The policies of the Mold Avoiders recovery help forums are designed so that those knowledgeable about relevant issues can spend a minimum amount of time on the mechanics of group administration and moderation, and thus can focus the large majority of their available time on substantive discussions that may be of help to those working to recover from mold-related illness.
It is required that all participants have read the Mold Avoiders Rules and that they make an effort to follow the rules as best they can, since this decreases dramatically the amount of management time and effort required.
Having read the book A Beginner’s Guide to Mold Avoidance also is required for any participation in the Mold Avoiders forums.
A PDF version of the book is available for free to those signing up for occasional emails on mold avoidance topics. Amazon Kindle and paperback versions also are available.
Following is a summary of the mechanics that are used for administration and moderation of the Mold Avoiders Facebook group and standalone forum.
1. Facebook Group – New Posts
Only those who have read the book A Beginner’s Guide to Mold Avoidance as well as the group rules are allowed to post in the Mold Avoiders Facebook group.
All new posts (also known as “new threads”) that are submitted to the Facebook group are read by me before being approved and shared with other group members.
I usually will wait to approve a new post until I have time to post a response of my own on it.
Therefore, please do not be alarmed if items that you post do not appear in the Mold Avoiders group immediately.
I am very busy and it may take me a bit of time to get around to reading and responding to your post.
If you do not see your post visible in the group within a day or two, please be sure to check your PM mailbox since I may have questions or concerns about the post that need to be discussed.
I suggest that members keep a copy of new posts that they submit to the group, just in case they happen to get lost or other problems arise.
2. Facebook Group – Comments
Only those who have read the book A Beginner’s Guide to Mold Avoidance as well as the group rules are allowed to comment in the Facebook group.
I have hired moderators from outside the mold community to read all the comments on all the posts, to make sure that the comments are consistent with the group rules.
Although I try to read all comments that are posted on the threads myself as well, time constraints do not always allow me to do that.
In addition, since I receive hundreds of Facebook notifications per day, I have stopped reading any of them. Tagging me is not a good way to get my attention, therefore.
Those who want me to respond to questions need to ask them in new threads rather than adding them to existing threads, therefore.
Please note that at this time, I am answering questions and providing comments only in the Mold Avoiders forums, rather than in other forums or privately to individuals.
3. Facebook Group – Comment Moderation
The moderators periodically read all the new comments on the Facebook threads and delete any that appear to be inconsistent with the group rules.
If comments are deleted, the moderator sends a copy of the deleted comments and a mention of the rule that appears to have been violated to the commenter via Facebook PM and also shares this information with me.
In some cases, there may be somewhat of a delay before individuals are provided a notification about why their comments have been removed.
If members note that their comments appear to have been removed, they are not to mention this in the group discussion and are not to ask the moderators or me about it.
Questions about such matters instead may be submitted through the Mold Avoiders Comments system, described below.
It is very helpful when members of the Facebook group who note that a rule has been violated in the discussions notify the moderators of that, so that problematic comments can be removed more quickly.
This can be done by going to the thread menu (located at the top right hand corner of the whole thread) and choosing “Report to Admin.”
(Please do not choose “Report Post” since this will notify Facebook rather than the moderator.)
Per the Mold Avoiders group rules, no mention of the problematic comment is to be made in the group discussion.
Please instead just report any problematic comments to the “Admin” as described above and then pretend that that those comments do not exist.
Here is the group rule related to this issue:
If you feel that a Mold Avoiders member has said something inappropriate, please do not take it upon yourself to try to correct the problem by bringing it up so that everyone else here is aware of situation. From what I have seen, this consistently leads to disintegration of online communities rather than improving the situation. Please instead either a) bring the issue up to the person privately; b) alert the moderators that there is a problem with the thread (through the “Report to Admin” option); or c) let it go.
4. Facebook Group – Reply Function
The use of the Reply function is not permitted in the Mold Avoiders Facebook group.
If a member nonetheless uses the Reply function, then the following comment may be posted by any group member either as a Reply or at the bottom of the entire thread.
Lisa has asked that the Reply function not be used in this group.
In order to avoid distractions from the substantive content, this is the ONLY mention of this rule that is to be shared in the group.
For instance, please do not criticize or defend the group policy regarding the Reply function; provide an apology or explanation with regard to your use of the Reply function; promise not to use the Reply function again; or offer any other such comments.
Thanks very much to all who make an effort not to use the Reply function in the group and who take the time to remind others not to use it.
5. Standalone Forum – Participant Application
Anyone who signs up may read the content of the Mold Avoiders standalone forum.
However, only those who have applied and been approved to participate may post or comment in the standalone forum.
Individuals who would like to participate may fill out the Mold Avoiders Participant Application.
I moderate the standalone forum myself (and virtually no problems have occurred in it due to the heavy pre-screening of the participants there).
Please note that the standalone forum also serves as a Facebook group archive and that previous discussions from the Facebook group may be transferred there.
6. Providing Suggestions & Protesting Moderation Decisions
Because the primary goal of the Mold Avoiders moderation policy is efficiency, occasionally comments that are not actually in violation of the rules may be removed or other problems may occur.
If this happens, please do not attempt to bring these issues up to me or to the moderator directly.
In addition, please do not bring up any moderation issues in the Mold Avoiders group or forum discussions.
Instead, please submit a written statement describing the issue through the Mold Avoiders Comments form.
General suggestions for improvement also may be submitted through this mechanism.
Although I may or may not respond to comments submitted in this manner, I do read all of the comments and take them into consideration with regard to Mold Avoiders administration decisions.
Thanks very much to all for your understanding with regard to the use of these administration policies to deal as efficiently as possible with the issues involved in running the Mold Avoiders forums.
Lisa Petrison, Ph.D.
Paradigm Change/Mold Avoiders
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