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Sci.psychology.psychotherapy.moderated (hereinafter "sppm") exists as a forum for the discussion of psychotherapy. Anyone with an interest in such discussion is welcome. This would include practitioners of all types (psychologists, psychiatrists, marriage/family counselors, social workers, etc.), students of therapy, and therapy clientele.
Appropriate and Inappropriate Posts:
Some examples of topics appropriate for discussion in sppm include (but are not limited to) the following:
The following are inappropriate for sppm, and posts containing them will be rejected:
Moderation will be designed to uphold the charter. It will be carried out by a panel of moderators, in concert with automated moderation software.
Articles submitted to sppm will first be screened by the software, and then, if necessary, passed on to a randomly selected moderator. In order to facilitate rapid posting, reduce moderator workload, and minimize moderator intrusion, individuals who are able to meet charter guidelines in a reliable fashion will be placed on a "green list." This green list will be supplied to the software, which will automatically (without moderator review) post articles by individuals on the list.
The software will take one of two actions: 1) post the article to sppm, or 2) pass the article to a moderator. Posts from authors on the green list will be automatically posted to sppm, without further review. Posts from authors not on the green list will be passed to a human moderator. The software will send an e-mail notification to each author (with a valid e-mail address) whose post is routed to a moderator.
It should be noted that, when one is not on the green list, this does not mean one is prevented from posting to sppm; it merely means that one's submissions are reviewed by a moderator.
New sppm posters will be added to the green list if they meet two criteria: 1) they have posted at least three acceptable articles to sppm, without a rejection, and 2) someone advances their name to the moderators for consideration (anyone may do this, including the moderators, the ombudsman, or the person him/herself, and the process may become automated in the future). This initial green-lighting will occur automatically for any poster who meets these criteria.
If an individual on the green list posts an article which violates the charter, that person may be given a warning, provided that at least four of the five moderators agree that a violation has occurred. If, within a period of a month, that same individual again violates the charter, he or she may be removed from the green list, provided that at least four of the five moderators agree that the post in question is a violation. Any person may call to the moderators' attention an objectionable post.
After being removed from the green list, a person is eligible for reinstatement to the green list after two months of uniformly acceptable posts. In addition, a minimum of three articles must have been submitted since the date of removal from the green list before one is eligible for reinstatement. Again, any person, including the individual in question, may submit the eligible person to the moderators for this consideration, and a simple majority vote will restore him/her to the list.
When the software routes a post to a randomly selected moderator, that moderator will approve or reject that post. In no case will he or she edit any part of the post, including the newsgroup line. All rejected posts, including cross-posted ones, will be returned to their authors intact (assuming that author has a valid e-mail address). A brief explanation of the rejection will accompany the article. The author may then revise and resubmit the article, appeal the rejection, or submit the article to another forum (e.g., spp).
If you wish to appeal the rejection of a post, please write to the administrative e-mail address. One may also contact any individual moderator or the ombudsman (see below for addresses). When an article is appealed, it is sent to all of the moderators. If at least one of the moderators believe that the article is acceptable, then the article shall be posted. Thus, unanimity will be required to sustain a rejection. This should ensure a loose moderation style where minority interests are protected.
The ombudsman provides a means by which sppm readers can give feedback about the performance of moderators and oust one if necessary. The ombudsman's primary duty will be to receive complaints (or praise) about the moderators' performance and to communicate with the moderators about this. Comments and complaints about the moderators may be sent to the ombudsman at firstname.lastname@example.org. On a monthly basis, the ombudsman will post to sppm a summary of feedback received. If you would like your feedback to remain confidential, please let the ombudsman know this; your request will be honored.
The current moderators and ombudsman have been elected by readers of spp. One year after the inception of sppm, a second election of moderators and ombudsman will take place. Thereafter, these elections will occur every two years.
Elections will proceed as follows. A voting committee will be created, composed of the ombudsman and two other individuals selected by the moderators. These individuals will not be among the moderators currently serving. This voting committee will oversee moderator and ombudsman elections, which will be held simultaneously.
The election process will begin with a three-week voter registration period. Sppm readers who would like to vote in the upcoming election will be asked to send a simple e-mail. During the same three-week period, sppm members will also be asked to send their nominations for moderator and/or ombudsman to the voting committee.
After this registration/nomination period, the voting committee will promptly contact the nominees, and then post a list of those who accepted nomination. After this, two weeks will be set aside for moderator and ombudsman campaigning (at all other times, such posts will be considered off-topic).
After these two weeks have passed, the voting committee will post moderator and ombudsman ballots, together with voting instructions. Only those who have registered will be eligible to vote. The voting period will last two weeks. Each voter will be allocated five votes to distribute among the candidates as he or she sees fit, with no fractional votes allowed. Votes will be sent by e-mail to an ad-hoc listserve (designed to ensure accurate counting by the committee). The committee will collect and count the votes, and then post final voting results. Registration, ballot, and nomination announcements will be repeated at approximately one-week intervals. All election-related material should be posted only to sppm.
The ombudsman or a moderator may occasionally wish to leave office before his/her term is up. He/she may also be removed by the procedures described below. If either of these circumstances occur, the vacant seat will be filled by a vote among the remaining moderators and ombudsman.
If complaints against a moderator are substantial, it may become necessary to remove that moderator from office. Sppm members can institute a recall election of any moderator by gathering 10 valid e-mail addresses of authors who have contributed to sppm and who believe a recall election is justified. This "petition" should be sent to the ombudsman, who, after confirming the validity of the petition, will form a vote-counting committee, post a ballot, and then post the final results. If 75% or more of sppm voters agree that a moderator ought to be removed, he or she will be; the ombudsman will notify the owner of the post distribution program to remove that moderator. It is possible to unseat an ombudsman by a similar procedure, although in that case the petition should be directed to a moderator, who will assume the duties just described. If a moderator or ombudsman survives a recall election, no further recall petitions of that moderator or ombudsman will be entertained for six months.
Please be cautious about accepting any advice you might receive on sppm. The quality of advice varies tremendously, and there is no way to verify either the credentials or the competence of anyone posting to this newsgroup. Those who self-treat based upon information posted in sppm do so at their own risk. Moderators are not responsible for any direct, consequential, or other damages resulting from information or misinformation posted to sppm. Moderators do not check articles for accuracy, nor do they guarantee or warrant the information provided on the newsgroup for any specific purpose or use. No warranties, expressed or implied, are made.