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Hi Fellow Forum Members,


Time for another thrilling episode of ISN Quick Bytes. These short posts are intended to clarify important points and serve as a helpful reminder. They may also help you to understand why certain things have been edited or even deleted in their entirety.


This first series deals with the Forum Guidelines (which, of course, you read and set to memory when you joined the Forums). The guidelines are always only a click away at the left of the purple toolbar at the top of every Forum page.


In the introduction, we are reminded that: This forum is a free service of the International Scleroderma Network (ISN) at www.sclero.org. The ISN is a nonprofit international patient and medical organization that delivers top notch research, support, education and awareness for scleroderma and related illnesses. All of these guidelines support the ISN's international and nonprofit mission.

This Guidelines Quick Byte is about how free (or not) Freedom of Speech can be.


Freedom of Speech means that you may say anything you want on your own website, and at your own legal risk, but not on ours. To protect our mission and our forum, we vigorously exercise our right to edit or delete submitted or posted messages, and to modify member privileges, without explanation. If you are referring to a negative encounter, please do not refer to people or clinics by name or identifying characteristics. We still might not post negative reports, perhaps because the issue should be addressed directly with the parties involved, through medical boards, or by legal means.


So what does this mean to us? Well, try this for example:


I want to tell you about my awful ex- doctor. Dr. Woefully Ignorant, MD, of Careless Clinics, is dumber than a box of rocks, got his degree from one of the Big Box Stores, and shouldn’t be allowed to treat a hangnail. He completely misdiagnosed me, caused me grievous bodily harm, and at the urging of my lawyer Simon Shyster of Ambulance Chasers, Ltd., I am instituting a fully justified malpractice lawsuit!


Oh no!! The Mean Moderator deleted it. Everybody should know about horrible Dr. Ignorant. What was wrong with it? Let me count the ways:


* I gave the doctors and clinics names.

* I made unsupported statements in a public forum.

* I made a blatant plug for a particular lawyer and law firm.


Worst of all, if it had been posted on the forum, the Mean Moderator and I would have just set up our beloved International Scleroderma Network for legal action on the basis of libel.


Here's that link again for those of you who just can't wait for the next Guidelines Quick Byte to arrive: Forum Guidelines (link found in the purple toolbar on every Forum page).


Best wishes and happy posting,

Jeannie McClelland

(Retired) ISN Director of Support Services

(Retired) ISN Sclero Forums Manager

(Retired) ISN Blog Manager

(Retired) ISN Assistant News Guide

(Retired) ISN Artist

International Scleroderma Network

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