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The US Constitution is an amazing construct that allows many freedoms; however, community associations CAN impose limitations on certain forms of speech that would otherwise be protected by the First Amendment between the people and our government.

That said, it is generally not the place for any individual or the Board to attempt to censor speech or dictate what individuals say so long as they are not divulging truly confidential material. WA Statute RCW 64.90.445 outlines exactly what can be discussed in an executive session which, by extension, defines what would generally be considered confidential. Please also review the free-speech references below.

Below is an example of how an association may write a rule that governs how its internal electronic message board system is used:

It is not the Association’s practice to moderate content, so always use common sense when posting and be respectful of others. The following types of content are expressly prohibited:

  • Bullying and harassment

  • Cruel and insensitive language likely to cause emotional, physical and/or psychological harm

  • Graphic and/or violent depictions

  • Hate speech, credible threats and/or personal attacks

  • Incitement of violence

  • Information you know to be false and/or misleading, including the dissemination of false news

  • Profanity

  • Schemes intended to deceive and/or defraud

  • Solicitations for criminal activity and/or illegal substances

  • Spam (abusing our electronic system to artificially increase viewership such as posting the same or significantly similar content repeatedly more than once a week or and/or repeatedly distributing content for commercial and/or personal gain)

  • Correcting factual and/or grammatical error(s) in your posted content is not considered spam

  • Suicide and self-injury

  • Topics and/or images of a sexually explicit nature

  • Violations of privacy