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Please read the following guidelines below before entering the board or chat room:

Introduction to the Board and Chat Room Guidelines

Why are there guidelines and what purpose do they serve?
HLAA's Message Board and Chat Room are moderated by volunteers. Volunteer moderators are not here to argue points, spend time dealing with divisive behavior, or debate members over issues of disagreement on the Board Guidelines. The guidelines serve to establish what is or isn't considered acceptable in terms of behavior, posting or chatting. If at any time a member disagrees with the guidelines they can opt not to enter either the board or chat room. The guidelines are not up for debate. The Message Board is a family-oriented forum, those guidelines serve to protect and maintain a friendly atmosphere at all times.

What are forms of unacceptable behavior?
Habitual sarcasm, in the form of comments aimed at protesting guidelines or mocking other members or moderators. This behavior falls under flaming, which is uniquely disguised as "joking", when it's really not joking at all. Members who continue to utilize habitual sarcasm in the form of "joking" will only be warned once. Any future incidents of this behavior will result in the offending member having their account locked.

Arguing or divisive comments that intend to split members, on any issue. Any chat comments or posts that intend to create disharmony or disunity are considered divisive. This is not to be confused with general disagreement. Everyone is entitled to their opinions. Mutual respect of differing opinions of various topics is encouraged.

What is the goal of the boards?
Our goal is to be a good mix of friends with a common interest and to learn from each other. With a listening ear, advice, suggestions as well as laughter and camaraderie.

What is the purpose of the Moderator?
A Moderator is someone who volunteers their time to help in keeping the boards in order and upholding forum rules. A Moderator can edit, lock or move a post, and create a sticky. If a post is deemed totally inappropriate it can also be removed by the Moderators.

What is the purpose of the administrator?
The Administrator is in charge of the forum and acts as a head Moderator. The Administrator can edit, lock, move or delete a post and create a sticky. The Admin can also reset passwords, ban a member, create and reorder the forums. and help a new member get into the forum.

Who decides if a topic is inappropriate?

Any user/member who finds material posted by another user objectionable is encouraged to contact us via e-mail: tech@hearingloss.org

HLAA reserves the right to edit any post that contains false information or is offensive to another member. We are authorized by you to remove or modify any data submitted by you to these forums for any reason we feel constitutes a violation of our policies, whether stated, implied or not.

What are the guidelines for an appropriate posting?
In your use of these forums, you agree that you will not post any information which is vulgar, harassing, hateful, threatening, invading of others privacy, sexually oriented, or violates any laws. Advertising is also prohibited, but if someone needs assistance with looking for items a link is allowed to other sources besides one for the poster to chose from. Also links to other sites unless they are endorsed by HLAA will not be allowed.

What is considered advertising?
Posting on the board or making comments in chat about a specific product being more acceptable/suitable over another product. This is also considered as "branding", making a direct affiliation to a company name and their line of products. HLAA does not endorse any specific brand and will not permit members using the board or chat to advertise brands or products. This is not to be confused with making suggestions as mentioned in the above guideline (members who are posting or chatting in seeking assistance or asking questions about certain products are acceptable as long as links to other sources are included). Members are encouraged to share their experiences with various products. Any member violating this guideline will be referred here. Members who fail to adhere to this after they have been warned will have their account locked.

What, if I am a company representative am I allowed to post?
As a company representative you are allowed to post what information is asked for. However we would like the information to be basic to help in the person to come to a decision of his or her own choice. More technical information or inquiries should be taken to a private exchange with the person requesting the information. The company name is allowed in the signature but as far as trying to convince people that one brand is better then another is not. Brand wars will not be tolerated and posts that try to convince one is better then another will be removed.

As a Company Representative, am I allowed to post surveys and get product feedback?
As long as the surveys or posts are NOT a sales pitch. In defining sales pitch: attempting to get members to purchase your product via survey methods or direct linking to a product page, is NOT authorized. Asking questions and posting survey links in regards to marketing feedback is acceptable. Companies or their representatives who violate this guideline will have their topics/links removed and notified by email of the action taken.

What is slamming?
Slamming occurs when a thread or section is filled with nonsense, repeated postings that has nothing to do with what was originally posted.

What is flaming?
Flaming can defined as directing personal attacks and insults towards other members of the forum, including moderators and administrators. Flaming is unacceptable and if you flame you will be asked to stop. Please do not confuse flaming with heated discussion. Flaming involves off-topic insults and personal attacks directed at a fellow poster, while heated discussion is simply an in-depth discussion that is on-topic. Enthusiastic discussion is to be encouraged, but immature insults are not.

What is your policy for claims being made against products, and what should I do if I read false claims being made on a certain product?
Anyone making claims that a certain product is defective, or is in violation with governing bodies, or has any sort of citation made against it (i.e. recalls, FDA citations, etc.) MUST back it up by citing their sources (valid and legitimate) for the product they are making claims against. Failure to provide valid and legitimate sources for the claim will result in the posting being removed by that member. Any posting found to have claims made without sources to back up the claims should be immediately reported to the Message Board Administrator, as soon as possible. Please put the admin email contact in your email address book for future reference:

What happens to repeat posting or chat violations?
Failure to adhere to the board guidelines will result in deletion of violating post and one warning will be given to the offending member. Inappropriate comments made in chat will result in one warning, with a reminder to read the guidelines. Any inappropriate postings on the board or comments made in chat thereafter will result in expulsion from either the board and/or chat room.

What about rules for the chat room?
The chat room follows the same rules as the message boards. The chat room is to help provide immediate support or information for those who need it during chat nights. Yet at the same time it gives us a chance to relax and have fun. All users are expected to be civil in their conversations and to other chatters. Language is to be kept decent to all as there are members there that are not adults as well as adults who do not like the use of certain language, such as profanity, adult humor, etc. We encourage everyone to participate in the discussions. Parking or "lurking" in the chat room is not permitted. This is when a chatter comes into the chat room and does not chat or respond to other chatters. Any chatter found parking or "lurking" in the chat room, will be asked once to respond, failure to do so will result in being expelled from the chat room. Keep in mind that discretion and common courtesy must be used at all times or the chatter will be expelled from the chat room.

HLAA reserves the right to modify or add to the guidelines as the need arises. Any modifications to the existing guidelines or any new guidelines created, will be posted here. Please take the time to read this page before entering, thank you!

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