For example, if you post an article from another site, credit it (and provide a direct link).
One of the great benefits of this site is that it is entirely independent. There are no corporate overlords, and thus no agenda and no strict censorship. If we don't serve YOU, we serve no one. Everything is fair game, assuming it is correctly classified and within good taste. If you can't find the right forum to post it in, just drop an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll set one up.
Off-topic subjects are encouraged! This is a site for the MS community, which is comprised of vibrant people, who don't necessarily just want to confine themselves to discussing narrow topics. Again, please keep things in good taste and you won't have a problem.
All that being said, the boards are moderated on a volunteer basis-- there are a number of people who have volunteered to keep an eye on the forums to try to make sure things don't get out of hand (illegal ads, personal attacks, revealing personal information, etc.). That being said, we cannot and do not monitor every posting for content-- all problems should be reported to the moderator(s); otherwise assume we have not seen the offending posts.
Enjoy, have fun, and please let us know if you'd like anything to change.
However, there can be too much of a good thing. If you disagree with someone, please succintly state why and let it go at that. Point, counterpoint, counter-counter point, etc. is not useful-- the reality is that after the first disagreement, you will rarely convince another of something they feel strongly about unless you have shocking new information to share. The drawn-out debates also turn people off from reading the messages in the first place. If you really have to get something off your chest, please send that person a Private Message-- there is no need to have a long argument in public.
For the most part, everything on the board so far is just fine, but I want to keep it that way. We are all in this fight together; Let's focus all of our energies on trying to beat MS into submission, not each other.
If you disagree with what I said (how ironic!), please drop me a private message. However, I have received enough comments from members that are in support of the above to feel confident about what I just posted.
Peace, love, etc.
If you don't know, this liberal position is very unique, as most support forums maintain rather draconian rules disallowing all links to external sites not affiliated with the site itself. The reason we allow them is that ThisisMS encourages all members to educate themselves as much as possible, and oftentimes interesting and valuable information can be found just "a click away." Even if you never return to This is MS, we've done you some good if you find valuable information here. There is no problem with that, and it fits in with the original paradigm of the interlinked "web" of data that has become our beloved Internet.
However, this open policy has been abused from time to time, most recently in the arena of extraneous, repetitive links to generic pages at a given website. One generic link in particular has been mentioned in 182 separate threads, and many, many more times in each of those 182 threads, probably approaching 1000 mentions! To any reasonable individual, this constitutes an abuse of an open policy, and more practically, clutters the site with repetitive offsite links that can already be readily found.
As/If I notice this abuse, I will selectively disallow the posting of such URLs. If you're looking for guidelines to avoid this, here are (some, not all) some general rules:
- >> Links should not point to a commercial site that is selling something-- if you have a vested interest in what is being sold. For example, links to articles in scientific journals are fine, even though they are usually "for sale."
- >> The link should point to information specifically relevant to the discussion it is posted in-- not to a generic page (E.g., it should point to an article highly relevant to a particular discussion, not to http://www.example.com). Exceptions can be made if the generic page is indeed relevant and, to the knowledge of the poster, has not been mentioned before.
- >> Repetitive links to a particular site will send up a red flag. Though there are certainly exceptions where doing so might make sense, if the particular link can already be easily found, why constantly post it? All posts are archived (we do not as yet "prune" older information) and thus readily available with a quick search. Therefore the posting of redundant information is akin to forum spam, and will result in the permanent banning of the link in question.
Though I loathe to say this, it is necessary-- members who disagree by simply flounting the rules, and thereby placing themselves in a situation where they are no longer positively contributing to the community, will be asked to leave after being provided a warning.
In summary, this forum prides itself on open discussions of anything relevant to MS. Please do not abuse the open and accepting nature of this board to spam by constantly posting the same information or advertising products and/or services. We have worked very hard to create this resource, this atmosphere, and to attract the brilliant members that call this 'home.' We want to make sure we continue to serve the entire MS community in the best way possible.
Thanks for your understanding, and your visit.
ThisIsMS is a MS discussion forum with a worldwide audience. The purpose of ThisIsMS is to facilitate communication between MS patients, their caregivers and other individuals, such as doctors and researchers, with an interest in MS. The goal of ThisIsMS is to provide helpful information to those who need it so that by working together we can solve our common problems. ThisIsMS does not exist to be any particular individual's soapbox from which to conduct a battle. It is not a sporting arena. Flame wars, personal attacks and other antagonistic behavior will not be tolerated. There are other newsgroups and forums where such activity is acceptable. However, it will not be tolerated at ThisIsMS. Where appropriate, as deemed by the forum administrator and the forum moderators, a single warning may be issued and accounts will be closed without prior notice upon continuation of such activity.