From the string "The Freedom Classroom"
Our purpose for such measures is to try to insure that all of the information passed along at Freedom is in line with principles we are trying to teach and that all members understand our rules and regulations before they start posting. This is important to us because there a lots of people who are reading and learning at our site--a whole lot more than are actual members at our site.
We actually don't know how many readers we get at Freedom--we have no way of counting. We know that we have had somewhere around 4,000 members over the past six years and that this sounds like a lot of readers. Most of our people come from finding www.whyquit.com
. We do suspect that there is a significant percentage of people who find www.whyquit.com
and then come over an look at Freedom. While we can't count our readers at Freedom we do get some indications of our readers at www.whyquit.com
Since December of 2002 we have had over 1,056,000 distinct hosts view pages at www.whyquit.com
. If only 10% of these people find their way to Freedom it would still be over 100,000 people. The numbers may be higher. While we don't know the exact numbers of people who do read we know it is a lot.
Every person posting at Freedom has an awesome responsibility because every word you are writing is capable of influencing hundreds or even thousands of people. Considering what we are trying to influence them to do, which is to quit smoking and to save their lives, it is easy to see how why we feel that this is indeed an awesome responsibility.
We want people here at Freedom to learn as much as they can in their time here. The test that our members and readers are studying for is to develop the skills understanding needed to quit smoking and to stay free. Failing those kind of tests can cost a person his or her quit, his or her health and eventually, his or her life.
In a real sense though our membership requirements are not designed to just protect our members though. It is designed to protect all of our readers. Becoming an active member at Freedom carries some degree of responsibility. From a personal perspective of the member, there is a personal responsibility to himself or herself. Responsibility for posting members doesn't stop at himself or herself though. Posting members also have the ability to affect other members and other readers and basically the whole board by what they write on the board.
That is why we want people who are members to read and learn all that they can before they start exerting any influence on others. We know from our past experience that people coming in who have done very little reading or worse yet, people who come in who have done extensive reading at other sites have very little idea of all they need to know to quit smoking and to sustain their quits. Often, people pick up lots of ideas elsewhere that fall under the category of conventional wisdom or even pick up ideas that fit into what is currently considered the state of the art in professional cessation circles. The problem is conventional wisdom and state of the art philosophies usually result in very low cessation rates.