Watts Hospital-Hillandale Neighborhood Association

WHHNA-List Policies

For the Google Group whhna-list@whhna.org, Version 1.2

Change Log

Items in RED have been updated since version 1.1.


The Board recognizes the significant value and duty the WHHNA mailing list performs for our community. It is critical that the list can continue to function as a tool for disseminating information and providing a common communication platform for all the members of our community.

To that end, the Board has adopted a mission statement for the list and a set of guidelines for posting and moderating posts to ensure that the list can continue to perform the stated mission.

Any current member that feels that they cannot agree to these new policies is asked to remove themselves from the list. Staying on the list is tantamount to agreement to these policies.

Mission Statement

The WHHNA Mailing List exists to provide a safe place for the WHHNA Board, WHHNA members, and members of the Watts Hospital-Hillandale neighborhood community at large to share and discuss pertinent, valuable, and neighborhood-focused ideas and messages. At its heart, the Mailing List was created to provide a communication tool to fulfill the purpose of the WHHNA.  As such, members should feel welcome to post calm, cogent, different viewpoints on a wide range of topics that affect our neighborhood without fear of being bullied, harassed, threatened or insulted. Neighbors will take priority over list members who are not neighbors.

Proximity Rule

The mission of the list places a strong focus on our neighborhood. In practice, posts about our neighborhood or by neighbors will take precedence. The more unique and specific to our neighborhood, the more appropriate the post. Moderator(s) will use the proximity rule when weighing whether a post or poster merits moderation or other intervention.

Who can be a member of the list?

Anyone can be a member. Members can receive mail from the list and can post to the list. When evaluating questionable postings, priority will be given to members in the neighborhood over members from outside our neighborhood. See the Proximity Rule.

Posting anonymously is discouraged. Anonymous posts are assumed to be from persons not related to the neighborhood and will be treated as from far, far away See the Proximity Rule.

What can I post? Are any topics off limits?

While you are free to say anything once, postings should, in some way, be consistent with the mission of the list. Curb alerts, announcements about events in the neighborhood, safety concerns, and upcoming NC legislation that could directly affect our neighborhood are all appropriate.

I can post about politics? Really?

Sure. There are many political conversations that have direct impacts on our neighborhood. House Bill 201 which would limit/eliminate the Protest Petition in zoning cases is a prime example of a political topic that directly affects our neighborhood. There are other political conversations, discussions about presidential candidates, for example, that certainly affect our neighborhood, but only insofar as we are part of a larger community.

What about commercial posts?

The WHHNA list is a non-commercial list. Neighborhood businesses (see the Proximity Rule) are welcome to post about once a month. New businesses or businesses promoting a special event will likely be given more leeway. If you make a commercial post, or one that appears to be commercial, don’t be surprised if a moderator(s) emails you to remind you of the once-a-month guideline.

So, what topics will attract the attention of a moderator(s)?

Any discussion on the list that so overwhelms other conversations will likely draw the attention of the moderator(s). Per the Proximity Rule, the closer the conversation is to the mission of the list, expect that conversation to have more latitude. Examples of such conversations are discussions of cankerworms, Halloween trick-or-treater counts, and W Club traffic calming efforts.

What about bullying, public shaming, ad hominem attacks, harassment, and trolling?

Bullying, public shaming, ad hominem attacks, harassment, trolling, and other offensive language will not be tolerated.

Language is hard. Posters need to be aware that posts that may appear innocuous may contain an unintended explosive payload. A moderator(s) will use the content and apparent intent of a post to judge whether a given post, or series of posts, is worthy of further scrutiny.

Expect a moderator(s) to step in quickly when a post crosses the line. The first action is likely to be an email to the poster explaining that a specific post or recent collection of posts is attracting the attention of the moderator(s) and to tone down future posts. Repeated posts that continue to push the envelope, or punch right through it, will likely trigger moderation. In some cases a member may be moderated immediately without any warning.

Members who use the list as a platform for bullying, shaming, ad hominem attacks, harassment, or trolling by sending private emails may be removed from the list. Any member that is receiving unwanted private email from another member in response to list post should contact the moderator(s) for review.

Accounts which gain membership and immediately post commentary on an ongoing controversial subject will be assumed to be trolls and placed on immediate moderation.

I’ve been moderated. Now what?

The moderator(s) will explain, typically in email, that your account has been moderated and will explain the reasoning. The default moderation period is 2 weeks. After 2 weeks, presuming no further posts warrant further moderation, your membership will return to normal status. You may petition the WHHNA board to have moderation lifted sooner.

While under moderation you may continue to post, but each post will be reviewed by a moderator prior to being sent to the entire list. In the case of an inappropriate display name or email address, the account may not be permitted to post until the display name has been changed. If the name is not changed within 2 weeks, the account will be removed from the list. Inappropriate mail addresses will be removed after 2 weeks.

Please remember that the WHHNA List Moderator(s) and the WHHNA Board of Directors are all volunteer positions. Immediate response may not be possible in all cases. Patience is a virtue.

I. Am. Offended. What can I do?

Resist the urge to fire off an emotional, shame-filled, missive.

Contact the moderator(s) and state your case.

You can reach them here: https://groups.google.com/a/whhna.org/forum/#!contactowner/whhna-list or you can email them at whhna-list+owners@whhna.org.

Guidelines for Moderator(s)

Don’t post anything on the behalf of others except in extreme circumstances (emergency health and safety, for example). You’re not the town crier.

Feel free to engage in conversation early. Frequently, it is sufficient to alert posters to the presence of the moderator(s) for the posters to calm down.

Post a reminder that these policies exist and consider posting them to the list on a regular basis.

Respond to moderated posts quickly (within hours if possible), moderation is not meant to be a punishment but a protective measure.

Respond to requests to change mail delivery options, subscription, or unsubscriptions. Point users in the direction of online help. If they report they’ve already tried that, go ahead and make the change for them.

Place the entire list on moderation when posters are keeping alive or reviving a topic that has already been addressed by the moderator. This typically occurs when users are catching up on email and are offended for the first time, but are several days late to the party.

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