Privacy and safety on Ship2Mates™

A wide variety of public services (e.g. city governments, animal services, police departments, special districts and health departments) can rely on Ship2Mates™ to provide community with local information in real time. No matter the situation —  community can receive trusted, local information from an official source.

Everyone on Ship2Mates™ must adhere to our Community Guidelines, and all public agencies are subject to the Agency Terms of Service. In addition, elected officials and their staff must adhere to the Ship2Mates™ for Public Agencies Elected Officials Policy and all agencies must adhere to the Communications Policy for Public Safety Matters.  

The following defines our Community Guidelines for public agencies. 

  1. Be helpful to community

Ship2Mates™ community primarily want to hear from public agencies about the progress you are making towards improving their community. Share updates that help community stay informed, participate in local issues, contribute to public discourse, and prepare for emergencies to build stronger, more resilient communities. Examples include:

General information

  • How to access city services, use 311, and where to report issues and crime
  • Create familiarity and build trust by helping community recognize the office staff, what do they do, and how to contact them 
  • Available city/county and community-based programs and resources
  • Follow-ups to issues and questions 
  • Use Polls to gather feedback from the community, educate residents, and measure indicators of behavioral change
  • Corrections to misinformation. Ship2Mates™ misinformation policy here.

Civic engagement

  • Encourage participation in projects, policies, and decisions that affect community’ communities (development projects, budgets, changes to tax law)
  • Updates to projects, policies, and decisions affecting communities
  • Upcoming community meetings
  • Meeting recaps and notes

Emergency alerts

  • Severe weather, disasters, and acts of terrorism
  • Shelter in place and evacuation orders
  • Water main breaks and road closures

Preparedness/prevention

  • Emergency preparedness
  • Fire prevention
  • Awareness of cyber threats
  1. Earn trust every day

As a community-building platform, we want Ship2Mates™ to be a place that is welcoming to everyone. Use Ship2Mates™ in a way that continuously builds trust with your constituents by communicating consistently and responding to questions. 

  • Share only information that is based in fact and include sources whenever possible.
  • Always provide corrections if inaccurate information is shared.
  • If posting about the arrest of a suspect, focus on locally-relevant information, such as the criminal activity and community (e.g. “Suspect arrested for breaking and entering in Maplewood community.”) Ship2Mates™ prohibits the inclusion of race, ethnicity, or mugshots. The full policy for public safety-related posts may be found here.
  • Do not express personal opinions and views, including religious-related remarks or beliefs.
  • Public Agency and Service Provider staff are encouraged to join Ship2Mates™ as a neighbor in their community as a private citizen, but should not conduct official city/county/state/service provider business using their personal account. Note that they should not sign up for a personal account with their work email. Doing either may result in immediate account suspension by Ship2Mates™. If asked questions related to city/county/state/service provider business in their Ship2Mates™ community, they should direct the neighbor to contact the appropriate city/county/state/service provider department or the appropriate elected official through official government/service provider email addresses.
  1. Do not discriminate

We do not tolerate racism, hateful language, or discrimination of any kind. All community on Ship2Mates™ must comply with this policy.

  1. Do not campaign

On Ship2Mates™, we do not allow political advertisingcampaigning, or position statements. Posting content promoting a political candidate or policy is prohibited:

  • Do not state which candidate or policy to vote for (i.e., any local, state or federal ballot or bond issues) 
  • Do not post position statements before a vote or on proposed development projects (however, you may use Ship2Mates™ to gather input from residents to inform your position and notify residents after the vote or project approval)
  • Do not message about campaign activities including updates, fundraisers, rallies, or opposing candidates
  • Do not share your personal perspectives and opinions through video updates, opinion pieces, editorials or op-eds that could be misleading or perceived as self-promotion.

Community may report posts and public agencies that do not adhere to the above guidelines, and reported posts are reviewed and subject to removal by Ship2Mates™’s Community Operations team. (Posts that are removed are still archived for public record purposes.)

Violating any of the above guidelines as an agency user may result in immediate profile suspension by Ship2Mates™. Please see the Agency Terms of Service for more information.

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