Only to a degree...
Neighbourly is designed to be a safe space for kind community communication. Unlike other social networks, all users are identified by full name and location, so unkind conversations can leave people feeling particularly vulnerable.
Members can certainly bring alternate views to discussions (as neighbours often do!) and raise topics on Neighbourly that matter to them, but the Neighbourly website is still a moderated platform with a set of rules (known as the Neighbourly Guidelines). These rules dictate what members should and shouldn’t post, and all members inherently agree to our rules and site terms when creating an account.
You may be thinking it’s not very neighbourly to enforce rules, or prevent someone from having their say - and from time to time members feel that our moderation of their content goes against their freedom of speech.
However, Neighbourly is a private platform. Just as you might have rules as to what is acceptable in your home, we similarly have rules outlining what is acceptable to post on our website. With that in mind, members who go against the host's values (here being our Guidelines) may be asked to refrain from saying these things and/or leave.
Why are guidelines and moderation necessary?
The Neighbourly platform has been designed as:
- a place to have productive and locally relevant conversations
- a site encouraging kindness and collaboration
- a safe space for neighbours to contribute to discussions
As such, we take care to ensure content on Neighbourly is purposeful. Moderation improves member experiences by removing any ‘noise’ that gets in the way of productive neighbourhood discussions. By ‘noise’ we mean anything we consider to be:
- Offensive language
- Ranting, venting and hostility
- Personal attacks and insults
- Offensive material
- Inciting violence
- Public criticism
- Sexual material
- Naming and shaming
- Derogatory or dehumanising terms (such as scumbag, lowlife, mongrel)
- Fake news or misinformation
- Anything distracting or destructive to neighbourhood conversation
You can report a post or reply at any time by following these instructions.
If you’re ever unsure about what you can post on Neighbourly, please get in touch with us and our Member Experience Team will be happy to guide you.
We reserve the right to disable replies on any post if we feel it is creating disharmony or is likely to attract further guideline breaches. If our team has to remove more than 5 responses under a post we will automatically disable comments to keep the situation from escalating. Repetitive guideline breaches will result in account closure.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1) Does the Neighbourly team simply pick what they dislike and take it down?
No! Our team is fully trained and follows a protocol on how to determine what is acceptable for the platform or not. This is mainly based on our Guidelines, as well as policies which you can find in our Help Section.
2) What about Free Speech? Aren't we supposed to be able to say whatever we like?
We want Neighbourly to be a space for important discussions and varied opinions, however it's important to remember it is a private platform. You could liken Neighbourly to being a house and our members being guests - everyone is welcome to speak freely, but if their thoughts go against our values (here being our Guidelines), we do reserve the right to respectfully ask them to refrain from saying these things and/or leave.
3) Why has my content has been removed? I can't find an explanation!
When our team moderates a post or comment, we always send an email to the poster explaining which Guidelines they breached and why their post/comment was removed. While the explanation is not made public on the platform, the poster will always have that information at arm's reach alongside a link to contact us [we recommend members check their email Spam folder if they cannot locate the email].
4) How do you find what posts to moderate? Do you scroll through the feeds?
Neighbourly has short of a million users dotted all over Aotearoa, so we unfortunately don't have the time to manually scroll through all the feeds. However, our system automatically picks up content that contains inappropriate wording, is likely to cause disharmony or was reported by a member. This is why, although we moderate hundreds of posts a day, we might miss the odd problematic post. If you see a post you feel should have been moderated, please report it (by using the three dots next to a post) so we can take a look.
5) Who picks what appears in my Morning Digest emails?
Morning digest emails are automatically generated by our system which picks the most popular posts in your area and what you're likely to be most interested in. It is unique to each member. We try our best to remove any inappropriate content before the emails are sent out, but we may exceptionally miss problematic posts (which explains why a post featured in your morning digest might be unavailable later in the day).