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By The Bay’s Community Values

By The Bay is about creating new communities, sharing your experiences, and learning about how the Bay Area works. We want to empower you with a deeper understanding of your city so you can shape the place you call home.

Building a vibrant community

BTB’s mission is to foster meaningful conversations about the Bay Area. Although we maintain the site, this is a community we build together, and we need your help to make it the best it can be.

Be open-minded

People may not have the same background as you, but that doesn't mean they don't have valid or interesting opinions to share. Welcome new voices and help foster thoughtful discussions.

Assume no malice

People are imperfect, and disagreements or differences of opinion are a fact of life. Try to approach conflict from the perspective that people generally mean well. This will cultivate a respectful and friendly culture where people feel comfortable asking questions, engaging in conversations, and sharing their stories.

Stay humble

There are a lot of smart people in the Bay Area, but that only means we have a lot to learn from one another. Check your pride and ego. Try listening first and speaking second.

What isn’t allowed?

We’re committed to maintaining a community where people are free to express themselves and challenge one another's ideas. Conversations, however, are unlikely to be fruitful when ideas are silenced because members are being shouted down or are afraid to speak up. Be respectful and civil at all times, and refrain from attacking others on the basis of who they are. We don’t tolerate the following behavior:

Threats of violence and incitement

You may not threaten violence towards others or use the site to organize, promote, or incite acts of real-world violence or terrorism. Think carefully about the words you use, the images you post, and how they might be interpreted by others. Even if you mean something as a joke, it might not be received that way. In extraordinary cases, we may report threats of violence to law enforcement if we think there may be a genuine risk of physical harm or a threat to public safety.

Hate speech

While it isn’t forbidden to broach topics such as age, body size, disability, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, level of experience, nationality, personal appearance, race, religion, or sexual identity and orientation, we don’t tolerate speech that attacks a person or group of people based on who they are.

Bullying & Harassment

Any habitual badgering or intimidation targeted at a specific person or group of people is not tolerated. This includes, but isn’t limited to:
  • Posting intimate or explicit images taken or posted without the subject’s express consent.
  • Doxing, which includes not only private or obscure personal information but also the aggregation of publicly available information to target, shame, blackmail, harass, intimidate, or endanger.
  • Using BTB features to annoy or harass someone


Everyone hates spam. Don't create misleading stories, conversations, and topics in order to increase views. It's not okay to post large amounts of untargeted, unwanted or repetitive content.


Don’t impersonate someone else in a way that’s likely to deceive people. Parody and satire are fine, but make it clear that’s what you’re doing.

Sexually obscene content

Don’t post porn or sexually explicit content. This doesn’t mean that all nudity or sexual content is prohibited. We recognize that sexuality is a part of life and may be presented for educational or artistic purposes.

Privacy violations

Don’t post content that violates others’ privacy, including personally identifying or confidential information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, non-public phone numbers, physical addresses, email addresses, or other non-public information.

What happens if someone breaks the rules?

How to report a violation

If you see people who you believe violates these guidelines, please flag their account and send them to for immediate review.


There are a variety of ways to enforce our rules, including, but not limited to:
  • Asking you nicely to knock it off
  • Asking you less nicely
  • Temporary or permanent suspension of accounts
  • Removal of privileges from, or adding restrictions to, accounts
  • Removal of content or membership

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Local politics drives our daily life. We strive to be nonpartisan and present all perspectives fairly, so please send us a note via email or text with any corrections, concerns, or questions.

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