• Community Members: Please be respectful of other peoples' opinions about diabetes. Everyone manages their health differently. Please be mindful of this.

User Guidelines

User Guidelines

To make sure everyone gets the most out of being part of our community we have a few guidelines we ask everyone to follow. All of them are designed to make sure everyone feels welcome.

Be supportive
We’re a supportive and welcoming community. Please keep it friendly, informative and helpful. The community is primarily a place to give and receive support. You don’t have to offer advice but it can help you feel part of the community. Equally, welcoming new members can help encourage people to feel included and inspired to share.

Be respectful
We want everyone to feel comfortable sharing personal experiences or opinions. Please be respectful of those who’ve opened up, and courteous and sympathetic in your responses. Think about the tone of your posts. Strongly opinionated or judgmental posts can be intimidating, as can proposing an absolute truth for others. Avoid CAPS or excessive punctuation as this can come across as shouting.

Be sensitive
Many members who are using the forum might be going through a difficult time, and emotions can be heightened so please bear this in mind. Some people posting might be feeling vulnerable, sensitive, or defensive as well as a number of other emotions.

Recognise differences
We’re a diverse community and many members will have different experiences and views of diabetes and its management. Please try to recognise and respect that everyone will experience diabetes differently. We like healthy debate, but any discussions have got to be conducted with respect and tolerance for others.

Concern for others
If you’re concerned about the well-being of another forum member, please alert the moderators using the ‘report’ button at the bottom of each post or email us at support.forurm@diabetes.org.uk and we’ll follow our safeguarding procedure.

There might not always be a moderator online, so if you have an immediate concern about the well-being of a member, encourage them to contact Samaritans on 116 123 who can offer support 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Keep to the topic
Please stick to the original topic and tone of a thread as a courtesy to the original poster, and for clarity. Be mindful, if a new topic of discussion arises from within a thread, start a new thread with a relevant title or ask the moderators to split a thread if a digression becomes clear after several further responses. Equally, your own thread may contain lots of questions about a topic. But if you have a question about something new, it is best to start a new thread, rather than posting a question about something else, in one of your old threads. This can make it easier for other members to understand what your query is.

Try to summarise and keep it simple
Everyone’s experience, knowledge and confidence is different. Some questions or responses might need long or technical answers. But try to be aware that sometimes a really complex post might interrupt the flow of support, or seem daunting to the original poster.

Smilies and jokes
Smilies can be used and can help avoid misinterpretation. Feel free to use them as necessary. Appropriate humour, jokes and light-hearted posting is welcome.

Units of measurement
For members to offer the best support, it’s helpful to be clear on the various units used in blood glucose testing. Units of measurements can vary depending on what test has been done or what country you live in. Please, where you can, try to include the units of measurements when discussing results. It will help other members to offer the best support, and avoid confusion.

If sharing content from other websites, such as news articles, recipes, jokes, health research etc. we ask that you insert a link to the relevant web-page. Some information online is free to use and share. However, as this varies depending on the source, we ask as a practical precaution that users always post a link.


Your responsibilities
By joining the forum you have a responsibility not to post any content or material which breach our user guidelines or terms and rules. Our guidelines and terms apply to material which is shared both publicly AND privately.

No one should:
1. Use sexually explicit, inappropriate or vulgar language.
2. Curse, swear or use obscenities towards others.
3 Make degrading, derogatory or disparaging remarks about any person or group.
4. Post defamatory, libelous, slanderous remarks towards any person, group, organisation or company.
5. Use an inappropriate or offensive username, avatar and/or signature.

6. Post personal attacks or be aggressive, threatening, abusive or intimidating towards any person.
7. Abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or unnecessary anxiety.
8. Post material to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person.
9. Act with the intention to cause conflict or division within the community, inclusive of posting inflammatory messages or with intent to provoke emotional responses from others.
10. Promote discrimination or victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on the basis of religion, political orientation, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, age, or disability (inclusive of diabetes type).
11. Post material that is likely to deceive or falsely mislead any person.
12. Post content which threatens, promotes, or instigates violence or death to others.
13. Promote, incite, solicit, or provide information about any illegal activity.
14. Impersonate any person, or misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person, group or organization.
15. Use the forum to damage or obtain unauthorised access to any data, or other information, of any third party.
16. Be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as contractual duty or a duty of confidence (for example if you have signed a disclosure agreement).

17. Promote sexually explicit material
18. Post or share material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory.
19. Post sensitive or confidential information or encourage other users to post sensitive or confidential information.
20. Publicly post content regarding to or in reference of specific moderator actions.
21. Specifically name individual healthcare professionals or other professionals eg. Your employer or child’s teacher
22. Give explicit medical advice, a diagnosis or advice that advocates a treatment definitively.
23. Endorse or promote alternative treatments, therapies or "cures" that are likely to be seen as misleading or to encourage others to pursue potentially dangerous changes to their treatment regime.
24. Infringe on any patent, trademark, copyright, database right, right of publicity, or other intellectual property right of any party.

25. Deliberately post the same content in two or more locations.
26. Advertise or post direct links for the purpose of promotion or marketing of a product or service.
27. Post content containing software viruses, computer codes, files or programs to disrupt, damage, or limit the functioning of any software, hardware, or telecommunications equipment.

We do our best to keep you feeling safe and supported.

In order to do this, any posts which don’t follow our courtesy guidelines or rules about posting may be edited, moved or deleted by the moderator team This applies to all content posted by users including thread posts, replies, signatures, avatars, profile posts, private messages and report messages.

There will not always be a moderator online, so in order that we become aware of all concerns, we ask our members to be vigilant and to escalate all concerns using the ‘Report’ button which is present on every message. This aids our moderators in acting quickly and efficiently to resolve violations once they are available. This action is completely anonymous to other forum members and any such activity will be kept strictly confidential by Diabetes UK.

Medical advice
You should only relate to your own experiences. Never tell other members to adjust medication without them first speaking to a member of their healthcare team. Posts should never be considered as a substitute for a medical diagnosis, treatment or medical advice.

If you require emergency medical advice or assistance please call 999 If it’s less urgent then please call the 24 hour NHS 111 service on 111 if you’re in England. If you’re in Wales please contact NHS Direct Wales on 0845 4647, and if you are in Scotland you can call NHS24 on 08454 24 24 24. Alternatively speak to your GP or healthcare team.

Posting a research survey or questionnaire We’re an active and engaged community. Academic institutions, researcher bodies or healthcare professionals may make a request to post research surveys, which may lead to positive change in the treatment, prevention or cure of diabetes. All surveys must provide an ‘Ethics Committee Approval’. This must be a letter of confirmation from your institutions Ethics Committee, to confirm that your research study is ethical. Once you have approval, you can request permission to post your research via the ‘Contact Us’ page or by emailing support.forum@diabetes.org.uk . Any surveys or questionnaires that have not provided Ethics Committee Approval will be removed until approval has been given.



Your account
Your user name and password must only be used by you. Don’t share your login details with others or allow others to sign in as you. If a post is made using your username and password it will be considered to have been posted by you. Don’t create multiple accounts. If you need to make changes to your account details, just contact our forum team via the Contact Us page or by emailing support.forum@diabetes.org.uk

Your username
Avoid using your real, full name to protect your privacy. If you need to change your username, contact our forum team via the Contact Us page.

Your personal details
This is a public forum. All posts are visible online and could be found through internet searches. To protect yourself online, we advise against sharing personal details, such as your full name, address, telephone number, email address etc. Our ‘Conversation’ function may be used to communicate personal or sensitive information. If you do chose to share any information in this way, we advise you read about Staying Safe Online.

Personal details of others
Respect the privacy and wishes of others in regards to their own personal identity and where possible, seek permission if sharing other’s personal information.

Naming healthcare professionals and organisations
We ask that you avoid disclosing the names of individual healthcare professionals When discussing issues regarding schools, employment, service industries, healthcare centres, hospitals etc. do not disclose specific details about individuals involved or names of organisations.

How we keep your identity safe
If you would like to know more about our approach to privacy, please see our Privacy Policy.



Reporting a thread post, conversation or profile post

If you see a post or receive a conversation message that you feel to be in breach of the user guidelines, please alert the moderator team.
Simply click the ‘Report’ button at the bottom of any post or message. You can include a comment to explain what your concerns are.

Our moderators will check the content and take the appropriate action in accordance with our terms and conditions and user guidelines. By reporting posts, you will help our moderators identify offensive, inappropriate or disruptive posts as soon as a member of the team is available. You will receive an alert once the team have reviewed the information to confirm that it has been resolved. Sometimes, this may take time.

Concern for yourself or others
If you’re concerned about a message you have received or the well-being of another forum member, please alert the moderators using the ‘report’ button at the bottom of any post or private message, or email us at support.forum@diabetes.org.uk.

We’ll make sure we take any appropriate steps to keep someone safe. There might not always be a moderator online, therefore if you have an immediate concern about the well-being of a member, encourage them to contact Samaritans on 116 123 who can offer support 24 hours a day, every day of the year. For any urgent medical concerns, see ‘Medical Advice’.



Profile posts
You have the option to write a post on your own profile, or the profile of another user. Profile posts are public and can be viewed by all users. If you have a general question, we advise not to post on a profile post. It is better to post it in the message boards, where more people will be able to answer. You can use the board you feel is most appropriate, or the General Messageboard if you are unsure.

Conversations are a way of sending a private message to another member. Please act responsibly when messaging other members privately. If people don’t want to be contacted this way, please respect their wishes. If you receive a private message which you think is inappropriate, or doesn’t meet our guidelines, please ‘report’ this to the moderators immediately or email our team at support.forum@diabetes.org.uk.

If you find another members comments are repeatedly having a general negative impact on you, i.e. difference of opinion, you can choose to ignore them. By ignoring them you’ll no longer see any posts or comments by this member. To ‘ignore’ a member, go to your Profile Page, select ‘People You Ignore’ and enter the name of the member whose posts you no longer wish to view.

Any targeted negative interactions, should be reported to a moderator through the process outlined.

You can also choose to ‘follow’ other members. This can be helpful if you want to change your privacy settings, and only allow certain individuals to view your profile page or contact you by private message. To follow a member, go to your Profile Page, select ‘People You Follow’ and enter the name of the member who you wish to follow.

Other forum functions
For more information about how to use the forum, please see ‘How to use the Forum’ and ‘FAQs – Technical Support’.


The Moderator Team

Our moderator team ensure the forum is a welcoming place where people can continue to safely support each other. They are volunteers who give their time to help make sure the forum is a supportive place to be. Along with our users, they help thousands of people who use our forum to share their experiences, get advice and find emotional support about living with diabetes.

When we moderate
The team is small, so we are not online at all times. During off-peak times there might not be a moderator online. Equally, during busy periods, moderators who are online might be dealing with multiple reports. Therefore, if you have immediate concerns, please see our guidance on Medical Advice or Concern for others.

How we moderate
We value the diversity of opinions, voices and personalities which make the forum such a vibrant, engaging and welcoming community. We recognise that disagreements sometimes occur, and the moderators try to make sure that the atmosphere in the forum remains positive and supportive for everyone. We aim to let posts and threads stay as they were originally written as much as we can. Sometimes we might need to take action.

When this happens: Moderators reserve the right to remove or edit any post or thread on the forum which are not in line with our user guidelines. Moderators will notify the poster of any moderator action taken in regards to a post they have made. In cases where no prior warning was given, moderators will notify users after an action has been taken.

Actions taken by moderators are the decision of the moderator team. Moderators will act using only the evidence they have available to them on the forum, to determine if a post has met our guidelines or terms and conditions. The moderator team are not obliged to discuss moderator rationale with members. If you have any questions about why something has been moved, edited, deleted or closed, email Diabetes UK at support.forum@diabetes.org.uk. Conclusions from Diabetes UK are final. This does not affect any member’s right to complain. (see ‘Complaints and compliments’ below). Any threats towards moderators or staff will not be tolerated and may result in a temporary or permanent account ban.

Breaking the User Guidelines
Most of the time, we will send a reminder to let a member know when a guideline has been breached. We do this to maintain the safe and supportive environment of our community. If a member continues to break guidelines, we may have to issue a warning, or in some cases, a suspension or permanent ban. We follow a ‘three strikes’ escalation process before issuing a suspension or ban, to ensure the member is fully aware of our guidelines.

Our three strike policy
We will send a private message to the member to:

1. Highlight the guidelines and remind of conduct
2. Warn of action should further breaches occur
3. Issue a suspension or ban

In some circumstances, we may surpass levels in our escalation procedure and issue an immediate suspension or ban. The length of the suspension or ban will be determined by the moderator team and Diabetes UK staff, dependent on the circumstances of the violation. Members who attempt to re-register with new details following an account suspension or ban, will have their new account removed.

Appeal a moderator action
If you feel you have been dealt with unfairly by the moderating team, or have any questions about how the decisions to edit or remove content that you have posted have been reached, please email us at helpline@diabetes.org.uk and a member of the team will respond.

Complaints and compliments
We welcome all feedback and use it to help is improve the way the forum works. If you have any feedback about our online support forum, please tell us. Email helpline@diabetes.org.uk.

If you’d like to make a complaint, please email helpline@diabetes.org.uk. All complaints will be dealt with in line with our complaints procedure. Diabetes UK reserves the right to make changes to these user guidelines without giving prior notice. Users will be notified of changes after amendments have been made.