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Important new rule regarding message board posts

 
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vfs_admin_Dave
Site Admin


Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 275

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 4:42 pm    Post subject: Important new rule regarding message board posts Reply with quote

Over the years we have tried our best to make our message board friendly and safe for everyone. Recently, it has been brought to our attention that someone has been stalked as a result of posting an e-mail and phone number in messages on this board -- even those written a long time ago. We had previous problems in the past and found it better that people do not leave their e-mail showing, but this current issue is far worse.

Once something is posted to this message board, search engines can pick up the information and make the posting of emails and phone numbers very easy for anyone to find. That is what we believe happened to the poster who notified us about their serious situation.

There have also been people who misrepresented their gender (men pretending to be women and vice versa). Their intentions had been to get a board reader to feel safe with them and then meet outside this forum. We are very concerned about the safety of all message board participants.

With regret, we will no longer allow anyone to include their e-mail or phone numbers in their messages. Anyone who breaks this rule will have their email immediately removed from their message. If any member is insistent and continues to include their e-mail address along with their message they will be given a warning. If that person still continues to leave their e-mail address after that warning they may be barred from posting. We would appreciate it if current members of this message board are willing to go back to check their old messages and eliminate their visible e-mail address if included on previous posts, as this will help us to focus our time on Valley Fever related matters.

Obviously we just want to continue our work against Valley Fever, but the safety of our board members is of the utmost importance too. The only e-mail addresses that will be allowed are either a Valley Fever Survivor Support Group Director writing issues related to VFS support group meetings or one of the Valley Fever Survivor Administrators. There will be no other exceptions. We are sorry if this is disappointing to any of you but we feel this rule is necessary to keep the people on this message board safe.

Dave and Sharon
VFS Message Board Administrators
www.valleyfeversurvivor.com
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kat



Joined: 30 Dec 2004
Posts: 912
Location: Creswell, Or

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sharon,

Thanks for letting us know of this. I know I spoke to you once before about this problem when I had posted my email address in my profile. At that time you thought it might be safer if I just put my email in a single post. It's too bad that there are creeps out there who do these kinds of things.

I took your advise and removed my email address from the posts I had listed it on. Thanks again for protecting us.
_________________
God Bless you and keep you,
Kathy
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Nana



Joined: 26 Sep 2006
Posts: 131
Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sharon,

Yes, thanks for letting us know about this. It's a good reminder regarding any other forum sites we participate with, also.

How sad that we have to worry about a small but scary group of weirdos out there.

Anyway, thanks also to you for all that you do for us on this message board. We really do appreciate it!

Sincerely,
Sue
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Budster



Joined: 29 Dec 2004
Posts: 346
Location: Simi Valley, CA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sharon, Dave, here is a suggestion that I use on other forums: perhaps we could disguise our email addresses in the text such as 'test at yahoo dot com'. The person then removes the spaces and replaces the text with the appropriate symbols. I always do it this way on other forums to keep the email bots from finding it. Seems to work for me as I have not gotten much spam.

Another thought is if we could email you and then you could forward it to the person we want to contact off-line.

Just a few thoughts.
_________________
Warm Regards,
Jerry

see my VF webpage here:http://www.budster.com/vf-01.htm
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vfs_admin_Dave
Site Admin


Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 275

PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2007 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sorry Jerry, but it wasn't a matter of whether the email was machine-readable, but whether a person could find it on the board and then use it. You may wish to reread the original message for clarification.
Quote:
Recently, it has been brought to our attention that someone has been stalked as a result of posting their e-mail and phone number in messages on this board

We take that very seriously and want to make sure this board will be as safe as possible. Right now the best option we can think of is to join or start a Valley Fever Survivor Support Group if your area. Arizona has some support groups, but no other state does as yet. Perhaps you (Jerry and anyone else reading) would like to start a VFSSG in California or another state? Please go to our support group sign-up page and we will be in contact with you.
http://www.valleyfeversurvivor.com/vfssg.html

It's terrible that the stalking problem even exists, let alone that it makes email on the board risky. Hopefully a better solution will arise. Until then we can't have members post their emails to the board.

All my best,

Dave
voiceforaction@valleyfeversurvivor.com
www.valleyfeversurvivor.com
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GPM



Joined: 28 Jun 2006
Posts: 177
Location: san diego

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In trying to understand this situation I had the opportunity to speak with Sharon directly and understand what the website is dealing with. There are other sites which have private messaging which the member can contact one another without displaying their email address. The members then decide if they are going to divulge personal contact information with one another.

What has happened here (and I am certain other sites) is that there are people who misrepresent who they are. They may not even have Valley Fever. For whatever reason they hang around and look to make personal connections. In at least one instance at this site it turned out badly.

So, if I understand correctly, they have decided to not even have this as a possibility. Sharon could not bear to have anyone harmed by way of this site, not to mention potential liability issues.

Please exercise caution in any of your online dealings.

GPM
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