This guide provides some general information about commenting on blogs posted on Mad in Ireland (MII). This is a site that, broadly speaking, is intent on providing an online focal point for people interested in campaigning for a change in the professional and public discourse about emotional distress and unusual experiences; for support, both within and beyond services, which meets people’s real needs; and for social policy which addresses the causes of distress at its roots.
We need your help to build a strong, resilient community that can robustly and respectfully discuss issues which, we believe, are some of the most important in the world today.
We insist that the site is a place that is respectful in tone while understanding that discussions can become passionate and sometimes heated. MII recognises that there is a range of possible ways forward, not a single path, and we expect commenters to approach discussions with this in mind.
We expect comments made on MII to:
- Be civil and respectful in tone.
- Be relevant to the topic being discussed.
- Avoid generalisations about groups of people.
- Avoid personal attacks, abuse, bullying or threat.
- Avoid shaming or demeaning another person because of their views.
- Honour differing viewpoints and experiences.
Some of our writers will want to engage with readers, responding to their comments, and while it is up to every writer to decide whether to respond, we do encourage such interaction, as it can be so informative for everyone. We ask our bloggers to respond to commenters with the same respect that we ask our readers to give to our writers.
In terms of our moderation, we will take a proactive approach, where necessary, towards ensuring respectful and constructive debate in which everyone’s voice can be heard. Experience from other community sites suggests that this may sometimes imply asking members to step back in order to allow others to take an equal share of the space. At other times, we hope that it will be possible to take a ‘light touch’ approach and allow the community to regulate itself. If action is taken, the writer of the comment will be informed. We may sometimes remove comments that don’t advance the discussion (e.g. ‘I agree’ or similar) and off-topic posts may also be removed. All comments will be reviewed and approved before being posted. This may mean a delay in your comment appearing on the site.
Moderating comments is a difficult and highly subjective task which sometimes requires interpretation of the intent behind a comment. We will not always get it right, but we ask for your understanding and support as we learn.
These guidelines and our moderation approach will evolve over time as we gain experience in observing our community discussions and moderating our community.
We encourage writers to become familiar with language guidelines which can be accessed here or the British Psychological Society’s Division of Clinical Psychology Language Guidelines provided here. In short, we want to avoid stigmatising and medicalised terminology and to describe problems in everyday language wherever possible.
A Note on Scientology
For anyone in the critical space around psychiatry and psychology, the potential for hijacking by Scientology adherents is a concern. Mad in Ireland reject Scientology and will never knowingly promote or host Scientology content.
It is very difficult to know the provenance of everything that may be posted on MII, so if you are aware of something that we should take action on, please let us know.
Comments on Guidelines or Moderation
If you have questions or concerns about these guidelines or about moderation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance.
If you have a question, don’t hesitate to ask and we look forward to your on-topic, civil and insightful comments.
The Mad in Ireland Team
General enquiries: email@example.com