Recently there has been a significant increase in the moderators having to remove personal pitches for financial support due to financial hardship, promotion of funding plans by individuals for media projects, and the suggestion of financing of non-viable research. We would like to clarify that fundraising to projects not initiated by the site or PFSFoundation will be removed, and share some of the reasons for this policy.
As it is not always public, it can be very frustrating for users to see no evidence of day to day progress. This issue is complex, and the path to effective progress is long and requires hard work. However, we strongly believe things are poised to move more rapidly thanks to the immense collective efforts here. We will be providing feedback at the end of the year on progress and plans for early next year. In a nutshell, since 2018, enormous patient efforts have transformed this platform. This forum had become rudderless due to infighting, the endless insistence of a part of the membership on an ever-increasing amount of simplistic etiological claims, and ultimately a staunch decline in activity and momentum. As @axolotl mentioned, looking at the forum in 2017 via an archive site such as the waybackmachine shows a rapid and remarkable transformation. Our efforts will shift to outreach and new projects in the new year, in which we will build on this hard work.
I would like to say a few words on fundraising. The rules we established upon relaunch of the site were there to allow for the more professional operation that was so desperately needed. User-initiated fundraising cannot occur on this site, no matter how strongly individuals feel the project suggested are of benefit. Users here are often desperate and not well off. There is a paucity of available funds, and many ideas of how to spend hypothetical sums. In any circumstances, users have absolutely no way of ensuring delivery of these projects nor preventing fraudulent use. No user-asserted benefits or hopes for the outcomes of any solicitations could be quantified or verified, and it is beyond our capacity to do so. Users in poor financial circumstances cannot solicit financial support here. It is a tragic situation that many of our users are in a desperate state due to the effects of their condition, and the moderators cannot manage and verify the validity of individual claims to determine on a case by case basis.
Any projects intended to raise media awareness should be pursued on a purely volunteer basis. With hundreds of instances of media coverage, there has been no translational benefit whatsoever in terms of research or funding, nor any reason to believe there would be. While some users believe strongly that finances will inexplicably appear if a documentary were to be available on an internet service, this has occurred in several countries on national television with no increases in funding. Patients affected by other similar syndromes (Lupron) have also had substantial coverage with zero effect.
Owing to the paucity of molecular level investigation, the possible scope of any documentary is inherently limited at this point in time and would largely need to focus on people’s stories. We can - and should - achieve this without monetary expenditure via social media / YouTube. As we have multiple staff with professional editing skills, our YouTube series provides a perfect opportunity for users to share the impact Finasteride has had on them. When complete, this coherent series will serve as a huge benefit to awareness of the problem and can be shared by anyone seeking to drum up coverage from news organisations or film makers who want to explore these stories further with their own finances. We are currently in contact with the BBC who want to produce a short documentary on the issue for UK national TV and worldwide (via the internet) coverage. This again costs nothing, yet volunteers are few and far between. There are many opportunities for awareness beyond this that cost nothing, and user efforts should be focused squarely on the many zero-cost opportunities for spreading the word. Anyone seriously wanting to assist in the awareness of our issue should reach out to our media team, namely @Greek, @sugarhouse, @Borax or @axolotl.
We are working extremely hard to network and bring research proposals to the community and beyond for fundraising. These will be strictly in conjunction with scientists with demonstrable experience in applicable fields, providing clear proposals and structured models of funding. We have reason to be optimistic that the important work by the propeciahelp team and the fantastic contribution of users submitting their surveys will translate into practical research interest, and - importantly - better inform research.
Please remember, this site is the result of immeasurable personal efforts on the part of committed patients. While we appreciate member participation, we also ask for adherence to the terms of service and respect for the limits of the service we offer at no cost.
Thank you for your understanding. We are hopeful of being able to share news about upcoming opportunities in the coming months.
To wrap up, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the propeciahelp team for their relentless, selfless and excellent work they are doing for this community, every day. I hope every member of this site will join me in those thoughts.