Use of the PM system - keeping safe online

VickiA

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As we have recently had a fair number of new members joining the Forum, it’s perhaps a good time to remind everyone about use of the PM system, and staying safe online.

By way of a reminder, the forum’s terms and rules include specific reference to use of the PM system.

“. DON’T…..
L) Send Unsolicited Conversation messages to members of the forum. Please be aware of online safety at all times”

Here is a link to the full rules Terms of Service And Forum Rules

Following a spate of sign ups last year with new members sending unsolicited messages to forum members we have restricted use of the PM system to new members who have to post a specific post count before being able to initiate PMs. However, it is worth reminding all members that an unsolicited PM may come from any member, and not solely from newer members of the forum.

If any member receives an unsolicited PM there is no obligation to respond or to engage in conversation with the message sender. If at any point a member feels uncomfortable following receipt of an unsolicited PM please would they do the following:

1. Draw this to the attention of the staff team by using the “report” button that can be found at the bottom of evert received message. Staff will then look into this further and take any and all appropriate action.

2. Use the “leave” button. This can be found at the top of the first received message. If the member presses “leave”, the sender will be notified that the recipient has left the conversation and no new messages in that thread will be received.

3. Members can also use the “ignore” button. By clicking on the username of the member they wish to ignore, options are brought up to “follow” or to “ignore”. By using the “ignore” button a member will no longer see posts made by the member or members whom they have chosen to ignore.

Use of the “ignore” option also works well on the open forum in the interests of harmony, as we understand that on a public forum there may be different personalities and different views expressed at times.

If members do decide to engage in PMs with other members, then members are asked to always consider and take responsibility for their own personal safety. Do not exchange personal information such as full name, address or other contact details (eg phone numbers, email addresses or places of work etc) unless you are certain of the identity of the recipient and that in providing this information you are not compromising your own personal safety.

As a forum, we request that wherever possible, members conduct their forum business on the open forum rather than in PMs. Sadly we have seen the demise of other forums where most of the business is conducted “behind the scenes” in PMs. Post count falls, the forum stagnates, new members either decide not to join, or join but don’t stay around and post and forums die slowly. It is vital for a forum like ours to survive that the Pm system is used only for exceptional purposes for matters that cannot be discussed in the open forum. So all members can help secure the future of this lovely forum by restricting their use of PMs so far as possible.

Thank you.
 

YvonneBlue

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A great reminder about online safety.

I think I have only used the PM facility 3 or 4 times in the last 3 years and only when I have been confident about the identity of the person I have messaged.

Keep safe everyone.
 

sport_billy

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I am also going to say this. If we have any issue of unsolicited pms becoming an issue. That member involved will have pms turned off and further disciplinary action taken, possibly resulting in life ban depending on situation.

Basically if you ain’t going to say on open forum what you’d say in a pm don’t say it.
PM service is not there as a text fuction.
 

VickiA

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I am bumping this thread up again as yet again the PM system has been used for the sending of unsolicited PMs. A reminder to all members - if you receive an unsolicited PM (other than a PM from a forum staff member about forum business) please use the report button to alert staff. We will always act as swiftly as we can to deal with a situation once we are made aware of it.

The forum PM system is not meant to be used like text messaging among friends and acquaintances.

Members found to be sending unsolicited PMs to other members will have their ability to send PMs removed, and their account will be subject to either temporary or permanent ban.
 

VickiA

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@furryfriends (TEAS) if you’ve agreed to communicate with a member via the PM system then that’s not an issue at all. So for example, if you are advertising piggies for rehoming on the forum with an invitation to PM you that is perfectly acceptable. Or if on a dental thread you are tagged and you agree to discuss further in PMs, that is perfectly acceptable. The same with items being sold such as cages, fleece wares or items being sold to raise funds for rescues (thinking of my mask sales), again, the use of Pm to arrange payment and postage or collection is also perfectly acceptable.

What is not acceptable is for one member to send a completely unsolicited message to another. For example a number of banned members joined the forum, commented on threads and then started sending “let’s be friends” types of messages to members. Their identities were not proven and their motives were unclear. But these pose a risk to members that we have recognised and taken action to prevent.

We have also had reports of members who have used the PM system in a rather over familiar way and who made the recipients of their PMs feel uncomfortable.

There remains a place for the use of the forum’s PM system. But we all need to play our part in keeping everyone safe.
 

furryfriends (TEAS)

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@furryfriends (TEAS) if you’ve agreed to communicate with a member via the PM system then that’s not an issue at all. So for example, if you are advertising piggies for rehoming on the forum with an invitation to PM you that is perfectly acceptable. Or if on a dental thread you are tagged and you agree to discuss further in PMs, that is perfectly acceptable. The same with items being sold such as cages, fleece wares or items being sold to raise funds for rescues (thinking of my mask sales), again, the use of Pm to arrange payment and postage or collection is also perfectly acceptable.

What is not acceptable is for one member to send a completely unsolicited message to another. For example a number of banned members joined the forum, commented on threads and then started sending “let’s be friends” types of messages to members. Their identities were not proven and their motives were unclear. But these pose a risk to members that we have recognised and taken action to prevent.

We have also had reports of members who have used the PM system in a rather over familiar way and who made the recipients of their PMs feel uncomfortable.

There remains a place for the use of the forum’s PM system. But we all need to play our part in keeping everyone safe.
Thank you for clarifying 😊
 
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