Emerge Australia ME/CFS Community Forum Guidelines
Our community guidelines cover how to get the most out of your time with the Emerge Australia ME/CFS Community Forum. As a member of our online community, it is your responsibility to ensure that this is a safe space for everyone. By upholding our guidelines, we hope that your experience with this forum, and everyone else’s, is a positive one.
Our guidelines may change over time as our community grows. We recommend that you keep checking back in and remain familiar with the guidelines as long as you remain an active participant in the forum.
Be respectful at all times
Members of our community forum have a wide range of experiences and are at different stages in their journey with ME/CFS. Our forum is a safe space for everyone. Remember that everyone using the forum is a fellow human and that their experiences and views are valid and to be treated with respect. Bullying and harassment will not be tolerated.
Do not name individuals or specific clinics or service providers
We understand that medical discussion is useful and a much needed area where expertise and experiences can be shared. However, you must not share the name of, or otherwise identify, any individual doctors or practitioners, or specific clinics or service providers in public posts - whether positive or negative. It is fine to offer private chat to discuss your experiences although we would encourage constructive dialogue and remind you that in the event that you are sharing negative experiences you could be personally liable for any accusations of defamation or libel resulting.
Share your story and support others
You’re invited to join in every conversation you see here on the Emerge Australia ME/CFS Community Forum. We encourage you to share stories from your own life – but please make sure you do not tell others what to do with theirs. Through sharing your own stories and knowledge and encouraging others to share theirs, you will empower and support the community members around you. Remember to provide sources if you are sharing specific information about ME/CFS.
No advertising or self-promotion
No advertising or self promotion is allowed except where written permission has been sought and granted by Emerge Australia. Permission to post something promotional should be sought by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay safe and always remember privacy
This applies to you and to everyone else. Many areas of the Emerge Australia ME/CFS Community Forum are public, so please be aware of this before you share information about yourself. Make sure not to share personal information about others. While we recommend that you only share your first name, sharing other information such as your hobbies, age, gender, sexuality, and interests if you feel comfortable doing so can assist in building supportive relationships with other forum members.
Be friendly and welcoming
Welcome new members and invite them to participate in conversations. If you’re new, make sure to introduce yourself to the rest of the community. Treat others thoughtfully and assume that everyone has come to the forum with the best of intentions.
Avoid large blocks of text, and long posts where possible
Many people with ME/CFS are limited in how much reading they can do. To make it easier for people with ME/CFS to process your contributions to the forum, please think about limiting the size of your post. While some posts my necessarily be on the larger side (for example, describing a particular experience), where this is the case, try breaking up what you write into paragraphs that aren't too large, and possibly using headings as well, to make it easier to read.
The aim of the community is to provide support, not medical advice
As a member of the forum, we encourage you to seek advice and support from others, and to share your own advice and experiences. However, please be aware that Australian law forbids the provision of medical advice outside of licensed professionals. This means that while you can share your own experiences of treatments, medications, changes to medications and therapeutic exercise, you must not tell someone else to start, stop, modify, add, resume, change, adjust, commence or cease any of the above in any fashion. We appreciate that finding the right balance between sharing experiences and giving advice is challenging – community moderators will assist in finding this balance. It is also important to recognise that what might have worked for you in managing your own symptoms may not work for others. There are no proven treatments or cures for ME/CFS.
A note on providing medical advice
Emerge Australia does not give, or purport to give any medical advice, and is not qualified to do so. Emerge Australia might be able to provide links to support documents and fact sheets within relevant topics on the forum.
As mentioned in our community forum guidelines - we do encourage you to seek advice and support from others and to share your own advice and experiences. However, please be aware that Australian law forbids the provision of medical advice outside of licensed professionals. This means that while you can share your own experiences of treatments, medications, changes to medications and therapeutic exercise, you must not tell someone else to start, stop, modify, add, resume, change, adjust, commence or cease any of the above in any fashion.