Forum Rules & Guidelines
1. Anonymity: Do not post any identifiable information. Please respect the privacy of other individuals who use the website and do not ask people to reveal identifying information.
2. Be Sensitive and Respectful: Remember that people who are dealing with emotional trauma may be more sensitive to comments or criticism. Be respectful of others and their opinions. If you disagree with someone, please remember to comment on the idea or opinion, not the person. Personal attacks, insults and FLAMING [writing entire messages in all CAPS] do not belong on a website dedicated to recovery. Please make every effort to be supportive and encouraging, even if you disagree. Do not ask others to "prove" that their event(s) happened, as that could lead to the production of identifying information.
3. No Inappropriate Labelling: It is inappropriate and potentially unethical to label individuals as a Psychopath [per PCL-R] or even suffering from Antisocial Personality Disorder [per DSM-IV-TR] in the absence of a professional, psychological assessment. In particular, please refrain from labeling anyone under the age of 18 or anyone outside your direct experiences, i.e. public figures, celebrities, people in the news, or organizations. Please do not do so. Any post using such labels will be edited or simply deleted. However, you may comment on any individual's psychopathic-like traits, characteristics, or features.
4. No Inappropriate Claims of Expertise: We believe that all that come to this site are equal. If you are a recognized expert or have formal education in a field of study (for example, have an advanced degree in an area of science), then please state this so others understand the validity of your statements. If, on the other hand, you are speaking from your own experiences, than make that clear as well---life experiences are valuable resources and should be clearly labelled as such. In no cases should any poster imply expertise or experiences they do not have. Do not use a condescending tone or patronizing language or a style of writing that implies a superior knowledge, attitude, position or station in life. Please respect the feelings of readers by treating them as equals.
5. Understand the Limitations of Research Findings in Discussions: Do not use language that over-generalizes research findings or misrepresents any findings as broad-based indisputable scientific facts. Aftermath takes pride in being an accurate and unbiased source of psychopathy-related scientific research for the benefit of survivors of psychopathy, and we welcome discussions of relevant research findings in our forums. However, as researchers we understand the limitations of our own scientific methods, and the dangerousness of over-generalizing based on findings from a single research study, limited amounts of data, or small sample sizes. While findings from single studies may be interesting and even valuable, it is the replication of results across studies and different groups of people that allow the study of psychopathy in social science, biological science, or both to move forward with credibility. We encourage all members to become informed and be knowledgeable yet critical consumers of psychopathy research.
6. English Language Only: Although the Aftermath website is available to people of all nationalities, please communicate in English. Since English may not be the first language of all users, please be considerate and write in clear English, avoiding the use of slang, â€œtxt msg," jargon, or other unfamiliar abbreviations. Also, in order to make your posts easier to read, please use paragraphing every few lines or so. And many posters tell us they draft their posts in a text-editor first (such as MS-Word), run it through a spell checker, and keep a copy off-line just in case.
7. No Broad Generalizations or Hate Speech: Please do not use "hate speech;" no broad negative generalizations about groups or classes of people, based, for example, on race, creed, political views, nationality, sexual orientation, and so forth. The Aftermath group does not represent any political group and does not promote any agenda other than the healing and well-being of those who come to the site.
8. No Politics / Religion / Philosophy: The forums are not designed to foster speculation about politics, religion, or philosophy, etc. While we want victims / survivors to be able to express themselves freely to facilitate the healing process, we view political, philosophical, and religious issues beyond our direct experiences as outside the scope of the forums. The Aftermath Forum has a diverse ethnic and international membership. While we recognize that religion is important to many of our members, we want all of our members to feel equally welcome. To accomplish this we will remove all posts that include any discussion of religion in their entirety.
9. No Conspiracy Theory / Supernatural / Cults: Any post containing material that refers to broad conspiracies, the supernatural, or cults is subject to removal or editing by the Moderators. It is our view that these kinds of posts do not promote constructive discussions.
10. No Violence: Violence, whether emotional or physical, has been part of the trauma for many people who visit this site. Be respectful and do not describe plans for, or acts of, self-injury, suicide or harm or violence toward others.
11. No Illegal / Destructive Activities or Sites: Please do not post anything that promotes illegal or destructive activities, or link to sites that promote such activities.
12. No Unproven Treatment Methods: Any post containing material that promotes non-proven, nonsensical or quasi-mystical methods for treating mental disorders or that presents methods which are inconsistent with theory or science is subject to removal or editing by the Moderators. It is our view that these kinds of posts do not promote constructive discussions, and may, in fact, cause harm.
13. No Medical or Mental-Health Advice: Please do not make posts advising others to ignore the advice of medical or mental health professionals. This includes, but is not limited to, suggesting people refuse to take prescribed medications, avoid treatments, etc. (Of course, if anyone is concerned about the appropriateness of the treatment they are receiving, seeking a second opinion from a qualified professional is a reasonable course of action.)
14. No Anti-Medicine or Anti-Psychiatry: Forum users are asked to please refrain from making posts that are anti-medicine or anti-psychiatry in nature.
15. No Copyright Violations: Do not quote extensively from the works of others, are copyrighted by others, or are not in the Public Domain (for example, the works of Shakespeare and the Bible are in the Public Domain). If you do quote from a source other than your own, then you must limit your quotation to 50 words or less [preferably less], and give credit by naming the author and title of the work. The Moderators will edit or delete any quotations that are in violation of or appear to be in violation of copyright law, or that exceed this limit, or that do not give appropriate credit. And, please do not misquote or distort sources you use.
16. Links Are Not Allowed in Posts; Send Them Directly to Us for Review Instead: Because of the large number of links that readers have posted and the significant increase in time directed to vetting them by our volunteer staff, we can no longer allow links to be posted directly to the Forums. Instead, if you have a link that you strongly feel is useful to share, please do so by sending an email, with the link embedded, to Movingfirstname.lastname@example.org. We will then review your suggested link and if we feel it fits in with our Mission, Vision, Forum Rules & Guidelines, we will list it on the site. However, please understand that our turnaround time will not be quick and we cannot respond back to you regarding the status of your suggested post.
We have some general guidelines to follow in suggesting links:
a. Links to commercial sites, including but not limited to sites selling books [including Amazon], and consulting or counseling services.
b. Links to sites by individuals claiming to be a psychopath, sociopath, narcissist, or other clinical condition.
c. Links to sites that provide information already contained in our own Aftermath "Links to Other Websites," "Psychopathy Research," and "Resources for Victims/Survivors" pages. Please check here first before submitting new links.
d. Links to sites that violate any of our Rules & Guidelines.
a. Links to government websites that provide assistance to victims of violence/abuse, legal information, etc. These domains have the name ".gov".
b. Links to university websites that provide information about psychopathy research. These domains have the name ".edu".
Sometimes Allowed (but often questionable):
a. Links to newspaper accounts of criminals who are suspected "psychopaths" or "sociopaths." Because newspaper articles are not always fact-checked themselves, they are often inaccurate or even inflammatory (causing concern amongst some of our posters). However, in major cases where the media has presented compelling "evidence" of psychopathy-like behavior (even without calling it that), we may allow the link to be posted, strictly for discussion purposes amongst our readers.
b. Links to advocacy groups that do not display any bias in the (free) services or advice they provide. For example, a site that is sexist would not be allowed. Pay-For-Service sites are also not allowed.
17. Moderators May and Will Edit / Delete: While the Aftermath group respects the need for Aftermath victims/survivors to engage in free-flowing communication, moderators may edit or remove posts that violate the letter or the spirit of these rules. The Moderators/Administrators have the final say in all actions that they have taken.
18. Contact the Moderators to Voice a Concern: If you have a concern about a post, or someone's actions or comments have upset you, please do not start an argument in the forums. Instead, use the "Report Post" button to bring it to the attention of the Moderators, or communicate your concerns by writing to Paul@aftermath-surviving-psychopathy.org OR RobertS@aftermath-surviving-psychopathy.org .
Revised & Updated: 11/2011
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