On ScoutLink we take child protection very seriously. For example, all our operators are checked out by their Country/Regional Coordinators (CC/RC) to make sure they are registered with the appropriate Scout Association. Whenever you have a problem, whatever that problem may be, please talk to an operator, who will do their best to help you. If you ask in the channel you are in, any ops that are available will come forwards. If you cannot find an operator, type /ircops or /stats P . This will give you a list of all the IRC operators, coordinators, and techies that are currently online that may be able to help you if they are available, and/or speak your language.
However, the internet cannot be fully monitored at any time, and it is the parent’s responsibility to make sure their child is kept as safe as possible on the internet. Some of our rules at ScoutLink were made to keep users as safe as possible. Parents should supervise their children’s internet use at all times, and make sure they are told our rules, and what to do if they have a problem.
If you ever have a problem and don’t know who to contact, please join our #help channel, and ask for advice there. We take all child protection complaints very seriously, and deal with them accordingly.
Some advice to keep you and your children safe when chatting online:
Do not give out your personal details!
If you give out your e-mail, msn address, phone number, home address, or any other private details in the main channels, you will be reminded not to do so. If you continue to give out these details, you will be removed from the channel for your own safety.
Anybody could take your information and use it – either by sending you viruses, or by sending inappropriate information to children. If you are an ADULT, then you may give out e-mail addresses and other information in private messages, but this is entirely at your own risk. We never encourage children to give out any personal information at all. You never know who is at the other end of that computer… it could be anyone.
We discourage private messages!
In ScoutLink, we rarely have hundreds of users online at one time, except during our Jamboree on the Internet weekend. Therefore, this makes it very easy for the users to chat to each other in the main channel, where the operators can see what is going on. If there are any problems, the ops see it, and can deal with it quickly. If a child sends someone private messages, it is impossible for our operators to see those messages, which makes dealing with problems harder.
If someone keeps sending your child private messages, and you are unhappy with the content of those messages – please contact an operator! Ask in the channel you are in if one is available. It is VERY important to send logs of the conversation to the operator, either in private message or via e-mail. Even if the message was very unpleasant – it is important to send an exact copy of what happened. This helps the operator to sort things out more easily.
You can also set up some IRC clients to ignore private messages, or to ignore certain users. Again, ask in the #help channel if you cannot find an operator to help in your main channel.
On most IRC clients (the programme you use to chat with) it is possible to set up the client to ‘log’ chats, so that you always have a hard copy on your computer of what has been said to you. If you don’t know how to do this, please join our #help channel, and ask for advice. If you cannot find anyone online, you can e-mail the Help and Training Team at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will respond as soon as possible. If you use a chat page in your web browser rather than an IRC client, logging is not usually available, and you will have to copy and paste anything you need to keep or it will be lost.
Idling, and why we discourage it:
Some people are surprised to find that we have a bot that removes users from the server after they have said nothing for 72 hours, as many other networks allow you to ‘idle’ for as long as you like. On ScoutLink, it has been decided by the ScoutLink Council (which is made up of all CC/RC’s from around the world) that it is better for the network if people are not allowed to sit and idle on the network for days on end, where they could be sitting in channels gathering information, but never having to say anything themselves. Therefore, we have a bot which removes people from the network after 72 hours of saying nothing. This does *not* mean that you cannot come back if you get removed! It is not a punishment – it is a method of trying to keep our network active and in turn more secure.
Some channels also have an idle rule – where you might find you are kicked from the channel for idling for a certain time. Again this is *not* a punishment, but a way to keep our channels more active, so that you can be certain when you join that the people in channel are available to chat to.
What to do if you still need help:
For any problems you cannot resolve – or if you cannot find an op to help you, please contact your Country/Regional Coordinator. You can find a list of these on this website – just click on The Team and then Council Members. It tells you how to contact your CC/RC at the bottom of the page.