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Community Guidelines

Open Social Open Social • 4 January 2018

Community Guidelines

It’s important to make new users feel welcome in your community and to provide the right tools to get started. A good way to do this, is to create a list of guidelines/tools. We have created an example which you can copy and use as a template and tailor it to your own needs.

The following template will help you introduce your users to the community and provide user guidance. 


Community Guidelines Template

Community Guidelines and Policies

Being in a community with others requires adopting some common standards. Thank you for playing your part in co-creating a space for connection, collaboration, and inspiration.


  • Be kind to one another.
  • Ask questions. Someone else will learn from every question that you ask.
  • Listen deeply. Seek to understand other perspectives and speak about your perspective, without seeing it as an absolute truth.
  • Be open and vulnerable. Share your plans, strategies, and goals, your challenges and successes, your personal development, your missteps, and the lessons you learned along the way.
  • Share opportunities that you are excited about.
  • Offer honest and encouraging feedback to each other, and to the community.
  • Stay on topic, or start a new discussion.
  • Act affirmatively to clear conflict and maintain positive, mutually enhancing relationships.

This community is for:

  • Connecting with people who share similar interests.
  • Finding and promoting community events.
  • Sharing your insights, interests, ideas, and reflections.
  • Interacting with other members of the online community to develop new interests, ideas, and insights.
  • Learning about opportunities available and providing input on opportunities that you would like to see.

This community is NOT for:

  • Disparaging the community, its programs, staff, partners, other members of the online community, or other members of the community.
  • Promoting agendas that don't align with the goals of the community.
  • Commercial advertising or mass promotion for other organizations.


Any violation of the guidelines above as determined by the community staff, will be handled according to the following process:

  • An initial violation will result in a written explanation of the offending behavior and a warning about the consequences of further violations.
  • A second violation will result in a written explanation of the offending behavior and a reminder that further violations will result in losing access to the community.
  • A third violation will receive a written explanation of the offending behavior and will result in losing access to the community for 3 months. At the end of that time period, the offender will be invited to re-engage in the community.
  • A fourth violation will result in permanent removal from the online community.

This community may choose to skip over steps in this process based on the severity of the violation.