GKN Community Guidelines
Good Karma Networks (GKNs) have been set up to provide those in a hyperlocal community with a safe online environment to connect, help each other and contribute positively to each other's lives. Their main purpose is to be an online space where neighbours can ask for help from each other. In response, other members may offer their assistance, knowledge, experience or resources as options for the poster to help solve their problem.
The GKNs are beneficial to the community for many different reasons, and our community guidelines are designed to maximise the problem-solving capacity (by minimising the potential for alienation of members) and create positive opportunities for those within it. They help to facilitate the positive, inclusive and supportive culture of the Good Karma Effect.
Each community of GKN members, including their Guardian (administrative) team, is collectively responsible for maintaining the positive culture and content of the group. As such we are all personally responsible for our contribution and the way we participate. If members are concerned about content, activity or engagement we encourage them to contact/alert the Guardian team either by sending a direct message or by using the ‘Report to admin’ function in the groups. Due to the algorithms of Facebook, Guardian teams may not see all of the content in the group and so rely on their members to help them keep the community as safe, helpful and relevant as possible.
The following information is provided for further clarification of the Good Karma Network guidelines contained in the announcement and files section of all official Good Karma Networks.
If you have any questions about these guidelines please contact your GKN Guardians (administrators) directly. Should you wish to discuss the guidelines or activity in the group further, make suggestions or appeal removal from the GKNs please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or send us a message via the Good Karma Effect Facebook page.
Requests for help
- Requesting to borrow things
- Requesting help to do things
- Requesting help to recycle things
- Requesting help to reduce your impact on the environment
- Requesting help with problems in your life
- Requesting advice/assistance/recommendations to help make decisions in your life.
- Requesting support for a cause/charity you are personally involved with (eg. Holding a local* fundraising event, starting a project to raise awareness of an issue, etc) NB. You must be taking the action yourself, not sharing information about action being initiated by someone else/an organisation.
- Looking for work/work experience: ONLY if you are under 18 years old OR trying to get by when unable to find regular or permanent work, so are open to all possibilities. The GKNs are a place to ask for help from your neighbours when you are in a difficult spot so your request for help when you are in this situation is welcome. This DOES NOT include advertising your skills in job seeking.
- Sharing your personal experiences of people doing good in the world (i.e. not reposting other people’s stories).
- Sharing a positive local* experience you’ve personally had that could brighten the day/contribute positively to the lives of all of the other members of the group. (Does not include any business promotional offers)
- Genuine/authentic recommendations for local* businesses that you’ve had a great experience with.
Community related content
- Local* information that might make life easier for other members of the network (i.e. power outages, traffic delays, flooding, etc.)
- Sharing initiatives, events and information that would benefit the local* community (e.g. a new playground, community group, events, craft/farmers markets, school fetes, community fairs, etc). This includes community events and activities in your suburb that are community driven and posted by individuals not businesses. (eg. Kensington Sunflower Competition)
- Posts about lost/found pets within the network suburb or adjoining suburbs only (ie. suburbs that share a border with your GKN suburb). When sharing from another group regarding lost/found pets, please provide context, not just a ‘share’ (e.g “please keep a look out for this dog, last seen in Champ St, Coburg”)
- Garage sales - An exception to the ‘no advertising’ rule. They are local* event where neighbours help each other recycle items (good for the environment) and save money (pay less than full price for items) while also fostering community spirit. Win-win.
- Advertising rooms for rent, breaking a lease, or individuals needing tenants – For properties in the network suburb only. All these cases involve two parties in need and offer opportunities to others in the community (i.e. for those in need of a place to live or who would like to bring friends and family into their neighbourhood).
- Posts relating to crime - Posts from people who would like some help/assistance relating to a crime are acceptable. However, posts must include a request that any information is to be provided directly to the poster by private message and comments must also be turned off. This is to reduce the possibility of negative contributions to the newsfeed. Compassionate and supportive messages sent directly to the poster are obviously encouraged.
- Surveys - If you are personally doing research and need people to complete a survey for your project, then you may post this on the GKN. However, it is not acceptable to solicit engagement/participation with incentives, or to share a survey that you are not personally involved with.
- Rehoming of animals - From 1 July 2019, everyone who advertises a puppy, kitten, dog or cat for sale or give away in Victoria will need to have a valid microchip number and a Pet Exchange Register source number. If you would like to try and find a new home for your animal through a GKN, then both of these must be included in your post. It will otherwise be deleted. Your vet can check if your animal has a microchip and you can register for a source number here - https://per.animalwelfare.vic.gov.au
Unacceptable posting or commenting
Please report the following behaviour or activity to your Guardian (admin) team
- Posts volunteering or offering anything including help or assistance – Offers are welcome only IN RESPONSE to requests for help in the group (ie.by commenting on a post). None of us know what the other members of the community need until they ask for it, and when they do, all members of the community are encouraged to provide their offers of assistance, suggestions, sharing of experience in the comments in order to help the poster and give them options that they may not have considered or had access to previously.***
- Sharing posts from other sources without your reason for sharing/involvement and/or context as to its relevance specifically to the local* community.
- Offering single-minded/rigid solutions – i.e. comments that imply that other members ‘should’ do something in particular due to your personal opinion. Your suggestion may be valuable, but may not be the best solution for others or the situation you are commenting on. We offer suggestions in response to people's posts with no expectations attached.
- Public Service Announcements (PSAs) - Not permitted UNLESS the information may help other members of the community avoid difficulties or obstructions in the neighbourhood eg. water and power outages, flooding, trees down, traffic incidents (without specific details that may identify or upset others) etc OR relates to local public amenities.
- Political or religious related content
- Judgement or negativity - Includes discrimination of any kind, swearing, bad language, public shaming, derogatory comments or any negative judgement of another member’s request, solution, decision, lifestyle, choice or ability to communicate in writing.
- Posts asking for or giving away prescription medication.
- Selling anything - Sellers may not look for buyers, however buyers MAY look for sellers (asking for help to find something). Price negotiations are to be conducted by private message, not comments.
- Business advertising – i.e. Posts promoting someone else’s business or your own business. This includes anything related to your own business or which could be considered to be promotion (i.e. offering free things that relate to your line of business/work, any post that mentions your business by name). Includes references to your businesses name, links to business websites or social media pages. NB If you have a local business and are able to offer an appropriate solution to someone's request for help in the group then you are welcome to comment on their post. All possible solutions may be helpful for the poster.
- People looking for housesitting jobs, or journalists looking for information for stories.
- Anything not directly relevant to the local* community – Posts that are not community focused or driven; and initiatives that are being promoted/activated by someone other than a local* community member. Examples include general/large organisations that operate in larger/non-specific areas (unless someone in the community is supporting them with local* community action)
- Reposts of non-local* info/events/news – That is, sharing posts/groups/news articles/memes that you think are important/funny/interesting simply because you think they are. This group is not about sharing things that are important to you, it is about helping people when they need it. This includes sharing posts from other pages without providing context that clarifies your personal involvement. NB. Sharing of local* events or information that is relevant to your local* community specifically is permitted, if it includes a note from you explaining its relevance/your involvement/why you are sharing.
- Posts soliciting signatures, votes or money for anything which is not relevant to the community or a project initiated by someone in it. Examples: A competition in which voting for a local* childcare centre could result in a grant being given to them - acceptable. Gaining support/votes/signatures for an initiative that you have started - acceptable. A petition to change something in your community – acceptable. A petition about action that is being taken outside of your community and not initiated by you - not acceptable. A crowdfunding campaign or fundraising for a non-local* initiative (e.g. seeking personal sponsorship for participation in a non-local* event or for a non-local* cause) - not acceptable. GoFundMe pages for personal (not community) interests (eg. raising funds for a dog, individual or family member that needs surgery) - not acceptable
- Sharing of others’ personal information – Sharing of any individual’s personal information (including photo, address, phone number, etc.) or information that may be used to identify them, without their express permission, is not acceptable. Except if you are attempting to return property to them - in this case, please prioritise safety for the owner of the property and be sensible with what information you share.
NB: *Local refers to ‘In our suburb’ not surrounding ones.
***All offerings of assistance/advice are made with no expectation of anything in return. This is not a trading forum, nor can any suggestion or offering be considered to be superior to any other. Some offerings will be a matter of opinion or perspective, others a matter of resource availability or personal position. All contributions that are in line with our guidelines are valuable and may be helpful to someone in need.
Removal of members from Good Karma Networks
Any member who posts repetitively outside of the GKN guidelines risks being removed from the group. Removal of a member from the GKNs (for this reason) only happens after the admin team has tried to contact the member by private message attempting to establish that they are aware of the purpose and guidelines of the group and understands them. We always seek first to understand the intentions of a post. Discussion about the reasons for removal of a post is always possible by contacting the admin team directly. If the administrative team is unable to communicate with a member then they may be removed from the group for the safety of the other members.
Unacceptable Engagement and Conduct
This conduct may result in immediate removal from the group
In order to keep our GKNs a safe place for people to ask for help, a member may be removed and blocked from the group immediately, without warning, if they engage in any of the following.
1. Trolling - Posting inflammatory, extraneous or off-topic messages with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.
2. Sharing others’ private information outside of the network – without their express permission. This includes any other person’s posts, private messages or information.
3. Blocked messaging - If the administrators are unable to communicate with you due to blocked messaging.
4. Disrespectful or negative responses to admins - including swearing or bad language.
5. Blatant disrespect for other members - either directly in our GKNs or in any other forums.
6. Dishonest conduct – any dishonest conduct including intentionally misleading or giving false information to the group, members or the admin team.
7. Derogatory or negative commentary about another member – either within our GKNs or in any other forum. Our members are expected to take full responsibility for their engagement, and as such if you are prepared to say something then you must be comfortable with the potential consequences of saying it.
Membership of GKNs – Your Good Karma Network depends on where you live
Membership of GKNs is focused on keeping our content and members as local to the area as possible so that our members know that they are asking for help from other locals who are emotionally invested in the wellbeing of the community. Some of our networks will only allow people who live in their suburb to join, and depending on the population of the area, number of current members, and activity level, Guardian teams may allow people who live in adjacent suburbs.
1. Join the group where you live - As GKNs are for neighbours to be able to help each other out, you are welcome to join the Good Karma Network that is closest to where you live, plus any in the suburbs immediately adjacent. This also keeps the groups to a manageable size for our admins.
2. If you move out of the area you are encouraged to leave that GKN and join one closer to where you are living, so that you are a member of the branch that is most helpful for you. Administrators may remove any members who are found to no longer be living in their suburb.
3. Be honest about where you are based - As GKNs rely on the honesty of members in order to remain a safe place to ask for help, if any information is received that you have not honestly answered any questions about your residential location, you may be removed immediately.
4. Special cases - The administrators of GKNs reserve the right to permit access to GKNs under other conditions, which can be discussed with them by private message.
Responsible engagement is everyone's responsibility
Posters are free to decide on the best course of action for themselves and their situation after considering the information they receive when asking for help on GKNs. As such, posters take FULL RESPONSIBILITY for the decisions that they make. What is best for any one of us is not necessarily best for others in our community. GKNs provide the opportunity for people to discover new information, perspectives and possibilities to factor into their decision-making, which may create more positive outcomes for them and those affected by their decisions. Members are expected to take full responsibility for their part in any interactions they participate in, prioritising the safety of themselves and other members. This includes taking consideration of personal information, belongings, physical safety and wellbeing, and also the choice of language for engagement/posting/ commenting. We have the ability to help keep each other safe from harm and the Good Karma Effect supports and encourages all members of our communities to prioritise this. We all have a choice about the way we engage: please choose to be responsible.
NB: GKN Guardians take no responsibility for the outcomes of any interactions that occur in their GKNs as they are unable to directly influence an individual’s actions.
Introducing the PAUSE button
The Good Karma Effect would like to encourage everyone to consider PRESSING THE METAPHORIC PAUSE BUTTON before pressing the post button. Before posting, please consider:
- Are you asking for help or support from your community?
- What are your intentions for making the post?
- How will your post affect others in the GKN environment? (This is a public forum so it is important to consider the size of the group and who may be watching.)
- Whether the post is appropriate for the GKN environment (i.e. in line with the purpose, guidelines and values of the group).
Thanks very much for Being Amazing!