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Changes to moderation policies: no more face pics in profile images

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
Hi everyone,

The beyondblue forums are an anonymous space where we discourage the sharing of any information that may personally identify you to someone reading.

These forums are public, searchable and indexed by Google, so we ask people to consider their words and think about the level of detail they are sharing with the world before hitting 'post'.

Up until now, we have allowed the use of profile pictures that depict a member's face, but after feedback from the community we have decided to change this policy in order to keep our message about anonymity on the forums consistent.

From today, our moderators will no longer approve the use of profile picture images that clearly depict your face.

If you already have a face picture displayed on your profile, we won't be removing it, but would ask you to have a think about the privacy implications of having your face on display in connection with other personal detail you may be sharing in your posts here.

This thread will also serve as a runnning discussion around how to protect your privacy and anonymity on the forums.

Feedback is welcome.
40 Replies 40

Hi Quercus and Tzariina,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. One of the guiding values of our community as pointed out in out community rules is safety: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/community-rules

One of the key ways we keep everyone on the forums safe is by keeping them anonymous. We have to ensure no one who reaches out and opens up on our forums can be identified in real life. Moderators help to protect all users' anonymity by editing out details like full names, locations (it's fine to say your live in a big city or particular state, but nothing more specific, e.g. "I live in a town of 736 and it's 50 minutes from Newcastle where Mr Brown is the mayor") -- basically anything  that someone reading could piece together to identify and locate someone on social media or in real life is a no go on these forums.

Tzariina, we're sorry that our policy affects your sense of dissociation but we can't safely make and exception to this rule. We hope you understand and consider following Quercus's good advice on picking something that you feel represents who you are without revealing your identity: it might be a colour or the plants you currently have, it could even be a picture of the back of your head wearing a hat. They key thing is that it's an image that no one could identify you from.

Nat, in answer to your question, any caricature or similar would have to be such that no one with access to the forums could recognise a user from. Unfortunately, without knowing what most users look like in real life, moderators could never be sure that a caricature did or didn't resemble the user atttempting to upload it, so for all intents and purposes, it would be rejected for the same safety reasons we reject profile pictures clearly showing someone's face.

Thank you both once again for your contributions to our wonderful, welcoming, anonymous and safe online peer support forums community.