American Heart Association | American Stroke AssociationAmerican Heart Association | American Stroke Association
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To Join Our ONLINE COMMUNITY For Atrial Fibrillation
 

Community Guidelines

General stuff you need to know

These guidelines are designed to ensure the My AFib Experience is an enjoyable, beneficial, and productive one for all our users. They boil down to common sense, basic courtesy, respect, and not using the site as a blatant advertising or spamming platform.

When we say “we”, we mean The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. When we say community we mean myafibexperience.org, where users hang out and can contribute.

We may update these guidelines and recommend you check back once in a while. We'll also continue to introduce new community features which will fall under these guidelines.

Important things to remember:

  • You are responsible for your interactions with other users. We reserve the right, but have no obligation, to monitor disputes between you and other users.
  • These guidelines apply to all content you contribute as part of the Community, including your profile.
  • User content on the community reflects the opinions and experience of those users, not the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association or StopAfib.org.
  • Certain groups within the Community may have their own guidelines posted. Please read these carefully and respect them.

Community dos and don'ts

DO:

  • Be sincere in your contributions. Post with purpose - to inspire, enable or share with fellow users.
  • Respect that other people have different points of view, styles, and experiences. Don’t take things personally and get to the ‘must look at pictures of kittens to calm down’ stage.
  • Welcome newcomers. We love it when another person joins the AFibexerience.org Community and participates.
  • Give feedback to your fellow members, and us, in a helpful and constructive manner.
  • Lead by example Add positive content that shares your opinion and experience, especially content that you think will be helpful to other members.
  • Report problems by using the report abuse or flag function to alert us to problem content or members.
  • Keep it legal. Don’t get yourself into trouble by defaming others, posting porn, plotting illegal activities, or posting other people’s private information.
  • Use Common Sense and balance when seeking advice. Make your own inquiries, especially around subjects like health, safety, and legal matters.
  • Be safe and smart when sharing personal information and meeting other members. Don’t let people know when your entire family is going to be out of town and where you live. Use common sense when meeting other members. We’d hate to hear of anything bad happening when people meet up, but we can’t be responsible for the actions of each person in the community.

DON'T:

  • Create content of a discriminatory or derogatory nature. Rich debate is wonderful, and you can do it without being offensive, humiliating or intimidating based on:
    • race, color, ethnicity, nationality or physical characteristics
    • gender or sexual orientation
    • religion or non-religious viewpoints (i.e. secular humanism, atheism)
    • political opinion
    • socio-economic status
    • age
    • physical, mental or intellectual disability/impairment
    • the ways people express themselves (people come from different cultures)
  • Create content which would be reasonably classified as exclusively 'adult' and restricted accordingly (such as pornography or graphic violence).
  • Defame, harass, flame or hold grudges. You’ll participate better without a chip on your shoulder.
  • Post personal details or private information about any other person (or anything contrary to our Privacy Policy.
  • Impersonate another person, including site staff or authors.
  • Advertise commercial products or services – or openly accuse others of the same. We don’t mind if you include links to your personal blogs or websites in your profiles. However, when doing so, please make those links open up in a new window (i.e., insert the [target=”_blank”] tag into your html links. But commercial solicitation, or contributions solely designed to plug your traffic, aren’t acceptable. If you think you spot someone breaking the rules, use the report abuse or flag function.
  • Be - or - feed a Troll. Trolls post messages or content deliberately designed to get the blood boiling. Replying to or arguing with a Troll is feeding. The best pest-control is to ignore, and use the report abuse or flag function to alert us to them.
  • Use excessively coarse language. Humans swear. But go easy on the sailor speak or we’ll have to tone you down. Remember, even if it’s not offensive to you, it might be to other people.
  • Discuss how to commit illegal activity (like buying drugs, avoiding visa restrictions, ticket scalping). It’s OK to talk about the existence of these things, but don’t advise how and where to do them.
  • Be a know-it-all. Show off your insights, not your attitude.
  • Don't hide behind handles. We respect the right of members to be anonymous, which leads some people to say things they wouldn’t face to face. Don’t be one of those people. If you’re tempted, remember, we can see who you are, even if other members can’t.

Privacy Policy

Collection, Use and Security of Personal Information

The American Heart Association values and respects an individual's right to keep certain Personal Information private.  Likewise, the AHA values the need to collect and use Personal Information which will enable the AHA to effectively deliver products and services leading to a reduction in disability and death from heart diseases and stroke.  This Privacy Policy applies to activities of the AHA and additionally to persons visiting AHA Web sites, signing up for AHA publications and mailings, or entering into transactions with the AHA, and covers the collection, use, storage and disclosure of information and data as described in this Privacy Policy. The Privacy Policy does not apply to information that the AHA collects on contractors, vendors or other entities with which the AHA does business, although the AHA will contractually require them to comply with relevant provisions of the Privacy Policy.

A.  AHA Collection of Personal Information

  1. The AHA will collect Personal Information on an individual only if the individual provides the information to the AHA.  The AHA also may collect information about a person who has been referred to the website to send them emails regarding AHA’s efforts or a person to whom the AHA has been asked to send emails regarding AHA’s programs or efforts.  If a person donates to the AHA, the AHA may collect sensitive Personal Information such as the donor’s credit card number, card type, expiration date and keep a record of the financial transaction. The AHA may collect Demographic Information it obtains from individuals and third parties for fund raising purposes and to notify persons of AHA programs, events, educational opportunities and upcoming meetings. The AHA may collect Aggregate and Transactional Information and add to its database every time a person visits an AHA Web Site. Also, the AHA collects Aggregate Information for research purposes.
  2. Types of information: "Personal Information" is "Demographic Information" and/or "Medical Information" which identifies a specific individual with a minimal degree of effort. Demographic Information includes name, address, city and other similar information. Medical Information includes diseases, treatments, lifestyle behaviors, family history, genotype, phenotype and other similar information. Transactional Information is data collected on an individual based on the individuals' interactions with the AHA, which may include sensitive information such as credit card information and Medical Information. Aggregate Information is information presented  in summary or statistical form which does not contain data that would permit the identification of a specific individual without extraordinary effort.

B.  AHA Use of Personal Information

  1. When an individual provides Personal Information to the AHA, the AHA may use the Personal Information for its programs, research and fund raising.
  2. The AHA uses Transactional Information for research purposes for the development or implementation of its programs, products and services.  The presumption is that, since Transactional Information is highly proprietary, it will not be disclosed to third parties.
  3. The AHA will disclose all information as required by law.
  4. The AHA will make every effort to discontinue the use of an individual's Personal Information as soon as practicable if requested by that individual.  The AHA may need to retain Information in its archives and records to comply with law, resolve disputes, analyze problems, assist with any investigations, enforce AHA’s User Agreement and other policies, and take other actions otherwise permitted or required by law.

C.  Specific Requirements

  1. Administrative
    1. The AHA will take reasonable and appropriate measures to keep Personal Information confidential and in a secure environment, including taking appropriate action in the event of unauthorized disclosure.
    2. Access to Personal Information will be restricted to only those personnel with a legitimate business purpose.
    3. The AHA owns all Personal Information provided to it by individuals and collected in accordance with this Policy.  When an individual provides Medical Information to the AHA, the AHA will ensure that the individual acknowledges their assignment of the right to use the data to the AHA.
  2. Scientific Research - Any research funded by the AHA that involves human subjects (e.g., information collected on individuals) must be endorsed by the sponsoring institution's committee on clinical investigation or other appropriate body, and conform ethically to the guidelines prescribed by the National Institutes of Health, which includes obtaining informed consent from each individual.
  3. Third Party Disclosure - Permission is required before the AHA discloses Personal Information to a third party.  No permission is necessary for Aggregate Information, since Aggregate Information does not identify a specific individual.
    1. For disclosure of Demographic Information (e.g., rentals or exchanges of donor lists), the AHA as a minimum will use the "Opt Out" approach.  An "opt-out" is obtained when the AHA through some correspondence gives an individual the opportunity to decline or "opt-out" of disclosures to third parties.  If the individual does not opt out, permission is deemed granted.  Depending upon the nature of an activity or project, a higher standard than "opt-out" may be used, such as "opt-in" whereby an individual must affirmatively give consent before information is disclosed.
    2. For research awardees, permission is deemed granted upon submission of an application for a grant to the AHA.  Therefore, the AHA may disclose Personal Information, including funding and project summary information, on research program awardees to third parties.
    3. For disclosure of Medical Information, Informed Consent is required before the AHA discloses Medical Information to a third party.  Informed Consent occurs when an individual has sufficient facts about the disclosure, comprehends those facts, and voluntarily consents to the disclosure.  Where a third party such as the employer or healthcare provider of an individual requires the individual to participate in an AHA program which collects Medical Information, the AHA will require the employer or healthcare provider to procure Informed Consent before the AHA will  release Medical Information to that employer or healthcare provider.
    4. From time to time, there is a benefit in allowing a third party to use collected Personal Information on individuals.   However, unless an individual gives permission, the AHA will not disclose Personal Information collected by the AHA to any third party. The AHA sometimes engages third parties to provide certain operational services to the AHA or on its behalf.   The AHA may disclose Personal  Information to those third parties on a “need to know” basis under a written contract.
    5. The AHA uses and allows third parties to use Aggregate Information for research purposes for the development or implementation of its programs, products and services.

Use of Cookies

A cookie is a small text file stored on a user’s computer by a web browser.  Cookies are used by web sites to authenticate users, to store user site preferences, to capture the contents of a shopping cart, for tracking a user’s session, and/or for storing other essential textual information.

The American Heart Association uses Cookies to enhance the user experience while visiting our web site.  Cookies are used for authentication primarily.  We do not store any personal information about a user in our cookies.  We do track your interests on the site so that we can provide you with additional content that might be of importance to you.  Most Web browsers accept cookies and you can use the “help” menu on your browser to assist you in preventing, accepting, or receiving notice of new cookies. However, please be aware that if you block cookies, Web site functionality may be lost.

We also use Google Analytics for tracking and reporting web site activity.  Google Analytics uses cookies to define a user’s session.  Aggregate information is collected so that we can report on how many visitors are coming to our sites and what content is visited the most.  We use this information so that we know how relevant the content is that we are providing.  Providing you with fresh and engaging content is important to us as we know it is important to you.
 

Information Security

A cookie is a small text file stored on a user’s computer by a web browser.  Cookies are used by web sites to authenticate users, to store user site preferences, to capture the contents of a shopping cart, for tracking a user’s session, and/or for storing other essential textual information.

The American Heart Association uses Cookies to enhance the user experience while visiting our web site.  Cookies are used for authentication primarily.  We do not store any personal information about a user in our cookies.  We do track your interests on the site so that we can provide you with additional content that might be of importance to you.  Most Web browsers accept cookies and you can use the “help” menu on your browser to assist you in preventing, accepting, or receiving notice of new cookies. However, please be aware that if you block cookies, Web site functionality may be lost.

We also use Google Analytics for tracking and reporting web site activity.  Google Analytics uses cookies to define a user’s session.  Aggregate information is collected so that we can report on how many visitors are coming to our sites and what content is visited the most.  We use this information so that we know how relevant the content is that we are providing.  Providing you with fresh and engaging content is important to us as we know it is important to you.

Terms of Service

You acknowledge that you are enrolling in the My AFib Experience Community Site (the “Site”), a program created by the American Heart Association, Inc. ("AHA").

The Site hosts a wide variety of resources including articles, blogs, body of knowledge, message boards, groups, videos, photo galleries and other materials that AHA posts on the Site (the "AHA Content") as well as ideas, suggestions, opinions, comments, and observations made by  Members, and any text, data, photographs, video, music, sound, chat, messages, files or other material provided to AHA or posted on the Site by  Members (all of which are referred to as "User Content"). Any User Content posted on the Site is that of the Member and is not intended to represent the viewpoint of the AHA. AHA does not endorse any commercial product or company that may be mentioned on the Site. The Site is not intended to be used as a substitute for the professional medical advice of a Member’s health care provider.

Community Guidelines and User Content

AHA provides tools for Members to create content such as blogs, profiles, photo and other materials. AHA also hosts community message boards and other forums on the Site. Members are expected to abide by the Terms of Use (the “TOU”) and Community Guidelines that are set forth herein. Members who fail to comply with the Community Guidelines or these TOU may have their access to the Site terminated.

As a Member, you understand and agree that you are solely responsible for the User Content you post on or through the Site and the consequences of posting such User Content. By posting such User Content, you represent and warrant to AHA that you have the necessary licenses, rights, consents and permissions to enable inclusion of the User Content in the manner contemplated by this Site and these TOU. You agree that you will not post User Content that is copyrighted, protected by trade secret or otherwise subject to third party proprietary rights, including privacy and publicity rights, unless you are the owner of such rights or have permission from their rightful owner to post such User Content.

AHA may remove any User Content and/or disclose such User Content and the circumstances surrounding its transmission to any third party in order to: (a) operate the Site properly; (b) to protect AHA, its sponsors, and its Members; and (c) comply with legal obligations or governmental requests. You agree that any User Content posted to the Site is the sole responsibility of the individual who originally posted the User Content, and that your sole recourse for any damage you may suffer as a result of such User Content shall be to such individual.

The MyAFibExperience.org Discussion Forum was created solely for the purpose of providing an online space to atrial fibrillation patients, their caregivers, families and healthcare providers to exchange information and provide emotional support. Please respect the privacy of the forum members and the intent of the forum by refraining from using it for any other purpose.

Copyright Policy

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (the "DMCA") provides recourse for copyright owners who believe that material appearing on the Internet infringes their rights under the U.S. copyright law. If you believe in good faith that materials hosted by AHA infringe your copyright, you, or your agent, may send AHA notice requesting that the material be removed or access to it be blocked. Any notification by a copyright owner or a person authorized to act on its behalf that fails to comply with requirements of the DMCA shall not be considered sufficient notice and shall not be deemed to confer upon AHA actual knowledge of facts or circumstances from which infringing material or acts are evident. If you believe in good faith that a notice of copyright infringement has been wrongly filed against you, the DMCA permits you to send AHA a counter-notice. All notices and counter notices must meet the then current statutory requirements imposed by the DMCA; see http://www.copyright.gov/ for details. AHA suggests that you consult your legal advisor before filing a notice or counter-notice. Also, be aware that there can be penalties for false claims under the DMCA.

Limitation of Liability

You are using this site voluntarily for your own personal reasons and agree to be bound by these TOU.

You agree to not sue, and to release, indemnify and hold harmless, the AHA, its affiliates, officers, directors, volunteers and employees from any and all liability, claims, demands, and causes of action whatsoever, arising out of your participation in the Site and AHA programs, whether arising from the negligence of any of the above parties or from any other cause. The foregoing release, indemnification, and hold harmless shall be as broad and inclusive as is permitted by the state in which you live.

You consent to the aggregation of your non-identifying information with like information from other people, and you consent to the release of such aggregated information to other parties. You authorize the My AFib Experience Community and the AHA to mail you information about AHA programs or about other AHA offerings.

You acknowledge and agree that the AHA may discontinue this Site and other AHA programs without notice to you and that you shall have no continuing rights in the Site or AHA programs upon such termination.

You assert that you are eighteen (18) years of age or older, and are the person about whom the information you are providing relates.

If any portion of this agreement is held invalid, the balance shall continue in full force and effect.