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Howdy! I've had quite a few questions about the sharing of social media handles and email addresses lately, so I thought it would be the perfect time to share a post outlining our policy and explaining why we have certain rules in place. We believe in the power of online safe spaces, and the most important thing for us at Ditch the Label is to keep you and our entire community safe. This is why we have mentors, wardens and Ditch the Label staff constantly reviewing and moderating content. Not only are we here to give you advice and support or to keep you entertained, but ultimately, we're here, as adults to keep you safe. Real Name and @Handles Our community is an incredible mix of awesome people gathered together to talk about the things they are most passionate about and to talk about the things they are struggling with the most. We recognise the importance of confidentiality, which is why we have private Confidential Support available outside of the public forums. For many, we know that talking about your challenges and passions in a public forum is okay but we encourage everybody to use a unique username that does not include their real full name or is used on any other platform or social network. This is to keep your posts confidential. Selfies We don't allow the sharing of selfies, largely to keep you confidential, but also because we believe that being fairly anonymous makes it easier to open up and talk about some difficult subjects. There are plenty of platforms that allow you to share selfies, but part of the magic in our community is that we do not. We know it's important to express yourself, which is why we allow you to use avatars and cover images on your profile. Private Messaging We do not allow user-to-user private messaging simply for the fact that we have no way of moderating these messages to ensure that they comply with our Community Guidelines and also to prevent many issues around bad people using our platform to contact people they shouldn't. You are able to message a mentor or member of staff and vice versa at any time. Personal Information Similarly, we don't allow the sharing of personal information, which includes, but isn't limited to: full name, email address, social media handles, phone number, school name, address, or anything else that could be used to identify you or contact you outside of our platform. We don't do this to be annoying, we do this to keep you safe. Whilst there is a lot of good online and positive uses of tech, there are also some pretty bad people out there who aren't always who they claim to be. Some people use online communities and social media with bad intent. We recognise that most, if not all, of our community members are nothing short of amazing, and we'd like to keep it that way which is why we strictly enforce this guideline. I know that nobody likes rules, but we set these guidelines for a reason. Our job is to keep you safe and to ensure that you get the best possible and most supportive experience from our community. Feel free to leave any questions below if you're unsure on anything, I'm always here to help! - Harper