Chat Hosting Guidelines - Forums at Psych Central

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Old 03-03-2015, 07:47 AM #1
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Member Since: May 2001
Location: Greater Boston, MA
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Chat Chat Hosting Guidelines

Chat Host Guidelines
Version 1.2

The Psych Central chat rooms are an extension of the Psych Central community – meaning that all community guidelines apply while in chat. That means the chat rooms are primarily intended as a safe and supportive environment where people with mental health, parenting or relationship concerns can go to discuss topics of interest. However, we recognize real-time chat is not for everyone, and the experience can vary greatly based upon the room, the member composition of the room, the time of day, etc.

One of the benefits of a Psych Central membership is the ability for members who abide by our chat host guidelines to become a chat host. A chat host is one who has hosting abilities and responsibilities in their own member-created chatroom.
  • Try to stabilize an interpersonal conflict or situation by privately messaging the parties involved.
  • Help new members understand the chat environment and the self-care tools that are available to all members (such as putting another member on “Ignore” if they are bothering them).
  • Your civility, respect and level-headedness are a model for other members.
  • Only chat hosts who have been pre-approved by an Administrator can be elevated to be a chat host. Any host who elevates a non-approved chat host to moderate may lose their privileges.
  • Ensure that rooms are properly labeled if sex-based talk is allowed.
  • Uphold all community guidelines in the room in which they are hosting.
  • Do not allow negative discussion of another member to occur (whether or not that member is in the room).
  • Do not use moderation actions when using self-care tools are more appropriate. For instance, if another member is annoying you personally, use the “Ignore” function for that member (instead of kicking them).
  • If a situation arises, it is brought up in the Chat Hosts forum for discussion and understanding how a better resolution in the future may be possible.

Escalation of an issue
  • Kick/bans from rooms are an action of last resort.
  • Never use a kick or ban from a room as your first and only punitive action.
  • Private message the member first and try to de-escalate the situation, or kindly suggest they move on to another room if this room is not conducive for them.
  • If the member continues, and the member is causing a disruption in the entire room because of their behavior, another public warning should be made to the member. The warning should take the form of: “Member name: I’ve already warned you privately that you need to desist from XYZ behavior. Please stop or you will be kicked from the room.” XYZ behavior should be as explicit and specific as possible.
  • If a situation arises and you use a kick/ban, please report the situation via PM to DocJohn and explain the events leading up to it. (Chat hosts should provide DocJohn with the room name, date and time of the incident when reporting it via PM.)

Chat hosts who do not abide by these guidelines may lose their chat hosting privileges.

Chat hosts do not elevate other members to chat host status in a chat room if they are not already a pre-approved chat host (e.g., you can't elevate an ordinary member to chat host status).

Exceptions to the community guidelines

There are a few exceptions to the community guidelines we allow in the chat rooms.
  • Topics of politics and religion are allowed.
  • Topics of a sexual nature are allowed, if the room is properly labeled with “Sex” in its title or description.
  • Discussions need to be respectful of all other members, regardless of topic.


To become a chat host and have the ability to host your own chat rooms on the Psych Central community, you must be:
  • A member in good standing for at least 3 months.
  • No current or outstanding community support or administrative issues.
  • Experienced in our chat rooms (e.g., spend more than 2 hours per week in them).
  • Have not more than one past serious infraction while in chat.
  • After April 1, 2015, new chat hosts need to be nominated by an existing chat host.
Don't throw away your shot.

Last edited by DocJohn; 11-09-2015 at 06:30 AM.
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