For the past week and a half or so, one person has asked a lot of questions on my How to Tell if You're Pregnant hub (on my Pregnancy Now hubpages account). I take a lot of time out of my day to answer pregnancy-related questions from symptoms to trying to conceive, and I hide all graphic comments, but answer them anyway with less graphic terminology.
This person leaves several comments back to back most of the time, bulking up my numbers (there are worse things!), but also making me think that I have more comments than I do. She never consolidates her questions into one, and they usually come within a very short period of one another.
Most of her questions thus far have been about symptoms.
Today, she asked me for advice about how to become pregnant.
The problem is that she's stated that she's seventeen years old.
At this point, I'm refusing to directly answer her questions, and I won't personally link her to my hub on how to track ovulations (or anything else related to TTC).
Should I delete all of her comments? Leave everything else there other than this most recent one? I've hidden it as it contained graphic depictions of adult acts, and I've informed her that I feel uncomfortable advising her on how to get pregnant when it involves doing something she's not (legally) supposed to be doing at her age.
I try very had to avoid moral or ethical arguments on these hubs, but it's getting more difficult not to discuss ethics. At some point it's going to have to happen. But I feel that it's unethical for me to answer her questions, given her age.
Every time she asks a question, I have to reference her previous questions, and that's how I was reminded of her age in the first place. There's a strong possibility that I've already crossed a line by not cross-referencing.
Ugh, this is so sticky. Any advice or thoughts? I could also clear the entire comments section, but that's over 200 comments.
I've done that several times now, and she makes excuses every time I instruct her to tell her doctor.
I'm going to turn the comments off on that hub.
Reply, "Well I cannot help you since I am not a doctor." and close them.
I told her I couldn't help her because she was underage and told her that my discussion with her was finished. Rude, perhaps, but I can't continue to advise her. She's not been back, but I also closed and hid the comments for now.
You may not like my response, but I find it misleading to have set yourself up as an expert in a medically related field which should be handled by those who have the necessary credentials to handle such important life advice and decisions. For accounts such as these, I wish HP would require disclaimers at the beginning of each hub and at the top of the profile page. A parent could very well be upset, rightfully.
I provide a disclaimer on the hub itself and on the account, to make it clear that I'm not a medical professional, and I consistently remind women to see their doctor if they are concerned about their health or their pregnancies.
I've also never claimed to be an expert on the subject.
When I wrote for About.com, people writing about medical topics were doctors, nurses, and midwives, and they still included a disclaimer on all the pages of those topics.
So then I guess that if I want to write about history, I should have a degree in history, or that if I want to write about gardening, I ought to have a degree in botany.
There is no reason on earth why a person should need to have a degree in order to provide factual information. Hubpages encourages members to write health-related articles, and I consistently remind people to contact their doctor or midwife if they have concerns about their health or their pregnancy.
I don't understand why this is such an issue for so many people. I've received accolades from Hubpages for these hubs, and each of them is thoroughly researched and provides factual information to those who are seeking help with issues relating to pregnancy and childbirth.
What on earth WOULD you have me write about then? I don't do this for fun, I do it for the earnings, and having been pregnant four times, I'm closest to being an expert in that topic as opposed to any other topic I could possibly write about.
If a mother shouldn't write about pregnancy, then a gardener shouldn't write about gardening, and reader shouldn't write book reviews. We'd leave these things to botanists and editors.
Very few of us would ever succeed on Hubpages with this model.
I've been here for five years, and I've worked very hard at what I write on Hubpages, but this is getting too discouraging. Every penny I earn is hard-won, and I need that income, but it's becoming less and less worth it.
Me thinks someone is having some fun with you...
I was a teacher for many years and want to make very clear to you that you are placing yourself in a very bad position by answering ANY questions like this, especially to a minor.
Her family can file suit against HP as well as against you, personally, and she can, too, if you upset her enough.
Parents will sue at the drop of a hat and kids can be malicious liars whose parents tend to believe every word they say.
Since you have already made the mistake of responding to her, I would get rid of ANY article she has commented on asap.
You might lose some views and some money, but believe me, you could lose a lot more by not doing this.
There are all sorts of resources out there for kids who need advice from trained professionals, and if she chooses not to use them, that is on her.
This may sound cold, but I saw quite a bit over my 26 years in the classroom and well know the problems you can face.
This girl may even be mentally ill....you do not know her and have no real idea about her situation. Get out of this while you still are in one piece.
By the way, you can turn off comments just on guest readers and still leave them open to HP writers.
It seems ridiculous to me to delete my top performing hub instead of simply deleting the COMMENTS on the hub, which I've already suggested that I could do.
The general nastiness on the forums on Hubpages is the reason that I don't tend to come to hte forums here in the first place.
Next time, I guess I'll fly blind instead of asking for any sort of advice, since doing so seems to have the result of either being personally attacked by the members here, or having my hub attacked with down votes.
Crikey. All I did was write a hub on how to tell if you're pregnant. The original version (on this account) is an Editor's Choice hub. According to you all I should pack it up and go home instead of providing solid, helpful information to people who need it.
@EverydayMiracles: Why don't you add a disclaimer right at the beginning of your hub in bold letters? As for the girl you're dealing with, I would just delete the comments and move on like many have suggested.
Don't delete your hub. Just delete the comments and continue to create useful hubs.
I'd ask her if she is legally married. If her answer is yes, then perhaps give her a link to a source that can help her out. If she answers no, tell her to surf around for the info she seeks. You may also try telling her that while you make every effort to answer commenter concerns and questions, you cannot address/answer every question raised. If it takes ignoring her after this, so be it. You work professionally here and are not obligated to answer every single question thrown your way, especially repetitive questions from a single reader. And if she realizes you aren't here to hold her hand, she will probably get the message soon enough and leave you be. Good luck.
You can close the comments section temporarily. The comments will still be there when you decide ti reopen the comments. I have done this several times when I want to limit some types of comments.
You have three options (which you can change back anytime). In edit mode select any one of the three:-
1. Don't display this capsule
2. Disable any further comments from being posted.
3. Only signed in users may post comments. (May not deter some users)
Delete her comments. Maybe once the attention is removed, she will remove herself
It would be nice if we could block some of these people who make comments like this and the spammers.
Definitely a tricky situation. Best route would probably to advise her to speak to her doctor. You're not her teacher or anything like that, so you can't report it. And really, medical professionals are generally the best people to give her both accurate medical advice AND best placed to refer her to other people who can speak with her regarding lifestyle choices and the like.
If she wants to get pregnant that's her choice. If she's a minor, the best thing you can do is get her to seek professional advice. Certainly don't encourage her - that's a whole other can of worms.
Having completed an accredited training course and having spent three years volunteering at a switchboard that provided free, accurate, non-judgemental sex information, I have a few comments.
If you don't like the situation you find yourself in, then you need to stop providing the info that you are in the way that you are doing it until you find a way to not have this happen again.
Get professional training if you are going to run a faux advice column. That's how you learn what advice can and can't get you in trouble. That's also how you get training for dealing with problem contacts (what you have).
And just so you know, depending on what state the minor resides in, and depending on how explicit a conversation you (an adult) have had with a minor (not your child), there is a faint/remote chance you could face legal action from angry parents (zomg, you encouraged our kid to get pregnant) or weirdo law enforcement (sex chat interpretation)
I'm not running anything like an advice column, and that's at least part of the problem. The purpose of these hubs has never been to provide advice to the viewers: It's to provide information about trying to conceive, pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. At no point has my intention ever been to provide advice to anyone, of any age.
Unfortunately, you'd be surprised how many people appear to believe that I can tell them whether or not they are pregnant over the Internet, based on anything from a collection of symptoms to "I think I'm pregnant. What do you think??" In the vast majority of these cases, I instruct the questioner to take an HPT or to contact her doctor. When the woman has concerns or wants more information, I'm willing to provide information on topics that I am well researched on (such as the menstrual cycle or pregnancy symptoms) or to ask questions that help me better determine whether she is ready to test (that pregnancy is possible).
In almost every case, I refer these women back to their doctors at some point in a conversation involving more than one question.
The girl who has been leaving these comments has been told numerous times that she needs to see her doctor. She's made excuses for why she cannot (anything from age to a lack of time). This appears to be typical, since she's far from being the only one who has argued about seeing her doctor, but come back with more questions.
When they do, I remind them that I'm not a doctor.
But as I said, this isn't intended to be an advice column: It's meant to be an informative article on the symptoms of pregnancy.
Maybe I do need to turn the comments off :-/
Relache seems to know her business on this!
You may be conversing with a male who wishes to engage in conversation about underage sex--that is, someone who is trying to covertly engage you in cybersex. In fact, that would be my bet, from the way you have described the posts.
Cut him off at the knees.
rebekahELLE: I totally agree about disclaimer requirement. Even if it is not a requirement here, it is simply a smart, cover my butt move!
Which is why there's a disclaimer on my profile and on most of my hubs on that account.
If any of you are looking at the article on THIS account, that's ancient and irrelevant. I may just unpublish it.
It needs to be at the top of your profile and your hubs, before reading the information. I looked at a few of the hubs on the account you're referring to. Hardly anyone coming in from a search will bother with reading a profile. If you don't want to give advice in your comments, I would make that very clear in the text of your hubs, and not give advice.
As I stated, I've edited the hubs. It's stated at the top of every hub at this point, and at the top of my profile.
ETA: Not every hub. It's not on the one about natural remedies for heartburn, because I don't feel that it's necessary, since the hub doesn't discuss pharmaceutical remedies.
I don't need to have a disclaimer on any of my hubs if I don't wish to put a disclaimer on the hubs. You are entitled to the belief that I shouldn't post them, but that's not going to stop me from posting the information that I have to share.
I'm not exploiting or extorting anyone. The hubs themselves don't offer advice. They provide information.
I have a commenter like that also on a pregnancy Hub, I delete her questions and also report them as spam, she just keeps coming back and I just keep deleting. on my hub she uses the name jessica maybe it is the same person.
I set my comments section so that I can review comments and then approve or deny first.
Wow, she's putting you in a difficult situation. If I were you, I would just delete the excess comments, and then explain why you would rather not answer her questions. Good luck.
Let me provide a bit more information here.
I have a written disclaimer on my profile, stating that I am not a doctor. This seems to be the biggest problem that most of you have with my writing these hubs. The disclaimer is there. If I have to put it on every single hub, then that's what I'll do (since most people don't seem to read the profile). Unfortunately, most of these people aren't reading the article at all (clearly, because it answers most of the questions I get asked), so while that covers my bases, it's not going to help.
I consistently remind people who ask questions that they need to check with their doctor. Most of them have excuses as to why they can't contact their doctor or don't want to contact their doctor or don't have time to call a nurses' help-line (or something along those lines). When necessary, I do stop answering questions from those who refuse to contact their doctor but continue to ask the same questions.
The only "advice" I give to people on this hub is whether or not they should take a pregnancy test or call their doctor. Everything else is factual information about the female cycle and pregnancy symptoms.
The situation I originally posted about is frustrating because this is one of those cases in which I've told this person (more than once) to please contact her doctor for help or information if she needs it, but she continues to come back with more questions, persistently stating that she wants to become pregnant. I've avoided any engagement with her on the topic of how to become pregnant to the best of my ability.
There is no reason why anyone on Hubpages should be prevented from providing concrete information based on research and learning. Books are written on this subject all the time by non-medical professionals, and it isn't the responsibility of the Hubpages staff to police our writing, provided that what we've written meets the quality standards. Anybody visiting my hubs is welcome to do more research on the subject, or to follow my advice and talk to their doctor.
As I've said, the Internet isn't a substitute for medical advice.
ETA: This has always been at the bottom of the hub, just before the comments (until I added some more stuff):
"I am not a doctor and I am not, myself, an indicator of early pregnancy."
Turning comments off is a good remedy when comments become more trouble than they are worth. Turn em off for awhile and in a month or so, try turning them back on if comments are important to you. Maybe she will be gone by then, after she comes back and finds out she can't make comments anymore.
I have now updated all but two of my hubs with a disclaimer in the first capsule of the hub stating (in bold) that I am not a medical professional and that the article doesn't substitute for a doctor's advice.
The articles that have not received this update are the one about preventing heartburn during pregnancy, since it advises women not to take over the counter drugs without speaking to their doctor (that was already in the hub) and makes it clear that it's offering safe homeopathic remedies for heartburn and acid indigestion.
The other hub that hasn't been updated hasn't been updated since I'm in the midst of giving it a very thorough editing and if I published it right now, that would be a disaster.
I would delete her comments. I know to write here we have to be 18 so I would assume commenting is the same. Following for more opinions.
I would assume you only have to be thirteen to comment, since that's how old you have to be to freely use most of the Internet, according to COPPA. The reason you have to be 18 to write here is for payment reasons associated with Adsense and other programs.
I'm considering -- seriously -- deleting every comment on that hub, then opening comments back up. If I don't answer their questions, nobody can assume that I'm giving them advice, and I'm less likely to get into these tricky situations.
Any opinions on this option?
Alternatively, I can just keep repeating the same thing over and over again: "Contact your doctor."
I am not sure I would delete the comments but I like the idea of returning to the same response over and over "Talk to your doctor". Maybe a link in your hub to resources for pregnancy testing, like Planned Parenthood? You can also selectively delete the person's questions if they are the same ones.
Frustrating I am sure. A disclaimer on the Hub might also help in terms of "Not offering Medical Advice" (if you already have this, I apologize but wanted to respond here first and then check out hub).
Some kids, like adults, can get anxious and begin to fixate on a given medical issue, particularly something like pregnancy.
I'm not sure that I could get enough words together for a resource on where to get tested. I've referred women to crisis pregnancy centers for free testing if they are in the United States, but generally I get excuses from them about how they don't "have time" to go to the doctor.
I could probably put something on the hub about where to go for advice if you aren't insured. I'm not sure what all services Planned Parenthood offers, but I could call. Birth control in particular isn't my area of expertise, and I know they do that.
The hub in question is <link snipped> this one.
You've done your due diligence and don't have to defend yourself. It was generous of you to take your time to guide her in the right direction and if she doesn't want to go that way, it's not on you.
It's a minor. It is on the person here answering her.
Based on my experience, anyone who does not know how to direct a legal minor to age-appropriate sites or counseling and is treating the questioner like a web spammer needs to get themselves out of the question answering business immediately.
I'm not treating her as a spammer. I asked for opinions on how to deal with the problem.
By the time that I'd used the forums to ask for advice, I'd already directed her to resources that could help her with pregnancy-related questions. She didn't want to use them.
I wanted to post my final conclusions on this, since I've fought with this issue and some of the things that have been said here all day. This has, shall we say, caused a lot of undue stress.
I've removed the disclaimer from the top of the Pregnancy Symptoms hub. Why? Because nothing at all in this hub offers advice of any sort to anyone. It's a stretch to make that interpretation of the material. The hub only provides information for women about whether or not their symptoms may be pregnancy-related.
In addition, I've opened up the comments again but have removed all comments by someone claiming to be under age. I'm not sure whether or not I'll continue to reply to comments, but having scanned through everything I've said on that hub, the comments I've made are reasonably benign, and almost always result in a reminder to talk to the doctor or to take a pregnancy test.
Thanks for all the help, everybody! Hopefully traffic and hub score on that one comes back up. It's plummetted from 100 to 91 in the past three hours or so.
I suspect many young girls and guys are searching the net for this kind of information.
I taught high school for 11 years and can tell you many a kid searching online, begging for information, doesn't think they can go to a doctor or they wouldn't be on the net. Going means mom and/or dad finds out because they are the ones that have to pay the bill and give consent.
While I would never suggest you do anything that could be construed as having an inappropriate conversation with a minor, I think you're going to find this kind of seeking advice increase.
Were it me, I would give a blanket response to all that if for whatever reason they can't see a doctor, to go visit the school nurse. She's a medical professional too and used to this kind of questioning. It's legal and she can legally answer all of their questions. She's free and accessible and doesn't have to call mom.
Further, to help get you off the hook some, at the same time remind the kids no one can really tell them anything for sure without examining them. A school nurse can provide enough attention without any type of invasive procedure to help them somewhat. You can't do that online. She can further be a bridge between parents should the child wish and many do. They are scared and don't want to tell their parents. Just a thought.
I feel for you no matter what you decide.
THAT is a good solution. I think that at one point I told one of them to try a Crisis Pregnancy Center, but those are generally Christian organizations and may make a young girl feel uncomfortable. I didn't recommend Planned Parenthood only because I don't know what all services they cover, and because I wouldn't personally send my own daughter in that direction (so I'm not comfortable sending somebody else's daughter in that direction).
I try very hard to stay out of moral arguments on these hubs. It's a struggle at times to leave my position on things like abortion OFF the hubs, but I feel that it's necessary in order to provide as unbiased a viewpoint as possible to those who are looking for information and not for proselytizing.
For that reason I don't want to say "don't baby dance until you're an adult/married/financially prepared for a baby" because that's not the information they're looking for and it's not going to solve their problem or mine.
The school nurse solution is brilliant. I will use that. Thank you!
How about leaving one last message? Something like this: "To the 17-year-old girl who keeps leaving comments about trying to become pregnant, I strongly advise against teen pregnancy. I implore you to abstain from intercourse or at least use a reliable birth control until you are financially self-sufficient and in a committed relationship. Please talk to your parents, your doctor or your school counselor about this matter. I will be deleting all further comments from you an will no longer be answering your questions."
You could also include the phone number to the help line that Relache mentioned.
Maybe she would stop leaving comments after that.
I don't want to make a moral argument on hubs that are meant to be more informational. My views (which align with what you've said here) may differ from the views of their parents, and that could get me in as much trouble as advising them on how to get pregnant. That's what makes this as sticky as it is. If I could simply say "don't baby dance until you're of age," that solves the problem.
That being said, I might be able to say "For personal reasons I cannot advise you on this topic" and leave it at that.
For now, I'm not replying to comments on this hub.
The hub score has gone down from 100 to 85 now since yesterday. I suspect downvoting as the problem, as traffic has experienced just the normal Sunday-Monday dip.
That's very sensible and probably the best thing to do at this point.
To put things in perspective, doling out common-sense pregnancy advice to a minor and telling her to see a doctor and then ignoring further questions from her is nothing compared to infamous habanero-sandwich-cancer-cure hub. Who could forget that one, lol? http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/121201
I think HP should automatically include a boilerplate disclaimer for all hubs in the health category. The only authors who would complain are those writing inappropriate things.
Oh wow. I just looked at the hub in question.
No, on all of my hubs I mention that you should consult your doctor about any medical problems, and in at least one case I've mentioned that if you're experiencing a particular medical problem, step away from the computer, and immediately contact your doctor for advice.
The hub that topic is about never suggests that patients should contact their personal physicians for advice, and I've done nothing but make that suggestion.
Even if I was a medical professional, the Internet doesn't substitute for the advice of a personal physician, and I realize that not everyone on the internet knows that. That's why I consistently mention it.
You're definitely not among the problematic "medical writers" that tarnish the site's reputation and are among the few who do the right thing by issuing a disclaimer. Medical sites all have a something along the lines of
The medical information on this site is provided as an information resource only and is not to be used for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. Please consult your health care provider before making any healthcare decisions about a specific medical condition.
I think it would be a good idea for HP to automatically insert this in the templates for health articles or to include an entry in the learning center about legal disclaimers for people who write health articles..
The problem (as my traffic is proving today) is that if you place the disclaimer at the top of the hub (before the content), your bounce rate goes up, which affects the way that Google lists your hub.
What I'm doing is including the disclaimer at the end of the introduction. In most cases it's still above the fold, making it visible, but I've already introduced the content, and therefore people will hopefully be more inclined to stick around.
In every case, it's written throughout the hub at various intervals: If you're concerned, contact your doctor.
No information on the Internet, regardless of whether it's been written by an "expert" on a subject (and there's no reason that a layman can't be an expert, as a recent hub I read by Melissa A. Smith illustrates), substitutes for seeing your doctor. Even if that article is written by a doctor, that's not a substitute for being seen.
This is why, on the hub that's caused the issues, I've stated that I cannot diagnose pregnancy on the Internet and the only way to be sure is to see your doctor for a pregnancy test.
Of course people will always continue to attempt to use me as a pregnancy test myself, like I'm running a psychic hotline.
If they are 17 then in the UK they are of age and not classed as a minor. My mom was married at that age and trying for her first. It took them 10 years to conceive and they only ended up with me. I do agree with leaving it until you finish your education and have a steady job for income. I was 27 the same as my mom when I had my daughter and that is a great age.
It doesn't matter. I'm in the United States and therefore am bound by the laws of my country. In fact, I believe that even those who live outside the US are bound by US law because Hubpages is based in the US.
That, and both 17 year olds who have commented on the hub are based in the United States. I checked.
This thread is breaking my heart. Not because of anything you as an author have done, I love your articles and think it's valuable information.
It's killing me because of the girl leaving the comments and what I think she represents. To me, she's like the poster child for the lost youth of America. I so get you can't advise her by law.
At the same time, I know there are loads of kids that can't use most of the advice recommended routinely by adults. We all are almost programmed to say talk to your parents. That's great if they aren't abusive which is not uncommon. People say go to a clinic which sounds logical. A lot of 17 year old kids have no transportation. Good luck explaining that ride request without exposing the situation.
Kids by nature follow the path of least resistance. To me, and I've been looking around a bit about it, the numbers of children seeking this kind of information online is evidence of desperation, a total perceived lack of real world help. How sad is that?
Lastly, it is highly probable that a big number of these kids are in highly abusive situations they are looking to get out of. Be they really wanting to play the pregnancy game to catch a man or get a check to escape the environment they are in or conversely, be actually asking how to get pregnant by any means because they want to avoid it in the situations they most likely have no control over. Sorry, I've worked with too many abused kids. I so feel for you as an author. I feel for them. What a sad commentary on our society and laws that the most needy kids are begging for information from a box and by law we can't help them.
I think the best solution offered has been to ask these girls to speak to their school nurses. That way, they don't have to deal with transportation issues, and if they are in abusive situations, they have an outlet and somebody to talk to about their situation at home. It solves every problem involved in the reasons that these girls are seeking information on the Internet.
I've spent the afternoon arguing with my husband, who says that the only answer is to direct them back to their parents. Ethically, morally, that's the stance that I take. I'm not a Christian any more, but I hold onto a lot of that morality because it feels right to me. On the other hand, I try to leave ethics and morality out of these hubs, because I'm not there to tell women what they should or should not do (beyond "talk to your doctor" or "take a pregnancy test"). I'm there to provide fact-based information on pregnancy.
I research the heck out of everything that I publish. I rarely post my opinions on things (though I will when it comes to childbirth, but that's my prerogative). My goal is to provide women with useful information that will help those who seek the Internet and forums before they seek their doctor.
Too few people in this thread realize how many women go to Internet forums for health-related information from people they consider friends rather than going immediately to their doctor or midwife. I'm no different than a buddy on an Internet forum, I'm just using a different platform. I know what I'm talking about, and I still tell these ladies to seek out their doctor.
I regress. My point is that I don't believe that directing these girls to their parents is a useful solution to their problem. In most cases, they are afraid to talk about something as sensitive as pregnancy with their parents, and in some cases, as you say, there may be problems at home. Directing them to Planned Parenthood sends my moral compass spinning, and a Crisis Pregnancy Center isn't helpful for girls who want birth control or want to learn about how to get pregnant (which they shouldn't be doing in the first place, but I'm not there to JUDGE them).
The school nurse solution allows these girls an outlet to take care of their needs, and that's the one that I'll be using for them.
Relache accused me of treating this girl as a spammer. The fact is, it's quite the opposite. I have never judged her, and got backed into a corner by not providing judgment on someone, regardless of my personal opinions of under-age pregnancy.
This whole conversation has crushed my spirit for these hubs, but I think it would be a disservice to me and to the women who are looking for friendly information if I were to stop writing these hubs.
There's a reason that Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy is my favorite book on the subject of pregnancy. It's written like real people to real people, not like medical people to scared women.
I would rather talk to somebody like me than to my doctor, so I'll keep doing what I'm doing because I believe that it's the right thing, and as long as I tell them to talk to their doctor, I'm legally covered, even if it's not helpful to somebody who doesn't want to, or can't, see her doctor right now.
I hope you do keep writing them and hate that you really have been discouraged and somewhat beat up. You are right in that people are looking to talk to a friend even if it is online. You're a good writer and you care. Folks are always going to criticize no matter what you do. Keep on keeping on because obviously you are providing a much needed service or you would not be getting the traffic, comments and folks hanging out for extended periods of time.
WE are not supposed to help them: licensed, trained, educated professionals are supposed to help them, which is why the law is what it is.
Your heart does not have to break for that young girl...she has a plethora of teachers and counselors who are available at absolutely no charge to help her.
You cannot simply assume she is abused simply because she came online to seek guidance. Kids do that all the time.
If she is abused, those same professionals are there to help her.
When I used to teach school, all teachers were told never to try to counsel troubled kids. That was the job of the counselor. For us to try to do so, even though we may have felt we could help, could put us as well as the child in jeopardy.
But I never counseled this girl.
All I told her was that she should take a pregnancy test and see a doctor.
Over, and over, and over again.
When she asked me when the best time was to get pregnant, I told her to contact her doctor or parents and that I had to end the conversation there.
I never offered counseling of any sort to this girl. My "advice" was to take a pregnancy test or to see her doctor.
Since the comments have been deleted, there's obviously no way for anyone to confirm this, but I don't understand why everyone offering "advice" is doing so from the perspective that I advised or counseled this girl.
All I tried to do was to provide her with a judgment-free zone and to advise her to seek help for pregnancy-related questions. If I wanted to advise minors, I wouldn't be here asking these questions, would I? I'd have soldiered on giving advice to people and getting myself in trouble for doing so.
I've gotten my solution to the problem: Tell girls who are underage to see their school nurse or school counselor.
I see no reason to delete the hub in the way that you've said.
This isn't a pie. My earning money here doesn't take money out of your pocket, if that's what you're thinking. That is the ONLY reason I can come up with that you'd tell me to delete a hub that's earning for me.
I don't feel anyone is trying to attack you, but just trying to help.
Being told that I should delete my hubs sure feels like an attack to me.
There is a difference between making a suggestion that is meant to help someone who is requesting help and attacking someone!
How you get from one to the other is way beyond me!
You told me to delete my hub. However you may have meant it, that's an unkind comment to someone who was asking for help about how to handle comments of this nature.
You told me to delete my hub.
Did you think I would see that as a kindness?
On Tumblr, this is something that immature middle schoolers do to one another in an effort to cause hurt. "Delete your account."
So yes, I do feel that was an attack. I'd never dream of telling somebody to delete their hub. Edit it, maybe. Delete it? Never.
No, I did not tell you anything.
I gave a simple suggestion that I thought might help you to resolve your problem in an attempt to keep you from potentially getting sued.
What you do with any advice anybody here gives you is up to you.
I'm sorry. You advised me to "get rid of any hub she had commented on." Maybe you didn't mean to delete the hub, but that's the way that I heard it, in part because I'm angry right now.
I'm angry because I believe that mothers can be experts on pregnancy. I'm angry because the purpose of these hubs isn't to offer advice to anyone and even after I stated that I plan to stop replying to comments, people kept telling me that I shouldn't provide people with advice. I'm angry because the hub that's causing all the trouble does nothing more than list symptoms of pregnancy, and the comments I've made relate to a) whether it's possible that someone could be having symptoms/get a positive pregnancy test relative to their date of ovulation and b) advice as to whether to test now or to see a doctor for more help.
You aren't the problem, and I apologize for putting you at the center of my angst. You've just been the most vocal person here, and I did not (and do not) like the way that you worded your advice because it seemed, to me, that you were telling me to delete the hub. I was already in a volatile mood because my husband wasn't listening to me when I told him what my solution to this problem was (not to direct teens to their parents, but either to ignore them or direct them to a source of information such as Planned Parenthood). Unfortunately, you just walked into the middle of my getting increasingly furious with the situation.
So YOU aren't my issue. My decreasing confidence in what I'm doing is my issue. I'm sorry that I made you my issue.
Whether you intended to be supportive, or not (and I'm not judging that at this point), there have been several people in this topic who have not been supportive and who have made some very discouraging statements regarding my "right" to write on the subject I've chosen.
So I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing. I deleted the comments, retitled the hub, and am completely re-writing it to provide more information, including a list of resources for women who don't want to, or can't, see their doctor for any number of reasons (including lack of funding, or age).
As far as I can tell, on this topic, that covers my bases, since this the hub discusses symptoms of pregnancy and not problems during pregnancy.
Again, I'm sorry. I appreciate your advice and I understand what you're saying. At least part of my solution is buried in some shallow subtext of your original post, and I can make use of that as well as the expressed advice to "get rid of." I removed the comments capsule already and put a new one in (in other words, deleted all the comments that had been on the hub, so I can start over again).
The reason I gave you that advice was so that if any legal issues came about due to the fact that this girl is a minor, the proof of the article as well as the comments would be gone.
It was to protect you, not attack you.
I can see why you are so angry and frustrated. I would feel that way, too.
However, sometimes we get into situations that seem so wrong to others that seem so right to us that we let our frustrations overcome us. It doesn't help if our husband's disagree with us!
I accept your apology and seriously regret that you misinterpreted my intent. It took a lot of guts for you to offer it, but I am certain everybody here understands. None of us is perfect.
Just remember that when you ask for advice, whoever offers it, at least here on HP, is sincerely trying to help you!
I hope this all works out for you.
Thank you for accepting my apology. I appreciate that. I'd have felt like an ass if you didn't.
I'm re-writing the article right now. The comments have all been deleted. I never, at any point, advised this girl apart from telling her at multiple points that it didn't sound like she was pregnant, and to test and/or talk to her doctor. I ended the conversation by telling her to talk to her parents and that I could no longer advise her.
Perhaps I misrepresented the situation. The hub itself is a list of symptoms, and from the beginning reminded women that if they thought they were pregnant, they should see a doctor. My bases have always been covered, as far as I can tell.
Originally, I'd been hoping for advice relating to a) whether to leave the comments up and b) who I could refer her to if she doesn't want to see her doctor.
I've not judged, and I've not offered advice that I believe would be seen as improper. If I had, I wouldn't have had the sense to ask for advice on this subject, since I'd have just continued to provide advice to her.
At this point, old comments are deleted, new comments are open, I'm not answering comments except to give congrats on a BFP and condolences on a BFN. I see no reason that wouldn't completely cover my bases. If this girl wants to point somebody in the direction of the hub I wrote, there shouldn't be anything suspicious about it.
I sure do hope so.
Years ago, when I was on pregnancy forums, there was a great debate over whether to provide a specific forum for teen pregnancy-related advice. One of the forums I was on regularly had one, and the one I loved chose not to take the risk. Both continue to perform fine six years later, but no doubt there have been some sticky situations along the way.
Hopefully in the future I'll be able to avoid the sticky situations.
I think when replying to these we need to be very careful in what we say so as not to discourage the person who comes here for support. After all, this is supposed to be a community, correct? I'm sure that all advice here is appreciated, but let's try not to attack (and I have seen quite a few of those on this thread).
The article in question was never an advice column, it was simply a factual article in which the author answered questions to the best of her ability, and at various points said to see a DOCTOR.
The PROBLEM is that a 17 year old came onto her article and asked for advice, then stated that she wasn't "that young", at which point, the author stated that she simply couldn't advise her since she was under the US legal age of majority.
I think that unpublishing the hub or "packing it in" is a rather silly thing to do with so much hard work. I think you simply need to delete the comments, not answer, or provide a response in which you give them a list of resources or people that they can go to.
At no point was the teen treated like a spammer. She was treated like a child who shouldn't be looking to get pregnant, no matter he reason reason for wanting to be pregnant.
She asked for advice, and she got it.
Nobody here tried to discourage her. Everybody here tried to help her.
If she does not like the advice she received, that does not give her (or you) the right to claim that people are "attacking" her.
The truth is that some of the advice given here may well help her in ways she could not possibly imagine.
If somebody told you to delete your hub(s), would that be discouraging you to? Probably. You cannot claim that you're not saying something that is discouraging to me when you told me to delete my hub. What is helpful about that? This is my top-earning hub. It is purely factual, does not contain ethical or moral arguments, and does not attempt to offer advice beyond "take a pregnancy test and see your doctor or midwife about any concerns."
Your advice appears, to me, to be ill-informed, and you're coming across as a bully here, whether you mean to, or not.
TIME TRAVELER 2 :
Quite a few comments here are very discouraging, and I can understand why she might be upset. Telling someone to delete their hub is selfish and immature. All I stated it that maybe we should follow the rule most of our parents gave us: say something nice (or in the case, supportive or helpful) or nothing at all.
It occurs to me to mention that those of you who have said my hubs need disclaimers, since I'm not a medical professional, wouldn't know I wasn't a medical professional if there hadn't already been disclaimers on my hubs. So there's that bit of ridiculousness in this entire thing.
Anyway, I've reached my own conclusions on how to solve my problem of how to direct minors looking for pregnancy advice.
I have not read all the 63 comments…I do want to tell you to listen to others about putting a medical disclaimer…people love to blame others some are sue happy. A couple of sentences covering yourself since you are not a licensed medical professional as far as what I have read so far…. unless you put that on your hub there is no way to know…good luck in your endeavors…
Do not approve any of her comments and do not answer them. I hate to see you drop all comments because the comments may be useful to others.
In the hub in the comments capsule, announce that you want to pare down the number of comments so you are removing duplicate comments or comments that are "off topic" or any comments that are just "thank you" type of comment that don't ask a question or give information.
If I ever get lucky enough to have too many comments, I think I will do that.
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