bullyonline, support group, rules, guidelines, forum
Constantly criticized, nit-picked, undermined, sidelined, ignored, humiliated, passed over? Read this

Bully OnLine support and discussion forum
Please read this page before subscribing to Bullyonline

INTRODUCTION

The Bullyonline forum is intended for people to seek or give help, and to provide relevant commentary on the topic of bullying in general, but especially at work. It was established by the late Tim Field on 7 September 2000. Topics typically include the Serial Bully, bullying (of course!), stress and its effects on health, the effects of bullying on career and personal life, and ways to cope with intolerable conduct. This does not mean that other subjects can't be discussed but keep in mind to make the topic relevant to other members who have joined this forum for that reason.

The emphasis is on practical steps for taking action to deal with bullying, including the use of grievance procedures, experience in identifying and exposing the serial bully, and strategies to achieve settlement, resolution and closure. Healing and recovery from bullying, harassment and abuse are also discussed. Humour, an important part of healing, is a feature of the forum, and may be quirky at times. Referral, references, recommendation etc are an integral part of the support, healing and re-empowerment process.

First posts are moderated to filter out spammers, trolls etc.

The subsequent guidelines serve the purpose of making the forum an enjoyable and beneficial experience to every member by demonstrating a high level of courtesy and consideration towards everyone. The guidelines are easy to follow and only require common sense, attention and at times restraint. Your compliance with these guidelines demonstrates respect for the other members and allows you to retain the privilege of participation in this forum. Non-compliance or abuse of these guidelines may result in removal from the group.

Please review the guidelines as part of this groups desire to provide a friendly learning environment that will foster further interest in bullying, its causes and effects.

PARTICIPATION

Participate in a supportive and informative fashion. Share your thoughts, experiences and encourage all the "listeners" to speak up and get involved. No need to be shy about posting a question. Someone else on the list is bound to have the same one.

WHEN POSTING MESSAGES KEEP THE FOLLOWING IN MIND

COURTESY. Abstain from personal attacks, insults, derogatory statements and obscene language. Do not post ANY information to this forum that contains any content which libels, defames, invades privacy, or is obscene, pornographic, abusive or threatening. Harvesting of members' email addresses is prohibited. Anyone provoking members or causing splits in the forum will be removed.

STAY ON TOPIC. Messages posted on Bullyonline should be directly related to the focus of this group and the subject of bullying in general. Refrain from posting or replying to any subject matter that does not directly pertain to the purpose of this group.

FORWARDING MESSAGES FROM/TO OTHER LISTS. Posting a message in this forum from or to another forum is strictly prohibited if you are not the original author and/or you do not have the original author's permission. If you come across some useful information that you feel would be beneficial to other members, then its appropriate to post a link to the information but not the message itself. Copying and pasting messages from or to another group is considered plagiarism if you do not have express permission from the original author.

TRIM YOUR MESSAGES WHEN REPLYING - THIS IS MOST IMPORTANT. When replying to a posting, remember to remove all parts of the original message that are not relevant to your reply. Include only the parts of the original message that you feel are important for members to understand what you are replying to. This will prevent messages from becoming too long and difficult to follow. This includes the removal of signatures, footers and advertisements. Anyone who persistently fails to remove unnecessary text will be placed in moderated mode.

USE THE CORRECT CASE. Write in lower case and not in all capitals, which in netiquette is interpreted as shouting. Text which is all upper case is difficult to read and therefore unlikely to be read by most forum members. Using the correct punctuation also makes your text more visible, and hence interesting to read.

PROMOTING OTHER LISTS. Refrain from promoting other forums or discussion lists unless they are of direct relevance to bullying.

NOT A SOCIAL CLUB. The forum is not a social club. Please do not make one-line comments that would be better served if sent privately to a participant rather than going to everyone else on the list. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

SPAM

First posts are moderated to filter out spam - usually automated messages resulting from malware infections on home computers, but also irrelevant bulk mails from human senders. The moderation filters out 95% of spam but occasionally an unsolicited message arrives on the forum. Automated spam often contains nothing more than a link to an infected website. DO NOT CLICK LINKS in mails unless you are sure that they will benefit you. DO NOT REPLY to Spam messages. It will alert the originator that you exist and you will make yourself or the group susceptible to more of the same. A group moderator will deal with the matter and the source accordingly. 

PLAGIARISM AND COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT

If you didn't create a message or obtain rights to post it, you can't copy it or distribute it. The author or owner must explicitly relinquish rights for a work to be placed in the public domain. This includes the Bullyonline forum. As suggested, include a link to the information so other members can see it if interested, but do not push information on other members by posting entire messages to the forum.

COMMERCE

Bullyonline is a free forum to promote the awareness and development of bullying. This is not a forum to sell, promote or advertise any commercial products or services. You are, therefore, asked not to publish advertisements, prices or links to commercial products and services, electronic or otherwise. However, by all means feel free to mention courses, conferences, books etc related to bullying but only in summary and using a link to a web page which members can follow if they are interested.

PROTECTION OF MINORITIES

The forum is a means to discuss the experience of being on the receiving end of unacceptable conduct, and ways to deal with and escape from it. It is not intended as a vehicle for pursuing personal campaigns or vendettas against third parties. Any member who uses the forum for this purpose will find their posts moderated and failure to conform to the spirit of these guidelines or a moderator's direct request will result in removal from the group.

LANGUAGE AND COMMON COURTESY

One thing that we will not tolerate is foul and abusive language or aggression towards a member or members on the forum, nor will we tolerate behaviours that are intended to or result in the formation of cliques or polarisation of the forum. We are here to share, learn, support and recover. Nothing else. Be mindful that many members have Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Non-compliance with list guidelines will result in a warning or you may be immediately unsubscribed and banned from the group.

BULLYING AND FLAMING

Sometimes a bully poses as a victim in order to gain access to vulnerable people. Occasionally someone take it into their head to start a flame war. The symptoms are dividing the forum, creating cliques, endless and pointless "you said" - "no I didn't" - "yes you did" arguments. The best way to deal with bullies is to NOT RESPOND and NOT ENGAGE. This way you deny them the control and attention they crave. Whenever you pitch in to one of these battles you are choosing to prolong and inflame it. Let the moderators deal with it. Remember that by being an observer you remain in control (of your emotions and responses) and it becomes an opportunity to learn more about bullies and how they operate.

TROLLS AND SPAMMERS

Spammers are people who bombard others with unwanted junk emails but disguise their origin so they are impossible to stop. Trolls are people who have only one view - theirs - and who join forums to impose their views on others. Taunting, provocation and deafness are second nature to trolls. Most trolls have a long history of being thrown off forums. For more info on trolls click here.

AUTO-RESPONDER

Most email programs have an option to set up an auto reply message when you are away on business or vacation. The auto reply alerts everyone who contacts you that you are away from your computer. Before choosing and turning on this option, temporarily unsubscribe from the list or change your subscription type to "web only". This will allow you to still access your messages online.

Failure to modify your subscription type or unsubscribing will result in a feedback loop and the forum will be hit with a volume of auto reply messages. This means that we will have no option but to unsubscribe you from the list immediately.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE WEB FEATURES

ARCHIVE. A searchable collection of all the messages that have been posted to date on the forum.

FILES. An area where members can add files and share them with other members. Files include images, .snf files, instructions and any file that will be beneficial to members.

BOOKMARKS. A section that allows you to post links to your favourite web sites. Please keep the links related to astronomy.

FAILING TO FOLLOW POLICY

If you abuse your member privileges on the forum, you will receive a warning message or may be unsubscribed and banned immediately depending on the severity of the abuse or if the behaviour continues. You can be unsubscribed and banned for any of the following reasons:

* Violations of Yahoo Groups terms of service.
* Repeated flaming on the Forum or encouraging others to flame.
* Sending abusive emails to the Forum, to members privately, or to the moderators.
* Non-compliance with Bullyonline forum guidelines.
* Offensive derogatory language
* Spamming and trolling
* Use of an Auto-Responder
* Repeatedly posting off-topic messages
* Commercial advertising on non-bullying related items for personal gain

If you feel a member's behaviour is inappropriate, contact the group moderators by sending a message to bullyonline-owner@yahoogroups.com. We will deal with it accordingly. Do not directly respond to the member in question as this can only result in a "flame war" and waste everyone's time.

If you feel that you have been unsubscribed and banned unjustly, feel free to write to bullyonline-owner@yahoogroups.com.

Note: This document may be amended from time to time to reflect the needs of this group and member feedback.

Bullyonline Forum FAQ General Questions

1. How do I post messages to the Forum?

Compose an email message and send it to bullyonline@yahoogroups.com. Your message will automatically be forwarded to everyone on the Forum.

2. How do I change my email preferences to receive messages over the web or in a digest format?

To do this, you will need to have a Yahoo! ID. Visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bullyonline, sign in with your ID and password (or register for one if you don't have), and click the "Edit my membership" link on the right side of the screen. You can choose one of three message formats: individual e-mails, one daily digest with all the day's messages, or no email.

3. What is a Yahoo! ID? Why do I need one?

A Yahoo! ID allows you to access certain web-only features of the group such as the message archive and the files database. It also allows you to view messages on the web, instead of in your e-mail. A Yahoo! ID is not needed if you only wish to receive e-mail messages from the group and post messages. To get a Yahoo! ID, visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bullyonline and click the "register" link in the top right corner. This will link your e-mail address to a Yahoo! ID. The next time you visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bullyonline, click the "Sign in" link in the upper right corner. This will prompt you to enter your Yahoo! ID and password. There is also an option to "remember my ID". If you check this box, you will not be prompted for your ID and password every time you access the Bullyonline Forum web page. Once you are signed in, all of the links on the Bullyonline Forum web page will be active. For more information, see the Yahoo Registration Help page.

4. Is there an archive of previous messages?

Yes. To access this archive, you will need to have a Yahoo! ID. Visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bullyonline, sign in and click the "Messages" link on the left side of the screen. This will display a list of messages, sorted by date. You can browse the archive or use the search function to find messages related to a certain topic.

5. Is there a moderator for the Bullyonline Forum?

The Bullyonline Forum is moderated by a group of volunteer members, but individual postings are unmoderated in the sense that messages are not reviewed before they are posted. This means that occasionally you will receive a junk mail advertisement or other off-topic message. The best thing to do is ignore these messages - the moderators will take any appropriate action. Please note that when you subscribe, your first post is moderated in order to weed out spammers,trolls and other undesirables.

6. How do I download files that have been posted by Forum members?

To access these files, you will need to have a Yahoo! ID. Go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bullyonline, sign in and click the "Files" link on the left side of the screen. This will display an annotated list of all files that have been posted. If you are using Internet Explorer (Windows version), right-click on the file you are interested in and choose "Save Target as" to download the file to your hard drive. You can also post your own files to the group by clicking the "Add File" link.

7. How can I set up my email account to place messages from the Forum in a special folder?

All messages from the Forum will have bullyonline@yahoogroups.com in the "To" field, and [bullyonline] in the subject line. You can use these facts to filter all mail from the Forum into a special folder. You may also wish to switch your user preferences so that you receive all the emails from the list in a daily digest, or receive no email, but access the list through the web. Read on to learn how to filter your forum messages in a special folder. The following instructions tell you how to do this using Microsoft's Outlook Express (Windows version). The procedure should be similar for most other email programs:

(1) Open Outlook Express. The left side of the screen will list your mail folders. Right-click the mouse on your "Inbox" folder and choose "New Folder" from the popup menu. Name the new folder "bullyonline" and click "OK". This has created a new folder named "bullyonline" inside your Inbox.

(2) Choose Tools->Message Rules->Mail from the Outlook Express menu. Hit the "New" button in the window that opens. This opens a new window where you will choose the rules for your new filter. Under the heading "Select the conditions for your rule", check the box marked "Where the To Line Contains People". Under the heading "Select the actions for your rule", check the box marked "Move it to the specified folder". Under the heading "Rule description", click on the words "contains people". Type in the name bullyonline@yahoogroups.com. Click the "Add" button and then the "OK" button. Under the heading "Rule description", click on the word "specified". Click on the folder "bullyonline forum" from the list of folders and then click "OK". Under the heading "Name of the Rule", type "Bullyonline Forum Filter". Click "OK" twice to close the open windows.

After following this procedure, all incoming mail from the Bullyonline Forum should be moved automatically to your "Bullyonline forum" folder, so you can open this folder to browse through all Forum messages at the same time.

8. How do I unsubscribe from the Forum?

To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to: bullyonline-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com. Please do not post a message to the entire group! If you have more than one email account, it is important that you send this email from the account that is subscribed to the Forum, otherwise you may get an error message telling you that you are not signed up for the Forum.

Summary

The Bullyonline Forum was set up by Tim Field and has been running since September 2000 and has helped many hundreds of people. Although the instructions above may look complicated, it's largely common sense which most people exhibit automatically. As with all bullying, it's always a small number of individuals who believe the rules don't apply to them.

Tim Field operated a policy of tolerance which continues today through the moderating team, therefore provided you believe your posting contributes to the objectives of the forum (education, sharing, support,recovery) you'll find he takes a generous view of all contributions which are well-intentioned. You'll also find the forum humour can be a bit quirky at times.

How do I join?

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To unsubscribe from Bullyonline send an email to bullyonline-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com


Where now?
Lots of information and ideas for tackling bullying including the legal aspects
Action Home Page | Action to tackle bullying
Guidance for employers on policy development
Bullying and the trade unions | Bullying and the law
Case law on bullying, harassment, stress and personal injury
Court judgements in cases relevant to bullying
Long v. Mercury Mobile Communications Services
Hatton Barber et al: 16 practical propositions for a personal injury case
Right to be accompanied | The need for risk assessment
High Court injunction to prevent unfair dismissal | Obstruction to justice
Bullyonline action forum for validation and re-empowerment
UK Dignity at Work Bill | Swedish law on Victimization at Work
Bullying and human rights | Waters v. London Metropolitan Police
Barber v. Somerset County Council
Zimmerman: retaliation in the US courts
Bullying history: books, articles and publications since 1992
How to lobby your MP: example letter and summary of inadequacy of UK law
Amicus Campaign Against Bullying At Work (CABAW)
Tim Field's written submission to the Dignity at Work Bill debate
Getting another job after bullying | How to recover from bullying
Setting up a bullying survivor support group | Sample support group constitution
Using the search engines to find other sites on bullying etc
Dealing with viruses, worms, spam etc
Designing and building your own web site
Advice and guidance for new Internet users
Tim Field's book Bully in sight validates the experience of bullying and
defines the injury to health caused by bullying and harassment

Home Pages
The Field Foundation | Bully OnLine
Workplace bullying | School bullying | Family bullying
Bullying news | Press and media centre
Bullying case histories | Bullying resources
Stress and PTSD
Action to tackle bullying | Related issues

Books on bullying and psychiatric injury