CODE OF CONDUCT
EVERYONE HERE IS YOUR NEIGHBOR - BE WELCOMING AND RESPECTFUL
Our mission is to power genuine community in apartment buildings like yours. To accomplish this, we offer a trusted platform where neighbors work together to build stronger, safer, happier communities, one apartment building at a time.
We want all neighbors to feel welcome, comfortable, and respected when using Cobu. For that reason, we've developed a set of Code of Conduct describing what behaviors are – and are not – allowed on Cobu. The crux of our “Cobu Code” can be boiled down to one simple statement: Everyone here is your neighbor. Please treat each other with respect.
We rely on you and your neighbors who make up your Cobu community, to report content that violates this Code. Violating the Cobu Code has consequences, which may include removal of content, suspension of posting privileges, or even a permanent ban from Cobu. Because of the diversity of people in any neighborhood, please keep in mind that while something may be disagreeable to you, it may not violate our Cobu Code.
Learn more about Cobu’s moderation system for enforcing the Cobu Code.
BE HELPFUL, NOT HURTFUL
Conversations that happen between neighbors are the foundation of a community. When conversations turn disagreeable, everyone on Cobu suffers. Our Code prohibits posts and replies that discriminate against, attack, insult, shame, bully, or belittle others.
- Disagreements and conflict: We encourage members to have conversations about the issues that matter to them in a way that is constructive, civil, and builds community.
Don’t attack, berate, bully, belittle, insult, harass, threaten, troll, or swear at others or their views even if you really disagree with them. This includes any and all Cobu communication channels.
When conversations become heated, remember our overarching principle: "Everyone here is your neighbor. Be welcoming and respectful."
You can, of course, think what you like, but on Cobu, conversations must remain civil. This is not always easy because we care passionately about the places we call home – our building and neighborhood. If you are angry about something a neighbor has said or done, pause, take a break and then come back to post something thoughtful and constructive.
- If you have concerns about community moderation, for example, about why your content was reported or removed, do not post about it. Instead, see this article about Cobu’s moderation system to learn about your options.
- Public shaming: Cobu is not a platform for publicly shaming your neighbors. Though safety concerns seen on Cobu should not be ignored. Safety concerns:
- If you are concerned about a safety issue in your group, building or neighborhood and do not know the person involved or how to contact them, you may post about it. Remember to do so in a civil and respectful way.
- If you are concerned about a unit, vehicle, or individual engaging in illegal activity, you should call 911. Before posting, consider how your post might be received by the people you are posting about, who may also be members of Cobu.
- If the people involved request that the post be removed, we may remove it.
- If you are merely bothered or annoyed by your neighbor’s behavior, do not post about it. Cobu would consider this 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 Cobu, we may remove it.
- If you aim to criticize a service provider because of a bad commercial interaction (even if a specific person is identified), you may post it as a point of information for your neighbors. It 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.
- Personal disputes and grievances: Cobu is not a place for publicly resolving personal disputes and grievances. Use private messages outside of Cobu communication channels to resolve personal disputes, or better yet, get together in person to resolve the matter amicably.
- Discrimination and hate speech: Ensure that all neighbors feel welcome, safe, and respected. Hate speech is not allowed.
Do not make posts or comments that discriminate against, threaten, or insult groups, based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, political affiliation, age, veteran status or disability.
Do not use derogatory racial terms or code words that insult or reduce one’s humanity. Keep in mind that everyone is someone’s son or daughter or sister or brother.
Note that you may be asked to edit your remarks to remove language that neighbors may reasonably find offensive. Again, we want everyone to feel welcome on Cobu.
- Crime and suspicious activity: Keeping your community, building, and neighborhood safe is important to us and to our members. You should always call 911 first to report a safety concern.
Cobu expressly prohibit posts that assume someone is suspicious because of their race or ethnicity. We also prohibit messages that give descriptions of individuals that are so vague as to cast suspicion over an entire race or ethnicity. Such messages are ineffective and harm rather than help communities.
BUILD UP YOUR BUILDING
Your building is a literal part of your community. As a resident, you should have the ability and agency to help improve how it serves its residents. If you have suggestions related to maintenance requests, questions about your rent and payment, concerns about noise and/or pets in the building, and common area upkeep, please reach out to your building’s Property Manager.
DON’T USE COBU AS A SOAPBOX
Cobu is a communication platform that allows neighbors to mobilize and build relationships based on mutual passion. However, favorite causes that are pushed too hard, political campaigning, and personal views on controversial issues will inevitably rub one’s neighbors 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.
- Ranting: Cobu 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.
We have found that a rant is most often 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: Over-posting means repeatedly posting about the same topic or about a business or service, in a way that annoys your neighbors. Replying to your own post as a means of bumping it to the top of a communication channel may be considered over-posting. Adding too many gatherings to a group’s calendar may also be considered over-posting.
Over-posting may result in suspension of one's posting privileges. If someone is over-posting, you may report their content.
- 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, but rather provide a welcome space for many to contribute. We believe that this applies to neighborhoods as well. Regularly dominating conversations, shouting down others, or hijacking conversations to return to your issue are not acceptable behavior on Cobu.
Controversial issues, politics, and religion: Conversations about local issues, politics, and personal beliefs can be some of the most important and meaningful discussions a person can have. When these discussions take place in a civil and productive manner, they help people better understand their neighbors and community.
However, more than other subjects, disagreements about politics and beliefs also have the potential to become divisive. So, while some disagreements are to be expected with these issues, it's critical that neighbors remain constructive and neighborly, even when they disagree. Avoid sarcasm and snark or questioning a neighbor's motives or character. Be sure your messages focus on the substance of the issues being discussed rather than on personalities or posting styles.
PROMOTE LOCAL BUSINESS AND COMMERCE THE RIGHT WAY
On Cobu, we support local businesses and encourage neighbors to share helpful information about their favorite businesses and services. Cobu also actively seeks out neighborhood businesses to connect with our communities. We are also mindful of a balance to promote yet not overwhelm users with unsolicited marketing offers.
- Promote your business or offering services through perks partnerships: You are able to list your business or services on Cobu as it relates to an interest group. You can do this by applying to join our partnership program, which is always on the lookout for community-focused local businesses. Lastly, you may not make unsolicited posts about your business or service via any communication channels within the Cobu app.
- Conflicts of interest: Residents recommending local businesses and services they love is a wonderful thing to do on Cobu. Your suggestions will be helping to build a more informed and connected community. Thus, it is critical to note that the integrity of your recommendations is key – and it is important to be transparent and disclose any conflicts of interest. Your honesty protects your good name, maintains and strengthens trust in your community, and ensures that the quality of the recommendations on Cobu are authentic, superlative, and truly local.
USE YOUR TRUE IDENTITY
Cobu is a safe and inclusive 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 Cobu member.
- Real names: Cobu requires that every member use their full, real name on our app. By real name, we mean the first name that you use when introducing yourself to neighbors, friends, and colleagues and your legal last name.
Do not alter your profile name by 1) listing the name of your business or organization; 2) including professional titles; 3) adding educational degrees; or 4) using an Emoji. Lastly, using initials or an abbreviated version of your last name is always prohibited.
- Your profile and photo: Cobu’s goal is to encourage more connections between neighbors in real life. That's why adding your profile photo and completing your profile are so 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 neighbors connect you to your presence on Cobu when they encounter you in and around your building and neighborhood.
We recognize that for different reasons, some people are uncomfortable sharing a photo of themselves. It is all right 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.
Cobu reserves the right to remove profile photos that neighbors find intimidating, offensive, or inappropriate.
No one will be removed from Cobu for not posting a profile photo or for not completing their profile, but it's more neighborly to add as much information to your profile as you feel comfortable sharing!
- Joining as a couple or family: Having one Cobu account for all members of an apartment unit may make sense for couples or families, and even some close-knit roommates. We have found that members strongly prefer when they know exactly who they are communicating with rather than having to guess who from Unit 505 posted a message or is reading their replies. Spouses, roommates, and children over the age of 18 are encouraged to create individual accounts rather than share a single membership.
However, while your neighbors may prefer that you create two separate accounts, it is not required. We do not plan to remove members who do not follow this guideline unless the ambiguity of use violates any of the other parts of the Cobu Code.
KEEP IT CLEAN AND LEGAL
Keep all content and activity family-friendly and legal, and adhere to our rules about regulated goods and services.
- Illegal and regulated goods and services: Cobu is a family-friendly platform, open to neighbors ages 18 and over. The safety of all our members, young and young-at-heart, is a priority. As a result, we prohibit the purchase, trade, sale or distribution of many items that are commonly known to be age-restricted or government-regulated.
If you believe that members in your neighborhood are selling items or services that are illegal in your community, please contact the relevant local authorities (and ask them to notify Cobu if they believe the messages should be removed).
- Violations of privacy: Do not publicly post private information - which we consider to be any content from messages sent through Cobu communication channels - without permission. This also includes personal contact or account information, such as email addresses, credit cards, or bank information as well as legal or medical history to which you may be privy.
An exception can be made to send 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 Cobu, we may remove it.
Our guidelines on public shaming also apply to the posting of information about neighbors. If another Cobu member is sending you abusive messages via Cobu communication methods, please contact Cobu Support so that we can take appropriate action.
- Threats to the safety of others: Threatening someone’s physical safety is prohibited on Cobu. If you believe that your physical safety or the safety of another person is at risk, please call 911 or contact the relevant local authorities.
If Cobu is contacted regarding imminent danger to a person's safety, we may also report that concern to the relevant authorities. However, contacting Cobu is not a substitute for reporting your safety issue to the relevant authorities.
- Profanity: Do not use profanity. Cursing is not necessary and may offend some of your neighbors.
- Fraud and spam: Fraudulent content, phishing, or content we deem to be spam is not permitted and will be removed as soon as it is identified as such.
Content adapted from Nextdoor Community Guidelines