During recent months the Oversight Group (OG) has faced an alarming number of complaints from members about individuals misusing the TMB boards. In stepping back to prayerfully examine the ministry of these boards, the OG has become concerned about several recent trends.
- There has been an increase in detailed bedroom information coupled with an increasing lack of anonymity on the boards.
- Certain features of the board have been used to encourage off board interaction resulting in various problems including some unwanted offers for cybersex, and at least one unsolicited video cam showing a man masturbating.
- There has been a subtle drift away from the purpose of the boards - helping married couples discover, experience, and grow more deeply into God's gift of married sexual intimacy.
The OG feels it is important to encourage members to maintain as much anonymity as possible on these boards, especially for those who choose to share in more detailed ways.
Part of what makes this community work and allows for a freer discussion of sexual issues is the anonymity provided by the Internet. Where it might be difficult or even wrong to share explicit details about difficulties with positions, sexual refusal or even just a glorious afternoon with your spouse in a "real life" situation, this forum can provide us with an opportunity to work through some difficulties and praises as a community without the fear of inviting others into our bedrooms.
- Avatars have been problematic, especially when coupled with detailed sexual descriptions. We will no longer allow identifiable personal pictures for avatars .
While we recognize that no one is physically seeing one another here, we want to protect the minds of those that are reading. When there are pictures of actual people to go along with graphic descriptions, it may open up the imagination in ways that can be inappropriate. We want to protect the sanctity of marriage here, and we believe that it includes guarding the eyes and imaginations of our readers.
- Those who are very open about who they are may be moderated more heavily.
Some here have chosen to be more open with their personal information, including sharing real names, locations and pictures. Each person is welcome to share whatever they feel comfortable with in that regard. However, because we desire to keep things that are to be private that way, we are instituting a two tier moderation standard. Those who choose to share personal information (i.e., real names, links to pictures, etc.) will be moderated more strictly than those who choose to remain anonymous.
As a standard for "not being anonymous" on the boards, we would include sharing any pictures in links to photo hosting sites or any other kind of web posting. If you've met someone from the board in person, you are no longer anonymous. If you mention that you have a relationship with someone off the board (IM's, chat, private emails), we will assume that you are no longer anonymous.
This higher level of moderation will require known posters to be less graphic than other anonymous posters. Posts that are believed to be too graphic will be pulled by a member of the moderating team and returned to you for editing. If they continue to be too graphic, as per the standards, posting privileges may be suspended or terminated. This doesn't mean that you can no longer post questions or share joys, but we would ask that you limit that to very non-descriptive language. For ideas on how to better post in an anonymous manner, even if you are not anonymous, please read the heat guidelines and check out some posts by Paul and Lori.
There has been a recent spate of incidents involving posters not being who they claim to be, as well as posters using the messaging systems as a way to lull members into a false sense of security, getting them to provide personal information and contact points, which the offending member then exploits in some way.
- Because of the misuse of the feature, messengers (AIM, Yahoo etc.) will no longer shown.
The Internet can sometimes be a dangerous place! Please be aware that, even at TMB, we can have people who will take advantage of others. We want to urge you to keep your eyes open and your wits about you when you post or interact with people on the boards.
- We strongly recommend that you limit your contact with other members to the boards and the PM system unless you are really sure about their identity.
We can remove and ban users from this system. If you keep PMs in your Inbox we can (with your help) use a PM against someone with their ISP or if needed law enforcement. Once you go to e-mail or an IM system, we have no access to messages, and no legal standing on your behalf.
- Please report any type of suspicious behavior to a moderator or member of the OG.
Even if it's just "a bit creepy" and does not seem like much, several similar reports about one person may tip us off before that person goes too far. The safety of our community is of paramount concern to us, and we strive daily to make sure that TMB stays a place where Godly sexuality can be discussed without fear or shame, and with an openness that is edifying to the Body of Christ, while recognizing always that the Enemy will use whatever means he can to attack the freedom of our community.
From The Marriage Bed bulletin boards description and purpose statement:
The Marriage Bed boards are a place for married Christians to discuss sex and intimacy from a biblical standpoint. Board members share biblical, scientific, and personal information in an attempt to improve both their marriage relationships and sex lives. Members must be married (spouses of unbelievers welcome), and followers of Christ and His Word. Engaged couples (a ring and a date) are also welcome.
- Posts and threads need to pertain to the purpose of the boards. We understand a certain amount of chatter and fun, but threads that are not in line with these purposes or have too much detail or information about individuals' marriage bed will be removed.
In some cases the problem is not so much that the thread is too explicit , it's that it's too familiar. There are threads that aren't just TMI (Too Much Information), but have the feel of a bunch of people who know each other, have had a little too much to drink, and share stuff that's inappropriate. It's discussion without boundaries. Such discussions often fail to support the purposes of this ministry and encourage misuse of these boards.
- In addition, in order to keep posts in line with the purposes of the boards, those who are separated and not working to get back together need to limit themselves to the OT sections (which includes a prayer section).
We recognize the need for support during a difficult time of change, but discussion from soon-to-be not marrieds needs to be in the off topic section. We ask that people use this time to transition to other communities more appropriate for singles. Posts made to on topic areas will be removed.
- And finally, just because something is posted in a thread, that posting does not imply that the mod's, OG or owners of the board are in agreement with that post. Moreover, the OG and mods do not have a uniform opinion some of the "gray" or less biblically clear things discussed here.
TMB is a place of discussion and even sometimes debate. It is a given that we will not always agree about everything. So there will be, at times, opinions expressed on the boards that are not in alignment with the opinions held by leadership of the boards. To remove such content categorically would eliminate the possibility for growth and learning that such discussion enables and would ultimately be detrimental to the community here.
If you are unclear on what is meant by anything above, please post so we can clarify. If you are unsure of how something may impact you, post or PM. If you don't like something, send an e-mail to the OG - complaints and "suggestions" will be removed from this thread.
Answers to questions will be edited into the original post in which the question was asked - the answer will start with ANSWER: