AMA President's Blog Frequently Asked Questions
Read AMA Viewpoints at the new AMA Wire: Your destination for news and information impacting the medical community.
Any one can participate in the community features that we are offering. You must be registered with a valid AMA username and password.
If you are not already registered and have a valid AMA username and password we offer the user the ability to create an account.
It's free to participate in our community.
The community team is responsible for moderation services. There are dedicated moderators employed by the American Medical Assoication whose moderation duties are spread across all community areas.
We don't publish specific hours of operation, but there is moderation coverage throughout the day and overnight, seven days a week. Obviously, some times are busier and some periods have more cover than others, so we ask community members to be understanding that we will handle all moderation duties in a timely matter.
Unfortunately, the huge (and growing) quantity of user content within the American Medical Association website means that we can't enter into correspondence regarding specific moderation activity, although all correspondence will be read.
Of course it would be lovely if we didn't need to have anyone looking out for the quality of conversation on the site. But the fact is that as a physician member-based nonprofit organization we have a responsibility to maintain the quality of content which appears on our website and so we employ a team to monitor and manage community participation. The aim of moderation is not censorship, but ensuring that the community participation areas of the site remain appropriate, intelligent and lawful.
All community interaction is subject to some level of moderation, in order to ensure the spirit of the community standards is upheld. In general, we post-moderate community interaction, which keeps the conversation lively. However, because of the sheer quantity involved this unfortunately means we can't guarantee all comments live on the site are appropriate or in the spirit of the community standards.
Because moderators aren't editors. Participants should bear in mind that even if only one little bit (or line, or paragraph) of a comment is problematic, the whole comment will be removed. This is partly to avoid moderators editing your contribution to remove the offending bit (which might inadvertently change the meaning) but also to encourage contributors to think carefully before posting.
Currently the American Medical Association has implemented community activities (Blog Comments and Straw Poll Participation) within 2 distinct areas: the AMA Corporate Site and On the Road with the AMA President. Going forward other areas of our Corporate site will offer community activities.
Because we are a physician member-based nonprofit organization we think it is necessary to highlight a members status and role type with a badging feature when a comment is posted.
Your membership status will not be reflected within the community unless you have signed into your community account prior to your membership status being updated.
The answer may be one of two possible scenerios. The badging feature which highlights and identifies user roles has been de-activated. Your membership status will not be reflected within the community unless you have signed into your community account prior to your membership status being updated.
Exactly what you might imagine. The main things we want to avoid are (but are not limited to) vicious or persistent name-calling or accusatory comments; comments which attack the individual rather than the topic; abusive or defamatory phrases (epithets, especially those attached to religious, sexual, racial, gender or ethnic contexts); extreme or contextually-inappropriate profanity directed at an individual; and ad hominem arguments (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem).
It's not possible to edit comments left on areas of the site, which is why we ask you to think carefully before you post. Annoying as it may be to submit a carefully thought-out comment only to notice a glaring typo moments later, the problems with allowing comments to be edited would greatly outweigh the benefits.
Anyone can recommend a blog post or comment to other users, and you do not have to be signed in to do so. On any article that you want other visitors to notice, you can click "Recommend" at the top of the article, near the headline.
You need to be logged in to post comments, so that could be it, though you are usually prompted to log in if for some reason you've been signed out. We also have the ability to restrict or close comment threads after a particular period (this time limit is dependent on the blog post). If the comment thread is still open and you are logged in, but still cannot post, you may have been barred from participating because of acting against the community standards.
Community staff and moderators do regularly spend time in the community areas of the site and will ensure that any particularly interesting/funny/insightful comments are highlighted to the author.
You can report offensive content by clicking the "Report Abuse" link that appears along with the posted item. These abuse reports then go into a notification queue to be dealt with by the duty moderators.
I've spotted a problem - how do I report something as abusive? Why hasn't [user name] been banned for what he/she said? How come [one comment] was removed, while [another one] is still on the site?
Our moderators work in two main ways: keeping an eye on conversations across the site in a general fashion and responding to abuse reports made by community members and other visitors to the site. At any moment there can be several active conversations taking place and needing to be monitored on the site. So unfortunately, we don't see every problematic comment or abusive user straight away, and in some cases we might not spot such issues for a while. Because of this, we also rely on our users to report abusive, offensive or otherwise inappropriate comments when they spot them, by clicking on the "Report Abuse" link which appears next to each comment. These abuse reports then go into a notification queue to be dealt with by the duty moderators. Don't rely on someone else to tell us about an issue if you spot one: it only takes a moment to send a report.
No. When you click on 'Report Abuse" the comment goes into a report queue to be viewed by a duty moderator, who will then judge whether it contravenes the community standards. We never remove a comment just because it's been reported. However, it's worth noting that the more abuse reports something gets, the higher it appears in the report priority queue, and so we'll probably get to see it sooner.
We don't like removing people's ability to comment on our content, but in some cases when a pattern of abusive, trolling or offensive behaviour is demonstrated, certain users can be banned from using the site. We hope this doesn't seem heavy-handed, but we sometimes have to make decisions to block some users in order to improve the overall experience for everyone else.
A user can be reinstated if the moderation team are confident that he or she understands the cause of their suspension, agrees to abide by the site's community standards and will be able to contribute reasonably and sociably to the conversation in future. In such cases, it's normal for the user to have a short trial period with limited functionality, before being returned to full user privileges.
To participate in a particular straw poll, you must be logged in. After you have signed in, you can view the straw poll question and related answers, select your response and click "Vote."
The straw polls that we will offer are not scientific and the results will only be used in aggregate form and are for research purposes only.