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Forum guidelines


Forum guidelines

Forum guidelines


What the forum is for

The Breast Cancer Now forum is a place where people affected by breast cancer can find information and support.


Who is allowed to register (join the forum)

The forum is aimed at people who are affected by breast cancer. However, other people are allowed to register, as long as their posts remain relevant to the issues.


Our community guidelines


These guidelines aim to keep the Breast Cancer Now forum a friendly, welcoming, supportive space for people affected by breast cancer.


1) Be kind to each other

Many people using the forum are going through difficult times. A few words of kindness can go a long way. Be especially nice to new posters – it can be very nerve-wracking to post on the forum for the first time.


Give each other the benefit of the doubt: it can be very easy to misinterpret other people’s comments, especially when read or written in haste. Sarcasm and humour are particularly easy to misunderstand.


Please don’t post comments intended to annoy or inflame other users.


2) Celebrate difference and disagree respectfully

A wide range of people with very different experiences use the forum. Differences and debate are very welcome, but this is no place for personal attacks. Please make your points politely and respectfully. Equally, be prepared for people to disagree with you and try not to take it as a personal attack when it is not meant that way.


A couple of tips suggested by forum users:

- “Think before you submit” – if you disagree with a post, think it over before you post your response. Try drafting it first, then read it over to make sure what you’re saying is clear and respectful.

- “Attack the post not the poster” – that is, disagree with the points made, but don’t be rude about the person making the point.

Don't post any content that treats anyone unfairly because of their sex, sexual orientation, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or philosophical belief, disability, gender identity/reassignment, marital status, family circumstance or age; or anything that is threatening, obscene or in any way offensive.


Please do not swear or use terms that people may find offensive.

3) Keeping safe

The Forum is a public space and your posts may appear in internet searches. Please be careful with your personal information. Don’t use your real, full name (or email address) as your username and do not post your contact details on the Forum (we will remove them). Even in private messages, please be careful about who you give your information to. Think about your safety when arranging to meet people you have met on the Forum.

Please do not share or post anyone else’s personal information. For example, if information was posted in a private group or message, assume that the person wants it to remain private.

For the protection and safety of children, this Forum does not support members under the age of 18.


4) Keeping it legal

Only post your own content, otherwise you could be infringing copyright. This could include poems, stories, photos and reports.

Please do not identify specific healthcare professionals (especially by name). Publishing statements which damage others’ reputations could leave both the forum user who posted the statement, and Breast Cancer Now, vulnerable to legal action under libel law.


5) Keeping it useful and honest

Sharing experiences is at the heart of the Forum, but please be careful not to give medical advice.

Conversations on the forum can be wide-ranging, but if you post something that is unrelated to the original topic, we may remove it or move it to a more appropriate area. For word games and general conversations, please post in the ‘Games & Chat’ area.

Do not create multiple accounts or pretend to be someone else.

This is a support Forum, so please do not use it to try to sell things to other members.


6) Photography


It is ok to upload photos to the Forum, but we ask that you don't upload photos of an intimate or private nature, or of any medical documents you have received. It is not possible to issue a diagnosis by seeing a photo online, and some users may find other people's intimate photos distressing. If you have concerns, we recommend you seek advice of a GP or healthcare team who will be able to assess you in person.


If you upload photos of an intimate or private nature, or of any medical documents, we will edit your post and remove them from the Forum.


How you can help

Stick to the community guidelines and give us feedback about how they’re working.


If someone posts something you feel violates our community guidelines or terms of conditions, report it immediately then ignore it. Tap the “options” button at the top of the post and select “report inappropriate content” or email moderator@breastcancercare.org.uk. Some people enjoy getting a reaction, and post nasty comments just to provoke a response. The best way to deal with this is to report it, then ignore it.


How we will help

We have staff who work full time during office hours and manage the forum. Our aims when moderating are to keep the forum safe, legal and supportive.


We do not approve every post before it goes live. This is why we need forum users to take responsibility for their own postings, and to report inappropriate posts.


When you contact us, you should expect a response within 48 hours. If you report a post, we will usually let you know what action we have taken.


We understand that we are all human and make mistakes. If you breach our guidelines, you will usually get a warning, or a possible temporary ban. If you continue to breach the guidelines, we will ban you permanently from the site. We issue permanent bans only as a last resort to protect our community.


What actions can we take?

  • Edit a post. We will usually let you know when we do this and why. It is most often to delete swearing or personal information.
  • Delete a post. Again we will usually let you know when we do this and why. It is usually because of a breach of our guidelines.
  • We may post something to explain some background, or clarify Breast Cancer Now's position.
  • We may contact you by private message or email to make suggestions, or issue a warning.
  • Impose a temporary ban.
  • Ban users permanently.
  • Close a thread. If a healthy discussion breaks down into an exchange of attacks and insults, or becomes too heated, we might close a thread to end the discussion and encourage people to move on.


We aim to be consistent in applying our guidelines. If you have any comments about how we moderate, please send an email to our Digital Community Officer and Assistant to moderator@breastcancercare.org.uk .


To sum up…


Please do promote: kindness, honesty, respect, support, and shared experiences

Please don’t promote: rudeness, bullying, duplicity, sales