Friends of Five Points Listserve Policy

(Updated January 22, 2019)

Thank you for joining the Friends of Five Points neighborhood organization listserve. By joining this listserve, you agree to follow the policies set by FOFP. FOFP reserves the right, after fair warning, to suspend listserve membership for anyone who violates one or more of these policies. FOFP reserves the right to modify the listserve policy at any time and to exercise discretion when dealing with violations.


The Friends of Five Points listserve aims to enhance the quality of residential life in and around the Five Points neighborhood of Athens, Georgia by facilitating communication amongst neighbors. The listserve provides an electronic forum for announcements, questions and discussion pertaining to living in the Five Points community. Any views or opinions expressed in e-mails (and attachments) posted to the listserve are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Friends of Five Points neighborhood organization.

This is an un-moderated listserve. Listserve contributions that are posted correctly are sent immediately to members without having to go through an approval step. The role of the listserve administrators is solely to manage subscriptions and monitor communications for violations of the policy. The listserve administrators do not generally exercise editorial control.


FOFP maintains this listserve for the benefit of people living in the Five Points area, including residents, property owners, and the business community. You must be a resident, property owner, or Five Points business to participate. You may be asked to prove your association with Five Points. If you don’t meet these requirements, but have a connection to Five Points that you feel makes you eligible for participation, you may be asked to explain why you want to join the listserve, and the administrators can use discretion to determine membership eligibility. The listserve administrators do our best to enforce these eligibility requirements. If you believe that a member of the listserve does not meet these eligibility requirements, you may report your concerns to the administrators.


The FOFP board reserves the right to suspend or revoke listserve membership for anyone who violates one or more of these policies. The FOFP board also reserves the right to modify these policies at any time, without prior notice. Publicly posting about perceived listserve violations and moderation is not allowed on the listserve. Subscribers may privately e-mail the administrators with a complaint or suggestion. Public conversations about moderation detract from the intended purpose of the listserve.

 Posting Guidelines

  • Post reasonably and responsibly.
    • Please respect other subscribers of the listserve. Please use the listserve to communicate event information, news and items of interest to FOFP members, and to engage in respectful and courteous discussion. When posting about potentially controversial topics, please communicate in a way that is informative and constructive. Your posts should make a positive contribution to the Five Points community.
    • Please keep posts neighborly by refraining from personal attacks.
  • Be kind.
    • Any post that is intended to provoke or inflame is not permitted. Personal attacks, name-calling, ridicule, harsh or uncivil language, profanity, or inappropriate attachments are not allowed on the listserve.
    • Defamatory postings about persons or business are prohibited.
  • Keep it readable.
    • Please use descriptive headings in the subject line for all messages that you post to the listserve so that recipients can clearly see what the message is about prior to opening it.
    • When writing a message, keep it brief and state the purpose in the first paragraph.
  • Respect the privacy of others.
    • Posting someone’s home address or phone number or posting private or personal correspondence without their written permission is not allowed.
  • Keep it relevant.
    • Local business owners may share occasional information about special events of interest to residents or emergency services to serve the residents of Five Points. Postings directly from commercial entities are discouraged. Occasional postings about personal services (babysitting, dog walking, etc.) from members of FOFP are welcome.
    • Requesting money for one’s own personal expenses or business needs is not allowed on the listserve. Fundraising posts for local causes are allowed. Examples of allowed posts include school fundraisers, local pet rescue, local arts organizations, local food banks, charity walks/runs, etc., local disaster relief or emergency assistance, kids’ bake sales, lemonade stands, or similar youth efforts. While posting about fundraising events for local political candidates is allowed, these event announcements may not include explicit donation requests for political candidates.
  • Keep out spam.
    • Posts from emails that are not registered with the FOFP listserve are reviewed and approved at the discretion of the FOFP listserve administrators. The listserve administrators typically catches spam and emails sent to multiple addresses.
  • Use your true identity.
    • The Friends of Five Points listserve is a communication platform for you and the people who live in your local community. To that end, using your true identity and honestly representing yourself are key parts of being a listserve subscriber.
    • When you post to the FOFP listserve, you must use your real name. By real name, we mean the first name that you use when introducing yourself to neighbors, friends, and colleagues and your legal last name.
    • Using your real name helps to build trust among neighbors. This leads to better communication and fosters a stronger community.
    • Subscribers using fake names may be suspended from the listserve. Subscribers may bring potential fake names to the attention of the administrators.
    • Please contact the administrators if you need help updating the name associated with your subscription.

Controversial topics, politics and campaigning

Our intent is that the FOFP listserve be a place where neighbors can discuss local issues that are important to them in ways that are constructive, civil, respectful, and that build community. We also recognize that, while being important, these issues can also be divisive. Please do not attack, berate, bully, belittle, insult, harass, threaten, troll, or swear at others or their views even if you disagree with them.

In general, please don’t use the FOFP listserve as a soapbox or place to air grievances. It’s okay to use the listserve to mobilize neighbors to attend a meeting, event, rally, etc. However, please refrain from pushing pet projects too hard, provoking, ranting, over-posting, dominating or hijacking conversations, or political campaigning. If you post your views on potentially controversial issues, please try to explain to the listserve why you have that opinion. Ask yourself: am I adding any new information to this conversation? Such posts should contribute to constructive conversation, not provoke argument.

Views on what constitutes a controversial topic always vary among individuals. Nonetheless, do not use the listserve to air your personal views on non-local issues that are known to be highly controversial, and think carefully before posting about local political issues. Discussion about issues that affect your neighborhood are an important part of building community, yet these conversations can often turn heated as they can bring out deeply held opposing views. We rely on every member to use their good judgment and restraint to keep such conversations productive. You may discuss local ballot measures or elections in a civil and respectful manner. You may introduce yourself once if you are running for local public office. You may post local politics-related events, like voter registration drives, information sessions, candidate forums, rallies, etc. You may not tell your neighbors how to vote on a specific issue or candidate. This is campaigning and is not allowed.

If a non-local political issue is raised, we recognize that there is value in neighbors discussing such issues, but we ask the participants to move the conversation into a private email thread. If, for example, you see a non-local policy issue come up that you would like to discuss with your neighbors, you could send an e-mail to the listserve and ask anyone who wishes to join the conversation to e-mail you privately so that you can start a private thread. You could also suggest an in-person group meeting to talk about the issue.

Do’s and don’ts regarding local politics

  • It is an appropriate use of the listserve to send a notice about an upcoming forum, informal gathering, or meeting about (or in support of) a political candidate.
  • It is an appropriate use of the listserve to introduce your candidacy for a public office once.
  • It is an appropriate use of the listserve to send a notice about voter registration events.
  • It is not an appropriate use of the listserve to discuss the relative merits of one candidate over the other.
  • If you see something that you think crosses the line, you are welcome to let us know, but please know that we see it too (and in some cases are addressing it privately), and the best thing is to not fan the flame.

In summary: Please treat each other with respect. Listserve conversations must remain civil. This is not always easy because we care passionately about the places we call home – our neighborhood.


The FOFP listserve is meant to be a place for neighborly discussion. You are encouraged to post about topics that matter to you and rally your neighbors to take action, but please do so without ranting. How can you tell something is a rant? It is a message that makes members feel shouted at and usually includes a combination of the following: ALL CAPS, excessive punctuation, provocative language, judgmental accusations, or repetitive explanations.


Over-posting means repeatedly posting about the same topic, event or items for sale. In general, items should not be posted more than once. For example, if you are selling an item, such as a sofa or dresser, you may post about the item’s initial availability and again when it has sold. If you are posting about your babysitting or pet-walking service, please restrict your posts to a maximum of once per quarter.

Dominating or hijacking conversations

A great neighborhood is like a great team. Research has shown that teams work best when conversations are not dominated by one or just a few voices. We believe that this applies to neighborhoods as well. Regularly dominating conversations, shouting down others, or hijacking conversations to return to your issue is not acceptable behavior on the FOFP listserve.

Provocative or inflammatory postings

Posting in a way that appears intended to provoke others is a violation of the spirit of this listserve and is therefore prohibited. Determining provocative language is somewhat subjective; however, subscribers should think twice about posting in a way that either provokes argument or ‘pours fuel on the flames’ of an already controversial discussion.

(Parts of this policy were adapted from Next Door’s Community Guidelines). The FOFP Listserve Policy was last updated by the FOFP board on January 22, 2019.