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Support Groups Rules

by | Apr 12, 2007 | Suicide

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Attention all HelpingTeens.org Support Groups members and staff alike:

The HelpingTeens.org Support Groups exist to provide teens around the world an avenue of expressing themselves, meeting and communicating with other teens, and receiving help. Because of the nature of this site, the audiences we cater to and legal liability, we have set forth a set of rules that govern the usage of the HelpingTeens.org Support Groups. The rules serve to further the general productivity of the site in terms of helping, quality of help, as well as provide methods for maintaining control of immature and disruptive users.

While using the HelpingTeens.org Support Groups you agree to follow these very simple rules. They’re more common sense than rules anyway. Anyone unable and/or unwilling to follow the support group rules will be dealt with on an individual basis and consequences will be determined the same way unless otherwise stated in these rules. All staff members WILL enforce these rules to the fullest of their respective abilities and use their judgment to determine the consequence they feel necessary. Depending on the severity of the infraction, consequences can include but are not limited to: Informal and Formal Warnings as well as Temporary (Suspensions) Bans.

Please, to prevent any confusion, take it upon yourself as the member to check the rules every so often as they are subject to change without prior notice when the need arises or when the administration of HelpingTeens.org sees fit. We are here to help, not discipline, but we will if and when it becomes necessary. If you have any problems and/or questions about the rules please bring them up with an administrator.

Global Forum Rules

General Rules (All Forums)

1. You must use a valid e-mail address that you check regularly. Any bounce-backs with the error of colon “unknown user” or “Mailbox has exceeded its allocated storage capacity” (which basically means you no longer have that e-mail address) will have their Support Groups Account disabled at the discression of the Support Groups Administrators without consulting you first. Also, a reminder to keep all e-mail boxes (Hotmail, Yahoo!, Excite, Netscape, etc…) under your maximum allowed space. Any one who has bounce-back messages from topic/forum subscriptions, the subscriptions will be removed forcefully server side so we reduce the amount of bounce back messages from our system. You must have a valid e-mail account able to accept e-mails from HelpingTeens.org. You may choose to not allow administrators to bulk e-mail you (My Controls, E-mail Settings, – “Send me any updates sent by the board administrator.”)

2. There is a maximum of 2 (two) user accounts per person and only if you are not abusing the nicknames. Any other (clone) accounts, when found, will be permanently disabled.

3. Giving out passwords is unacceptable and will NOT be tolerated. If any administrator finds any member has given out his or her password to someone, even IF the person you told does not use it, all of your privileges will be removed immediately (Banned/Suspended) for usually 1 week. This circumvents the warning system. If we find out who used your account, not only will you be banned/suspended, but he/she will also be banned/suspended for a period of usually 1 week. We WILL maintain a ZERO-tolerance policy in this regard.

4. There will be no disrespect to others including but not limited to: Users, Administrators, Moderators, Super-Moderators, or anyone on these forums. This also means no pointing fingers. If you do not agree with the persons’ opinion, you are expected to be open-minded and courteous to them.

5. Excessive CAPS will earn you a warning. CAPS are only employed for SHOUTING. Use these sparingly in your posts. Posts filled with caps will be edited and you will be warned.

6. There will be no flirting allowed and absolutely no cyber sex. Disciplinary action will be taken for flirters.

7. There will be no name-calling, moderator or super moderator begging, pestering or being a general nuisance.

8. There will be NO religious talk except in the forum “Religion/Spirituality/Philosophy”. It is too controversial and offensive to many users. To keep the peace, talking about religion has been DISALLOWED in any other forum except “Religion/Spirituality/Philosophy”.

9. Images of cuts, wounds, scars, self-mutilations, weapons, nudity, pornography, or obscene objects and/or scenes are strictly prohibited and will be immediately removed without notice. There are no exceptions to this rule. The image(s) will be removed and you will be given a warning.

10. Spamming is not permitted. Spamming is advertising other sites in areas other than chit-chat, and/or posting multiple topics in multiple forums.

11. No fighting in ANY forum; this behavior is strictly prohibited.

12. Promotion of violence towards members of this community or any other person is strictly prohibited. This includes not just text in your posts but also images of any kind.

13. Any images, inserted into the forums as posts, cannot exceed the width of 450 pixels and height of 450 pixels. Signature and avatar rules are separate.

14. If a moderator has edited your post or has locked your topic, there was something wrong with it. Do not re-edit your post. Do not create a second topic identical to the first. Re-read your post and make sure you learn from your mistakes. If in the event a moderator does not leave a note or has sent you a personal message stating and explaining the reason(s) why they edited your post(s)–you should send the moderator a personal message asking why your post was edited. If you would prefer not to ask the moderator, you may ask an administrator directly.

15. Any and all posts and/or actions that can be interpreted by the administration as having malicious intent towards the HelpingTeens.org community, it’s members, staff and/or the general well-being of the site, or if they have the intent of making money off the members of our Support Groups will be subject to removal without prior warning.

16. Express any concerns about the forum to the moderators either by e-mail, personal message, through the forums, or via the live chat room. Do not post topics such as: “This forum needs this….” in the forums. That’s what the “Suggestions” forum is for.

17. Keep any and all descriptions to a PG-13 level. All posts should be made suitable for a general audience.

18. Harassment of any member of the support groups or any racial discrimination is strictly prohibited. The first offense is a warning, and on the second offense, a ban will be considered.

Nickname Rules

1. Any nicknames that can be viewed as “triggering” will NOT be tolerated.

2. No intentionally offensive names are allowed. This includes racially, and socially offensive slurs as well as swear words.

Profanity Rules

1. Swearing is permitted. Avoid using profanity towards other people and/or their beliefs. We will almost never censor a post because of the profanity contained within it. We could create censors on any word you could think of, but we do not because we believe in your rights to express yourself in any form that you choose. HOWEVER, this does not mean that you should abuse these rights because you can get away with it. You have the freedom to use profanity in posts, but try to have a little class.

Avatar & Personal Photo Rules

1. See General Rule #9.

2. All profanity rules apply. See the Profanity Rules.

3. Any images that can be interpreted as “triggering” to some users will not be tolerated.

Signature Rules

1. See General Rule #4 and #5 and #16.

2. All Profanity rules apply. See the Profanity Rules.

3. All Avatar & Personal Photo rules apply. See the Avatar & Personal Photo rules.

4. Any content that can be interpreted as “triggering” or being offensive to some users will not be tolerated.

5. Pictures are allowed; however keep them to no wider than 500 pixels and no higher than 300 COMBINED (meaning if you have more than 1 picture stacked or side-by-side, they both combined may not exceed 300 pixels in height or 500 pixels in width).

Individual Forum Rules

Religion/Spirituality/Philosophy Forum Rules

1. This forum was created in order to let teens talk and discuss different aspects of their religions and/or beliefs. The Administration would like to start by explaining that the moderators of these groups and the moderators of this forum are in no way prejudiced towards anyone’s opinions or beliefs no matter what they are. Regardless of religious beliefs (or lack thereof) we feel that it’s your life; you have a right to live it how you would like and we have no need/want to try to change that. Feel free to express your opinions without fear of being judged or discriminated against by the moderators, and know that we will do our best to prevent such discrimination by the other forum members as well.

Sex Sex Sex Forum Rules

1. See General Rule #17.

2. This forum is for help, not for discussing your sexual conquests. Leave the chatting in Chit-Chat.

Self-Harm Forum Rules

1. Do not describe in detail how you cut/burn/self harm. Graphic posts will be edited. Posts that are considered too “triggering” or too specific of a suggestion will be edited. Images are included in this. If you have some reason for showing someone a photo, that can be done privately, not through the forum. Photos are too “triggering” as well as may give people bad ideas. Also, please go see General Rule #9.

Suicide Forum Rules

1. See General Rule #15.

2. No off-topic foolishness. This forum is to support and help. If you want to chat, take it to the chit-chat forum, a private message, or e-mail each other. General Rule #12 also applies.

3. Do not, under any circumstances, tell a member to kill him/herself or describe ways of committing suicide or how others have done so; even if it’s a joke! You should NEVER joke about something like suicide. Violations to this rule will result in the following: First offense you will be warned and sent a personal message explaining that you either take the warning and learn from your mistake or be banned. Second offense will result in a swift ban by the administrators (the length of which is determined by previous ban lengths.)

Eating Disorders Forum Rules

1. No numbers or talk of numbers will be accepted in this forum. This includes weight, calorie intake, BMI, etc. Posts which include numbers will be edited by the moderators. Please use discretion when posting facts or information in relation to the issue of Eating Disorders. If you are not sure if the information you give is correct, please contact one of the moderators. While the original post will not be edited–incorrect information will be corrected by a moderator in a separate post.

2. There is to be absolutely no offers of, or requests made, for tips on how to further disordered eating behavior. Posts of this nature will be removed by site staff and you will be given a warning for the offense.

3. Material that is “triggering” will be edited by staff. The decision to edit such posts will be based on the requests made users and posts which are reported to the moderators.

Drugs/Alcohol Forum Rules

1. This is NOT a place to give instructions on ways to abuse drugs, alcohol, or other illegal substances.

2. No posts belittling drug users for their actions or beliefs. In addition no posts condemning drug use without any factual or realistic proof behind it to support your claims. Simplified: No posts saying all druggies are going to be homeless, unless you somehow find a study showing the rates of drug use are directly correlated to homelessness.


11. Making a post that either bumps a topic or adds no new information to it will NOT be tolerated. For example Posting "I don’t know what to tell you" or just "LOL" is not allowed. Another action that is prohibited is digging up topics that have long since died down unless you have something to add to them that is valid. The only exception to this rule is the Chit-Chat forum. The Chit-Chat forum is the only place you are allowed to do this. All topics that go too much astray from the original subject will be considered for trimming, moving or being split into two topics. If you have something to say unrelated to the topic, but want it to be said, please feel free to create a new topic in the appropriate forum.

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3. Any nicknames found by site staff and/or administrators that do not meet these requirements will have a forceful name change performed immediately, and the user will be sent an e-mail (by the Support Groups Forum Software) explaining what their new nickname is. After this change has occurred, the user will have one week (seven days) to send feedback to an available administrator about changing their name to something that they would like. If the new nickname provided to a site administrator abides by all of the nickname rules, the name will be changed.

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6. All signature images must remain a reasonable file size. Images that are excessively large in file size, i.e. approaching or exceeding 75 kilobytes in size will be removed by the site administration.


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