Forum rules and warning protocol

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Administrative Staff
Jun 11, 2013
United States United States
Updated Updated August 20, 2023 by Jamie

BoneSmart Forum Rules
Posting guidelines for forum members

We want all members to be comfortable posting on BoneSmart. Our goal is to provide a forum where joint replacement patients can receive unbiased, helpful information regarding surgery and recovery.

This is an international forum and as such all posts and usernames should be in English as the best known worldwide language. If you post in another language, you will not receive replies from BoneSmart staff. Members registering with usernames in languages other than English will be asked to change them.

We try to keep the forum a positive and safe place for our members to talk about their questions or concerns and to report successes with their joint replacement surgery. While members may create as many threads as they like in a majority of BoneSmart's forums, we ask that each member have only one recovery thread. This policy makes it easier to go back and review history before providing advice.

We would also bring to member's attention that it is not permitted to use multiple tagging in posts. The reasons for this are explained here: Multiple tags or alerts being used in posts.

We reserve the right to update or amend these Rules at any time without notice.

While not changing the intent of messages, we also reserve the right to edit posts for various reasons to keep the content easy for everyone to read and ensure the information provided pertains specifically to each member's personal experience.

Please report any abusive or inappropriate posts, comments or messages.

1. Peace and harmony of the forum

Participants on the forum should conduct themselves at all times with respect and honesty. Posts, answers and comments by members should clearly describe their personal experiences in their joint journey and provide links to scientific documentation whenever possible to any medical information they would like to present. Disruptive posts may result in the poster being subjected to a “time out” suspension of 24 to 48 hours without warning.

a. The staff reserves the right to edit or delete any post or comment they judge inappropriate without notifying the author. Comments that cause alarm, harassment or distress to another member or the staff, whether or not intended by the poster, may be removed. Content that is political or concerns controversial non-medical topics also may be removed. The member may be informed of the reason the content was modified and invited to rewrite it.

b. Should a member be considered disruptive, staff may elect to limit access or privileges within the forum or to remove the person from membership temporarily or permanently. An explanation may be provided.

c. Do not make off-topic posts in someone else’s thread that could cause the thread to be derailed from its original subject or that is off-topic to the forum. Friendly banter or chit-chat may be excluded from this requirement at times.

d. Respect the privacy of others. Do not post others’ phone numbers, addresses, photos, etc. without permission. As a matter of personal security, do not post your own details such as email or residential addresses or use your actual name as your BoneSmart username.

2. Flaming, trolling and personal attacks

a. Do not make attacks on another member or the staff, including comments of a personal or racial nature, ethnic or gender-based insult or slur. Personal attacks also can also be defined as derisive or inflammatory comments directed at an individual, also known as “flaming.” If you find yourself disagreeing with a post, criticize ideas, not the poster.

b. Do not use BoneSmart as a platform for campaigning on any issues related to the forum or our business partners.

c. Trolling is making numerous posts of a frivolous or meaningless nature just to be deliberately annoying or insulting to the members of the forum. Don’t make posts that purposely try to get folks riled up. Instead offer support, information or details about your personal experience with joint replacement surgery

3. Posting offensive or illegal material

a. Do not post pornographic or sexually explicit images or comments. When posting photos of surgical scars or xrays, take care to edit them in such a way that they are not offensive to others. Remember we are a global forum viewed by people from many diverse cultures.

b. Despite the modern tendency to make normal use of certain “cuss” or swear words, we prefer not to permit this on BoneSmart. As an international forum, we will make every effort to keep things “G-Rated" for our members. We use a profanity filter to catch and replace commonly used cuss words. Do not try to go around the filter by employing creative typing alternatives to profanity. Posts containing profanity or “go around” words will be edited or deleted by the staff. The member may receive notification regarding this action.

c. Do not post on topics that are liable to encourage others into illegal activity.

Addendum June 30, 2018
Discussion or mention of illicit or recreational drugs in any form is specifically forbidden on this forum. Bonesmart is aware that there are ongoing studies and changes in legalization occurring in some areas in regard to the medical benefits of these substances. However, this is an INTERNATIONAL FORUM and we have to take into account that narcotics, cannabis, CBD and other similar items are still illegal in many states and countries.​
d. Do not breach copyright rules by placing documents or images onto BoneSmart unless you have permission from the originator. You can post excerpts (20% or less) from a document with a link to the full text. If you post a link, please at least explain briefly what people can expect to find if they click on the link. Links without such an explanation may be deleted. BoneSmart cannot be held responsible for the content of external websites.

4. Spamming

a. Any post, comment or information placed in a post or signature that is considered to be advertising or an appeal for money will be edited or deleted at the discretion of the Admin team.

b. Do not solicit members to other websites, forums, or social media either via posts or Personal Messages (PMs). We appreciate members advising us of helpful non-commercial sites with a link in their posts. Sites will be reviewed on a case by case basis for their applicability to BoneSmart and a determination made as to whether or not they remain on the public forum. Links to legitimate non-commercial medical websites are sometimes permitted as are links to specific studies that pertain to joint replacement. (Updated October 24, 2022)

c. Do not ask members to participate in studies, interviews, or other types of projects not associated with BoneSmart without approval from the administrative staff.

d. Certain links may be permitted in a member’s signature or profile to personal websites or blogs. These may be evaluated by the staff on a continuing basis to ensure they are not commercial in nature

5. Professional/medical advice or information versus personal experience

a. People posting on the forum other than designated staff members should not be assumed to be health or medical professionals. Members may not declare or imply that they have a medical qualification or display a medical or paramedical designation in their username, signature or avatar.

b. Members should not post medical advice or information unless they are professionally qualified and have verified their professional standing or experience with the BoneSmart administrative staff beforehand. Such an application will not be considered until a person has been observed as a member for a period of 4-6 months and has a minimum of 50 posts in the hip, knee, shoulder, or other joints forums.

c. Members posting on BoneSmart should only post information which is true and correct to their knowledge and experience meaning that details pertaining to your particular surgery and recovery are always welcome.

Addendum January 6, 2019
We realize that in addition to BoneSmart, most of our members will probably use​
internet searches as a resource to obtain information. Any references to material of this type must contain a link to the source so that the information presented can be properly reviewed for accuracy. We always welcome links to current studies or other scientific information regarding joint replacement surgery and recovery.​

d. BoneSmart does not permit discussion about recalled implants or lawsuits in connection with recalls. This is not the purpose of the forum and such topics will be deleted.

6. Personal Messaging (PMs)

BoneSmart has the capability for members to send Personal Messages (PMs) to one another that are out of the public view. Up to five people can be included on a personal message if desired. We encourage members to post surgery or recovery information as much as possible on the public forum so that the topics discussed can benefit all the members and guests of BoneSmart. Personal messages are intended for social topics, photo exchanges, and chatting and may be subject to periodic review by senior administrative staff.

a. Do not use the Personal Messaging feature of the forum to circumvent the rules of the forum or instructions given by staff, nor to harass or pester another member.

b. BoneSmart cannot be held responsible for the content of Personal Messages or the outcome of any action taken as a result of any such message. If members choose to make contact via email, telephone or in person, BoneSmart cannot be held responsible for any outcome of such communication.

c. It would be helpful if recipients of PMs containing harassment or spam or any other unacceptable content would report them so they can be appropriately dealt with.

7. Moderator or administrative actions

a. Do not discuss reported posts or administrative actions pertaining to your membership on the forum or the membership status of others, either directly or by inference. Do not discourage others from using the report feature of the forum.

b. Administrative actions are final and there is no appeals process for an action taken.

c. If you have been previously banned or removed from the forum, you may not try to circumvent the ban by creating a secondary (sock) account in BoneSmart.

Any member who posts on behalf of a banned member may themselves incur penalties including banning.

You might also benefit from familiarizing yourself with the rules of good "netiquette" which you can find here: Forum etiquette: being polite when posting

Addendum December 11, 2018
There is also a master of the forum rules and BoneSmart Rules and Terms of Use

The pertinent terms are repeated here:

Information that you Make Available through the Services
  1. you do not have the right to make available under any contractual or fiduciary agreement or law;
  2. infringes, misappropriates or violates a third party’s patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret, moral rights or other intellectual property rights, or rights of publicity or privacy;
  3. results in the violation of any applicable law or regulation, including, but not limited to, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) or any other applicable privacy laws;
  4. is unlawful, harmful, obscene, defamatory, threatening, harassing, abusive, slanderous, offensive, or embarrassing to any other person or entity;
  5. promotes discrimination, bigotry, racism, hatred, harassment or harm against any individual or group;
  6. promotes illegal activity;
  7. is fraudulent, false, misleading or deceptive;
  8. constitutes an advertisement or solicitation of business; or
  9. contains viruses or other harmful computer code designed to interrupt, destroy or limit the use of any computer software or hardware.
Members are also expected to comply with these Forum Rules which have greater detail than is listed here.
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Warnings Protocol

First contact will be by Personal Message (PM) which will not appear on your record and will accrue 0 points
1st warning - 10 points
2nd warning - 40 points + one month's suspension

3rd warning - 50 points+ permanent ban

Please note:
- points are accumulative and never expire

- when a member accumulates 50 they will automatically get a suspension from the site for one calendar month
- when they accumulate 100 points
they will be permanently banned and ‘permanent’ will mean permanent.

- failure to respond to staff contacts in a timely manner will earn the member 5 points

Warnings will require the input of at least 2 forum adminmistrators before being finalized.

Summary bans may be applied without notice to members for egregious behaviour and will only be carried out by a forum Administrator.

"Time out"suspensions of 24/48hrs may also be applied without notice to members who engage in disruptive behaviour and will be carried out by a forum Moderator or Administrator for the purposes of a cooling off period and to allow staff review for any additional action.

e have a team of Forum Advisors who are not moderators with the capability of taking staff actions. Their only remit is to discuss certain issues with the staff and offer opinions or suggestions and join in decision making in reports in which there has to be a consensus of at least three like minds before any action is taken.
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