insert your home address; your town, city or county will suffice, and in any case, please note that you are not obliged to provide this information;
- Topic Title – This is only required if you are starting a new topic thread; and
- Text – This will of course be published. You are responsible for ensuring the safety of your personal information and we therefore recommend that you do not include your full home address, job title, telephone number or other more sensitive personal information in any Messages, unless you are entirely satisfied that such information should be made public. In particular, please remember that your email address may contain personal information about you such as your name and where you work.
3. Rules for using the Discussion Forums
3.1. General Behaviour - Forum Users must not transmit to any Discussion Forum ("Post") any Message, or knowingly receive via a Discussion Forum ("Access") any Message that is unlawful, illegal, fraudulent, offensive, threatening, abusive, bullying, harassing, tortuous, indecent, obscene, defamatory, invasive of another's privacy, or discriminatory whether racially, ethnically, sexually, religiously or otherwise, or which may incite or instruct any person or organisation to undertake such activities. The persistent posting of critical messages that focus on other forum members is an example of behaviour that is harassing.
3.2 Use of Language – Forum Users must not Post or Access Messages containing language that is in any way unlawful, threatening or offensive. This includes the use of swear-words, bad language and offensive nicknames. Care should be taken with the use of language with attention given to tact and diplomacy and being non-judgmental. Remember that members may have low confidence, or be quite emotional and take replies in ways other than intended, or out of context. However also remember that everyone has different writing styles and that you may be reading something out of context, or other than intended.
3.3. Breach of Confidence – Forum Users must not Post or Access Messages that might in any way breach the confidence or privacy of another individual. For example, an email received from an individual cannot be placed on a Discussion Forum without first obtaining that individual’s consent.
3.4. Breach of Intellectual Property – Forum Users must not Post or Access Messages that might in any way infringe any patent, trade mark (including Trade Marks), trade secret, copyright, database right or in any other way violates the legal rights of any third party.
3.5. Impersonation – Forum Users must not impersonate any person or identity, falsely state or otherwise misrepresent their affiliation with a person or organisation or disguise the origin of any content of a Message.
Forum Users post as individuals, they can state their background and experience but unless authorised to do so should refrain from making repeated references to other services that they may work or volunteer for. Any views you express are your own. When views are expressed in a way which implies the support or endorsement of a third organisation it can have damaging consequences for that organisation including:
- compromising core principles of independence, impartiality and client confidentiality
- relationships with other third parties can be harmed
- potential members / volunteers may be put off contacting the organisation
3.6. Viruses – Forum Users must not Post or Access Messages that might contain computer viruses or any other computer code, or programs designed to interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer software, hardware, or telecommunications equipment.
3.7. Illegal and Harmful Activities – Forum Users must not Post or Access Messages relating to (or including links to) pirated software (including computer games), counterfeit goods or any other material which is, or might reasonably considered to be, illegal or otherwise harmful.
3.8. Pornography – Forum Users must not Post or Access Messages relating to (or including links to) any kind of pornography.
3.9. Personal Information – Forum Users must not Post any messages containing any information about another person from which that person can be identified. Please be aware that you do not have to name a person in order to identify them, if sufficient other information is given.
3.10. Contact Details - Forum Users must not Post any Messages containing email addresses, home address, telephone number or other contact details, of themselves or any other person.
Spam/advertising - Forum Users must not Post any Messages advertising products or services for profit or gain (unless in the Supplier's Corner forum on DLF's main forum).
3.11. Off topic Messages - Forum Users must not Post Messages that are off topic for the forum or thread if these will be disruptive to other users (Moderators will determine whether they feel Messages are off topic).
3.12. Sharing of accounts - No account should be used by more than one person.
3.13. Repeat Posts - a Post or very similar Posts should not be placed in several forums.
3.14. Trolls - Forum Users must not Post inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion
3.15. Other - Forum Users must not act in any way that brings DLF into disrepute.
3.16. Moderator complaints: complaints and queries about Moderators should be sent directly using our feedback form and not posted on the forums. We will not discuss moderation on the forum as this would help trolls and spammers.
3.17. Advertising/Commercial use User to user recommendations of products is acceptable and encouraged but any commercially driven posts will be removed and your account banned or a warning issued. For example, inline text advertising is strictly forbidden. Any posts which do not adhere to the above will be removed and should the post be reposted the account may be subject to a warning or ban. In order to post urls on DLF Forums and Youreable Forums you must be an established member and with at least 10 posts as we don’t want to encourage people to post simply to advertise rather than participate properly in the forum.
3.18. Surveys/research requests/TV programmes All posts from students, professionals or anyone else asking for users to take part in research, complete surveys or to take part in TV programmes, must be placed under the "Surveys/research requests/TV programmes" forum board. They must be genuine requests and be aimed at people with disabilities. This is because in the past when this was not filtered, we received complaints from our users about the volume of such requests that were posted as they disrupted the genuine discussions on the forum. Any posts which do not adhere to the above will be removed and should the post be reposted the account may be subject to a warning or ban.
If you are a student, the post must contain the following:
- The name of the university you are studying at
- The name of your lecturer
- The name of the course
- The purpose of the project.
3.19. Reminder: If you fail to observe any of these rules, we reserve the right, at our discretion and without notice, to remove or edit any messages you may have left on a Discussion Forum and/or to exclude you (either temporarily or permanently) from the Discussion Forums and/or terminate your access to all or any parts of this Website, depending on the nature and severity of your breach.
4. Monitoring / Moderation
4.1. In order to provide Forum Users with general support and advice in relation to their use of the Discussion Forums and for security and abuse-management reasons, DLF staff may act as Moderators. All DLF staff who act as Moderators have been DBS (was CRB) checked.
4.2. Moderators will access the Discussion Forums from time to time in order to help ensure that other Forum Users are adhering to this Discussion Forum Policy.
DLF reserves the right to:
- access and monitor the use of Discussion Forums and any Messages Posted on them
- take whatever other steps we consider are necessary to protect our Forum Users; including editing or removing any Messages or suspending or discontinuing any Discussion Forums
- revoke your status as a Forum User or otherwise limit your right of access to this Website at any time where, in our opinion, you have materially or persistently breached this Policy or the Terms and Conditions
- restrict your ability to complain or in some cases revoke your status as a Forum User if the complaint facility is used excessively or maliciously
4.3. Each Forum User shall remain responsible for his or her behaviour in the Forum. If we remove your Message after reviewing it, you can assume that we removed it deliberately and you should take our warning notification seriously.
We do not monitor all activity on the Discussion Forums and so we do rely on Forum Users to inform us if you observe any abuse or inappropriate behaviour, in which case we will review specific Messages and assess if they breach the Forum or User Policies.
4.4. Concerns about posts: Youreable forum users can raise concerns about posts that they feel break DLF’s Forum Policy via the ‘Report this Post’ button. (You must be logged in to report Posts.)
The report will be sent to DLF Moderators who will review the post and decide what action to take. Options will include: no action necessary, removing the reported post and replacing with a message that says that the post has been removed by a Moderator, removing the entire thread and, for users who persistently break DLF’s Forum Policy, banning the user from the Forum. Decisions by DLF’s Moderators as to which option to take will be final.
Reported forum posts and those that have gone into automatic moderation will only be dealt with by DLF’s Moderators during DLF’s normal business hours (Mon-Fri, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.).
NB - Do not abuse the "Report Post" button. If you do not agree with a comment, please respond via the forum. The "Report Post" function is there to ensure that Forum Users have the means to report inappropriate content.
5. Requests for thread deletions
We don't generally delete whole discussion threads, unless they contravene forum policy. If such a request is made by a forum member we will usually only remove whole discussion threads in exceptional circumstances.
The reason for this is because removing entire threads goes against the spirit of community, which is to provide support and share knowledge, experience and information. By deleting a thread, this knowledge and experience cannot be shared or built upon - it is not the original poster who just benefits, but others who come to the forum seeking advice and information themselves. Also forum members who add posts to threads are giving time, support, effort and knowledge into helping the original poster, and others, and it can be frustrating to find their posts have then been deleted. If you should need to contact us about a thread, contact us at email@example.com
6. Requests for account deletion and removal of personal information
6.1. If a forum user wishes to leave the forum we can delete the account at their request. The personal information (eg username and email address of the account holder) will be removed from the database. All posts will remain on the forum, but will be re-attributed to ‘Guest’. Posts maybe removed from the forum if exceptional circumstances exist, for example a safeguarding issue. For more on forum user responsibilities on posting please refer to sections 2 and 3 above.
The forum is a shared space and we would ask forum members to think carefully before requesting account deletions - 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.
6.2. DLF 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 we reserve the right to refuse this request.
7. Liability and Disclaimers
7.1. Please read carefully the paragraphs entitled “Disclaimers”, “Our liability” and “Your liability” in the User Policy, as they also apply to this Forum Policy.
Please note that:
- The Discussion Forums consist largely of Messages Posted by Forum Users that are not employed or contracted by us, and we do not monitor every Message nor the conduct of every Forum User. Therefore, we can accept no liability in respect of the content of any Messages, including the accuracy or truthfulness of any such Messages or any responsibility for the consequences of your acting in reliance on such Messages. We do not endorse any opinions expressed by any Forum Users in any Messages;
- While we will take steps to edit or remove any Messages which are in breach of this Discussion Forum Policy and which come to our notice, we cannot guarantee the prompt editing or removal of any Messages;
- We reserve the right at our sole discretion to remove or edit Messages from the Discussion Forums or to suspend or discontinue or take down from the Website any or all Discussion Forums at any time for any reason; and
- We reserve the right, at our sole discretion, to deny any Forum User access to the Discussion Forums, without notice, for any breach of this Discussion Forum Policy and/or to terminate your access to all or any parts of this Website.
- Our staff and volunteers: Please note that acts of discrimination, harassment, bullying and victimisation against our staff or volunteers (including moderators) will not be tolerated. This includes, but is not limited to, physical or verbal abuse or contacting our staff or volunteers outside working hours on personal numbers without specific permission.
8. Third party advertising
8.1. This website may contain third party advertisements and links to third party sites.
Third party advertisements and links to other websites where goods and services are advertised does not mean the Disabled Living Foundation (DLF) endorse or recommend the advertiser’s goods or services. DLF does not make any representation as to the accuracy or suitability of any information contained in those advertisements or links to third party sites, and does not accept responsibility for the content of the advertisements, promises made, or the quality or reliability of the products or services offered in these advertisements. DLF will not knowingly run an advertisement which is untrue or fraudulent.
9. Modifications to this Discussion Forum Policy
10. Contacting Us
You can contact us by sending an e-mail message to: firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing to us at Disabled Living Foundation, Unit 1, 34 Chatfield Road, Wandsworth, London, SW11 3SE.
If you have a complaint about the way in which DLF are hosting or moderating this Forum, please follow this link to find out about the process to follow to register your complaint.
Last update: 1 November 2018