Statement of Purpose About the Pre-Medical Student Forum

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Bottom line up front, here's a few key 'bedside manners' our members expect and our moderators enforce:
  1. This forum's mission is to help premeds become medical students. Threads that do not fit the mission will be moved to the appropriate forum (usually The Lounge).
  2. Be courteous when asking for and receiving advice.
  3. Be helpful when providing advice. Rude or insulting posts are not appropriate.
  4. Prejudice and bigotry are incompatible with our community
Crowdsourcing your Career Advice
Over the past 16 years, our members have helped tens of thousands of their fellow members on their journey from student to doctor. The SDN Forums are the ideal place to crowdsource your career advice; only here will you find such a large, active and diverse membership willing to provide assistance and advice.

Think of SDN membership as an experience bank that you can tap into as you go through your journey. Get the advice you need now and in a few years you’ll be paying it back by providing advice to those who follow in your footsteps.

Anonymity and Honesty
The forums are anonymous so you can feel comfortable being honest. Sharing personal issues, grades, and test scores naturally creates a lot of anxiety – anonymity provides our members both the ability to ask personal questions and share openly and without social pressures.

But with anonymity comes unique behaviors. The first is trolling – our members don’t tolerate it and trolls are reported and banned quickly. The second is “painful truth.” In an anonymous setting, you may hear truth that nobody else will share with you in person. Truth can sometimes hurt. Painful truth should not be confused with trolling.

Super Scores ≠ Superstar
Do not use grades or test scores as a measure of your self worth or capability. By no means is someone that gets better grades or test scores better than you as a person. Conversely, showing-off your scores or bragging about your skills will neither impress others nor make you feel better about yourself.

Doctor ≠ Success
Being a doctor is not an easy profession. The profession demands extreme attention to detail, is high-stress, and requires long-hours for consistently decreasing pay. Schools look for students with the unique skill-set to meet these demands. By no means should you consider this an ideal or gold standard for life success.

Take time to get to the root of why you want to be a doctor. Do you want to be a doctor to fulfill a parent’s dream, because of a personal insecurity, because it seems like a challenge, or because you truly want to serve other people? Only the last option will bring you satisfaction and lifelong enjoyment.

Some members will become doctors. Others will find alternative paths to success and personal fulfillment. If you find your skills and personality are better suited for another profession, that’s great! SDN is here to help you find your direction. Ultimately, we want all our members to be successful in life, no matter what path they take.

Update (4/12/16) - Anti-diversity Threads

Just as we do not tolerate MD v DO threads, we do not tolerate anti-diversity threads in the pre-medical forum. These will be closed or moved to the Sociopolitical Forum.

Why? Anti-diversity threads are not helpful in the discussion of how to get into medical school. Medical students are not selected by LizzyM score alone. The academic community has an obligation to build a diverse physician workforce for the health of our nation. Therefore, medical schools choose applicants based on grades, MCATs, history and background.

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Bottom line up front, here's a few key 'bedside manners' our members expect and our moderators enforce:
  1. This forum's mission is to help premeds become medical students. Threads that do not fit the mission will be moved to the appropriate forum (usually The Lounge).
I couldn't help but laugh that you felt it necessary to mention the bold before anything else :laugh:
 
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Would it be too much to ask that misogyny be added to #4 above?
 
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Is that not a form of bigotry?

I'd agree that it is, but it's an unfortunately pervasive one that often flies under the radar yet always seems to start an uproar when alleged...
 
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I'd agree that it is, but it's an unfortunately pervasive one that often flies under the radar yet always seems to start an uproar when alleged...
I think bigotry does cover it. Obviously I understand how bad misogyny can get around these parts, probably more than most, but I don't think it's necessary to list out misogyny, racism, homophobia, xenophobia, etc. I think most college students do understand that bigotry takes many forms. And in my experience the mods do take reports of misogyny seriously.
 
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Would it be too much to ask that misogyny be added to #4 above?

Given that #4 isn't actually enforced anyway (sorry @Lee but I don't remember this site being ok with posters peddling white nationalism when I first showed up here as a premed)...not sure why it's worth it to bother.
 
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Given that #4 isn't actually enforced anyway (sorry @Lee but I don't remember this site being ok with posters peddling white nationalism when I first showed up here as a premed)...not sure why it's worth it to bother.
Well, do the mods mean acting bigoted or prejudiced? Certainly it isn't possible to actually screen for the less-than-enlightened ideas that float around the reptilian parts of peoples' brains. No doubt many people hold bigoted and prejudiced views, but all the mods can really do is regulate what they say, not how they think. Said racists tend to fly under the radar by avoiding overt racial slurs and so on.
 
Well, do the mods mean acting bigoted or prejudiced? Certainly it isn't possible to actually screen for the less-than-enlightened ideas that float around the reptilian parts of peoples' brains. No doubt many people hold bigoted and prejudiced views, but all the mods can really do is regulate what they say, not how they think. Said racists tend to fly under the radar by avoiding overt racial slurs and so on.

I don't want to or need to name names here, but certainly there's been a few more than egregious examples that go beyond what you're describing. There's more to overt bigotry than just slurs.
 
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I don't want to or need to name names here, but certainly there's been a few more than egregious examples that go beyond what you're describing. There's more to overt bigotry than just slurs.
Awful as I find such views to be, if people want to express them in the appropriate place (SPF), I believe they should have that right. We don't want to go down the slippery slope of censorship, because, as we've seen with many recent events on college campuses, it can slide a long way down until you've got one acceptable dogma and all else is basically written off. Respectful and constructive discourse with those that hold views you detest is, in my opinion, a critical life skill, and one I don't mind exercising in the appropriate arenas of SDN. However, when such things bleed into certain parts of the pre-allo/allo/etc subforums via URM discussions and the like, I do feel that things sometimes take a less than constructive turn and that many threads should either be closed or bumped to the SPF where they truly belong.
 
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Awful as I find such views to be, if people want to express them in the appropriate place (SPF), I believe they should have that right. We don't want to go down the slippery slope of censorship, because, as we've seen with many recent events on college campuses, it can slide a long way down until you've got one acceptable dogma and all else is basically written off. Respectful and constructive discourse with those that hold views you detest is, in my opinion, a critical life skill, and one I don't mind exercising in the appropriate arenas of SDN. However, when such things bleed into certain parts of the pre-allo/allo/etc subforums via URM discussions and the like, I do feel that things sometimes take a less than constructive turn and that many threads should either be closed or bumped to the SPF where they truly belong.

Yeah, SPF is a tar pit and always has been, but it's the latter situation where things spill over that's happened a lot. URM threads are as old as time here but there's been a vileness to some of them that's just plain creepy.
 
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Yeah, SPF is a tar pit and always has been, but it's the latter situation where things spill over that's happened a lot. URM threads are as old as time here but there's been a vileness to some of them that's just plain creepy.
Yeah, there's a certain ugliness that's been popping up lately in URM threads and anything regarding dating, with near-overt racism in the former and blatant misogyny in the latter. It's unfortunate, really.
 
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Yeah, SPF is a tar pit and always has been, but it's the latter situation where things spill over that's happened a lot. URM threads are as old as time here but there's been a vileness to some of them that's just plain creepy.
I don't disagree with you, but I do think it's funny how SPFers likewise hate preallo. They think it's filled with "SJWs," "psychotic feminists" and so on.
 
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Thanks for the good discussion. It's a privilege to be a fellow member with all of you.

Members at SDN are routinely helpful, entertaining and inspiring. Unfortunately there's a tiny fractional percentage of individuals that behave inappropriately. These few individuals can really turn-off some of our members and prevent them from participating to their fullest.

Our membership is gender balanced and more racially diverse than the general US population at roughly 50% Female / 50% Male with 11% African American, 18% Asian, 11% Hispanic, 2% Other. So, it's important that SDN is a place where all our members feel welcome and are comfortable sharing and helping fellow members.

We're making some minor modifications to our moderation to address this issue. The first is increasing thread movements to the SP Forum and the Lounge. When a thread does not fit the forum, it will be moved appropriately. The second is being more transparent with moderation. In the past moderator actions were kept private. However, we will begin posting in-thread when a member has been penalized or banned due to trolling or hateful speech.

Would it be too much to ask that misogyny be added to #4 above?
It's a good question - I purposely chose to use "prejudice and bigotry" as it includes all forms such as misogyny, homophobia, racism, and religious intolerance.

there's been a few more than egregious examples that go beyond what you're describing. There's more to overt bigotry than just slurs.

Absolutely. We need all our members' help in policing this sort of behavior. SDN has 10,000s of members but only about 100 volunteer mods. That means the mods are not able to review or follow the 1000s of messages posted each day. If you see something inappropriate, please use the "Report" link under the inappropriate post. This will alert our volunteer team so that the post can be reviewed - most posts are actioned within an hour or less.
 
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The second is being more transparent with moderation. In the past moderator actions were kept private. However, we will begin posting in-thread when a member has been penalized or banned due to trolling or hateful speech.

this is going to be entertaining.
 
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@Lee @Winged Scapula @Ismet

A small question. Why are off-topic preallo threads dumped in the Lounge/SPF rather than being moved to the sticky preallo social thread, locked or deleted? If we want to improve the quality of Lounge/SPF, dumping preallo threads is rather counterproductive.
 
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If we want to improve the quality of Lounge/SPF
Did administrators mention that this was a goal? What does "improve" mean anyway?
 
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pre-allo tends to debate with more maturity and fewer insults.
I can't tell you how much I lolll every time I see attendings/residents/med students on the internet throw juvenile insults at each other (usually involving penis size and/or someone's mother.)
 
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@Lee @Winged Scapula @Ismet

A small question. Why are off-topic preallo threads dumped in the Lounge/SPF rather than being moved to the sticky preallo social thread, locked or deleted? If we want to improve the quality of Lounge/SPF, dumping preallo threads is rather counterproductive.
Depends on the topic.

I merged a social thread to the stickied one earlier tonight but another seemed to fit The Lounge better.

But I think you have it backwards: the goal is to improve the quality of the student and professional forums, not SP or TL.
 
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I can't tell you how much I lolll every time I see attendings/residents/med students on the internet throw juvenile insults at each other (usually involving penis size and/or someone's mother.)

And I've been missing this by staying on the pre-medical boards?!!

"Scurries off to current Doctor boards to lurk"
 
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Did administrators mention that this was a goal? What does "improve" mean anyway?

No but i dont see how moving preallo threads to Lounge/SPF helps anything. If Lounge/SPF are a tar pit, adding more bad threads there will worsen it.

Depends on the topic.

I merged a social thread to the stickied one earlier tonight but another seemed to fit The Lounge better.

But I think you have it backwards: the goal is to improve the quality of the student and professional forums, not SP or TL.

I understand that moving threads away from preallo improves the quality and hopefully reduces the infamy and neuroticism that give preallo a bad reputation. But i dont really see the point of dumping bad threads into the Lounge/SPF simply for being more on-topic. Last i checked, the Lounge/SPF are clearly cliquey but they still consist of SDN veterans from many years ago. They probably want to be left alone and dont want to deal with preallo whatsoever.

Hence a suggestion of moving threads into the social thread (where the activity will quickly die off for some reason) or lock/delete if its off topic
 
@Lee @Winged Scapula @Ismet

A small question. Why are off-topic preallo threads dumped in the Lounge/SPF rather than being moved to the sticky preallo social thread, locked or deleted? If we want to improve the quality of Lounge/SPF, dumping preallo threads is rather counterproductive.
>implying anyone cares about the quality of the Lounge/SPF
>implying literally anything could make the SPF subforum worse
 
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Then why not delete the Lounge/SPF altogether?
Because it serves as an effective colostomy bag for the sorts of **** that shouldn't move into the main forums, and, despite having a reputation as a wretched hive of scum and villainy, the occasional good thing arises that makes both places worthwhile. The Lounge, in particular, has a preponderance of classic SDN threads. SPF exists to improve the quality of the Lounge, while the Lounge exists to improve the quality of the rest of SDN. They're like benign beneficial parasites, basically.
 
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Because it serves as an effective colostomy bag for the sorts of **** that shouldn't move into the main forums, and, despite having a reputation as a wretched hive of scum and villainy, the occasional good thing arises that makes both places worthwhile. The Lounge, in particular, has a preponderance of classic SDN threads. SPF exists to improve the quality of the Lounge, while the Lounge exists to improve the quality of the rest of SDN. They're like benign beneficial parasites, basically.

So the Lounge/SPF is basically the garbage can of SDN. Okay that'd make sense to move crap threads in preallo to the Lounge/SPF by default.
 
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No but i dont see how moving preallo threads to Lounge/SPF helps anything. If Lounge/SPF are a tar pit, adding more bad threads there will worsen it.



I understand that moving threads away from preallo improves the quality and hopefully reduces the infamy and neuroticism that give preallo a bad reputation. But i dont really see the point of dumping bad threads into the Lounge/SPF simply for being more on-topic. Last i checked, the Lounge/SPF are clearly cliquey but they still consist of SDN veterans from many years ago. They probably want to be left alone and dont want to deal with preallo whatsoever.

Hence a suggestion of moving threads into the social thread (where the activity will quickly die off for some reason) or lock/delete if its off topic
I had the same thought process until recently. Frankly, I think the SPF has grown a little hostile towards outsiders and could benefit from a dose of new blood from a younger generation. On the other hand, some premeds need to grow a thicker skin and realize exactly zero puppies will die if an attending yells at them. What if the vets don't like commiserating with premeds? Well, tough. SDN didn't set up the SPF to act as a personal echo
chamber for a few dozen members.
So the Lounge/SPF is basically the garbage can of SDN. Okay that'd make sense to move crap threads in preallo to the Lounge/SPF by default.
I'm not sure which threads you are referring to specifically but just because an issue is volatile/political doesn't mean that it is a "crap" discussion, just innapropriate for preallo. Point in fact, pre allo tends to discuss sensitive issues with remarkable civility all things considered. As for those who say SDN should be free from politics altogether -- good luck. Bright people and young people are always going to take an interest in the current affairs of the day, and SDN has both in spades.

All that being said, I do get the general annoyance with URM threads
 
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I had the same thought process until recently. Frankly, I think the SPF has grown a little hostile towards outsiders and could benefit from a dose of new blood from a younger generation. On the other hand, some premeds need to grow a thicker skin and realize exactly zero puppies will die if an attending yells at them. What if the vets don't like commiserating with premeds? Well, tough. SDN didn't set up the SPF to act as a personal echo
chamber for a few dozen members.

I'm not sure which threads you are referring to specifically but just because an issue is volatile/political doesn't mean that it is a "crap" discussion, just innapropriate for preallo. Point in fact, pre allo tends to discuss sensitive issues with remarkable civility all things considered. As for those who say SDN should be free from politics altogether -- good luck. Bright people and young people are always going to take an interest in the current affairs of the day, and SDN has both in spades.

All that being said, I do get the general annoyance with URM threads

The commenters in Lounge/SPF are consistently arguing that they are being overwhelmed by preallo reject threads. Easy to dismiss their claims as nonsense because the Lounge/SPF is a tar pit but many members were in SDN for several years. They may not be very welcoming to newcomers but they still provide good insight (many are residents and attendings) and reflections of old SDN.
 
I don't want to or need to name names here, but certainly there's been a few more than egregious examples that go beyond what you're describing. There's more to overt bigotry than just slurs.

Agreed. SPF is an embarrassment to the site a lot of the time, and a few of the posters should just get launched.

Then again, there's a reason I'd never get made a mod here...id be far too ban happy. I'd also request 10 free no-question asked bannings as payment for the job.
 
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Then why not delete the Lounge/SPF altogether?

I can picture it now...
xbk2j.jpg
 
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The commenters in Lounge/SPF are consistently arguing that they are being overwhelmed by preallo reject threads. Easy to dismiss their claims as nonsense because the Lounge/SPF is a tar pit but many members were in SDN for several years. They may not be very welcoming to newcomers but they still provide good insight (many are residents and attendings) and reflections of old SDN.
I agree that the SPF has good things to offer, it's why I frequent there. And SPFers will argue about everything, it's part of what makes them endearing.
 
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Thanks for the good discussion. It's a privilege to be a fellow member with all of you.

Members at SDN are routinely helpful, entertaining and inspiring. Unfortunately there's a tiny fractional percentage of individuals that behave inappropriately. These few individuals can really turn-off some of our members and prevent them from participating to their fullest.

Our membership is gender balanced and more racially diverse than the general US population at roughly 50% Female / 50% Male with 11% African American, 18% Asian, 11% Hispanic, 2% Other. So, it's important that SDN is a place where all our members feel welcome and are comfortable sharing and helping fellow members.

We're making some minor modifications to our moderation to address this issue. The first is increasing thread movements to the SP Forum and the Lounge. When a thread does not fit the forum, it will be moved appropriately. The second is being more transparent with moderation. In the past moderator actions were kept private. However, we will begin posting in-thread when a member has been penalized or banned due to trolling or hateful speech.


It's a good question - I purposely chose to use "prejudice and bigotry" as it includes all forms such as misogyny, homophobia, racism, and religious intolerance.



Absolutely. We need all our members' help in policing this sort of behavior. SDN has 10,000s of members but only about 100 volunteer mods. That means the mods are not able to review or follow the 1000s of messages posted each day. If you see something inappropriate, please use the "Report" link under the inappropriate post. This will alert our volunteer team so that the post can be reviewed - most posts are actioned within an hour or less.

It's important to remember that moderators help shape a space. There's a big difference between going PC Police on someone that asks a naive question that causes a bit of an uproar and letting overt comments fly under the radar as @DokterMom has said. The latter is damaging and I've found that to often be the case here. There's a difference between opinion and insulting someone's worth and there's been some trump level ish in the last year.
 
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It's important to remember that moderators help shape a space. There's a big difference between going PC Police on someone that asks a naive question that causes a bit of an uproar and letting overt comments fly under the radar as @DokterMom has said. The latter is damaging and I've found that to often be the case here. There's a difference between opinion and insulting someone's worth and there's been some trump level ish in the last year.
That's fine and all, but if people want SDN to start taking action on speech that is unacceptable then they are going to have to define exactly what is (or should be) a clear violation of the TOS. Without clear delineations of what is and isn't kosher, you end up with the bold.
 
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I understand that moving threads away from preallo improves the quality and hopefully reduces the infamy and neuroticism that give preallo a bad reputation. But i dont really see the point of dumping bad threads into the Lounge/SPF simply for being more on-topic. Last i checked, the Lounge/SPF are clearly cliquey but they still consist of SDN veterans from many years ago. They probably want to be left alone and dont want to deal with preallo whatsoever.

I have a very healthy respect for SDN history, tradition and its "veterans". If anything, one of the reasons The Lounge and SPF forums still exist is because of my input.


But some history and data are warranted here:

-- The Lounge was designed as the go to place for off topic threads; thus to claim that we are "dumping" OT threads there is ignorant of the reason for the forum at best and disingenuous and cliquish at worst.

-- "Dealing with pre Allo" is at the heart of SDN. Our mission is to educate and mentor our colleagues. The kids may be neurotic and annoying at times but they are OUR kids and that means dealing with them, supporting and helping them.

-- Finally,many of The Loungers/SPFers make very little if any effort to contribute to SDN outside of those forums. The data doesn't lie: even the so called (and often venerated) "veterans" post elsewhere rarely (if at all), going against the core reason for SDN. Some of them are no longer involved in any health profession and only post in the social forums.

I am not the only one that is troubled to see that those veterans who have years of experience as a medical student or other professional student and are now in residency or practice, have decided that they don't need to or refused to contribute otherwise. We are fortunate to have several residents and attendings who do offer experience and advice but it pales in comparison to the number who are members and could do so.

So I cannot accept that it's ok for the Lounge members to be upset that we're moving threads to their rightful home when a significant portion of them are not active contributors. Like the saying goes, "if you don't vote, you can't complain".
 
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I am not the only one that is troubled to see that those veterans who have years of experience as a medical student or other professional student and are now in residency or practice, have decided that they don't need to or refused to contribute otherwise. We are fortunate to have several residents and attendings who do offer experience and advice but it pales in comparison to the number who are members and could do so

This is interesting because the mentored leave when it's their turn to offer some sort of mentorship. Perhaps they take more of a role in their day to day life when they get to that position? I think that's a bit sad though.
 
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I have a very healthy respect for SDN history, tradition and its "veterans". If anything, one of the reasons The Lounge and SPF forums still exist is because of my input.


But some history and data are warranted here:

-- The Lounge was designed as the go to place for off topic threads; thus to claim that we are "dumping" OT threads there is ignorant of the reason for the forum at best and disingenuous and cliquish at worst.

-- "Dealing with pre Allo" is at the heart of SDN. Our mission is to educate and mentor our colleagues. The kids may be neurotic and annoying at times but they are OUR kids and that means dealing with them, supporting and helping them.

-- Finally,many of The Loungers/SPFers make very little if any effort to contribute to SDN outside of those forums. The data doesn't lie: even the so called (and often venerated) "veterans" post elsewhere rarely (if at all), going against the core reason for SDN. Some of them are no longer involved in any health profession and only post in the social forums.

I am not the only one that is troubled to see that those veterans who have years of experience as a medical student or other professional student and are now in residency or practice, have decided that they don't need to or refused to contribute otherwise. We are fortunate to have several residents and attendings who do offer experience and advice but it pales in comparison to the number who are members and could do so.

So I cannot accept that it's ok for the Lounge members to be upset that we're moving threads to their rightful home when a significant portion of them are not active contributors. Like the saying goes, "if you don't vote, you can't complain".

Well that was rather disheartening and upsetting to hear. I guess i spoke out of naivete given my short experience with the Lounge/SPF, since i dont comment there unless the threads got moved. But i guess i drastically portrayed the Lounge/SPF members to be far greater than they really are.

As such, i retract my previous suggestion of avoiding to move preallo threads into the Lounge/SPF. I only mentioned that because i did notice even a few attendings there who do help out preallo/med student forums were complaining about the influx of preallo threads. I mistakenly took them seriously and hence the suggestion.

Nonetheless i greatly appreciate the patient advice/info despite my ill-informed suggestion. And i agree that the attendings/residents/med students and others who regularly help out preallo with much needed input/advice really make SDN a better place.

If anything, i'll just treat the Lounge/SPF purely for comedic purposes and nothing more ;)
 
This is interesting because the mentored leave when it's their turn to offer some sort of mentorship. Perhaps they take more of a role in their day to day life when they get to that position? I think that's a bit sad though.

Eh, a big reason why pre-allo people tend to disappear once they get to med school is "holy shiat, med school is sucking every last moment of my life that isn't spent studying or drinking." I didn't post much as a med student or resident with the exception of M4 and PG4 because I was busy as hell most of the time. Now despite being a new attending trying to build up a new clinic, I do have a lot of downtime with no-shows, so I waste more time on the internet than I should. That'll change gradually over time.

Plus, as a former regular on various sports forums... well let's just say Jurgen Klinsmann causes me anger and depression whenever I log onto bigsoccer.com. Don't get me started on my NFL team. Dealing with you people is easier.
 
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Update to this thread. Just as we do not tolerate MD v DO threads, we do not tolerate anti-diversity threads in the pre-medical forum. These will be closed or moved to the Sociopolitical Forum.

Why? Anti-diversity threads are not helpful in the discussion of how to get into medical school. Medical students are not selected by LizzyM score alone. The academic community has an obligation to build a diverse physician workforce for the health of our nation. Therefore, medical schools choose applicants based on grades, MCATs, history and background.
 
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One thing I want to add here which is already in red bold font in another sticky thread in WAMC but applies to the rest of pre-allo (and SDN) as well is that if you don't want your information on the internet, you shouldn't post it on SDN. Moderators are not obligated to delete a post for you just because you posted information that you no longer want available on SDN (aside from very specific exceptions).

You have the option of editing the information out of your post later on and you can ask other members to not quote your post; however, although members are encouraged to be courteous and refrain from quoting these posts, we do not enforce these requests as moderators (again, outside of specific circumstances).

Additionally, all information posted on the internet will inevitably be stored by internet caches, so even if it is deleted from SDN, it will still be very easily able to be found elsewhere on the internet through these caches and often are placed highly in google search results, particularly if they're specific. If you don't believe me, google [**your username** SDN] and look at the first or second page of the search results - you'll find a cache of some thread or post you made.

Remember, internet privacy starts with the user. Make smart decisions about what you post and be aware that once something is on the internet, it's there for good.

For further reference: see this post
 
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