Social Media Moderation Policy

Social Media Moderation Policy

Please read carefully

[Last updated: May 5th, 2021]

Arthur’s Place Social

Arthur’s Place Social welcomes honestly expressed thoughts, feelings and opinions from its members, but the decision to retain or remove comments received via our various social media channels remains at our discretion.

The views expressed by members on Arthur’s Place Social (and our Facebook page or other social media) are solely theirs and are not endorsed by Arthur’s Place.

Community Guidelines
All members of Arthur’s Place Social are required to abide by our community guidelines, which can be downloaded in full here. These guidelines include requirements set out in our Safeguarding Policy which can be found on our website.

Post-publishing moderation
To allow for conversations to take place in real time, to enhance and support the user experience, we moderate content after it is posted, allowing it to be displayed immediately after submission. The Arthur’s Place moderator should endeavour to ensure that any concerns regarding security, behaviour or legal be identified and acted upon in a timely manner.
Community self-moderation
Arthur’s Place also encourages a sense of family and supports ‘reactive-moderation’ by the community members themselves. We encourage members to flag up content that is in breach of the community guidelines, or that they deem to be undesirable. This may be done by direct Facebook messaging to Arthur’s Place admin, or alternatively by email to
Community self-moderation provides an additional safety net for the rare occasion an issue may not be noticed by the moderator, and facilitates a learning opportunity for the maturing community, to consider actions, consequences and solutions. We hope it encourages mutual respect and a willingness to treat others as members would like to be treated themselves.
Acceptable comments are those which:
• are on-topic to the original post
• respect other people. Comments should not be malicious or offensive in nature, and should not constitute a personal attack on a person’s character
• don’t incite hatred on the basis of race, religion, gender, nationality or sexuality or any other personal characteristic
• don’t reveal personal details, such as private addresses, phone numbers, email addresses or other online contact details
• are reasonably concise, and don’t constitute spamming of the site
• are not persistent or repetitive negative messages which aim to provoke a response and/or don’t constructively add to the conversation
• don’t impersonate or falsely claim to represent a person or organisation
• are not party political in nature
• don’t include swearing, hate-speech or obscenity
• don’t break the law – this includes libel, condoning illegal activity, and breaking copyright
• don’t advertise commercial products and services – you can mention relevant products and services as long as they support your comment
• are in English – unfortunately, we do not currently have the resource to moderate comments in other languages
• Age 18 or over is compulsory. Members will be accepted once they have confirmed they are between the age of 18-35.

Our process for moderation is not about censoring our members’ views.
Moderation will not be used to suppress legitimate, reasoned discussion.

Our red flag system

Due to the relative youth of our community (aged 18 to 35yrs), Arthur’s Place has approval from its non-executive board to encourage and facilitate a sense of shared learning by educating and guiding members when conversations may become concerning. Where appropriate, our moderator will utilise a ‘red flag’ system, highlighting to members why certain comments may give us cause for concern, and explaining why. Examples are:
• Where comments presented as facts are inaccurate
• Where information could be dangerous if misinterpreted or applied without specialist advice
• Where an opinion shared is not presented as such, and rather appears as fact.
• Where a negative opinion identifying an individual or service is voiced
• Where risk-taking behaviours are openly discussed such as excessive alcohol or drugs.

In instances of concern, the moderator will: raise attention by starting a response with a “red flag moment”
• Post a clear message that the experiences of individuals can vary greatly, and what is right or wrong for one person may not be the same for another.
• Post a clear message that nothing on Arthur’s Place Social should constitute medical advice, but shared personal experience only.
• If threads have the basic knowledge, but a lack of clarity, leading to confusion or misleading information for others, generic guidance may be shared.
• Repeat the message for all to speak directly to their specialist team if they have any questions or concerns, so that all information and knowledge is gained on an individual basis.
Removal of comments and members

The moderator has the power to hide or delete comments, and to mute or remove members.

Unacceptable or potentially risky comments that are not suitable to remain live will be deleted, and the commenter informed.

Members who breach the community guidelines or the criteria above will be provided with a warning in writing delivered via Facebook messenger. A second offence will lead to the member being muted pending a satisfactory agreement not to reoffend. A third offence will lead to instant removal from the group.

Concerns for members’ safety and wellbeing

We would consider the need to share information about members with other agencies immediately if they share something with us that makes us think:
• They or someone else is being hurt
• Their life or the life of someone else is in danger
• They have harmed someone else or plan to harm someone else
• They have to ask us to tell someone else that they are being hurt, they are in danger or they have hurt someone.
If any of the above occurs, we would phone 999.

In addition, the aim of Arthur’s Social is to respond to a voiced unmet need, that of isolation, loneliness and an inability due to confidentiality for the NHS to help young people with arthritis and related conditions find each other for peer-to-peer support. They tell us they are stronger together, hence why the private social group was born.

By the very nature of a closed conversational social group, a comfortable space to share thoughts, feelings and experiences, it is unlikely to be a frequent occurrence, but not impossible, that on occasion an individual may show signs of being emotionally vulnerable, or somewhat lacking in understanding. While we respect that all members confirm they are over 18, we also uphold a role of advocacy to support the wellbeing of individuals, and the group as a whole.

This table is a guidance of possible events to reflect upon and act. Although this list is not exhaustive.

Where appropriate the moderator may also choose to share particular events with a member of the non-executive team, so further medical comment may be reflected upon and actioned accordingly.

Showing signs of emotional / mental struggle, such as anxiety or depression that is not obviously being professionally supported
Signpost to
Confusion about treatment
Reassure that grasping all facts about various medicines and treatment plans can be a minefield.  Express no medical advice can be given but encourage individual to contact their specialist team to ensure advice is personal to their circumstances. If response is that unable to make contact with their team but requires urgent advice, advise contacting out of hours GP, or accident and emergency for access to on call Rheumatologist if urgent support required.
Intent to stop treatment without specialist advice
Use professional judgement. Consider firstly the context – is this person having a serious side effect or allergic reaction giving cause for concern? If so, respond accordingly, advising individual to seek urgent medical support. If a non-emergency situation, respect adult status, and personal choice. Reassure that grasping all facts about various medicines and treatment plans can be a minefield.  Express no medical advice can be given, but key message is to encourage individual to contact their specialist team prior to making their decision, to ensure informed choice, and advice is personal to their circumstances. If response is that unable to make contact with their team but requires advice, advise contacting out of hours GP
Intent to try illegal drugs
Show respect that as adults it is a personal choice, encourage to be well informed prior to making choices, alert to possible risk of drug interaction with prescribed medication, encourage open honest conversation where appropriate with specialist doctor, and signpost to
Intent to try buying drugs online
As above
Intent to binge drink
Signposting options – this list is not exhaustive
Intent to crash diet
Intent to meet up with other members
Signpost to articles advising ways to meet up safely, such as:

Arthur’s Place uses Twitter as one tool in its efforts to communicate clearly, quickly and in an engaging manner to people interested in our work. You can follow us @arthursplaceuk.

Twitter content delivered by Arthur’s Place CIC includes (but is not limited to):
• links to articles, blog posts, videos, guidance and other approved, publicly available Arthur’s Place materials.
• links to relevant information produced and published elsewhere (work of other NHS organisations, patient organisations, researchers, news organisations and others). This can include videos, blog posts, and retweets (RTs) from other Twitter users. (See below for our policy on RTs.)
• interesting facts, quotes or observations related to our work
• topical questions related to our work intended to provoke discussion
• Inspiring thread themes from Arthur’s social group but protecting the anonymity of the community members.

Retweets (RTs)
Tweets we repeat (RT) do not imply endorsement on the part of Arthur’s Place CIC. We may retweet news, links and personal observations we believe are relevant to the work we do.
Arthur’s Place CIC decision to follow a particular Twitter user does not imply endorsement of any kind. We follow accounts on Twitter we believe are relevant to our work. This could include following the Twitter accounts of companies and other commercial enterprises (and/or their employees) who comment on related issues.
We update and monitor our Twitter account infrequently. We accept no responsibility for lack of service due to Twitter downtime.
@Replies and Direct Messages
We endeavour to read all @replies and Direct Messages sent to us and, when possible, will respond to them. Please note that it is not always possible to respond and we encourage users to use other ways to contact us if their question or comment requires urgent attention.
Complaints, Media Requests and Personal Issues
We encourage you to follow traditional channels to make a media request, freedom of information (FOI) request or complaint. We invite the public and members of the media to email the editor here. does not currently accept user-generated comments for publication, and thus is not included in this moderation policy.

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