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Neighbors by Ring Community Guidelines

Neighbors is a free service for all residents to share, discuss and raise awareness about crime and safety-related activity in your community. Our guidelines are constantly evolving and will continue to expand as we learn what information is helpful, relevant, and appropriate for local communities. Each incident is different and local context matters; however we have one set of Community Guidelines that all users must follow. We reserve the right to remove any content that we determine violates our Community Guidelines. We reserve the right to take other action, such as temporarily suspending or permanently banning Neighbors accounts, at any time for any conduct that we determine to be inappropriate or harmful. The action will be dependent on the severity of the violation, the user's history of violations, and previous account actions taken against the user.

Posts and comments to Neighbors are reviewed by Neighbors moderators before they are published, to ensure compliance with our Community Guidelines. If your post or comment violates our Community Guidelines, it will not be published. When that happens, in most cases you will be notified by email that your post was removed. We’re not perfect, so if you believe your post was removed mistakenly, you can submit an appeal by responding to the email you receive and our team will take another look.

Occasionally, we mistakenly approve a post or comment that violates our Community Guidelines. If you see a post or comment that you believe violates our Community Guidelines, you can report it by flagging the content in the app or by sending an email with a screenshot of the content in question to to further investigate and assist.

Neighbors by Ring Community Guidelines

What type of content is allowed

Neighbors enables communities to come together to discuss local safety information in a safe way. We believe that the responsibility of creating, maintaining, and improving safe communities lives with all of us. Misunderstandings and rash judgments can harm people’s lives, erode community cohesion, and alienate your neighbors. With those important factors in mind, we only allow specific types of content on Neighbors. Posts or comments about some incidents are not permitted under our Community Guidelines. This does not mean that the incidents are not valid, just that they don’t fit the criteria of content allowed on Neighbors. 

Every post on Neighbors should be: (1) Relevant to local crime and safety, (2) written in a helpful way, and last but not least (3) appropriate and safe to share.

We are constantly updating our guidelines while we figure out what are the most important updates on crime and safety for our users. We regularly work with independent experts to strike the right balance to develop guidelines as outlined below. 

The following content is allowed:

Reporting certain individual behavior

  1. Successful crimes 
    • Damage caused from hit and runs, pranks, targeted attacks
    • Theft of packages, mail, and other personal property
    • Threats to life or injury, including both physical and verbal altercations
  2. Unauthorized handling of personal property
    • Physically touching personal property that is inappropriate for strangers to touch 
      • Use of force or tools to open or dislodge property or attempt to do so
      • Touching, moving, opening personal property like packages, car doors, bikes, equipment, windows, or main house doors without permission
  3. Trespassing
    • Trespassing can include a lot of different behaviors. However on Neighbors, one of the following 2 attributes must be present in posts about trespassing:
      • Individual(s) are on an unusual location of the property
        • Unusual location
          means: any deviation from the path between where someone accesses a property and the front door or other place where guests are typically received.
          • E.g. A person who walks across the lawn from the street in front of the house toward the front door is not in an unusual location.
          • E.g. A person who walks from a front gate, leaves the walkway to a front door, and goes to the side of a house with no door is in an unusual location.
      • Individual(s) are on the property late at night or early in morning, meaning between 10pm-7am
    • The following behaviors are not considered trespassing:
      • Individual taking shortcuts through an unfenced frontyard
      • Individual looking through, leaving, or taking trash 
      • Individual hiding from someone or something 
      • Individual in public or shared spaces like apartment common areas
      • Pranks that do not cause damage, like ding dong ditching
  4. Holding a visible weapon
  5. Reckless Driving accompanied with relevant video
  6. Specific examples of predator-like behavior (indecent exposure, taking pictures of people without their knowledge, talking to children from cars, stalking, or other similar behavior.)

Reporting environmental hazards

  1. Wild animals that pose a danger to pets and/or family safety
  2. Unverified gunshots or explosions
  3. Police activity
  4. Fires
  5. Natural Disasters
  6. Potential crime occurred based on physical evidence, such as missing, abandoned, or altered items
  7. Power Outages
  8. Severe Weather
  9. Hazmat issues
  10. Drug paraphernalia that poses a safety risk, such as abandoned needles or drugs

Discussing Safety related issues in the community

  1. Organized charity drives for basic necessities
  2. Community safety related events
  3. Trending scams based on information from reputable sources (e.g. law enforcement or media)
  4. Discussion of local hate/prejudice culture
  5. Public information on local registered sex offenders
  6. Missing People

Lost and Found Pets

  1. Missing and found pet family members

Neighborly moments

  1. An act of kindness from someone in the community

Special guidelines during local disasters

  1. During times of local disasters, like floods, wildfires, earthquakes, and public health emergencies, you may report, ask your community for information, or see content that is not typically permitted. Each disaster scenario is different, and anticipating the needs of what benefits each area is challenging to accurately prepare for in advance. To ensure that communities can turn to each other for assistance in times of crisis, we, for a temporary period, allow some content that would usually be prohibited in the “Posts that are not relevant to local safety” section. This emergency exception will not impact policies related to the reporting of individuals, the “Abuse and inappropriate content”, or our guidelines for “Writing posts in a helpful way”
    • Examples of posts permitted during local disasters
      • During the electric grid failure in Texas in February 2021: 
        • What restaurants were open
        • Where to find firewood
        • Tips for preventing pipes from freezing
      • During the onset of the COVID-19 global pandemic
        • Where to find basic essentials, like toilet paper and food
        • Offers to donate personal services such as delivering groceries to the immunocompromised
      • During the Southern California Woolsey Fire in November 2018
        • Images and videos of what the neighborhood looked like 
        • Notices of what roads and routes were open or closed

Public Safety Agencies

  1. Identified agencies that service local communities’ safety concerns, like police and fire departments, have comprehensive context into local safety issues and are permitted to report a wider variety of posts to engage and inform their communities. While identified public safety agencies have the same standards for reporting the actions of individuals as other users, we believe there are opportunities for more communication between the public and those that serve the public to facilitate transparency and collaboration that is necessary to build better communities. For instance, you may see some content from public agencies that may center on community building or reflect information not normally allowed under the guidelines, like meet and greets or road closures. Public safety agencies are held to the same ‘Abuse and Inappropriate content’ standards, and you may turn off notifications from Public Safety Agencies at any time. 

Tips on writing posts in a helpful way

All posts should be written in a helpful way that informs the neighborhood about the incident. 

  • Including ample detail is important for your community. Include details in your post like what happened, where and when the incident occurred, how you became aware of it, and whether it has been resolved or is ongoing. 
  • Provide unique details like clothing. Avoid relying on vague physical characteristics that are shared by many people, such as race.
  • Ensure the correct media is uploaded with your post.
  • When posting about first hand reports of dangerous events, include enough detail for the community to arrive at the same conclusion about what happened.
  • Firsthand reports suggest that a greater level of detail is available, especially during dangerous events. Providing key details like how the event transpired, who is affected, and whether law enforcement is aware allows your community to discuss and reach their own conclusions regarding the event’s urgency and level of threat.
  • Reduce the clutter in your local Neighbors feed by including all information regarding an incident to one post.

What type of content is not allowed

Content that violates Neighbors Community Guidelines will not be approved for posting to Neighbors. Posts that violate certain Community Guidelines, such as the prohibition on Hateful Content or Unneighborly and Inappropriate Content may result in a temporary or permanent ban. 

The following content is not permitted on Neighbors:

Posts that are not relevant to local safety

Neighbors posts are intended to help the community stay informed about safety related incidents. While posts must relate to crime and safety, not every crime or every safety event can be posted. In certain cases, we use community feedback to determine what incidents are no longer permitted because the community does not find them as relevant to local safety. For example, local ordinance violations pertaining to animal waste or posts about individuals that lack physical actions outlined in the “Reporting individual behavior section” resulted in negative feedback and persistent flags from the community. This does not mean that the incidents are not valid; rather they don’t fit the criteria of content allowed on Neighbors. 

Examples of common post types that are not permitted

These are examples of content that are not permitted:

  1. Certain types of individual behavior
    • Individuals at the door who do not fit the specific actions outlined in the reporting certain individual behavior section.
    • Off-property incidents that do not fit the specific actions outlined in the reporting certain individual behavior section (e.g., driving slowly, taking pictures, looking into car windows)
    • Individuals in a shared space (e.g., apartment building) that who do not fit the specific actions outlined in the reporting certain individual behavior section.
    • Pranks that do not cause damage, like ding dong ditching
    • Vehicles that stop in a driveway
    • Individuals taking a shortcut in an unfenced front yard
    • Individuals looking through, leaving, or taking trash 
    • Individuals hiding from something or someone (e.g., law enforcement, unmarked car)
    • Nuisances like complaints about neighbors or solicitors
    • Negligence by service workers
  2. Isolated incidents
    • Animals that defecate on property
    • Incidents between roommates, landlords, and tenants 
    • Reports of death by natural causes or suicide
    • Ring device/software related issues without a specific safety incident
  3. Personal opinions
    • Your own political or religious beliefs, or those of others in your community
    • Complaints about other Neighbors’ app content
  4. Irrelevant or unhelpful information for the community
    • Lost and found items, like keys and mobile phones, without any suggestion of theft
    • Street Closures, other than posts made by public safety agencies
    • Reckless driving like speeding and running stop signs that are not accompanied with relevant video. The level of concern raised by common reckless driving behaviors is difficult to assess without supplemental video.
    • Additional posts on the same incident without new information
    • Reports of drone activity

Abuse and inappropriate content

Neighbors aims to create and maintain a safe environment for users and non users alike. In the spirit of community safety and inclusion, there are several areas of inappropriate content we do not allow.

Hateful content

  1. Racism, hateful language, or discrimination of any kind is prohibited.
    • Posts and comments that dehumanize or express inferiority, contempt, exclusion or disgust of someone based on protected attributes like race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, immigration status, sex, gender identity, age, disability, socioeconomic or veteran status are not tolerated on Neighbors. Posts or comments that violate this guideline may result in a temporary or permanent ban.

Prejudice, implicit bias

  1. Racial profiling or prejudice of any kind is prohibited.
    • Prejudice of any kind is not allowed on Neighbors, even if it is unintentional. Calling attention to a personal attribute like someone's race, nationality, religion, socioeconomic position, sexual orientation, disability, or immigration status is rarely appropriate, often leads to misunderstandings, and could alienate your neighbors. Prejudice of any kind is not allowed on Neighbors, even if it is unintentional. 
    • To ensure your posts are met with the attention they deserve, follow these guidelines when mentioning certain protected attributes:
      • Appropriate use of race
        • We realize that it is common on TV and in the media to refer to people by their race and gender when discussing a safety alert or possible crime. However this information does not help meaningfully identify someone and can imply that race and gender are part of the reason to be concerned about a person’s actions. If you include an individual’s race in your post, you must either:
          • Include
            two additional physical descriptors
            , such as clothing, tattoos or mode of transportation. Height, age, and sex are not sufficient, because these physical attributes are too commonplace to be meaningful. 
          • Use race to describe why an incident was a hate crime or incident involving prejudice.
      • Assumption of criminal capacity or criminal intent based on someone's perceived social or economic level is prohibited.
      • Do not assume or mention an individual’s ethnicity, nationality, orientation, disability, or immigration status. Stick to the facts, provide as many details as possible and do not direct insults or opinions toward the individual.

Unneighborly and inappropriate

  1. Personal attacks, insults, and demeaning or sexualized language are prohibited. 
    • Posts or comments that bully, harass, or promote or attack personal ideologies are prohibited and may result in a temporary or permanent ban. While we encourage open communication among neighbors and understand that occasional disagreements may occur, always remember to be respectful and neighborly— these are real people from the community you live in.
      • Personal attacks, insults, victim blaming and sexualized or other offensive language are prohibited
      • Promoting your own political or religious opinions, or those of others in your community are prohibited
  2. Profanity is prohibited. This includes both when using the word to refer to an individual or using the word in general.
  3. Given the serious nature of safety incidents posted on Neighbors, jokes at the expense of victims or other users are prohibited. 

Promoting and normalizing violence or self-harm

  1. Content that
    normalizes, glorifies
    or otherwise fosters violence and potentially dangerous situations is prohibited. Do not promote or encourage violence or vigilantism. This includes encouraging people to confront suspects, use force against others, advocating for the use of weapons, or other dangerous behavior.
    • Promotion of violence
      means suggesting that violence or entering a dangerous situation is a good solution for protection or justice. For example:
      • Wishing or expressing a desire for physical harm or claiming physical harm is an acceptable form of justice;
      • Wishing for current or future violence against or physical confrontation of individuals
    • Normalizing violence
      means advocating for or posting videos or images of yourself in avoidably dangerous situations. For example:
      • Suggesting that confrontation is a good form of preventing crime or harm;
      • Posts or comments about leaving your personal property to confront an individual;
      • Posts or comments that show or describe you using or holding a weapon in a non-self defense scenario
    • Glorifying violence
      means celebrating or praising violence as well as violent content meant to entertain or shock. For example:
      • Fantasizing about how you will make it dangerous for individuals;
      • Relishing a missed opportunity to confront an individual or use violence

Graphic content

  1. Disturbing content such as nudity, sexual behavior, and graphic violence are prohibited.
    • Although it is sometimes hard to avoid graphic imagery when documenting a crime or safety issue, you should weigh the practical benefits of a given video or image against the possibility the imagery may cause someone distress.
    • The following types of videos and images are prohibited:
      • Videos and images of death/dying, visibly open wounds, and sexual assault caught on camera 
      • Videos and images of incidental nudity, pornography, sexually suggestive or other graphic content with the intent to arouse

Misleading information, fraud and impersonation

  1. Fraudulent activity such as intentionally untrue statements about an individual, misrepresenting who an incident occured to, and impersonation of anyone else, including Ring, other neighbors or a celebrity, are prohibited. 
  2. Misleading information that leads to harm is prohibited.
    • Any content that may lead to or has the potential to lead to significant risk or harm to individuals, families, or communities.

Private information

  1. Disclosure of other people's personally identifying information, imagery of children under 13, or content that is focused on a victim or bystander who is in distress and shows their likeness is prohibited in order to respect their privacy and dignity.
    • Respect the privacy of others. Do not post other people’s personally identifying information. Personally identifying information includes details like phone numbers, full names, and exact addresses. 
    • Neighbors does not display users’ personally identifying information by default. A user may choose to provide personally identifying information
      about themselves
      in their posts or comments.
    • Do not upload photos, audio or video of individuals or activities where a reasonable person would expect privacy. For example, someone recorded in a bathroom.
    • Do not post content that contains personally identifying information or photos or videos of a child under the age of 13. This includes, but is not limited to: full names, addresses, photos and/or videos that clearly contain a child's image or voice.
    • Do not post content depicting an identifiable crime victim, bystander, or child who is in distress, seeking assistance, under attack, or in an otherwise vulnerable state or compromising situation, unless it is posted for the purpose of identifying the suspect.
    • In certain limited circumstances, personal information about others is permitted in posts and comments.  These include but are not limited to publicly available information, situations involving ongoing threats to physical safety, and information posted by a public safety agency.

Solicitation, spam, and trolling

  1. Trolling, spamming, and solicitations for business or advertising are prohibited. 
    • Help your neighborhood stay on-topic. Neighbors is a place to post about local safety information that may impact your neighbors. Avoid discussing personal issues, making commercial solicitations, or any topics that are not crime or safety related. 

Illegal content

  1. Violent threats, copyrighted or trademarked content, or any other kind of illegal content is prohibited.

Dealing with misunderstandings, implicit bias, and profiling

Neighbors acknowledges that posts reporting concerns about an individual can be influenced by implicit bias and profiling- even if unintentional. To reduce the risk of misunderstandings, implicit bias, and profiling, Neighbors makes content decisions based on the reported actions of the individual, never on a poster’s speculation or opinion that certain behavior or individuals are concerning. Requiring posts to be made based on the actions of the individual also gives the community the necessary details to discuss and reach their own conclusions. 

To reduce the chances of misunderstandings, implicit bias, and profiling, we identify areas where these are more likely to manifest and implement the following tenets when developing our policies:

  • Neighbors always creates Community Guidelines and evaluates content based on the objective actions of a reported individual, never on speculation about the reported individual’s intent or a poster’s level of concern.
  • E.g. Someone touching a car door handle is a fact (they either did or didn't) and posts reporting this conduct are allowed. Why someone may have looked into a car is speculative and this information will not be considered when determining whether a post is reporting on a valid safety issue. 
  • E.g. Someone walking towards the door and quickly turning around is a fact. However posts about this conduct do not meet the standards for an allowed post under our Community Guidelines. Even if the poster believes this conduct was due to the individual seeing the poster’ home security camera and trying to avoid detection, this is not a fact, it is a guess. Posts reporting this conduct are not allowed, regardless of the poster’s suspicion about what motivated the conduct.
  • Neighbors’ Community Guidelines prohibit posts about certain conduct or physical actions that present a high risk of identifying harmless behavior as concerning, even if descriptions of the conduct or physical actions are indeed accurate. 
  • E.g. Posts that report an individual has opened a screen door are not permitted
  • It is common for individuals to bypass a screen/security door to knock on the main door
  • E.g. Posts that report an individual has opened an unlocked a mailbox are not permitted
  • There are many situations in which an individual may innocently open a mailbox like leaving a flyer or a neighbor looking for their misdelivered mail.
  • E.g. Posts that report someone walking to the driver side window of a car and making a transaction are not permitted
  • There are plenty of legal transactions involving two parties that do not involve illicit drugs.

Last updated 2 months ago