Saturday, December 21, 2013
As a follow-up to my experience with some name-calling on a recent blog, I emailed some of SparkPeople's Community Leaders to suggest some additional measures that could be taken to ensure that SparkPeople continues to be a safe environment for people to express their thoughts about their weight management, health, fitness and overall wellbeing without fear of being shamed or put down.
I've had chats with a number of people since then who have offered additional suggestions and thought I could gather some more ideas and feedback here that I could share if I hear back from any of the decision makers here on the site. Among the great suggestions I've heard are to:
-Only allow people to post comments on blogs who have created profiles. This would take some of the anonymity out of posting comments on blogs and ensure people have a chance to respond directly to any comments they feel are hurtful.
-Allow people to block individual users who they don't want having access to their page. Currently, SparkPeople allows users to make their pages private, meaning only people whose friend requests you have accepted can see the content of your page and leave comments. Rather than shutting everyone else out, why not be able to simply block individuals who you're not comfortable with?
-Create a privacy menu within our settings that's filled with options similar to what Facebook has, where you can decide which things on your page to share with everyone and which to share with people whose friend requests you've accepted. People have different comfort levels concerning what they're willing to share and although some of us might be comfortable sharing general information with everyone, we don't necessarily want to share more personal information and photos with a wider audience (family photos or more revealing progress pictures of ourselves, for example).
If you have any other suggestions you'd like to add, please add them to the comments section below. I'll compile a list that I'll have on hand in the event I can get a dialogue going with someone who can take these under consideration for the future. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I hope that this will help take a negative situation and transform it into something positive that will benefit many people in the new year and beyond.