MeFi Community Guidelines

Welcome to MetaFilter! We're a community where anyone is welcome to participate.

Members here come from different countries, speak different languages, and represent different races, gender identities, sexualities, nationalities, cultures, religions, abilities, ages, incomes, immigration statuses, levels of education, life experiences, and so on. We're all here together trying to foster positive conversations, build community, and share all the good things the internet makes possible.

By using MetaFilter, you agree to model the behavior you hope to see from others and follow these guidelines:

Speak for yourself, not others

Speak from your own experience and perspective. Say things you genuinely mean (rather than playing devil's advocate, trolling, or saying bad things ironically). Avoid downplaying a problem just because it is not a problem for you. Avoid speaking on behalf of other people and discussing their experience like an academic topic; invite them to speak for themselves instead!

Be considerate and respectful

MetaFilter is a space for conversations, not a contest; add your own informed perspective and nuance instead of shutting others down. Extend the benefit of the doubt in conversations and earn the benefit of the doubt that others are extending to you. Listen if someone says they're upset and be willing to apologize and step back.

Be sensitive to context

Read a thread before commenting. Engage with what people are really saying. Respond appropriately to people's mood and investment in a topic. Refrain from making light jokes in a serious discussion. Avoid analogies or hypotheticals in charged discussions; these often involve ignoring or distorting the actual context of the conversation.

Be aware of your privilege

Recognize your own positioning. Be aware of how much space you are occupying in a discussion and avoid exclusionary or insensitive statements that can harm or alienate other people. In a conversation where you're in a privileged group, take active care to avoid making it about yourself or diverting the topic (intentionally or accidentally) particularly where systemic power is involved (race, class, gender, etc). Remember that each person has different stakes and direct experience in a conversation. Read more about the impact of belonging to a dominant group here.

Be mindful of microaggressions

Use people's correct name, gender, and pronouns. Be respectful. Do not exoticize or joke about another culture's touchstones — things like names, food, language, religious concepts. Avoid stereotypes and outdated terms. Believe people about their own experiences. Some common microaggressions, and ways to avoid perpetuating them, are explained here.

Accept feedback gracefully

Be willing to listen and apologize if someone says you've said something hurtful. If someone criticizes your ideas or statements, or points out harmful impacts, it's not a personal attack. Remember that you can do harm without intending to. Sometimes it is necessary to take a step back and let the conversation move on.


Want to tell us about a problem?

If you want to report a post or comment, please click the flag [!] link below it to raise it to the moderator's attention. Also, as moderators, we recognize we have areas of ignorance, and you can let us know if there's a problem we may not recognize by adding a note to your flag or contacting us directly. Please make sure to check our Content Policy for more details on how flagging works.