Group Rules and Participation Guidelines

Our group rules and participation guidelines were created/finalized in September of 2019.

Mission

The Utah Polyamory Society (UPS) was founded when a small group of polyamorous folx identified a need for a community centered around support and education rather than dating. Today, UPS exists to create and foster an environment to educate, support, and reach out to those practicing, interested in, or learning about polyamory.  Polyamory is simply defined as mutually consensual non-monogamy. While consensually non-monogamous relationships may be structured in various ways, all forms share common themes such as honesty, inclusion, integrity, communication, and compassion. To this end, UPS facilitates in-person support groups, meet-ups, and educational events, attends community events around the state, and administers and moderates this Facebook group.

Values

Our community is comprised of individuals of diverse identities, circumstances, and experiences. Our four community values of inclusion, compassion, growth, and accountability guide all the work we do, and how we facilitate and moderate online discussions and in-person events. 

Admission to the Facebook Group

The vetting process for the Facebook group involves a series of questions about the person’s relevant history and interest in polyamory. Members must live in Utah or the surrounding areas or have a direct connection to the Utah polyamory community. Admission to the Facebook group is granted or denied at the admin’s/moderator’s discretion based on the applicant’s answers. Membership in the Facebook group may be revoked at any time for failure to adhere to the participation guidelines, group rules, or for any reason outlined in the membership policy.

Facebook Group Rules 

1) Practice good internet etiquette
No trolling, flame-baiting, flouncing, personal attacks, piling on, etc. If the point’s been made, like it and move on. Engage respectfully & with compassion. 

2) Follow the participation guidelines
This is a diverse community and we strive to create a brave space where we all can learn and grow. All posts and interactions/engagements in this group are expected to adhere to our interaction guidelines and community values. 

3) All posts should be on-topic. 
Appropriate topics include polyamory, relationships, gender, sexuality, community gatherings, and related communities (e.g. LGBTQ+, BDSM, swinging, etc). 

4) Help keep the feed clear of clutter. 
Certain types of posts are consolidated into designated threads. Please add a comment here.
** Intros: http://bit.ly/2EYjRwr
** #polyproblems and #happypolymoments: http://bit.ly/2BTKNcZ

5) Help keep the feed clear of clutter.
Certain types of posts are consolidated into designated threads. Please add a comment here.
** Selfies: https://bit.ly/2F29W92
** Requests to join other polyam/related groups http://bit.ly/2SuZla3

6) This is not a dating group.
Consent is one of our guiding principles. We recommend before sending someone a PM or friend request, you ask their consent in engagement in a thread. Create space for, and respect others’ “no”s. 

7) You can find community events under the Events tab
and on the UPS Google calendar (https://goo.gl/Pv8tW1). Members are welcome to post additional events at their discretion. Please indicate in the title that these events are “Not UPS Sponsored.”

8) Maintain the confidentiality of the group. 
Outing members of this group without their consent (including sharing screenshots of any discussion held here) is not allowed and will result in action up to and including removal from the group.

Participation Guidelines

This group is an intersectional community, where people from all walks of life meet and interact. In order to properly welcome and encourage amicable and productive discourse between so many different people, we must outline and encourage behaviors that honor the varied life experiences and opinions that are found within this space. Some of the language of these guidelines is borrowed from Multiamory’s Patron-Only Facebook Group Guidelines (https://www.multiamory.com/guidelines), and from the Solo Polyamory Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/solopoly/announcements/) with their permission.

Communication

When starting a new thread, we suggest communicating your hopes and intent

  • Are you building connection by posting an open discussion topic, sharing a relevant meme, or an article?
  • Are you seeking support or validation, hoping that others will share similar experiences or offer sympathy?
  • Are you hoping to solve a problem and seeking input and advice? What kind of response are you hoping for? 
  • If you are feeling tender, and requesting sensitivity, let folks know that too!

This is not the place for ranting into the void. If you post, expect a response, and respect that response to reflect the diverse identities and experiences of folx in this group.

“I’m Full”: If you are feeling overwhelmed by the responses you receive consider editing your OP to add that you’ve gotten the feedback you are looking for. You can also turn notifications off for any post, including your own.

When responding to posts please check for any specific requests posters have made for what kinds of response they’re looking for. If you are unable to respond in alignment with their request, consider skipping that post. If you feel the post is problematic in a way that counters the justice-focused and power/privilege conscious ethos of the group, it’s appropriate to say so either directly or by notifying the admin team.

Inclusion

Our group contains members from all demographics and levels of experience with polyamory. When posting, consider the language you use. Are you presuming that everyone reading your post has the same sexual orientation, polyamory-philosophy, racial identity, or ability as you? Does your post exclude folx of different identities than you?

Compassion

Assume positive intent of everyone in our community. We are all in a process of learning and growing. When reading or responding to a post or comment assume positive intent. The person posting most likely was not intending harm, we must treat each other with care in moments of vulnerability and moments of conflict. 

This of course does not mean that you cannot or should not give someone feedback about the impact of their comments – this is an important part of the process for everyone. Start from a place of realizing they may be unaware that what they said is hurtful or offensive. Aim for understanding rather than punishment when you are responding.

If you are being called out on a mistake or for hurting someone else, assume good intentions. Start from a place of realizing that those calling you out may want to guide you and help you avoid making the same mistake in the future. (The same way you’d want a friend to let you know you have a chunk of spinach stuck in your front teeth.) Aim for understanding rather than defensiveness when you are responding.

If you do not have the energy or availability to engage compassionately, tag a moderator. 

Growth & Accountability

The purpose of this group is to support each other in our process of learning and growing in polyamory. Growth can be painful and messy. We will sometimes hurt people without knowing it. 

Growth requires taking accountability for our mistakes, and committing ourselves to learning from them. Accountability requires us to engage honestly, without hyperbole or defensiveness. It also means knowing our limits and taking responsibility for managing our own experiences. Use the tools Facebook provides for taking care of yourself and curating your experience. 

Please do not delete your post unless explicitly asked to do so by a moderator. Instead, feel free to turn comments or notifications off, and/or reach out to a moderator. Many people in our community put a lot of emotional labor into discussions in our group, and many more people learn a whole lot from simply reading though the interactions. We know it’s hard to accept when we’ve done something to cause harm, but this accountability is imperative to growth – both individually and as a community.

Trust that the community has your back and that things like homophobia etc. will not go unchallenged. If you can’t handle responding with compassion, let someone else take the baton for a while. Tag a moderator if you see something that needs attention.  

Confidentiality

This is a space where people are welcome to share intimate and vulnerable details about their relationships, sex life, orientation, emotional and psychological makeup, and many other ins and outs of their personal lives. As such, it is imperative to maintain confidentiality and privacy. In order to avoid “outing” anyone who may not already be out of the closet on their social media, do not share posts, comments, or images that are posted within the confines of the group, unless the original poster has given you explicit permission to share them. This applies both online and offline. Be discerning in protecting the privacy of people who are not in the group as well.

What you can expect from us:

The board, admins, and moderators of Utah Polyamory Society are all volunteers. As such, we request your patience and understanding as we learn and grow with you, and as we also have very full lives outside of this group. If something needs our attention, please tag us, give us feedback, let us know what is going on!

We will moderate the group with our values and these participation guidelines in mind.

We will strive to preserve the confidentiality and privacy of our group members, and will honor requests for confidentiality/anonymity of those asking questions, making complaints, or bringing concerns to the admin or moderator team.

We will strive to mediate and resolve disputes when they arise, and will remove/ban members from the group only after an attempt is made at a dispute resolution process, unless a member uses overt or explicit hate speech, in which case they will be removed/banned immediately.

Thank you for engaging in community with us.