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01-01-2014 until 12-28-2099
The Dark Knight
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 11,701

Board Guidelines (Updated 30/08/2020)

In addition to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and User Agreement we have adopted rules specifically for the Social Anxiety Support forums. Please keep in mind that these rules are here to ensure the efficiency and enjoyment of the forums with respect to the diverse nature of our community.

The rules below apply to all user-posted content, including, but in no way limited to, posts, chat messages, private messages, visitor messages, links, custom titles, user names, user profiles, photos, avatars, and signatures. Staff members reserve the right to remove content without warning or explanation.

Personal Attacks

Personal attacks on any member or staff member of this community will not be tolerated. Any post, message, or other content which is judged by the moderators to be defamatory, degrading, threatening, humiliating, insulting or hurtful in any way to another member of the community will be edited or deleted at the moderators' discretion. Registering for the purpose of attacking another member will result in a permanent ban. Antagonizing or demeaning language that isn't necessarily directed at any individual may also be considered unacceptable.

This also includes:

* Arguing With Moderators - Moderation decisions should be assumed to be final. Do not post your complaints about moderation on the forum or attempt to gather support against the moderators. All posts attacking moderation will be removed and repeated instances of this behavior after removal and having been asked to stop doing it may result in infractions and/or temporary bans. It is (generally) fine to contact a moderator directly and ask for clarification or reconsideration but you should not become abusive, aggressive, antagonistic or demanding in your private communications with any moderator. Moderators are members of this forum just like everyone else and they have volunteered their time and energy to keeping this forum safe and civil for everyone. Any message that would be against the rules to send to anyone else is also not acceptable to send to a moderator. This also means that when they tell you that the conversation is over, you are not to continue sending them private messages to continue to argue with their decisions or to insult them because you don't like their decisions.

Inappropriate Content

In addition to that covered by the other guidelines, content must conform to the following:

* Content describing or advocating sexual or illegal acts, or that is obscene, indecent, harmful to others’ computers, or that violates the law in any jurisdiction is not permitted

* Inappropriate language. The use of terms and language broadly acknowledged to be offensive or sexually explicit is not permitted. Using any method to avoid the swear filter is not allowed. This includes using asterisks (*) to block out some letters of a word that is obviously a swear word in the context of the sentence

* Images, videos, GIFs, or audio containing graphic violence, pornography, or other offensive or distressing material are not permitted. This includes inappropriate language, and nudity or see-through clothing with nothing on underneath. Posting any pornographic content will result in an immediate ban. Duplicating any posted pornographic image or link through quoting or any other method will result in an immediate temporary ban. Encouraging others to post pornographic content for any reason is not allowed.

* Links. The content of the websites linked to must loosely meet the standards of Social Anxiety Support. The staff reserves the right to block links to websites that it feels are inappropriate for the users of Social Anxiety Support. Linking to porn will result in an immediate temporary ban.

* SAS-related statuses, avatars, and profile pictures are only permitted to be used by staff members.

* Posting private conversations with other users is not permitted.


Spamming will not be tolerated, which includes: blatant, excessive or inappropriate promotion or advertising of any person or persons (including user popularity-based threads), product, service, website or board; pyramid schemes or referral games; posting multiple threads; use of multiple accounts; posting threads in the incorrect forum; looks-rating threads; excessive capital letter use; excessive punctuation use (ie !!!!!); excessively long signatures; and/or any post deemed spam due to irrelevance or nuisance in nature. Links from recently registered accounts will met with more scrutiny. Don't register on our forum to immediately promote your personal or commercial site.


Any content which is deemed by the staff to contain racial, sexual, religious, or any other kind of bigotry will be locked, edited or removed. This includes excessive gender stereotyping and inciting or engaging in gender "wars."


Posts or messages to other members that are intended to cause discomfort or intimidation are not permitted. This includes repeatedly contacting or referring to other members after being asked to refrain, and repeatedly targeting other members without naming them. Individual incidents may also constitute harassment if judged by staff to be serious enough. Anyone found to be using SAS in ways that are inappropriate, such as harming others for their own personal or monetary gain, or stalking or harassing other members will immediately be permanently banned even if this behavior occurs outside of the forums. These offenses are serious, and as a result, they will be dealt with accordingly. As many members of SAS are vulnerable, this rule will be strictly enforced.

Medication Discussion

You should always see a doctor before starting, changing or stopping any drug treatment. No posts regarding the illegal or improper use of medications will be allowed. Given that the forum is visited by people from all over the world, there will be some drugs that are illegal in the US that aren't in other countries. If the drug discussed meets all these conditions: 1) is legal in the country the members are currently living 2) has been prescribed to the members discussing it and 3) is not being discussed in a manner that is improper or potentially harmful (as determined by us), then we'll usually, but not always, allow the discussion to continue. The decision is up the moderators and staff of Social Anxiety Support and we appreciate your understanding.

Obtaining Medication

Posts that discuss obtaining medication online illegally are not allowed and will be locked, edited or removed. This includes any websites that allow you to purchase a medication without a prescription or claim to provide you with a prescription without requiring that you see a doctor in person. Additionally, asking for advice via post, PM, or email on how to obtain medication illegally, without prescription or without consultation of a doctor is not allowed.

Suicide and Self-Mutilation

If you are currently thinking about harming or killing yourself, please seek help immediately. On the forums, suicide threats and the discussion of suicide is not permitted. Discussion of self-mutilation (cutting and burning) is not permitted except in the context of coping mechanisms in the following thread: Self harm coping mechanisms (Trigger Warning). On your personal blog, sharing your feelings is fine, but please do not share means or plans of suicide or self-mutilation.


If you have any issue or problem with material posted in this forum, or with the behavior of another community member, please make a report or email or PM the staff for a confidential discussion of the issue. Inciting (such as through baiting) or engaging in conflict (e.g. fighting or quarreling beyond a civil exchange; publicly calling out/discussing another member) is not permitted.

Who Has It Worse

This site is not a competition - it's not about whose particular brand of suffering is the worse, who suffers more than whom, or who has the right to call their problems Social Anxiety. This includes comparisons of suffering between the genders. The belittlement of others' suffering will not be tolerated. "Body shaming" posts are not acceptable as many other users have similar body types or concerns, and will also negatively identify. Many users struggle with body issues, eating disorders and appearance related anxiety and we encourage helpful support and positive discussion in making efforts to improve, not dwell on or discuss in frustration what is considered ugly or unwanted.

Repeated Violations

A user who repeatedly defies or antagonizes the moderators and/or disregards the rules may be temporarily or permanently banned from the forum. The period of the ban will depend upon the severity of the violations and the general long-term behavior of the user in question. If a user has a long history of the same types of violations and continues to break the rules and/or antagonize the moderators, a permanent ban becomes more likely with each repeat offence.

General Misbehaviour

If you behave in ways that are inappropriate or fail to comply to the rules and therefore break multiple rules in the same timeframe, you may receive a warning or infraction for General Misbehaviour.

Multiple Accounts

Only one account is allowed per person. If we find out that an individual is posting under multiple accounts we will either ban all their accounts or leave one account unbanned for them to use, depending on the circumstances.

Username Changes
Please see this thread:

Moderation of Recovery Forums vs. Debate Forums
We recognize that people come to SAS and visit the variety of forums offered for different reasons. The Recovery forums exist to provide support for people with social anxiety and the rules will continue to be strictly enforced in those forums. The following Discussion and General forums will fall under a looser set of guidelines:
- Society & Culture
- Relationships
- Agnosticism, Atheism, and Religion
- Science

What exactly does this mean?

It doesn't mean that all the rules are thrown out and it's a free for all. Instead, it means that we won't be watching as closely for "feelings getting hurt".

It doesn't mean that you can call someone "stupid", post things of a sexual nature, or spout racism. Instead, it means that you are allowed to have a heated debate without intervention from moderators unless something is seen as very inappropriate.

This goes both ways and means that you can't report and expect moderators to come intervene if there's someone that you disagree with. Please avoid these forums if you think you will not do well with confrontation.

Controversial threads may be moved to Society & Culture if we feel they no longer belong in a forum that is more strictly moderated.

This above section will be adjusted and more specifics will added to as we see how the community responds to the change. If you have feedback or suggestions at this point, please share it in the board feedback forum or private message Helena_SAS.

Moderation of Chat
The normal forum guidelines apply to Chat. To report violations, please PM staff outlining the problem (and providing names, dates, and times), and send a screenshot if possible. The severity of the disciplinary action issued will be at the staff's discretion.

Violations and Enforcement

* In cases of duplicate accounts, porn, or register-and-spam/troll, an immediate permanent ban can be issued.

* In cases where a new member (under 3 months) breaks a rule, their post will be edited/deleted/moved/locked and they will be sent a private explaining the specific rule they broke and a request that they read the forum rules.

* In cases where a member who's been registered for at least 3 months breaks a rule, their post will be edited/deleted/moved/locked and they will be sent a private message reminding them of the rule and a request that they reread the forum rules.

* In cases where a new member (under 3 months) continues to break rules after asked not to, they can be permanently banned immediately.

* In cases where a member who's been registered for at least 3 months continues to break rules after asked not to, then a thread can be created in the mod forum to discuss and vote on how the member should be dealt with (temporary ban, permanent ban, limit their access to some forums, etc.) A permanent ban will be issued only with a simple majority vote and approval from an administrator.

* In cases where a member who's been registered for at least 3 months is extremely inappropriate (harassment, very vulgar language, really mean personal attacks, porn, etc.), then a temporary ban can be issued and a thread can be created in the mod forum to discuss and vote on how the member should be dealt with (longer temporary ban, permanent ban, limit their access to some forums, etc.) Again, a permanent ban will be issued only with a simple majority vote and approval from an administrator.

Moderation of Social Anxiety Support
The discussion forums are moderated on a daily basis by volunteers. Most of the time there is at least one moderator active on the forums. Often there are multiple moderators active at the same time. The moderators are all non medical professionals. A list of the current volunteer moderators can be found on our “Forum Leaders” page.

All members of Social Anxiety Support are considered non medical professionals by default. No member has had their medical credentials verified, so it should be assumed that each member is a non medical professional.

Privacy and Control of Member Posted Content
Member profiles, photo albums, blogs, eGroups, and chat messages are only visible to registered members. Members can control who their profile is visible to in their account settings.

All discussion forums and posts within them are visible to the public (without registration), except for the forums listed in this thread.

Members are able to edit content they have posted on the discussion forums, unless they’ve been banned (see Violations and Enforcement section above) or the thread they have posted in has been closed or deleted (see all the sections above on what content is and isn’t allowed). Additionally, members are allowed to delete posts they have made so long as it is not the first post in a thread (i.e. a new thread started by the member). When the first post of a thread is deleted, the thread itself is deleted along with all the posts in it. This rule exists because threads can contain posts from many members and it would be unfair and harmful to the community if individual members had the ability to remove the posts of other members (potentially hundreds of posts in a single discussion thread).

Member Posts Containing Health/Medical Information
We request that all members give references/citations when posting health/medical information that is not personal experience (i.e. something that they didn’t undergo themselves). Additionally, members must post information that is true and correct to their knowledge (i.e. it is not allowed to knowingly post false information).

Updates to Rules

30-08-20 - Violations for Personal Attacks expanded to include Arguing With Moderators; Addition of Repeated Violations and General Misbehaviour.
06-08-15 - Violations for posting pornography further expanded.
03-19-2014 - Use of staff related statuses, avatars, and profile pictures added to Inappropriate Content section.
01/07/2014 - Amendments to Personal Attacks, Spamming, and Conflicts. Inappropriate Language, Photos, Pictures and Avatars, and Links are amended and subsumed under Inappropriate Content. Who has SA changed to Who has it Worse. Suicide changed to Suicide and Self-Mutilation. Addition of Bigotry, Harassment, and Moderation of Chat. New members are now considered to be those who registered less than 3 months ago.
09/26/2018 - Who has it worse: expanded to include body shaming, Harassment further defined.

08/09/2012 - Changes to what types of medication discussion are and aren't allowed. Please see the section above for details.
02/15/2012 - Added multiple sections for HON compliance:

* Moderation of Social Anxiety Support

* Privacy and Control of Member Posted Content

* Member Posts Containing Health/Medical Information

08/25/2011 - Added link to Suicide section
04/14/2011 - Modified Medication Discussion section
04/07/2011 - Modified Medication Discussion section
03/30/2011 - Added Medication Discussion section
09/28/2010 - Multiple changes:

* Addition of Moderation of Recovery Forums vs. Debate Forums section

* Addition of stricter spam guidelines for recently registered accounts in Spamming section

* Addition of Username Changes section.

* Update of Violations and Enforcement section.

* Removal of Agenda Pushing section.

* Removal of Intolerance section.

* Added chat message to list of user-posted content in second paragraph.

* Referenced Spamming section from Links section

12/27/2009 - Discussion of legally obtaining medications online is now allowed.
04/1/2009 - Made rule regarding duplicate accounts more prominent.
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