British Dressage (BD) has introduced changes to its members’ forum including banning users from using fake names.

Since 1 November, all forum users must operate under the name supplied when joining as a member, and only paid members will be allowed to start threads and add posts.

Associates will be able to read all threads in full, but not contribute.

BD hopes the move will tackle the behaviour of those who “continually push the boundaries”.

“[The forum] is a great source for knowledge, a place for lively debate and somewhere to get help and advice, most of the time,” said a BD spokesman.

“However, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for our staff to moderate the content effectively, when some users fail to stick to the forum rules.

“We appreciate that the majority of users post on the forum without transgressing the rules but there are some who continually push the boundaries of what we deem to be acceptable. So, the British Dressage board agreed it was time to take some action.

“We felt use of the forum should be a benefit for our valued paying members while those who are interested in dressage (our associate audience) could continue to follow the forum to get the current news and views, learn more about the sport and see what the hot topics are.”

All threads and posts created up before midnight on 31 October retain the alias of the poster, but after that the registered membership name will appear.

“Please don’t worry that anything historical will suddenly change — you don’t have to go deleting anything that you don’t want your name associated with,” added the BD spokesman.

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“However, we do hope that this policy change will encourage all BD members to be mindful of what they post in future, respect other forum users and adhere to our social media policy and code of conduct at all times.

“The forum rules remain in place and action will be taken for any transgressions in the same way as previously. With the 2018 members’ handbook landing on doorsteps, we would request you carefully read the BD social media policy as the forum is covered under it as well as other popular online sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

“The digital world can be a great place — instantly accessible information, support in times of need, direct communication — but we all have a duty to make it a safe place where everyone can interact confidently and feel safe from cyber-bullying. We believe it is absolutely necessary to ensure that the forum is a place for everyone to enjoy.”

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