Community Management Policy

I. Purpose:

In support of our mission and principles, the Organization promotes and respects individual’s right to a nurturing and supportive online community. The purpose of the Community Management Policy is to outline expectations in online spaces so that representatives and community members may work together to further the mission of our Organization. This policy exists in alignment with other Organization’s policy including (but not limited to) the Organization’s Code of Conduct.

II. Scope:

This policy applies to all representatives (volunteers, employees, contractors and Board Directors) of the Organization regardless of agreement and/or rank. Any representative that is found to be in violation of any element of this policy may receive disciplinary action as outlined in the appropriate section.

Additionally, this policy applies to all individuals (regardless of their professional relationship with the Organization) who participate in the Organization’s online spaces (e.g. forum). Any individual that is found to be in violation of guidelines listed are subject to disciplinary actions as outlined in our General Guidelines section.

III. Elements:

A. Community Management Structure

  1. Community Manager

The Community Manager will be appointed by the Board of Directors (Board). In absence of a Community Manager, an Interim Community Manager will be selected. The Interim Community Manager may be a member of the Board. The responsibilities of the Community Manager includes:

  • Overseeing, hiring and dismissing Moderators
  • Developing and implementing new avenues for online outreach of the Organization, in collaboration with relevant teams (such as the Social Media and Content teams).
  • Maintaining existing avenues of online outreach

2. Moderators

Moderators will be selected by the Community Manager. Moderator responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring that the guidelines that are outlined in this policy are adhered to within the Organization’s online spaces (e.g. forum).
  • Interpreting the spirit of the guidelines and enforcing the guidelines in the Organization’s online spaces.
    • The moderator team is empowered to act independently and without direct input from the Community Manager, but may refer issues that defy consensus or warrant attention from the broader organization to them.
  • Responding in a timely matter to issues that may arise within the community.
  • Providing any relevant reports or updates to the Community Manager.
  • Being identifiable as a moderator.
  • Providing a welcoming environment as an authority in the Organization’s online spaces.

3. General guidelines

  • Other Organization policies:
    • All community members shall follow the guidelines as well as related organizational policies (e.g. Code of Conduct). They are charged to follow the spirit of the guidelines as well as the letter, and enforcement of the guidelines will place primary value on honoring that spirit.
    • Any questions regarding guidelines should be referred to a Moderator
  • Expectations within online Community:
    • Online communication, particularly in groups that span a variety of professional and personal backgrounds, has many failings.  Community community members are charged to grant the benefit of the doubt to each other and seek amicable solutions to disagreements.  Where doing so is inappropriate, the best course is to call Moderator attention to the situation and seek resolution that way.
    • Treat others with respect. Community members may disagree. Do it respectfully.
    • Intrinsic qualities of an individual shall be respected and shall not be used as a reason to bully, threaten or be otherwise abusive. All forms of harassment as detailed in the Code of Conduct are strictly prohibited.
    • Off topic comments are permitted if they don’t cause problems. However, at moderator discretion they will be forked to new topics.
    • Conversations which introduce controversy and strife without bearing relevance to or serving the organization’s mission are inappropriate and will be closed.
    • Any allegation of harassment should be referred to a Moderator or by using the Organization’s complaint form.
    • Anything that is posted within our online community is subject to potential review and may be removed as deemed appropriate by Moderators and/or the Community Manager.
  • Legal statement: Community members shall not post or transmit any information or material or otherwise use the Organization’s online spaces (including emails associated with the Organization) for any activity which breaches any laws or regulations, violates a third party’s rights/privacy or is contrary to any relevant Organizational or legal regulation, code, or policy. Community members and representatives of the Organization also shall not permit or enable another to do any of these activities.

4. Malicious content

Community members and organizational representatives shall not transmit any virus or other material that tampers with, hinders the operation of, or otherwise makes unauthorized modifications of any of the Organization’s online spaces.

5. Consequences:

  • Moderators have the ability to enforce the guidelines listed within this policy.
  • Penalties for violations of these guidelines range from issuing warnings to revoking accounts and referring the individual to board for further consequences.
  • If a community member sees a violation of these guidelines, they can report it to the Moderators by flagging within the forum.

6. User Agreement

  • By becoming a community member of the Organization’s online community, individuals are agreeing to accept the guidelines listed here and adhere to them.
  • As needed, these guidelines may be updated. Any updates shall be shared with the community. By continuing to participate in the community, individuals shall be deemed to have accepted the updated guidelines and agree to adhere to them.

7. Non-Affiliated Online Presence

  • Expectations: It is expected that all Organizational representatives will act in accordance to the Community Management Policy and any other relevant organizational policy (e.g. Code of Conduct) to the best of their abilities at all times, even in non-affiliated spaces. Failure to do so could result in termination of their relationship with the Organization.
  • Questions related to this section of the policy may be forwarded to

8. Reporting Violations

Please refer to the Code of Conduct section on “Reporting Violations and Anti-retaliation” for further guidance.

9. Consequences:

Violations of the Organization’s policies may result in disciplinary action. Disciplinary actions will vary depending on the violation and is up to the discretion of the governing body.

Possible consequences include but are not limited to:

  • Reprimand
  • Demotion or removal from formal position
  • Suspension from the Organization
  • Termination from the Organization