FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Welcome to Elefriends. The Ele's made this little FAQ for you so that getting around the site is a bit easier.
How do I get started?
- You can watch this video from the Ele himself on how to get started on Elefriends.
Who manages Elefriends?
Elefriends is managed by Mind, the mental health charity and its setup was generously supported by the Cabinet Office's Social Action Fund.
Who moderates Elefriends?
The Ele and his handlers at Mind moderate the community and help to keep it safe. Elefriends is 'post-moderated' which means posts are read by moderators after they are written and posted by members, so there may be a delay in removing reported posts. The Ele team are available to respond to any questions or help with difficult situations during these hours:
- Monday-Friday: 6am-9am, then 10am to 2am
- Saturday-Sunday: 6am-9am then 10am to 2am
You may notice that the Ele handlers will sign off with, "Sam (Ele handler)". Elefriends have told us that it can be confusing talking to different handlers, so the handlers use one name. But don't worry, we're all real people and we're not robots!
Who is the Ele?
The Ele is the host of the community. He keeps an eye on his friends, pops in from time to time with suggestions and support, and posts things to the wall his friends might find interesting or helpful. You can get in touch with him by posting on his profile or by dropping him a private message.
What are the community rules/guidelines?
- Elefriends has community created house rules. You can check them out for tips on how to get settled in, some dos and don'ts and guidance on posting safely.
How do I use Elefriends on my mobile phone?
- Elefriends is available as a handy mobile app. If you use Android, click here to download it from the Play Store, and if you have an iPhone, click here to open the App Store.. You can also find the app by searching for, "Elefriends". If you're on another operating system such as Windows Phone, you can still use Elefriends through your mobile browser.
You can currently only edit your profile on the website and not the app.
- Go to the blue drop down in the top right and click on edit profile:
- Then you will have the option to edit your email, username, and profile information and profile picture:
- You can also add your profile picture here.
Before you delete your account, read 'Can I delete my account and start again?'
- Go to the blue drop down in the top right and click on edit profile.
- You'll see a big red delete icon on the right:
- When you click the 'delete' account icon, you will be asked to confirm again:
- When you click the 'Yes I'm certain' icon, your account will be deleted.
- You can reactivate your account again anytime by logging back into Elefriends, where you will be asked if you want to reactivate your account. If you want all your data permanently deleted, you can drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is Elefriends safe?
- We do our best to keep Elefriends a safe place for everybody. We ask that everyone read and follow the house rules. The Ele handlers are here to respond to any difficult situations and to support elefriends in using the site safely.
- You don't have to give any information you don't want to when you sign up- Elefriends is anonymous. We ask for your date of birth just to make sure you're over 18, but we'll never use this information. Private messaging is turned off by default, and it's your decision to turn it on if you'd like to – see more on private messages here. You can report anything that worries you – read more about reporting here.
Is Elefriends confidential?
We respect your confidentiality. What you share here is between you the Ele handler team. We would only tell someone else (for example, by calling 999) if you ask us to, or if we are worried that you or someone else might be hurt. The kind of situations we may have to share information might be:
- If you had shared your name and address with us and we were worried you had taken action to end your life and you weren't able to call for urgent help yourself
- If you were at risk of serious harm from someone- for example, if you were being exploited by someone in a position of authority over you, such as a carer
- If someone else was at risk of serious harm- for example, if you planned on harming yourself in a way that could also endanger others
- If we were worried about someone who is under 18.
If we do contact the emergency services, we will only share the relevant information needed help you or someone else stay safe. Unless it would put someone else in danger, we will always tell you if we've contacted the emergency services.
If you'd like more detail about what kind of information about you Elefriends stores, you can check out our terms and conditions.
How do I report a post?
- If you see something an elefriend has posted and you think that an Ele handler should take a look at it, you can report the post. Reports are anonymous, and the elefriend won't be notified that you reported their post. To do this, hover over the post with your mouse and click, "Report":
- When you click, “Report",
a pop-up box will appear where you can tell us why you're worried about this post:
- If you'd like us to, we can get back to you to let you know if we've taken any action on the post or comment.
How do I report a private message?
- Very similar to reporting a post, from your inbox, you will see the word 'report' in grey in the top right of each message, which you can click and then let us know why you're reporting.
Can I block someone's posts?
- At the moment, elefriends aren't able to block users; you can however choose who shows in your feed - see more here. You can block certain people from private messaging you (or consider turning off private messages entirely - see more on private messages here).
I'm worried about someone, what should I do?
- If you see an elefriend struggling, there are things we can do together to help. You can help an elefriend be heard by responding to their post, even just to let them know you're thinking of them. You can encourage them to keep talking – to the elefriends and supportive people in their lives.
- If someone is really struggling, you can direct them towards more urgent support like the Samaritans helpline on 116123 available 24/7 or even 999 if they are feeling unsafe. The 'I need help' icon at the top of the page can also help them to explore their options. Try to remember that you're not responsible for other users on the site and to look after yourself too.
- You can always let the Ele handlers know if you're worried about someone. You can hover over any post, comment or private message to click, "Report" so the handlers can get to it quickly. The Ele handlers will encourage the elefriend to reach out for more urgent help, such as 999. If they're very worried about someone, they may have to tell someone, like the emergency services. They'd always let the elefriend know they've done this.
I'm worried about someone but they aren't in the UK, what can I do?
The Ele handlers aren't able to break confidentiality or share information outside the UK, but we can encourage them to contact the emergency services in their country- this number is usually 112 in Europe. If an elefriend is on holiday, the British embassy may also be able to help.
What if an elefriend deletes their account?
- It can be difficult to see an elefriend in distress and then find out they've deleted their account. You might be worried about their safety, and whether they have the support they need. Elefriends delete their accounts for a variety of reasons. Some might want a break, feel embarrassed or want to start afresh after a crisis. Take care of yourself first and contact the Ele handlers if you're worried. Although we may not be able to share specifics about accounts and our contact with other elefriends, we'll do our best to help.
- You control your account and you can delete or deactivate your profile, and then return to the community, if you need to. We understand that elefriends might want a fresh start, particularly after a difficult period. Be aware that other elefriends might be confused by, or find it difficult to keep up with, account or user name changes.
Why can't I swear?
- We know that it can be frustrating to not be allowed to swear, but sometimes swear words can upset other elefriends. Swear words (this includes asterisks!) are automatically hidden from view; you'll be notified on-screen first via a pop up encouraging you to remove the word. We'll always let you know if you're post was hidden.
How do I make a post?
You can make a post by going to the main feed and typing in the, "Type something here" box.
You can add photos, videos or post to a theme. You can also post to any elefriends' profile by clicking on their name.
How do I know if someone has responded to my post or comment?
If someone has responded to a post or comment you've made, you'll see how many responses you've had pop up in your notifications bar:
Click on it to view all your notifications.
Replying to posts and comments
You can write a reply to a post by typing in the, "Write a comment" box beneath the post, then clicking, "Post".
What are those icons next to posts and comments?
The Ele knows that sometimes, it can be tough to find the words. So there's the option of pressing a icon to let the elefriends know that you're there for them. The different icons have different meanings:
How do I private message?
- Private messaging is turned off by default, unless you turn it on. The Ele can't usually see your private messages (but he can keep an eye on other posts on walls), so have a think about whether you'd prefer to chat on the activity feed instead.
- If you want to turn on private messaging go to your messages by clicking on the envelope icon in the top bar:
- Scroll down the page to the grey message settings icon:
- Here you can turn on or off private messages:
- You will get a pop up letting you know that the Ele doesn't usually see your messages:
- Click 'OK' and your message settings at the bottom of the page will confirm that your private messaging is switched on:
How do I know if I've got a new message?
- You'll see a little notification like this, which will tell you how many new messages you have:
How do I message a group of people?
- Go to your messages by clicking on the envelope icon in the top bar:
- Then, click the yellow new message icon:
- Simply type the names of all the people you want to send the message to and click send.
How do I stop/block someone from private messaging me?
- Go to their profile (by searching for them or clicking on their name) and on the left under their profile picture, you'll see the option to mute them:
- To unmute, click the link again which will read 'unmute messages from xxx'.
- Respect the boundaries of other elefriends- private messaging can be a big step and you should never pressure someone to do it or to share details they may not be comfortable with
- Be mindful of what you're comfortable sharing privately- you might feel safer sharing on the wall
- Remember they can always report anything they're unsure about to the Elephant
- Share any sexual content- this includes asking for pictures or offering to send pictures, as well as descriptions or graphic details
- Share suicidal plans or descriptions, or descriptions of self harm
- Ask for contact details, such as phone numbers, addresses or social media accounts
- Share personal contact details with elefriends they might not know very well
You don't have to receive messages from anyone you don't want to, nor should private messages ever make you feel unsafe or uncomfortable. If you're receiving messages which make you feel this way or which are against the house rules (for example if someone is sharing sexual content or pressuring you into sharing sexual content, if someone is pressuring you into sharing personal contact details like Whatsapp or Snapchat, or if someone is sharing suicidal plans) then the first thing you can do is mute the person by hovering over the message and clicking, "Mute". This will block their ability to private message you. The other person won't know you've done this.
You can then report any message which worries you by hovering over the message and clicking, "Report".
Again, the other person won't know you've done this. This means that the Ele handlers will be able to see the message and then they can investigate and take action to keep you safe if they need to.
You can see your notifications here in the top toolbar:
- A comment on your post
- A like, think or hear on your post
- A new private message
- A new post on your profile
What are themes?
- Themes are a way to share and read posts about things that interest you. You can 'tag' your posts with a theme, so they will look like this:
How do I suggest a new theme?
- Suggest a new theme here. Elefriends can vote on themes to be added to the site.
How do I hide/unhide themes?
- If you don't want to see posts from certain themes, visit the themes landing page and click on the specific theme you don't want to see posts from. Scroll down the right-hand tool bar until you see the hide theme icon:
- You'll see a pop up like this:
- Tick the box and click 'save'.
- To unhide/re-show themes, just to go that specific theme page again, click on 'unhide theme' and uncheck the box and click save.
- Your feed is an area where you can add specific elefriends you'd like to see posts from. For some elefriends, this is a 'quieter' alternative to the main wall, which has every Elefriends' post on it. To add an elefriend to your feed, click on their profile and you'll see a yellow 'show on my feed' icon:
- This will then add them to your 'feed'.
- To remove them, go to their profile page and clicking on the yellow icon reading 'Don't show this elefriend on my feed'.
- To get to your feed, switch between main feed (everyone's posts) and the 'my feed' tab:
What is 'My Wall'?
- Your wall is where you can see all the posts you've written, and posts that have been directly posted to your profile. Elefriends are able to write directly on your wall by clicking on your profile page. Here's an example of The Ele's profile page and how you'd write him a message:
What is 'My Activity'?
- Your Activity is any post you've interacted with through the buttons (likes, hear, thinking of you), anything you've commented on or anything someone written to you on your wall.
What are pins? How do I pin things?
- Pins are a way to save posts that you like in one place, so you can easily find them again.
- To pin a post, click on the top right 'pin' icon on that post:
- When you've pinned it successfully, it will turn yellow, like this:
- To see all the posts you've pinned, go to, "View my profile":
- Then, go to the blue 'my pins' icon on the far right where you will see your saved pins!
What is a badge?
- Badges are images (like below) you can add to your profile to show other elefriends more about your experiences or interests. For example, maybe you've met your local Mind or are a member, so other elefriends who are curious might ask you more about it:
How do I add a badge(s) to my profile?
- Go to the blue drop down in the top right and click on edit profile:
- Click on the blue 'Add a new badge' icon:
- And you'll see the choices to add badges. Click 'add this badge':
- After which you'll be taken to your profile page so you can see the badge on there:
How do I remove a badge to my profile?
- Go to your profile page and click the little 'x' sign in the top right of the badge to remove it:
- Or, go to edit profile and click the 'x':
Can I download badges?
- Some elefriends have told us that they want to download the elefriend badges to add to their own blogs, websites or social media profiles. You can do that here.
- Since the Ele was born on Facebook, Elefriends has been led by you. We love feedback and regularly review your ideas and suggestions. There are lots of ways to tell us what you think- you can pop a suggestion onto the feedback wall, drop the Ele a PM, and you can keep an eye on the wall for posts from the Ele about opportunities to get involved.
- Read our development blog about the digital development of Elefriends and how we've used your feedback to test and launch new features.
We're here for you- get in touch with the Ele handlers, contacting us by email at email@example.com
Last update: 24 March 2017