LinkingHuts Community Guidelines

Our mission is to provide a trusted platform where neighbours & other members like Businesses & Neighbourhood Admins work together to build stronger, safer & happier communities, all over the world.

LinkingHuts (Hereafter referred to as either “LinkingHuts” or “LH”) is a company that aims to put its members first when it comes to making important decisions. To ensure these discussions help our members, LH has put in place Community Guidelines outlining the types of discussions and content that are acceptable on LinkingHuts, and what may be deemed inappropriate and stopped by LH. These community guidelines are intended to provide our members guidance and complement the Member’s Agreement governing your use of, and participation in, LinkingHuts’ online services.

We want all members to feel welcome, safe, and respected while using LinkingHuts. For that reason, we've developed a set of Community Guidelines describing what behaviours are allowed and what are not on LinkingHuts. The crux of our Guidelines can be boiled down to one simple statement: Everyone here is either your neighbour or a friend and if neither, then at least a human being. Please treat each other with respect. In case any part of these guidelines applies only to a specific member(s) i.e. a Resident or a Business or a Neighbourhood Admin, it might either be specifically called out here or if not specifically called out, only the relevant members need to consider them as applicable to them & others may just ignore it.

We rely on you, the members who make up the LinkingHuts community, to report content that violates these Guidelines. Violating the Community Guidelines has consequences, which may include removal of content, deactivation or even a permanent ban from LinkingHuts. Because of the diversity of people on the platform, please keep in mind that while something may be disagreeable to you, it may not violate our Community Guidelines.

To ensure a welcoming, friendly and neighbourly experience for all members, LinkingHuts has developed a set of Community Guidelines detailing the behaviours that are - and are not - allowed on the platform.

Members can report content to LH that they believe violate the Guidelines. They may create a group if they’d like to discuss their concerns with their neighbours or other members. Creating a “LinkingHuts Issues” or “LinkingHuts Policies” group is something that many neighbourhoods can find helpful. Any member can create a group.

Don’t engage in retaliatory reporting. Reporting messages because you’re upset with someone is un-neighbourly and violates the Community Guidelines. 

The heart and soul of LinkingHuts are the helpful conversations that happen between members. When conversations turn disagreeable, everyone on LinkingHuts suffers. Our Guidelines prohibit posts, replies & messages that discriminate against, attack, insult, shame, bully or belittle others. 

You should not post inaccurate, defamatory, obscene, shocking, hateful, threatening or otherwise inappropriate content or air personal grievances or disputes. Also, you should not harass, abuse or harm another person.

We remove content, disable or delete accounts and work with law enforcement agencies when we believe that there is a genuine risk of physical harm or direct threats to public safety.

We encourage members to have conversations about the issues that matter to them in a way that is constructive, civil and builds community. As a member, you are not supposed to attack, berate, bully, belittle, insult, harass, threaten, troll or swear at others or their views even if you disagree with them. Bullying or harassment are not acceptable on our platform. You can speak freely on matters of public interest but we may remove content that appears to purposefully target individuals with the intention of belittling, degrading or shaming them. This includes communication within a group or via private message. It is not okay to use LH’s services to send unwelcome communications to people (e.g., junk, spam, phishing etc). When conversations amongst members become heated and tend to go out of control, one must remember the basic community principle: "Every entity here is either a human being or managed by a human being and therefore needs to be treated with respect."

You can, of course, think what you like, but on LinkingHuts, conversations must remain civil even if you are angry about something a neighbour has said or done.

If you have queries or concerns about why your content was reported or removed, do not post about it in the main newsfeed. Instead, contact LinkingHuts and we’ll explain the same to you. 

LinkingHuts is not a platform for publicly shaming your neighbours. If you see a neighbour doing something that concerns you, contact him / her privately to resolve the issue and do not post about it on LinkingHuts.

Safety concerns:

  • If you are concerned about a safety issue in your neighbourhood and do not know the person involved or how to contact him / her, you may post about it. Remember to do so in a civil and respectful way.
  • If you are concerned about any illegal activity happening in your neighbourhood, you should inform the concerned authorities. Before posting, consider how your post might be received by the people you are posting about, who may also be members of LinkingHuts
  • If the people involved request that the post be removed, we may remove it
  • If you are merely bothered or annoyed by your neighbour’s behaviour, do not post about it. This is considered a personal dispute. Contact the person directly to work it out
  • If a parent or guardian requests that a photo of a minor be removed from LinkingHuts, we may remove it

Please note: Criticizing any business/service provider does not constitute public shaming as long as the post is civil, describes the person's experience and does not include libel or name calling.

LinkingHuts is not a place for publicly resolving personal disputes and grievances. Use private messages to resolve personal disputes, or better yet, get together in person to resolve the matter amicably. 

Ensure that all neighbours & other members feel welcome, safe, and respected. Hate speech is not allowed. We do not want you to use LH to shock or intimidate others. Sharing of obscene images or pornography on LinkingHuts is strictly prohibited.

Do not make posts or comments that discriminate against, threaten, or insult groups, based on race, colour, ethnicity, national origin, economic status, caste, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, political or religious affiliation, age, medical / physical condition or disability.

Do not promote events or activities of hate groups and/or terrorist organizations. Do not use derogatory racial terms or code words that insult or reduce one’s humanity. 

Also, when describing people who have committed crimes, avoid inflammatory language. Keep in mind that everyone is someone’s son or daughter or sister or brother. 

Note that we may remove your posts that neighbours or other members may reasonably find offensive. Again, we want everyone to feel welcome on LinkingHuts.

Responsible Posting on Crime & Safety
Keeping each neighbourhood safe is important for our members. You should always inform relevant authorities to report a safety concern. LinkingHuts takes a strong stand against racial, religious or caste profiling. We expressly prohibit posts that assume someone is suspicious because of their race or ethnicity or religion or caste. We also prohibit messages that give descriptions of individuals that are so vague as to cast suspicion over an entire race or ethnicity or religion or caste. Such messages cause more harm rather than help communities. When you see suspicious activity in your neighbourhood, please do speak up. However, we require that you follow two very important rules when doing so:

  • Make sure that what you are reporting is actually suspicious. 
    Don’t assume someone is suspicious because of their race or ethnicity or religion or caste. This is called racial or religious or caste profiling and it is expressly prohibited on LinkingHuts. Ask yourself, “If I take race or ethnicity or religion or caste out of the equation, would I still be suspicious of this person’s behaviour? 
  • Describe the person using specific details.
    We require Crime and Safety posts to be responsible and helpful. Whether you are posting about a crime you observed or about suspicious activity - include multiple, distinctive characteristics that your neighbours or law enforcement agencies can use to identify a person. Describe clothing from head to toe. Do not identify a suspect by race and sex alone. This helps keep your neighbourhood safe and avoids casting a wide net of suspicion over innocent people of similar race or ethnicity or religion or caste. 

LinkingHuts is a communication platform that allows members to mobilize and get stuff done like never before. However, favourite causes that are pushed too hard, political campaigning, and personal views on controversial issues may inevitably rub other members the wrong way. We rely on our members to report those who are over-posting, campaigning, and posting or ranting about controversial, non-local issues, send or post any unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, “junk mail,” “spam,” “chain letters,” “pyramid schemes,” or any form of solicitation unauthorized by LH.

LinkingHuts is meant to be a place for neighbourly & friendly discussion & information dissemination. You are encouraged to post about topics that matter to you and rally other members 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, in a way that annoys other members. Replying to your own post as a means of bumping it to the top of the newsfeed may be considered over-posting. Adding too many events to the Event Calendar or adding too many polls to the list of polls may also be considered over-posting. Over-posting may result in deactivation of one's account. If someone is over-posting, you may report their content for removal by LH, and you may also mute them if you wish.

A great neighbourhood is like an extended family. Research has shown that families are happier when conversations are not dominated by one or just a few voices. Regularly dominating conversations, shouting down others, or hijacking conversations to return to your issue is not acceptable behaviour on LinkingHuts. 

As with all conversations on LinkingHuts, we encourage members to discuss issues that matter to them in a way that is constructive, civil, and builds community. However, do not use LinkingHuts to air your personal views on non-local issues that are known to be highly controversial (e.g. Religion, Politics etc).

Our intent is that LinkingHuts be a place where neighbours & other members can discuss the local issues that are important to them, but that these conversations remain civil and respectful. We recognize that local issues, such as electoral initiatives and development, are important for neighbourhoods and communities to discuss but can also be divisive.

If there is a consensus in your neighbourhood that a particular local topic is controversial and unwanted in the main newsfeed, one option is to have those discussions in a group. For example, if debates about local politics are causing conflict, then members may require that the topic move to a group. If your neighbourhood doesn't have clear consensus about whether a controversial topic belongs to the main newsfeed, then posting a poll is a great way to gather feedback from the whole neighbourhood.

Discussions of political issues that affect your neighbourhood 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. Neighbourhoods may also decide to conduct these conversations in a group.

Allowed:

  • Discussing local electoral measures or elections in a civil and respectful manner
  • Introducing yourself once if you are running for a public office
  • Posting local politics-related events in the Events calendar, like voter registration drives or information sessions about local political topics
Not Allowed:
  • Any discussion or arguments regarding non-local politics or policy issues in the main feed. In case you wish to discuss non-local politics or policy issues, you are suggested to create a group. Within a group, you are allowed to discuss national or state politics or any other non-local topics
  • Uncivil or inflammatory debate
  • Telling your neighbours or other members on how to vote on a specific issue. This is campaigning and is not allowed
  • Over-posting about your preferred political party or party ideology or candidate for election issues. Do not use LinkingHuts as a campaign mailing list
Our guidelines on disagreements and conflict, over-posting, and controversial issues also apply to politics and campaigns.

On LinkingHuts, we support local businesses and encourage neighbours to share helpful information & reviews about their favourite businesses and services. We also encourage neighbours to buy, sell, and give their old goods away. LinkingHuts is actively working on solutions for local businesses to interact with their immediate & surrounding LinkingHuts neighbourhoods. 

LinkingHuts members frequently want to know about businesses and services offered by their neighbours, but do not want to be spammed or overwhelmed by unsolicited marketing offers. Therefore, the following rules & regulations apply for members wanting to participate as a business on LinkingHuts:

Allowed:

  • We encourage you to list your business / services on LinkingHuts. Business / service listings are a great way to get the word out to your neighbours:
    • To list your business, you should create or claim your business page on LinkingHuts. This allows neighbours to easily find your business when they’re looking for you or businesses in your category or businesses in your geography
    • A business listing can be set up either by businesses or by individual neighbours offering services like teaching, taking hobby classes, selling home-made eatables etc
  • You may or may not add your business affiliations to your profile
  • You may let your neighbours know about job opportunities if the position is of particular relevance to folks in your community
Not Allowed:
  • You should not make unsolicited posts about your own business or service in the main neighbourhood newsfeed or via private message
  • You should not announce commercial events to the main newsfeed. They should be added in the events calendar only and should clearly state whether the entry is chargeable or not and how much are the charges, if any
This entire guideline also applies to individuals who occasionally sell homemade or hobby goods, or who provide casual services for extra income.

Buy & Sell section is for individuals to buy or sell old items. Within this section, there are rules about what is and is not allowed on LinkingHuts:

Allowed:

  • Buying and selling personal items only under “Buy & Sell Old Goods” section .
Not Allowed:
  • Posting items for sale outside “Buy & Sell Section”. If you post items for sale either in the main newsfeed or in a section other than “Buy & Sell”, your posts may be removed.
  • Listing items that you are selling for a business or as part of an incentive sales program, like Multi Level Marketing companies.
  • LinkingHuts is not a dating service
  • Sale of animals is prohibited
  • Professional Services should not be offered in “Buy & Sell”. Please see our guidelines on offering your services
Note: Our policies on illegal / regulated goods (as explained ahead) and over-posting also applies to this section.

Fundraising posts should be limited to causes that are socially relevant or pertain to natural calamities. Of course, our Guidelines on over-posting apply. 

Allowed:

  • Food banks, charity etc .
  • Disaster relief or Emergency Assistance
Not Allowed:
  • Requesting money for one's own personal expenses or business needs .
  • Requesting donations for political candidates 
  • Request money for engaging in fraudulent activities

Recommending local businesses and services you love is a wonderful thing to do on LinkingHuts. Your neighbours will thank you and you will be helping to build a more enjoyable community for all. However, the integrity of your recommendations is key – and it is important to be transparent and disclose any conflict of interest. Your honesty protects your good name in your community and ensures that the quality of the recommendations on LinkingHuts are authentic, top-notch, and truly local.

Examples:

  • If you write a recommendation for a friend’s or relative's business, or businesses in your networking group, please disclose your relationship to that business or person
  • You must disclose any financial interest, such as being an owner or investor of the business you are recommending
  • Do not recommend a business, service, or product if you have received any form of payment in return for writing a recommendation
  • Do not write negative comments where you have a conflict of interest. For example, posting negative or false statements about competitors in your industry

LinkingHuts is a network 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 LinkingHuts member. You should:

  • Provide accurate information to us and keep it updated
  • Use your real name on your profile.
  • Use the Services in a professional manner and never attempt to use somebody else’s account (except in case of business pages where the account might be managed by more than 1 staff).

We expect you to be real. Unlike some other online services, our members need to be real people, who provide their real names and accurate information about themselves. It is not okay to provide misleading or fake information about yourself, your qualifications or your work experience, affiliations, interests or achievements on LH's service. LinkingHuts' Member Agreement requires that every member use their full, real name on LinkingHuts.

Not Allowed:

  • Listing the name of your business or organization as a resident. Business and service information should be added to your LinkingHuts profile or in a separate business page
  • Including Emoji in your name
  • Using initials or an abbreviated version of your full name is always prohibited 

Notable exceptions - We recognize that some people are primarily known by something other than their given first name. For example: It would be acceptable for the Cricket player "M.S. Dhoni" to use his initials as his first name, since that is how he introduces himself. 

One of LinkingHuts’ goals is to encourage more connections between neighbours, businesses, neighbourhood admins & friends in real life. That's why adding your profile photo and completing your profile are just as important.

Sharing a recent photo and information about yourself on your profile helps strengthen these connections and builds a sense of community. This also helps your neighbours relate to you better when they happen to meet you in person.

  • We understand that for different reasons, some people are uncomfortable sharing a photo of themselves. It is then ok to upload an alternative, representative image as long as it is - appropriate for a general audience, not promotional or offensive, and you have the rights to post the image.
  • LinkingHuts reserves the right to remove profile photos that neighbours or other members find intimidating, offensive, or inappropriate
  • Profile fields, except for those mandatorily required for registration, are optional. You may only fill up those fields of information that you are comfortable sharing. No one will be removed from LinkingHuts for not posting a profile photo or for not completing their profile, but it's more neighbourly to add as much information to your profile as you feel comfortable sharing!  

Members strongly prefer when they know exactly who they are communicating with rather than having to guess which half of a couple posted a message or is reading their replies. Therefore, it’s mandatory for the spouses to create individual accounts rather than share a single membership.

Businesses and services

LinkingHuts allows businesses and individuals providing services, to create or claim their business page on LinkingHuts. These pages allow local businesses and individuals providing services to have a presence in their LinkingHuts neighbourhoods, while keeping neighbourhood conversations private to the residents that live there. If you have a business for which you use a business email address that is different from your personal email address, then you should create a business account to create or claim your page.

Members of local organizations 

Membership in LinkingHuts neighbourhoods is reserved for residents. If you are one of the leaders in an association / local organization and are posting in your official capacity, simply make that point in your post. You can also add your affiliation with the organization to your profile.

Keep all content and activity family-friendly, neighbour-friendly and legal, and adhere to our rules about regulated goods and services. Please don't violate the rights of LinkingHuts. Law breakers are not welcome on LH. Such people should be immediately reported by the members to law enforcement agencies and LH. You should comply with all applicable laws, including, without limitation, privacy laws, intellectual property laws, anti-spam laws, cyber laws, export control laws, tax laws, and other regulatory requirements.

You should not :

  • Develop, support or use software, devices, scripts, robots, or any other means or processes (including crawlers, browser plugins and add-ons, or any other technology or manual work) to scrape the Services or otherwise copy profiles and other data from the Services
  • Use, disclose or distribute any information obtained from the Services, whether directly or through third parties (such as search engines), without the consent of LH
  • Violate the intellectual property rights of others, including copyrights, patents, trademarks, trade secrets, or other proprietary rights. For example, do not copy or distribute (except through the available sharing functionality) the posts or content of others without their permission
  • Violate the intellectual property or other rights of LH, including, without limitation
    • copying or distributing our learning videos or other materials or
    • copying or distributing our technology, unless it is released under open source licenses
    • using the word “LinkingHuts or LH” or our logos in any business name, email, or URL
  • Post anything that contains software viruses, worms, or any other harmful code
  • Manipulate identifiers in order to disguise the origin of any message or post transmitted through the Services
  • Create profiles or provide content that promotes escort services or prostitution. Offers of sexual services include prostitution, escort services, sexual massages and filmed sexual activity.
  • We remove content that threatens or promotes sexual violence or exploitation. This includes the sexual exploitation of minors and sexual assault. Our definition of sexual exploitation includes solicitation of sexual material, any sexual content involving minors, threats to share intimate images and offers of sexual services. Where appropriate, we shall refer this content to law enforcement agencies. To protect victims and survivors, we also remove photographs or videos depicting incidents of sexual violence and images shared. Accounts indulging in such unacceptable behaviour may not only be deactivated, but also reported to law enforcement agencies.
  • Create or operate a pyramid scheme, fraud or other similar practices.
  • Reverse engineer, decompile, disassemble, decipher or otherwise attempt to derive the source code for the Services or any related technology that is not open source
  • Imply or state that you are affiliated with or endorsed by LH without our express consent (e.g., representing yourself as an LH employee or an accredited LH volunteer). It is not acceptable to suggest that you are affiliated with or endorsed by LinkingHuts when you are not
  • Rent, lease, loan, trade, sell/re-sell access to the Services or related data.
  • Sell, sponsor, or otherwise monetize any of LH Services.
  • Remove any copyright, trademark or other proprietary rights notices contained in or on LH.
  • Remove, cover or obscure any advertisements included on LH.
  • Use bots or other automated methods to access LH Services, add or download contacts, send or redirect messages.
  • Monitor LH Services’ availability, performance or functionality for any competitive purpose.
  • Engage in “framing,” “mirroring,” or otherwise simulating the appearance or function of LH Services.
  • Overlay or otherwise modify LH Services or their appearance.
  • Access LH Services except through the interfaces expressly provided by LH such as Web Browser or LH authorised mobile applications.
  • Use LH Service for tasks that it is not intended for.
  • Override any security feature of LH Services.
  • Interfere with the operation of, or place an unreasonable load on LH Services (e.g., spam, attack on our services, viruses etc).
  • Violate the Community Guidelines or any additional terms concerning LH Services that are provided when you sign up for or start using such Services.
  • Use LH's services to intentionally infect others with viruses, worms, or other software that can destroy or interrupt their data or computer devices. It is not acceptable to interfere or disrupt LH's services or other’s data or devices.
  • Act in an unlawful or unprofessional manner in connection with LH Services, including being dishonest, abusive or discriminatory.

We do not want LH to be used for illegal activities or to violate the rights of others. Don't use LH’s services to commit fraud. Before sharing or using someone else's copyrighted works, trademarks, private information, or trade secrets, please make sure you have the legal right to do so.

We prohibit the selling, soliciting, or offering of any illegal goods or services. ​If you believe that posts in your neighbourhood violate this guideline, please report to LH and also inform the relevant local authorities.

We also prohibit all purchase, sale, trade, or distribution of prescription drugs, narcotics, firearms (guns) or ammunition, alcohol, tobacco, or adult products. We do not allow you to sell or purchase regulated goods on our platform.

We prohibit pornography and all other regulated activities, such as prostitution and gambling.

Do not post others’ private information without permission.

Examples:

  • The content of private messages sent through LinkingHuts
  • Non-public legal documents
  • Personal contact or account information, such as email addresses, credit cards, or bank information
  • A person’s legal or medical history, unless there is a compelling public interest served by doing so
Notable allowed exceptions:
  • Contact information when recommending someone’s services. However, if you post someone’s personal email addresses, phone number, or physical address and they request that it be removed, we may remove it.
  • Posting photos of people in public places is allowed. However, if a parent or guardian requests that a photo of a minor be removed from LinkingHuts, we may remove it.
Our guidelines on public shaming also apply to the posting of information about any LH member. If another LinkingHuts member is sending you abusive private messages via LinkingHuts, please report to LinkingHuts so that we can take appropriate action.

Threatening someone’s physical safety is prohibited on LinkingHuts. If you believe that your physical safety or the safety of another person is at risk, please inform the relevant local authorities.

We carefully review reports of threatening language to identify serious threats of harm to public and personal safety. We remove posts which contain threatening language.

If LinkingHuts is contacted regarding imminent danger to a person's safety, we may also report that concern to the relevant authorities. However, contacting LinkingHuts is not a substitute for reporting your safety issue to the relevant authorities.

We don't allow the promotion of self-injury or suicide. We prohibit content that promotes or encourages suicide or any other type of self-injury, including self-mutilation. We also remove any content that identifies victims or survivors of self-injury or suicide and targets them for attack, either seriously or humorously. People can, however, share information about self-injury and suicide that does not promote these things.

Do not use profanity. Cursing is discouraged and may offend some of the LH members.

Fraudulent content, phishing, or content we deem to be spam is not permitted

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