Dear Members and Friends of the MaleSurvivor community:
Over the past few days you will probably have heard of several cases in which individuals have misrepresented themselves on the site. MaleSurvivor understands how important security and safety are to your recovery and the ModTeam takes such issues very seriously; the site is closely monitored on a constant basis for precisely this reason.
One such case that has not previously been announced is that of a user in the Netherlands who posted under the screen names of Alexander, Stefan12 and Xavier90. "Alexander" claimed to have leukemia and attracted much attention and support. This case was under close scrutiny by the ModTeam for some time, but evidence against this user did not become compelling until a late point. All three of these accounts have been permanently banned.
Two further cases currently under review involve an apparent confession of fraudulent use of the site by one user, and use of multiple accounts and identities by another. Details cannot yet be provided to you because it is remains unclear how these matters will be resolved, but the relevant accounts have been suspended until the identity of these users can be confirmed.Site Guidelines
This is an appropriate moment for all of us to consider how we use the MaleSurvivor site. Please pay heed and adhere to the site guidelines: they are there not to hinder or limit you, but for your protection and security. They represent a decade of experience - totalling hundreds of thousands of hours of work - on the part of Administrators and Moderators past and present. Most specifically we would urge you to think about the following two areas.
- Off-Site Contacts
We do understand that many important and valuable friendships have been forged on the site; for many of us this has been a significant factor in our recovery, and in that situation it is natural that one would seek to further contacts by email, phone, personal visits, and so on. But please remember that this is a website on the Internet and that while we consider MaleSurvivor to be a very safe place to discuss our recovery issues, no site can guarantee complete safety. Remember also that we have no way to monitor off-site activity. Just as on the rest of the Internet, if you pursue such contacts they are your responsibility. MaleSurvivor cannot accept responsibility for resolving issues and problems that have arisen through or because of off-site contacts.
We strongly recommend that you do not give out personal information or involve yourself with anyone you meet here by going off-site, until you have gotten to know him or her for at least three months based on communications here. Please bear in mind that your personal history, issues, and contact details are your private information; it is up to you to determine who will know what things about you – but once you disclose them you have no control over how much further this information will go or how it will be used.
- Concerns about Other Users
It sometimes happens that someone’s posting or behavior will give rise to concerns among other users. These concerns often prove to reflect that user’s own legitimate recovery issues and need not be regarded with suspicion. But we have had cases where MaleSurvivor has attracted, for example, journalists working on a story, researchers writing a book, or others with more worrying agendas. It is therefore our policy to look into such matters as a high priority. Fraudulent users of the site are banned as soon as they are detected, and it is not allowed to post on the site under multiple identities.
If you have concerns, please report them to a moderator. Do not hesitate or delay because you wonder how your report will be regarded. Just the fact that you are concerned is already something we should know, and if there is need for further action we will take it. But please also bear in mind the following guidelines:
"It's All about Boundaries"
- We cannot discuss the affairs of another user.
- Please do not discuss the affairs of other users on the Discussion Board, in chat, or in PMs, even if you feel you have decisive information. This provokes alarm and discord on the site and can quickly become counter-productive: an item of information, however accurate and well-intended, can quickly develop into an exaggerated rumor. Concerns should be addressed to the ModTeam.
- Do not post attacks, criticisms or revelations concerning others on the Discussion Board or raise them in chat or PMs. Vigilantism helps no one and is not allowed anywhere on the site.
One of the most terrible impacts of childhood sexual abuse is the destruction of a boy’s sense of boundaries, and learning to set and adhere to appropriate boundaries is one of our most important tasks in recovery. Please put your own recovery first here on the MaleSurvivor site, and consider the following:
- You do not owe anyone private information about yourself, not even your personal name. If you wish to relate to others only under your screen name you have every right to expect that this wish will be honoured and respected. This is an expression not of distrust, but of your boundaries.
- It is normal for your feelings of trust and confidence in others to fluctuate from time to time; if you had no doubts or fears you would probably not be here. It is okay to expect others to understand when you are in this situation. Just state how you feel, but don’t feel you owe anyone apologies or detailed explanations.
- You do not owe anyone responses to their posts or replies to their PMs, nor do you even have to read them.
- You do not have to converse in chat with users who make you feel uncomfortable. Please feel free to move to another room, or just leave. If you feel your use of chat is being compromised by another user’s behavior, again, contact a Moderator.
- If someone you are talking to ventures into topics that make you feel uncomfortable, feel free to say so immediately and ask that the subject be changed.
- If another user expresses his discomfort to you, don’t take this as a personal affront. We are all at different places in our recovery and have different sensitivities, and willingness to respect the boundaries of others is an act of genuine maturity, support and understanding.
- If you feel another user is “crowding” you and behaving inappropriately, break off contact immediately and report to a Moderator.
- If you have complaints or reservations about another user you have the right to have these addressed. Do not hesitate to contact a Moderator.
MaleSurvivor is a community of over 4500
members, of whom some hundreds are active at any given time. The vast majority of users are here for the right reasons and pursuing the same goals that you are. By working together and acting with common sense and due prudence we can ensure that we will be able to pursue our discussions with the greatest possible comfort and safety.
RoadRunner (Larry) for The ModTeam