Community guidelines

We created Inspire so that everyone would have a safe place to discuss health and wellness. These guidelines are the things we expect all Inspire members and visitors to do, and not to do.

Do

Be nice, be supportive

Inspire works because we support and care for one another. Be nice, and be supportive. Do your best to respect differing points of view and avoid personal attacks on other members.

Take your time and be safe

Please take your time getting started with Inspire. After signing up, check your privacy settings and make sure that you are comfortable with how your personal information is being shared. If anything is confusing to you, drop us a line. We're here to help.

We strongly recommend you not use your real name or e-mail address as your screen name. Your screen name is public, which means anyone on the Internet can see it, and find it. If you want to change your screen name, you can do so here. We also recommend you not post personally identifiable information like your full name, e-mail address or phone number in Inspire. If you want to exchange this information with someone you feel comfortable with, do so in a private message.

Let us know if something is wrong

If you see a member doing something that is contrary to these guidelines or simply feels wrong to you, let us know. If your instinct says something is wrong, it may very well be. Responding in an inflammatory manner to a post that you feel should be reported is also against our guidelines and will result in appropriate action, so please simply use the "problem" or "report" link. In order to protect privacy, we never reveal who reported a problem to us. Every post and member profile has a link to report the item for review, and you can submit your report anonymously.

Take a deep breath

The Internet makes it easy to forget that we're talking to other human beings, and to misunderstand one another. If a member says something that bothers you, take a deep breath and pause before replying. You're replying to another human. They may be having a bad day or may be upset. You may have misunderstood them, or they may not have expressed themselves clearly. You may simply not see eye-to-eye. Inspire works because we respect one another. It's rare that we need to shut down a discussion, but when we feel that a discussion is generating "more heat than light," we do.

Respect the privacy of others

Please respect the privacy of members and their right to remain anonymous.

Do not post personal information about others in Inspire unless you are a family member or have been directed to do so by the member, or their family. This often comes up when a member is hospitalized or otherwise away from Inspire for a time. We understand that you want to know how your friend is doing and share that information, but the member's privacy must be respected.

In some cases, you may know an Inspire member in the real world. Perhaps you were in treatment together, or attend events together. When conversing in public settings -- such as discussions and journal entries -- please avoid posting information that could be used to identify the person. For example, don't post the member's real name, or names of their children, if they haven't made that information public themselves. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and leave those details out.

In addition, do not demand of or continually press other members for personal information, credentials or medical information they may not wish to disclose.

Finally, please do not re-post information about a member from another site, like Facebook, in Inspire. The information may not have been intended for a wider audience.

Do not

These are the things we must ask you not to do, for the safety of members and to keep Inspire running smoothly.

Do not use Inspire as a substitute for, or to give, medical advice

Inspire is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. Always consult your physician and do not rely on the information in this site when making decisions about your health. The content in Inspire is for information only and is not reviewed by medical professionals. Similarly, do not use Inspire to give medical advice. You may share information about your experiences, but do not play the role of health professional.

No commercial use, promotion or solicitation

You may not use Inspire for any commercial purpose, marketing, promotion or solicitation. This includes promoting a company, product, service, person, treatment, therapy, Web site, support group, non-profit, charity or fundraiser; recruiting members to participate in market research, clinical studies, or surveys; soliciting donations for charitable causes or for yourself; presenting your resume or using Inspire to seek employment; and soliciting malpractice clients. Commercial entities are not permitted to sign up or create profiles in Inspire.

Inspire does work with select non-profits and commercial entities. For more information about our business model, please read our statement of principles. If your organization or company is interested in partnering with Inspire, contact us at team@inspire.com.

Do not repost deleted/removed posts or replies

If a moderator has removed it, it violates our guidelines. Do not repost it.

Do not post inappropriate content

We work hard to keep Inspire a safe and comfortable place for members. Content that is obscene or violent, refers to material that is obscene or violent, or contains hate speech or remarks that are disrespectful to any race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or individual is not permitted. This includes derogatory remarks, attacks, or threats against Inspire or Inspire partners. Content that is potentially libelous, violates an individual's privacy, or violates the legal rights of any individual or entity is not permitted. Links to other sites which contain such material are also not permitted. You may not post information which is false or misleading, or misrepresent yourself. A "reasonable person" standard applies and we reserve the right to remove any content or profile that we feel violates this guideline.

Moderators and the site administrator have the final say on any issues that may arise. If you have a complaint, you can contact us directly by email or message, but please do not post in the group. Creating posts that question or reference administrative decisions, such as post removals and discussion or journal closures, is not permitted. We are not perfect, and if you feel that we have made a mistake, please contact TeamInspire and we will review the situation but any posts in the group will be removed without notice.

If you ever need clarification on any part of our community guidelines or have a question, please feel free to contact us via the "Help" link at the bottom of every page. Please do not post your request in a group, as it will be removed without notice.

Do not interfere with the operation of the site

We reserve the right to remove posts and block access by individuals which interfere with the normal operation and use of the site, at our discretion. Examples include off-topic posting, bumping posts, posts that excessively advance a personal agenda or make it difficult for other members to be heard, creating multiple accounts or aliases, and abusing the friend or private message features.

Freedom of speech rights do not extend to privately-owned Web sites like Inspire. These community guidelines detail the types of behavior and activities that are allowed here. If you violate our guidelines and/or show disregard for them, our staff and our community, you run the risk of losing your account. Removing a member's account is always a last resort, but remember, being a member of Inspire is a privilege, not a right. If you are found in violation of our guidelines, or if we reasonably suspect that you have violated our guidelines, we may send you a warning, temporarily suspend your account or permanently remove your account. If we suspend or remove your account, you agree not attempt to circumvent our action (such as by creating or using a different account).

No copyright infringement

If you find an article or other information online that you think will interest members, post a short description, with an explanation as to why you think it is important and include a link to the original document if possible. That will allow your fellow members to retrieve the source document. Do not post the entire item or significant portions of it. If we think a post violates someone's copyright, we will remove it.

No scraping or data harvesting

You may not scrape, harvest or otherwise collect information in bulk from Inspire. You may not copy content from Inspire for another site, or for any other purpose.

Don't use Inspire to offer or exchange medication

No part of Inspire may be used to facilitate the donation, exchange or receipt of medication, as it is against the law to do so. If you are interested in donating unused medication to help those in need, you'll need to determine how the laws of your country and locality govern such donations. In the US, many states have programs through which unused medication can be donated for distribution to those in need. Good starting points for learning about these programs are your state's Web site, your physician, and your pharmacist. You're welcome to share information about such programs here, but you may not use this site to engage in or facilitate the exchange of medication.

Rules for specific groups

In the Stop Sarcoidosis Support Community, posts and profiles which refer to the "Marshall Protocol" will not be accepted. This includes posts about Dr. Marshall, his findings, Web sites and publications. Any and all such postings will be removed without notification. A detailed explanation is available here.