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Community Policies

Version 1.2
Effective Date:  October 2020


Since our first chapter in Bolivia in early 2016, a lot has changed. Over 800 members have joined us on our epic adventures. We’ve built hundreds of friendships and countless memories. This incredible journey of growth and discovery has resulted in the building of a community we will love and cherish for years to come. 

 

Our values have always been core pillars for us, and we have developed tailored Community Policies to ensure the safeguarding of those values. These Community Policies have been created because we believe that protecting our values reinforces the already exceptional level of respect we enjoy throughout our community. 

 

Having clearly defined Policies helps us all take responsibility for this amazing culture that we’re building. By deciding what we will and will not accept, we make the task of staying true to ourselves and the principles of this community easier. 

 

We hope to contribute to the ongoing discussion about inclusion and diversity in the digital nomad and remote working community. We will always be committed to creating a space where authenticity and integrity underpin all that we do and we are grateful to have you on the journey with us.

 

The guide to follow is a 'living document'. It will continue to evolve over time and we invite every member to contribute their ideas, suggestions, or feedback through this form. As we review feedback, we will be making decisions to include or adapt the guide in line with the core values and principles that have guided us since day one.



1. Values & Statements

1.1 Values 

Respect: We treat everyone with dignity.

We’ve started this list with respect because we believe that it is the most important baseline for all communication.  

There is never a good enough reason to treat anyone without dignity or respect. Sometimes, disrespect is very obvious, but more frequently, disrespect is more subtle. 


It’s in a remark that praises one person, and yet implicitly shames someone else. It's in a comment that invalidate someone’s feelings. Or it's in actions that belittles others by making them believe their voice or opinion is unimportant.


In all communication, be it virtual or physical, it is not just the literal message that matters, but also the choice of words, the underlying message, and more importantly, the impact.


When we genuinely approach every conversation with the intent to understand, to be truly respectful, and to treat everyone with grace and dignity, we’re most likely going to do the right thing. Let’s be thoughtful and always aim to treat others the way we think they would want to be treated.


As WiFi Tribe members, respect is not reciprocal. Regardless of whether we have been spoken to disrespectfully, these principles still apply. If someone is rude, it’s our chance to do the right thing. Instead, let’s choose to respond calmly and fairly. If that doesn’t help and the abuse continues, then it’s okay to bow out of the discussion and escalate the issue through the channels highlighted in these codes. But whatever we do, and whatever we say, let’s look to be fair, authentic, and firm, but also always kind and respectful.

Camaraderie: We’re there for one another.

Camaraderie is one of our core values; our favourite one, in fact. To us, it means supporting one another, cheering each other on, and finding honest, genuine joy in each others’ successes. When we see that someone is struggling, it’s our chance to reach out. A minute of our time might make all the difference to their day, just knowing that we care and that we’re here to help.

Inclusion: We make everyone feel welcome.

When, in your life, have you felt that you truly belonged somewhere? Who was there with you? What did they do to make you feel that way? 


Let’s use that as inspiration to give that same feeling of belonging to everyone we interact within the community. Once the team has made the decision to bring someone into the community, it’s on all of us – every single one of us – to be inclusive and make this person feel like a part of this global family.


WiFi Tribe is not a space for cliques, in-groups, or out-groups. We’re one community.

Positivity: We create a positive environment.

Every day, we all have the opportunity to bring positivity into this environment. The choice for how we interact with each other is ours, every time. By choosing to interact positively with fellow Tribe members, we are adding to the overall positivity of our global community.


On the whole, the WiFi Tribe community is filled with people who are open and inclusive. That means that people are open to change and to new experiences. If something is said that is offensive or out of place, then a gentle nudge in a friendly tone is largely all that is needed to challenge somebody’s thought process.


In instances where it’s appropriate to be more frank, i.e. matters regarding race discrimination, gender discrimination, etc, let’s address the point but not attack the person.

Humility: We check our egos.

Every day, we all have the opportunity to bring positivity into this environment. The choice for how we interact with each other is ours, every time. By choosing to interact positively with fellow Tribe members, we are adding to the overall positivity of our global community.


On the whole, the WiFi Tribe community is filled with people who are open and inclusive. That means that people are open to change and to new experiences. If something is said that is offensive or out of place, then a gentle nudge in a friendly tone is largely all that is needed to challenge somebody’s thought process.


In instances where it’s appropriate to be more frank, i.e. matters regarding race discrimination, gender discrimination, etc, let’s address the point but not attack the person.

Open-mindedness: We seek to learn and accept.

We are a community for curious people who seek to grow and better understand each other and the world. Open-mindedness means accepting other people’s beliefs and opinions, when we don’t share them. It means going into every discussion with the intent to contribute positively with our perspective, but not expecting that anyone should have to adopt it.


When we interact with someone, let’s make sure that our actions lead to more unity, empathy, and understanding, instead of creating division. It’s always our choice. Every time we communicate with someone from a different culture, it’s an experience; a chance to learn.


There are only a few things that we, as a team, expect everyone to be able to see eye-to-eye on, if they wish to be a part of this community:

● our core values

● and everything you see in the community guidelines you’re reading right now.


WiFi Tribe does not take the stance of any single country. We aspire to be a truly global community and we shape our values and rules by what we believe to be right on a human level.

Thoughtfulness: We treat this community with care.

Here, we think before we write. As a member, each of us has decided that we want to be a part of this community, and with that, we all hold the responsibility to treat this community with care and respect. No one is expecting that everyone will get it right every time, but we do expect thoughtfulness in all communication.


We all love to be lighthearted and have fun with one another. Jokes are welcome here but not at the expense of someone else and their self-esteem. If in doubt, don’t wheel it out!

1.2 Statements 

COVID19 

Please find all of our Covid-19 policies and guidelines here . We continuously update these policies as the CDC and WHO publish new guidelines.  

Online Community Policy

Guidelines for tribe living - a statement of no's 


2. Code of Conduct

2.1 Online Code

Our online sphere has always been a place where we can learn about the subjects, topics and activities that we’re passionate about. Part of the joy is that nobody has all the answers and we all bring our unique experiences and viewpoints. With that said, there are going to be occasions where we’ll have a conversation and we may say something that’s rooted in bias, assumptions, or a lack of understanding, that could cause tension.


If someone makes us aware of that, our next move is very important. Do we want to defend our position for the sake of defending it, or are we willing to allow ourselves to go on a journey of growth and learning?


When we give a measured response we set a positive atmosphere for the conversation. If anything, it boosts people’s confidence; if the conversation feels informative rather than inflammatory, it actually moves us closer to resolution. The other option is to be inflammatory but that tends to be circular, it shuts everybody down, and rarely ends well.


We don’t want these guidelines to silence your voices or stop you sharing your opinions on a given topic. What these guidelines provide, is a framework for our sharing so that all of us can respectfully agree to disagree and not leave the interaction feeling victimised or singled out.


In our community we want to facilitate growth in a safe, positive environment. That leaves no room for trying to shame people into changing or coming around to a particular mindset. Remember that you are among friends here and there is room for you to make a reasonable judgement that people here care about each other.

Unacceptable behaviour

We are committed to providing a welcoming and safe environment for people of all races, gender identities, gender expressions, sexual orientations, physical abilities, physical appearances, socioeconomic backgrounds, life experiences, nationalities, ages, religions, and beliefs.

 

In order to provide such an environment, we commit to being considerate in our language use. Any behaviour or language which is unwelcoming—whether or not it rises to the level of harassment—is also strongly discouraged.


Discrimination, harassment, and bullying are expressly prohibited, throughout all aspects of our community, both physically and virtually. Harassment may include, but is not limited to, intimidation; stalking someone’s social media page in the attempt to frame them; unwanted recording or photography; inappropriate physical contact; use of sexual or discriminatory imagery, comments, or jokes; intentional or repeated misgendering; sexist, racist, ableist, or otherwise discriminatory or derogatory language; and unwelcome sexual attention.

Name calling & Labelling

Each and every one of us are entitled to our own religious, political, or social beliefs. Insulting or labeling someone based on stereotypes goes against everything we stand for. As such, saying things like “If you don’t support... you’re a xyz”“Those people from xyz are like xyz”, or “All religious people are xyz” are matters we find to be unacceptable. 

Condescension

Threatening, yelling, insulting or cursing someone in a public channel or private message is never acceptable and will never be allowed ! Saying things such as “You’re a f***** xyz” or USING CAPITALS TO SUGGEST ANGRY COMMUNICATION is expressly prohibited

Verbal harassment

Threatening, yelling, insulting or cursing someone in a public channel or private message is never acceptable and will never be allowed ! Saying things such as “You’re a f***** xyz” or USING CAPITALS TO SUGGEST ANGRY COMMUNICATION is expressly prohibited

Micro-agressions & Tone policing

Much exclusionary behaviour takes the form of micro aggressions—subtle put-downs which may be unconsciously delivered. Regardless of intent, micro aggressions can have a significant negative impact on victims and have no place on our team.


The same goes for tone policing, or responding negatively to the emotion behind a person’s message while ignoring its content (telling someone who is discussing an issue that makes them upset to “calm down” instead of responding to their concerns is an example of tone policing).


2.2 Coliving Code

Gossiping

We see gossiping about each other as a direct attack on our values. If something has happened and you feel you need to talk it out with a couple of people in the group that you trust, then that’s okay. But if we see someone spreading rumours and misinformation in the group and it is clearly creating a negative atmosphere, we’ll consider that to be gossip.


Ultimately, we want to continue building a community that is authentic and open. If you aren’t sure about something, or you are unhappy with something somebody has done, then have the integrity to speak to that person about it. If for whatever reason you feel you can’t, please speak to your chapter Host in the first instance or fill out the reporting form and we will deal with it.


If you’re on a chapter and have been the subject of the gossip of others, please come and speak to the chapter Host to get it sorted out or fill out the reporting form and we will investigate the matter.

Demeaning Speech

When talking about other people, always keep their dignity in mind. Sharing intimate details for a cheap laugh or jokes at the expense of another person isn’t okay and it lowers the tone of the conversation. Not to mention the fact that it can make people feel vulnerable and uncomfortable in a really negative way.


We love to laugh, but we want to make sure that the self esteem of others is not used as collateral damage.

Harassment

There is no space for physical, sexual or verbal harassment in our community. We have a zero-tolerance policy. All reported cases will be investigated and dealt with depending on the severity of the situation. Consequences can include mediation, formal warnings, termination of chapter experience and in extreme cases, removal from the community. The offender may also be asked to leave during the period of the investigation.

Examples of harassment

  • staring, leering or unwelcome touching
  • suggestive comments or jokes that go too far and make others uncomfortable
  • Repeated, unwelcome invitations to go out on dates or requests for sex
  • intrusive questions about a person's private life or body
  • sending sexually suggestive text messages or emails
  • leaving unwanted gifts of a sexual or romantic nature
  • Physical interactions that make the other person feel uncomfortable
  • circulating nude photos
  • circulating false rumors about someone knowing them to be untrue
  • sexist comments

To avoid confusion, here are a few examples to understand what constitutes a form of sexual harassment:


Scenario 1: Member A asks Member B to dance when they are out in town for a drink. Member B politely declines...


✅Member A accepts the decision and does not insist.

🚫Member A keeps insisting to the point where Member B is visibly uncomfortable and feels pressured into an unwanted situation.


Scenario 2: On a different night, two other members are dancing close together. To onlookers, it may seem that there’s romance in the air. Member A starts touching Member B in a suggestive way. Member B is clearly uncomfortable and asks Member A to stop...


✅Member A accepts the decision and immediately stops touching Member B in that way.

🚫Member A continues to touch Member B suggestively under the premise that “this is how all the locals dance”.


Scenario 3: A romance has sparked on Chapter between two members. Both members go out for dinner and on the way back they stop and say ‘good night’ in front of Member B’s room. Member B does not invite Member A into his/her room...


✅They say ‘good night’ and they each go to their own room.

🚫Member A insists to come into Member B’s room, making him/her feel uncomfortable and possibly unsafe.


Scenario 4: In a similar situation, Member B invites Member A into his/her room. Member B gives Member A sexual cues, but Member A is not interested in sexual activity. Intentions are clearly not aligned...


✅Member B accepts the decision and stops sending sexual cues of any form.

🚫Member B continues to make sexual cues and insists in sexual activity, making Member A feel uncomfortable, unsafe or forced into something that they haven’t agreed to. NOTE: This behaviour – especially if forceful, manipulative or abusive – might be grounds for calling the local authorities to take action, as well as permanent removal from the WiFi Tribe community.

Peer Pressuring

We want to be a community that’s known for encouraging growth and many chances to participate in experiences that push us out of our comfort zones. On every chapter, FOMO, or the Fear-Of-Missing-Out is an integral part of the experience. FOMO is really just a result of us wanting to spend as much time together as possible!


For us, the fun stops when that light encouragement becomes coercive or forceful. Forcing someone to engage in activities or experiences that they clearly don’t want to do is not a part of our ethos. We want to preserve everybody’s right to respectfully decline to engage in things that they don’t enjoy or agree with.


If you feel as though you have been coerced or forced into doing something you don’t want to do, and it’s made you feel uncomfortable in a way you are unhappy with or is affecting your mental health, please do not hesitate to speak to a chapter Host about it or report it via the reporting form.

Reckless Behaviour

Our spirit of adventure is part of our DNA. We’ll climb mountains together, take ATVs into the jungle and hire jeeps to go off-roading across the most beautiful islands in the world. 


Taking risks is part of life but there is a point where the risk becomes unjustifiable. Reckless behaviour can happen whilst doing the most mundane things. It’s about making a choice knowing full well that you’re taking an unreasonable risk with your wellbeing and the wellbeing of others. 


This breaks down into a few further subsections - we’ve decided to include some guidance around substance and alcohol abuse and driving whilst under the influence.

Substance & Drug Abuse

We don’t tolerate use of illegal drugs on WiFi Tribe premises. No matter how ‘harmless’ the drug may be. If it’s illegal in the country, we won't tolerate it. 


While on Chapter, we expect everyone to refrain from using drugs– whether it be in our accommodation, on a night out in town with other members, or on a weekend trip with other members. If your Chapter Host becomes aware of a member using or encouraging the use of illegal substances on WiFi Tribe premises or around other members, the Host is obligated to report this. Depending on the gravity of the situation, this will result either in an official warning or immediate removal from the community.


Please also note that some prescription drugs, and even over the counter drugs may be illegal in some countries. This ranges from Retalin to even Vicks or Benadryl. Whilst not required, we'll always be available to answer any questions pertaining to such matters. 

Alcohol abuse

There have been many happy hours enjoyed as part of the WiFi Tribe experience. Whilst we accept that a well deserved cocktail can add a lot of joy to social gatherings, the fun stops if we put ourselves or other individuals in danger or in an uncomfortable situation.


Please be aware that if you become intoxicated, and poor decisions are made that impact other people, we will hold you responsible for any damage caused to people or property. Being intoxicated will never be a valid excuse under those circumstances.

If you become a danger to yourself or to others, we will take things more seriously. Intoxication-fuelled behaviour including using offensive or abusive language towards members of the Tribe or members of the local community, harassment, vandalism or damage to property belonging to others is not acceptable under any circumstances.


Regardless of the amount of alcohol you have consumed, or how much you remember, we will hold you responsible for your actions. In extreme cases, you could receive a formal warning or be removed from the community. 

 

Drunk-Driving

Drunk-driving is . In most places it is entirely illegal, in other places there is a strict alcohol limit.


Everywhere we go, there will be transport options, so if you think you’ll want a beer or three, grab an Uber, hail a taxi or get on public transport but please do not drink and drive. Conscious travel is a huge part of our ethos and we definitely do not want to put ourselves, our group or the local community at risk.


Resolving Conflicts and Getting Help

We all wish for the WiFi Tribe community to be a positive place where we build one another up and are able to explore without fear of judgment, so that we can learn and grow together.


We’ve created these guidelines to help all of us navigate the complexity of communicating online with people from all over the world. This next section is all about applying our guidelines and we’ve broken it down into three parts:


1. Avoiding issues

2. Empathetically addressing the issue

3. Reporting an issue

4. Our Grievance Procedure

4. Enforcement of community guidelines

Avoiding Issues

The best way to avoid issues – to start discussions, not fires – is to be more conscious about how we communicate. WiFi Tribe has been built on a set of values, and the guidelines we shared above are a helpful resource to better understand what it means to live by those values.


If we keep the values and guidelines listed above in mind as we communicate online, we’re going to be able to avoid most of the issues before they even become issues.

Empathetically Addressing the Issue

If you feel that you’re finding yourself in a conflictive situation in our online community, please always choose to communicate your concern to the person with empathy and in a non-confrontational way. (Of course, if it is a matter of harassment, we encourage you to get in touch with the team as soon as possible using the form linked below).

Here are some guiding questions that might inspire a thoughtful approach:


● How can I word my message so that it doesn’t make the other person look like a bad person in front of others, but rather, a fellow human who made a mistake?

● How can I make it easy for the person to adjust or fix their mistake, without turning this interaction into a public shaming?

● How can I show them that I want to help, not hurt them?

● How can I assertively deliver the message clearly, but without unnecessary scorn or

reprimand?

● How can I avoid belittling the other person? (See examples of condescending comments

above)


We recommend following these steps:


1. Check the context: As soon as you’re concerned there may be conflict or that someone has communicated something inappropriate or disrespectful, check the context of the message to make sure you fully understand where they might be coming from.


2. Apply empathy: As you write your response, try to spend more time thinking about their perspective. It will help you write a message that is much more likely to be received well, and therefore, more likely to lead to a positive outcome of mutual learning and understanding – which is, after all, your ultimate goal of engaging in this conversation in the first place.


3. Explain how you feel: Explain to the person how their words or actions made you feel, or how you felt that it was misaligned with our community guidelines. Talking about how you feel about something is much less likely to lead to escalating conflict than passing a judgement on a person (i.e. saying ‘you are wrong’ or ‘you are a bad person’).


4. Seek to understand: Allow the person to explain their perspective, and most importantly, truly seek to understand it, instead of seeking to find holes in their arguments. Discussions should never be about winning or losing – that’s what switches on our egos and makes things personal – but rather, about understanding, accepting, learning, and growing... On both sides. No one is perfect.


5. Have the courage to apologise: If you realise it was a misunderstanding, please don’t forget to apologise – it will go a long way to strengthening your relationships within the community.


6. Accept freedom of opinion: If you don’t get the answer you were expecting, nor the sense that this person wishes to continue this conversation, remind yourself that the person does not need to adopt your opinions or beliefs. So if you feel you have passed on the message, and said what you felt was important to say, then it may be best to leave the conversation here before it escalates. If the person specifically asks to end the conversation or to no longer engage with you on this topic, you must respect their request, or it may be perceived as harassment.


7. If necessary, report a case: If you feel that the person has not communicated in line with our guidelines, or that there is a more serious matter that needs to be addressed, we recommend using the form below to escalate the issue.


Reporting an incident 

This form allows WiFi Tribe to follow up on all incidents reported and take appropriate action. Completed forms are sent to a dedicated team who are trained to handle these situations.


The reporting form can be found here 

Please note; to make matters easier for a person wishing to report an incident, this form should be used for both physical and virtual incidents. As such, this "one-form fits all" can be used for any matter. 


Formal Grievance Procedure

As a member of this community we encourage you to talk to one another to deal with interpersonal problems. However, when this isn’t possible, you can file a formal complaint through the Reporting Form, and steps will be taken to resolve the issue.


The procedure is as follows:

1. A designated team member will receive the complaint and carry out an investigation based on the information and evidence provided.


2. A team member will reach out to you to confirm if you would like us to deal with the issue formally (i.e. talking to the people involved). We’ll also give you the option to simply raise a concern, without wishing to pursue it further.
NOTE: Depending on the gravity of the case, if you are reporting something you witnessed, we may reach out directly to the victim, as our primary objective is to protect the victim.


3. Should you wish to take things further, we may:

a. Reach out to the offending party to inform them that a complaint has been made against their behaviour

b. Ask the alleged offender for clarification or further information

c. Organise mediation procedures

d. Take actions to ensure the formal decision is adhered to

e. Communicate the formal decision to members involved


What to expect from us throughout this process:

● You will be kept informed throughout the process

● Accurate records of the incident will be kept

● Your identity will be safeguarded to the best of our ability, irrespective of the outcome


 Enforcement

Consequences of Breaching Community Guidelines


This will depend on many factors, including the incident itself and any previous reports against the person.

We operate on a “three strikes you're out” basis as illustrated below:


1. First violation – first official warning

2. Second violation – second official warning

3. Third violation – permanent removal from the community


Please note that this procedure often concerns more trivial matters. We will always reserve the right to remove someone from the community at any point if we believe that the offense or the combination of offences, requires that person's immediate removal from the community.


While non-exhaustive, the following behaviours may be grounds for immediate removal from the community:


Discrimination or racism: Any comment directly or indirectly discriminating against someone’s gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, skin color, ethnicity, religion, origin, nationality, etc., may be grounds for removal.


Sexual offences: Any inappropriate remarks about a person’s body or choice of clothing, unwelcome advances, unwanted or inappropriate comments, or  any non consensual physical contact between members, if substantiated, are zero strike infractions.


Harassment: Any aggressive bullying, teaming up, verbal abuse, besmirchment or slander, public humiliation, mischaracterisation of someone’s character, or otherwise, may be grounds for accelerated removal.


Violence: Any act of violence which is not in defence of one self or another may lead to automatic removal. This includes both physical and verbal violence, such as assault and battery.


Drug use: Any drug use which is not legal in both the US and the country in which the chapter occurs, may lead to automatic removal. This includes but of course is not limited to cocaine, pills, and marijuana. If you have been prescribed medical marijuana, please ensure such use remains within the ambit of prescribed medical use.


Please note that removal from the community means just that; a ban from Slack, online and physical chapters, and anything else related to our community. We will always reserve the right to use discretion when investigating, warning, or removing a member from the community and will always act in a way that is fair, just, and reasonable.