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Block/Ban Guide

When to block/ban a member

On 7 Cups we have the following criteria for blocks and bans:

Block:

Triggering Chats

Stalking

Overly Dependant

Requesting/Sharing Personal info

Inappropriate/sex chat

Other

Ban:

Harassing/Threatening Behaviour

However, under most circumstances I would highly encourage you to not block a member immediately if they do something that would warrant you blocking them. I’ve seen many members confused and upset because they have been blocked without warning and/or multiple times.

 

Triggering chats – If a chat is triggering for you, rather than immediately blocking the member, tell them that unfortunately you’re finding the chat triggering and you don’t feel you can continue the chat. You can talk about something else or you’d be happy to help them find another listener. In short: refer, not block. If they ignore you and persist in triggering you after a warning then you can try to end the chat, otherwise block them.

 

Stalking – In this case, I feel that blocking someone immediately is acceptable.

Overly Dependent – First I would suggest setting times for your chats and setting time limits on your chats. Make it clear that you are available at these times and only at these times. If the member/guest contacts you outside these times do not answer them – maintain boundaries. Ask the member not to contact you outside the designated chat times, explain you can’t be there for them at all times, point them to other helpful resources. If these measures don’t work then a block may be appropriate.

 

Requesting/Sharing Personal Info -  A member may not be aware that sharing personal information is not acceptable. If they attempt to do so, remind them that 7 Cups does not allow sharing personal information and for that reason you will not share your personal information with them (or they should not share it with you.) To an extent sharing some personal information might be acceptable, depending on how comfortable you feel  - for example you may choose to share your name or age with someone. However, sharing of social media handles is never acceptable. If someone insists on knowing personal details after a warning then you can try to end the chat politely, otherwise, block.

 

Inappropriate/Sex Chat – As with requesting/sharing personal information, a guest/member may not be aware that this is not appropriate behaviour for 7 cups. Firmly tell them you are not comfortable with the way they are talking. If they persist you can attempt to end the chat as above then block.

 

Harassing/Threatening Behaviour – This might include sexual harassment or a guest/member being deliberately mean and insulting towards you. In this case, please ban the member immediately; no listener deserves that kind of treatment. However, harassing/threatening behaviour is different to a guest being irritable – this might be a coping mechanism for how they’re feeling. In this case try to empathise with the member and/or refer them if you feel you’re not able to chat with them.

 

Other cases:

Trolling – if you suspect a member is trolling set a time limit on the chat. This way you can assist them if they’re being honest, but have a polite way to end the chat if they’re untruthful.

A member is actively suicidal – if you ask the member if they currently want to end their own life and they say yes, please refer them to the appropriate suicide resources and end the chat. If you’re comfortable you can tell them you can talk to them when they no longer feel actively suicidal. There are many other forum posts on why we refer suicidal members.

A member is talking about sex-related issues such as a porn addiction – attempt to empathise with the member, but if you feel unable to take the chat or uncomfortable please refer them.

 

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