Keeping difficult conversations civil

The tone of each forum is ultimately up to its participants. It is members’ responsibility to help keep their FPF civil and constructive. If you’re planning to weigh in on a discussion topic, please make sure to keep these guidelines in mind: 

  • When posting about a heated topic, focus on issues, not neighbors. Mentioning specific people can result in readers taking sides, rather than discussing  the matter at hand.
  • If a posting isn't totally clear, don't assume the worst about what your neighbor means. Consider giving the benefit of the doubt; ask questions.
  • Avoid being snarky. A sarcastic attitude can convey disrespect, and harm local relationships.
  • When replying to the forum about a heated subject, consider letting your draft sit overnight before hitting “Submit.”
  • Do not email a personal attack directly to the author of an FPF posting. That violates FPF's Terms of Use and is grounds for removal.
  • If you enter into a debate on your FPF, be prepared for and open to pushback. You will likely hear from people who disagree with your point of view. Disagreement does not necessarily constitute a personal attack.
  • Use FPF to start and accelerate community conversation about challenging topics. Please consider taking extended debate elsewhere — ideally to an in-person, facilitated discussion.

While we understand the impulse to engage in conflict online, please remember that on FPF you are talking with your neighbors — real people who are a part of your community.