Welcome to the Online Community
Please read our guidelines below.
You and your profile
How we moderate
Not using the Community for support?
Keeping safe online, protect your privacy
Welcome to the Online Community.
We kindly ask that only people affected by a personal experience with cancer use the site, and that medical professionals refrain from using the Community to share and offer medical advice to others. If you are a medical professional and you wish to support Macmillan Cancer Support, please visit the Volunteering Village to see what opportunities are available.
To keep the Community an inclusive and safe place for supportive discussions we ask that all our members follow the below guidelines. If you have any queries or concerns regarding these, please email the Community team at firstname.lastname@example.org – the team will endeavour to respond to all emails within 2 working days.
Your username, signature and ‘more about me’:
Your username is how other members of the community will identify you.
How we moderate We ask all members to follow our Community Guidelines. We do not pre-moderate and cannot always check all the content on the community, therefore we rely on members reporting offensive and inappropriate content.
Please also note that whilst the Online Community is moderated outside of usual business hours, it is not moderated 24 hours a day – the Community team will endeavor to respond to all emails and alerts within 2 working days.
In short, we ask everyone to:
We base our moderation decisions on evidence:
We can use our discretion to moderate content which isn’t what the Community is for.
Our experienced Community team explores behind the scenes and takes decisions based on the evidence available. We are careful to ensure that any moderation decisions are fact-based, and on some occasions, we may ask members to be mindful and tolerant of other members’ feelings and differences in communication styles.
The site is primarily for support – please discuss moderation decisions with the Community team at email@example.com, rather than addressing them with other members on the site. We kindly ask that members do not discuss any moderation decisions on the site. This is in order to protect the privacy of all of our members and to keep the Community a safe space.
What happens when members break our guidelines?
The Community team understands rules aren’t always broken purposefully, but rather because members perhaps aren’t fully aware of our guidelines. In these instances, a gentle reminder of our guidelines, as opposed to a warning, suspension or ban may be made at the moderator’s discretion.
We will let people know when they’ve broken guidelines in most circumstances. We may not contact members involved if we are moderating content over a year old, or we believe a member has joined the Community solely to spam members or promote services.
Our moderation decisions are made as part of our commitment to creating a safe, positive environment. We moderate based on our guidelines and the impact posts may have on our members health and wellbeing.
If a member is continually breaking guidelines however, we may take action which could include, a written warning, 24-hour suspension, and a permanent ban from the site.
Exceptions to the above include instances where members join the Community solely to spam or provoke members - in these instances members will receive an immediate permanent ban.
We reserve the right to take steps or implement measures we think will benefit the Community and its members. Moderation decisions can be appealed by emailing the Community team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find offensive or inappropriate behaviour?
Contact us at email@example.com or click the ‘Flag to Moderator’ button on the bottom of a post. Once hit, the alert goes straight through to the Community team who’ll take the appropriate action as soon as is possible.
Post in English:
All contributions must be in English. This is because the Community team are not able to moderate posts in other languages. It is also important to make sure that all members can understand each other’s posts and so support each other.
Our ‘Only’ groups:
Some groups have guidance in their description about who they are for – we kindly ask that please respect this. For example, the group carers only is only for carers, and the group living with incurable cancer (incurable patients only) is only for those who have an incurable or terminal diagnosis.
The above groups exist so that its members have a safe and comfortable space to talk freely amongst themselves with others going through a similar experience. There are often contrasting and potentially conflicting experiences from a carer to a patient, for example, so it’s important both have a place where they feel comfortable sharing and talking about their experiences.
If you post in these groups but don't fit the group's 'only' description, your content may in some instances be removed.
Staff and volunteers:
Our priority is to protect and support the users on the Online Community. Our staff will always treat you with courtesy and respect, and ask the same in return. We understand that users can sometimes become frustrated, but we have the right to do our work without fear, harassment or personal attacks. Any behaviour which causes staff to feel uncomfortable or embarrassed is unacceptable.
Impersonation, imitation and not telling the truth
Imitating other users can be a form of harassment and we take this very seriously. We may remove any content, delete accounts and ban users who do this. Members who are suspected of impersonating another member will have their accounts suspended pending investigation:
Not telling the truth:
Macmillan aims to support everyone affected by cancer. From time to time we are visited by people who want to upset our members or who are not telling the truth about their cancer experience. Fortunately, these cases are rare but sadly they do exist and can have a negative impact upon our community.
If you suspect someone isn’t telling the truth, the best thing to do is to ignore them. Someone who is here for the wrong reasons wants the attention – ignoring them will deter them from making further comments. Please don’t accuse anyone publicly of being dishonest as this can deflect discussion away from what our Community is here for. Instead, report your suspicions to the Community team either by hitting ‘Alert Moderator’ button or emailing us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community content and jokes:
The Online Community deals with very serious issues, but it’s also there to put a smile on your face when you need it most.
There’s certainly a place in our Community for jokes, but we don’t want them to dominate our homepage as this can be upsetting for people who are not in a laughing mood. Instead we ask that when posting your ‘funnies’, you post them in our laughter is the best medicine group.
Jokes posted in the wrong place may be removed. We understand that everyone has a different idea of what is funny, but please keep your jokes clean. We also ask that you do not post links to external websites or images others may find offensive.
We aim to keep the Community focused on support and where necessary, we reserve the right to move content if we feel it’s best placed somewhere else.
Offensive or abusive language, particularly that directed at individuals is unacceptable on the Community. Due to the nature of the site, it’s fine to use anatomical terms in the correct context in your comments, but you should avoid aggressive or excessive use of language others might find offensive. Please always be mindful of the way other members might interpret your comments.
We don't tolerate racism, sexism, homophobia, ageism or other forms of hate-speech or content that could be interpreted as such. Harassment and threats of physical violence will end up in a permanent ban.
Report and ignore
If someone posts something you feel violates our Community Guidelines or Terms and Conditions, please let us know immediately, and then ignore it. Email us at email@example.com. Do not confront members publicly, please just report and ignore.
As in real life, not everyone on the internet is as nice as you may want them to be. Some individuals seek to spark a reaction from people by posting inflammatory comments designed to provoke a response (often known as trolling). The best way to deal with this behaviour is to report it, then ignore it. The same goes if you suspect another member of not being who they say they are; report and ignore.
Whilst often difficult, ignoring users who do this is the only way to get rid of them – if they can’t provoke a response, they will leave you alone.
Macmillan Cancer Support provides high quality, expertly developed information about cancer. Information provided via our Community is not intended to replace or substitute advice and services from professional experts, but rather to provide signposting towards further information and support.
Diagnosis, treatments and side effects are natural topics of conversation on the Online Community. Please ensure that you only share and discuss your own experiences with cancer, and make it clear that you are talking from your own experience when providing information or tips to other members.
Medical tips or information may be removed if any of the following apply:
Macmillan acknowledges that whilst you might know a lot about your own cancer experience, it’s potentially dangerous if the incorrect advice is given to someone else. Instead we ask that members simply share and discuss their experiences with cancer on the Community, and refer members back to their GP or healthcare team if the situation fits.
Please do not promote alternative therapies, or reproduce information from other sources unless they are quality assured and reputable. You can find our Cancer Information pages here or speak to a trained Macmillan professional for free via our Support Line (0808 808 0000 or live webchat, Monday to Sunday, 8am to 8pm).
Please contact the Community team at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re unsure about any of the above.
Alternative and Complementary therapies
An alternative therapy tries to treat cancer using unconventional methods instead of usual medical treatment.
A complementary therapy is one used alongside conventional treatments to improve quality of life. Complementary therapies do not influence the cancer itself, but some can help to alleviate symptoms and the side effects of conventional treatments.
When discussing alternative and complementary therapies, you may:
When discussing alternative therapies, please do not:
Cannabis oil (CBD):
Following the amendment to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 to permit the use of cannabis-based products for medicinal use (including CBD oil), the Online Community has recently loosened its guidelines to allow discussions of CBD oil on the site. Whilst Macmillan’s Online Community allows the discussion of CBD oil, please be reminded Macmillan doesn’t advocate for alternative therapies.
Discussions on cannabis itself or any illegal cannabis-derived products will be removed from the site as they are illegal products in the UK. Please also refrain from posting comments that claim cannabis oil cures cancer.
For further guidance on cannabis oil, please see our website.
Ask An Expert:
The Ask An Expert section of the Online Community is where members can ask our specialist professionals with any questions they might have.
Questions asked in the Ask An Expert section are for our Online Community specialists only. It is a space intended for members to post a question to our experts and for them to receive a tailored response from them. We kindly ask that other members of the Community refrain from responding to these questions so other members can see their response clearly.
Medical photos and documents:
Members can post pictures on the Online Community, but we ask that members do not post pictures of body parts or medical documents for the purpose of seeking a diagnosis or medical advice. If you have any concerns about cancer, please seek medical advice through your GP or healthcare team. The Community team may also remove your picture of part of your body if we feel that your image may lead to other members offering medical advice or a diagnosis, even if this is not directly requested.
Members may post medical images of their body for the purpose of providing insight into their experiences, such as showing the process of healing after surgery.
However, we ask that members do not post any images of medical documents or pictures of their genitals, breasts or any other private body part, for any purpose. We also ask that members only post medical images of themselves, not images of anyone else’s body. This is because we would be unable to verify if someone else had consented to an image of their body or body part being shared publicly on the Online Community.
If you would like to post a picture of a part of your body which includes what could be considered a scar, rash, wounds from surgery or treatment, blood, discolouration, or a removed body part, please clearly identify within the title of your post that there is an “Image of [body part/surgery] included.” Please clearly identify what is included, for example using one of the following words:
This is so that other members can choose whether they would like to view your pictures. The Community team may add this to your post if you do not include this.
Posting content that may put you or us at risk of prosecution, such as defamatory posts or content that breach someone else’s intellectual property rights is against our guidelines. Please do not 'name and shame' individuals or organisations, as this can leave both you and Macmillan open to prosecution if comments could be interpreted as libelous. Please do not use our Community for anything unlawful, misleading or malicious.
No adverts, promotions or spam:
The Online Community is a source of support and should not be used to sell or promote services or products to our members. We consider any commercial solicitation to be spam, including promoting web addresses, products or services. We will not tolerate any company or individual found to be soliciting personal information from our members for commercial gain. Action will be taken against any company found to be acting as an individual.
We only allow other charities, websites or services to be promoted at the discretion of the Community team (email@example.com).
Please remember we can only make decisions based on activity that takes place on our Community and not on other social networks (such as Facebook). Because there’s no guarantee external groups and similar social networks are moderated and safe.
We’re always cautious when handling cases like this as we are here to support people affected by cancer and do not want to falsely accuse anyone. In some situations, if someone needs help that Macmillan cannot provide Macmillan will signpost an organisation(s) that can.
No questionnaires, research, surveys or petitions:
We do not allow third parties to post questionnaires, surveys, petitions or conduct research anywhere on the Community. We feel this takes away from the peer-to-peer support focus of our site.
Press and media enquiries:
Macmillan’s Online Community is a peer-to-peer support network for people affected by cancer and not a place for direct press enquiries. This is so our members feel comfortable giving and getting support, and to protect their privacy and personal details.
For press and media enquiries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please refrain from promoting any fundraising events you might be involved in, even if they are for Macmillan Cancer Support. If you have any fundraising related queries, our Supporter Care team can be contacted on 0300 1000 200 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm), or you can email them at email@example.com.
Please remember that all the information that you post here is public – it can be read by people not logged in to the Community and potentially found through search engines. Discussions and blogs, including any images you post, are all public; only your private messages are private.
Any personal information which you have posted publicly will be edited or removed. If you want to contact another member, please send them a private message through the site. See more about private messages.
Sending and receiving gifts and money:
We do not allow members to personally send gifts or money, or allow members to request gifts or money from other members. We appreciate that there are considerable financial demands associated with living with cancer and this is why we have Financial Guides and Welfare Rights advisors on our Support Line ready to give you financial assistance (0808 808 0000, Monday to Sunday, 8am to 8pm).
If you are concerned about the well-being of a member, please contact the Community team with your concerns. For more information about support services provided by Macmillan, please visit our website. For financial matters, find out more about how we can help on Macmillan’s financial support pages.
For the protection and safety of children, the Community does not allow members under the age of 16 years. Accounts of members found to be under the age of 16 will be closed.
If you are under 16 and need support, you may find it helpful to visit Teenage Cancer Trust, Winston’s Wish or Clic Sargent. You may also find our information page for teens and young adults helpful.
Don't face issues alone – suicide and self-harm:
All mentions of intention to complete suicide, assisted suicide or self-harm will be removed from the site. Expressions of thoughts and feelings about these issues are allowed. If you are worried about another member of the Community, please contact a member of the Community team or hit the ‘Alert Moderator’ button immediately.
It is not your responsibility to offer counselling, please refer the member to the below for the appropriate support and advice:
If you are worried about another member for any reason please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Views expressed on the Community are purely the views of the members and as such don't constitute professional recommendations or advice or the opinions of Macmillan Cancer Support.
We have the right to update and change our Community Guidelines and Terms and Conditions at any time. If you have any questions about these guidelines, or anything on the site at all, you can contact us via email@example.com – we’ll do all we can to help.
Whatever cancer throws your way, we’re right there with you.
We’re here to provide physical, financial and emotional support.
© Macmillan Cancer Support 2020
© Macmillan Cancer Support, registered charity in England and Wales (261017), Scotland (SC039907) and the Isle of Man (604). Also operating in Northern Ireland. A company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales company number 2400969. Isle of Man company number 4694F. Registered office: 89 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7UQ. VAT no: 668265007