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Community Guidelines

Please review the Community Guidelines before making a new post.

We’re a curated community that’s different than a typical open forum. We don’t tolerate posts that are mean, foolish, or downgrade the quality of our community. We expect users to be positive and helpful toward others. And by doing so, we believe we can make a difference in each other’s lives. To learn how our community is moderated see the FAQ section below.

1. No personal attacks, labeling, or name-calling.
Respect others and practice common courtesy. Some examples of personal attacks are calling a person “stupid,” “a child,” “a b.tch,” “a whore,” etc, or making a mean accusation. This includes hateful, degrading, offensive, abusive, vulgar, physically threatening or defamatory language. No attacks on others based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or disease. Also, no targeted ranting, gossiping or spreading negative talk against other users or people (this includes participation in libel, slander, or defamation of users, moderators or developers on other sites). No public complaining if your post is bumped down or closed (email the dev team directly to request more info rather than complaining publicly and stirring drama) and no public complaining if someone has blocked you (this stirs unnecessary drama).

2. No sexually descriptive posts or sex advice to minors.
Sex advice (descript and nondescript) should not be given to minors (younger than 18) because it’s overly controversial promoting strangers giving teenagers sex advice. This includes questions on when to have sex, how to, when others had sex, masturbation, pornography, etc. Minors should go to trusted adults or their school guidance counselor for appropriate materials and resources. Birth control and teenage pregnancy (including abortion/adoption) advice to minors should be limited to giving options rather than dictating or telling them what to do. Sex-related advice can be given to other adults if the conversation is nondescript (meaning doesn’t go into details describing sexual activity). Keep in mind that even though we require users to be 13 years or older to register a social account, children as young as 9 or 10 years old can be browsing our app. We want to keep the content safe for them and we also need to abide by Apple’s ban on apps with excessively objectionable content.

3. Don’t pick an argument.
On topics where there’s disagreement, respect the opinion of others and their right to disagree. Don’t force your views on others (ie., “you must think this way”) and don’t degrade people who disagree with you (ie., “you’re stupid to think that way”). Don’t assume others share in your religious, moral, political and sexual beliefs and don’t be overly argumentative, rude, or too abrasive.  Picking an argument or pushing your beliefs onto others can include: 1) posting an opposing belief in another person’s post and then aggressively pushing an argument in that post, 2) calling another person’s opinion “stupid”, “bullshit”, “lame”, etc., 3) telling another person to “shut up,” “go to hell”, etc., 4) attacking a person harshly, even if the person isn’t a user in the app, 5) making blanket statements or generalizing groups of people (“X people are stupid” or “X country is full of ***holes), 6) demanding people to change their views or beliefs, 7) telling people their views or beliefs are “ridiculous” or “idiotic”, 8) showing disrespect or an overly harsh attitude toward other people’s views and beliefs, or 9) posting a profile pic that shows an overly harsh attitude toward others or other people’s views and beliefs, or 10) constantly pushing controversial topics and telling people what to believe.

4. No spam.
No advertisements, peddling your own products or affiliate links, or soliciting funds.  No posting the same post into multiple groups (this is annoying to our users).  No excessive posting of irrelevant content.  No promoting outside groups, forums, online or physical meetings, social networks (including Facebook groups) or apps without prior permission from the dev team (we don’t want people spamming our users or promoting products, services, groups, or meetings that we can’t vouch for).  No over-posting into groups (multiple posts a day of low quality that crowd the group’s feed).  Also, no fundraising posts even if it’s for good purposes as our team doesn’t have the resources to investigate and vet each fundraising post (and we don’t want to expose our users to possible scams).

5. No obscene language.
Group posts are seen by a lot of people, some who are really young. Don’t use language you wouldn’t use in front of a 5-year old.

6. Don’t make up false stories, mislead users or impersonate someone you’re not.
Our community isn’t a place to pretend you’re pregnant or impersonate someone else.  Our dev team has spent countless hours cleaning up the mess of these fake users and repair the damage done in our community.  That’s why we consider this type of violation as one of the most serious and damaging violations possible.  Impersonation and identity theft can also be illegal (see California Section 528.5).

7. Use common sense.
Don’t give foolish advice or make ridiculous comments that can be taken offensively. Don’t post material that violates copyright laws. No posting of private information of another person without their permission.  No posts that can be taken as condoning or promoting illegal drug use, self-harm, violence, or any illegal activity.  No posts with photos that are excessively objectionable (ie., self-harm, nudity, illegal drugs, illegal activity, overly gross images, etc.  Photos of CM/discharge can only be posted in the CM/Discharge Photo Feedback group).  No posts describing an intent or suggesting to physically harm, injure or kill another person.  No posts describing an intent to self-harm (note: those at risk should get to a safe place and seek urgent professional help).  No posting harmful or misleading information.

8. You must be 13 years old or older to participate in the community.   (You must be 18 years or older to participate in the TTC category.)

9. Don’t use the community against the developers who created it. That’s just not cool.  No posting of complaints on how moderators or the dev team is managing the community.  Be cooperative with the moderators and don’t obstruct them from doing their job (ie., don’t be rude, accusing, blocking, or mocking of them).  If you have a complaint against the moderators or dev team, please email us directly without having to involve everybody in a he-said-she-said fight.

10. No gaming the system by setting up multiple accounts, giving helpful points to self through another account, or excessive use of the vote down or abuse report system.

This is a living document that will evolve as we’re presented with new situations.

FAQs

What is the “3 strike” system?
The 1st “strike” a user receives will be a warning for violating community guidelines.  The 2nd strike will be either a warning or a temporary suspension, depending on the violation.  The 3rd strike against a user will result in a 3-month suspension.  After the 3 month suspension is over their posting privileges will be restored but they will be on a 3 month probation during which time if they receive two strikes then they will be suspended for another 3 months.  A third suspension will be permanent and will be not just on the account but on the user so if the user chooses to sign up for a new account we will do our best to suspend the new account as well.  If a user is permanently banned they may send us a written petition after two years has passed asking us to consider to remove the permanent ban, at which time our dev team will consider each case individually.

How will I be notified of a strike against me?
When a “strike” is issued our dev team will email the user a notice to their login email address.  In the future, we are planning on adding a feature to notify the user within the app and the ability for a user to view how many strikes they currently have.

When is a user immediately given a permanent ban?
If the offense is severe enough the dev team might use their discretion to immediately permanently ban an user and not issue a 1st or 2nd strike. In the past we have given immediate permanent bans to trolls, spammers, fraudulent users, those cursing other users, and those who severely degraded the quality of the community.  Further, if a user is given a strike and they reply to us with a rude or inappropriate comment, then they will receive another strike or if the language is severe enough (ie., profanity or threat) they’ll receive an immediate permanent ban. Also, if a user is given a suspension and creates a new account during the suspension, the dev team will consider issuing a permanent ban.

Who decides who gets a strike?
Strikes will be given out at the discretion of the dev team.  The dev team has expressed their expectations and standards of behavior for the community in the Community Guidelines.  We will be relying heavily on the community to report abuses and then we will be making our own decisions on when and to whom to issue strikes.  When reporting an abuse, it’s helpful if you write your reason/explanation for reporting the abuse but don’t demand or threaten us to give a strike against a user since our dev team will review and do its own due diligence.

Who investigates drama that gets out of hand?
When there is an argument that has gotten out of hand, the dev team will investigate and issue appropriate strikes against users who had a role in instigating and promoting the argument.  The dev team will use its discretion by reviewing the appropriate conversations and evaluating each user’s role in instigating and escalating the argument.  The dev team in most cases will choose not to share which users have received strikes against their accounts.  Occasionally the dev team might share that a certain user or users have received strikes or suspensions against their account, but this is at the discretion of the dev team.  The purpose of this would be to diffuse the drama and assure the community that action has been taken.

How long does a strike last?  Does it ever expire?
Currently a strike does not have an expiration date, so a strike remains on your account indefinitely.  At a future time, we might reconsider and might choose to give a strike a statute of limitations (ie., expires after 1 or 2 years).

When are time-outs given?
We give timeouts on a case-by-case basis.  Usually this happens during heated arguments/drama and we will issue timeouts to users who need to cool down.  Also, if a user spreads false information or complaints that misrepresent the moderators or dev team, then we might issue a timeout so that we can have time to clear up the misinformation.

What should I do if I’ve been given a strike?
If you’re given a strike, please don’t publicly post a complaint about it as it will only complicate matters and cause unnecessary drama.  The best thing is to correspond via email, and if you feel like you’ve been given a strike unfairly you can state your case directly.

I can’t stand a specific user?  What should I do?
First, always stay respectful and don’t lash out on others users even if they’ve been rude to you.  The best way is to first block those users so they can’t reply to posts that you’ve started (Currently blocking users prevents them from posting on posts that you start but you’re still able to see their posts and they can see your posts.  We’re considering changing how this works.).  Second, if they’re in clear violation of the community guidelines then report the specific posts/replies that are in violation and write an explanation.  It doesn’t help to report a post/reply that isn’t in clear violation of the guidelines since when the dev team issues warnings it usually gives specific examples to the user.  So, when you report a user’s posts/replies, report specific examples when they’re in clear violation of the guidelines and explain that in the report. In other words, don’t report “this user is always rude to everyone.”  Rather, report each incident where they were clearly rude and in violation of the guidelines so that our dev team can gather those posts as examples when issuing a warning to the user.

How do abuse reports work?
If someone reports abuse the post is automatically bumped down until one of our team members can review the report (we review each and every report and review the user histories of the reported against and reporter if needed).  If too many of one person’s posts are being reported as abuse, it becomes quite evident and we can warn them directly (we keep track of the # abuse reported and received for each user).  If you encounter a user that has a pattern of being disrespectful and mean to other users, please report their posts and add an explanation in your reports.

How do helpful and vote down buttons work?
Each post and reply has a hidden quality score that is raised or lowered depending on the # helpful or vote down votes it receives.  If the score reaches a certain low level, the post can be bumped down (shows lowers in a group).  And if the score reaches an even lower level, posts can be hidden from the group and replies can be collapsed.  We are able to view all the post/replies that are being voted down and we can see if anybody is abusing the system by voting down too many posts.

How do you handle fraudulent users?
If we receive reports that a user’s story has inconsistencies and may be fraudulent, we’ll email them a form to confirm their identity which requires them to send us copy of a gov’t-issued photo id (private info blacked out is okay).  If they don’t comply and we’ve received multiple fraud complaints against the user, we’ll suspend their account. For new users we have an automated system if a new user has more abuse (and vote downs) reported against them than helpful points, then their posts/replies have a lower quality score than other users so their posts are more easily bumped down if voted down.  This is to prevent certain people from creating new accounts to post spam or stir trouble.

Why can’t I post complaints about other users, the moderators or dev team?
If a user posts a complaint about other users, the moderators or dev team, this creates problems for us as we need to now address not only the original issue but also all those that read/replied to the conversation.  It makes it 10x more difficult for us to resolve the issue. So, if you see a complaining post, tell the user to email us directly (support@gpapps.com) and not to assume anything or accuse others prematurely. If you want to know why a post was closed, feel free to email us directly so we can investigate.

How can I become a moderator?
Currently we’re not accepting new applications for moderators. We have a system where there are some groups with moderators who are given the privilege to bump down, close conversations, or even suspend users if needed.  We originally thought we would have moderators for each individual group, but this has proved to be not all that effective.  We’re currently thinking of revamping our moderator system and having a just one team of moderators for the whole community who can help our dev team in reviewing abuse reports and address conflicts and issues in the community.

Why was my controversial post bumped down?
Controversial posts/surveys if reported are often left in the bumped down state as currently we don’t have a dedicated space or resources to monitor and support what it takes to have healthy discussion over controversial topics that often degrade into people being offended and hurt.  Some examples of controversial posts are moral, religious or political issues (ie., abortion, gay marriage, religion, etc).  If your post falls into one of these categories and gets bumped down, don’t get overly upset about it.  Even though a post/survey is bumped down it’s still visible to all your followers and also just shows lower in the group.  If the discussion gets out of hand and reported by enough users, the post/survey can be closed or hidden.  We would love to support such discussion but we don’t have in place what it takes to do it well.  So, if you need to discuss such issues you can find dedicated places online to do so.

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