FS Online Community Code of Conduct

AFSA is pleased to provide the platform for the Foreign Service Online Community and thanks you for your participation. To ensure the best possible experience for all participants, we have established some basic guidelines as outlined below, based on best practices for online community fora.

By joining and using this community, you agree that you have read and will adhere to these rules and guidelines. If you have any questions about any of this information, please don’t hesitate to contact the community moderator: fscommunity@afsa.org. To preserve a fruitful and positive environment, we reserve the right to suspend or terminate participation in this community for those who violate the guidelines and/or rules.

The Vision

The Foreign Service Online Community is what we make of it. AFSA is committed to providing an online space where members can get in touch with each other, share ideas, interesting articles, professional insights, retirement questions and tips, or any other related content that is constructive and of general interest. Read the latest think tank article on the state of diplomacy? You can share it, and your perspective if you so desire. Travelling to Istanbul? Mention your plan and reach colleagues who can offer local recommendations or maybe even offer a chance to meet for coffee. Need some advice about financial planners familiar with the Foreign Service? Reach out for recommendations from your peers. In addition, an AFSA moderator may offer up themes of interest to stimulate the content and discussion in the online community. 

The Foreign Service community is unique in its shared identity, experiences, and richness. We hope that our online community will reinforce and sustain our professional bonds.  

The Foreign Service Online Community’s purpose is to provide space for participants to communicate with each other. If you wish to communicate directly with AFSA on any issue, you can do so by emailing member@afsa.org. The Forum is not the space for asking direct questions of AFSA.

The Etiquette

  • Include a signature tag on your messages, which includes your full, legal name, contact information, and location. 
  • State your topic concisely on the subject line. This allows for easy identification of the content of your message and makes it easier for members to search the archives by subject. 
  • Send a message to the entire community when it contains information that everyone can benefit from. Messages of a sensitive, private or personal nature, or as simple as "thanks for the information" should be sent to individuals—not to the entire list. Do this by using the "Reply to Sender" link on the bottom of every message.
  • Adhere to the same standards of behavior online that you follow in real life. If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t say it online. Be conscious of your choice of language—sometimes words that might not sound hurtful when said in person (when tone of voice and body language help communication) might be offensive when written. Sarcasm often doesn’t translate well to the page.
  • Do not send administrative messages on the platform, such as “remove me from the list.” Instead, please email the community moderator at fscommunity@afsa.org.

The Rules

  • Don't attack others by name and personally. Engaging in such attacks will result in being banned from the community.
  • Defamatory, abusive, profane, threatening, offensive, or illegal materials are strictly prohibited. Do not post anything that you would not want the world to see or that you would not want anyone to know came from you. Violating this rule will result in being banned from the community.
  • Discussions and comments are meant to stimulate conversation, not to create contention. Recognize that everyone has different opinions and be respectful of their opinions as you would like your own opinion to be respected.
  • Avoid generalizations about entire groups of people, including racial, ethnic, religious, gender, sexual orientation or other stereotypes.
  • Multiple submissions of negative comments that do not further the conversation or add value will result in removal from the forum.
  • Information shared in the Foreign Service Online Community is intended for community members, who have an expectation of privacy. Do not cut and paste content into an email and share outside the FS Online Community.
  • Do not share personal information of community members, including but not limited to names and email addresses.
  • We reserve the right to remove posts that violate these rules without prior notification to the poster.
  • Please note all items listed in the disclaimer and legal rules below, particularly regarding the copyright ownership of information posted. 

The Legal Stuff

This site is provided as a service by the American Foreign Service Association. The American Foreign Service Association is not responsible for the opinions and information posted on this site by others. We disclaim all warranties with regard to information posted on this site, whether posted by the American Foreign Service Association or any third party; this disclaimer includes all implied warranties of merchantability and fitness. In no event shall the American Foreign Service Association be liable for any special, indirect, or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data, or profits, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of any information posted on this site.

Do not post any defamatory, abusive, profane, threatening, offensive, or illegal materials. Do not post any information or other material protected by copyright without the permission of the copyright owner. By posting material, the posting party warrants and represents that he or she owns the copyright with respect to such material or has received permission from the copyright owner. In addition, the posting party grants the American Foreign Service Association and users of this site the nonexclusive right and license to display, copy, publish, distribute, transmit, print, and use such information or other material.

Messages should not be posted if they encourage or facilitate members to arrive at any agreement that either expressly or by implication leads to price fixing, a boycott of another's business, or other conduct intended to illegally restrict free trade. Messages that encourage or facilitate an agreement about the following subjects are inappropriate: prices, discounts, or terms or conditions of sale; salaries; profits, profit margins, or cost data; market shares, sales territories, or markets; allocation of customers or territories; or selection, rejection, or termination of customers or suppliers.

The American Foreign Service Association will terminate access to any user who does not abide by these guidelines.

The Privacy Policy

We respect your privacy

Any personal information you provide to us, including and similar to your name, address, telephone number and email address, will not be released, sold, or rented to any entities or individuals outside of our organization except as noted below.

With Whom Do We Share the Personal Information We Collect Through This Site?

Government and Legal Disclosures 
We may disclose the personal information we collect through this site, when we, in good faith, believe disclosure is appropriate to comply with the law (or a court order or subpoena); to prevent or investigate a possible crime, such as fraud or identity theft; to enforce our Terms and Conditions or other agreements that govern your use of this Site; or to protect the rights, property or safety of our company, our users, or others.

External Sites

We are not responsible for the content or policies of external internet sites. You are advised to read the privacy policy of external sites before disclosing any personal information.


A "cookie" is a small data text file that is placed in your browser and allows us to recognize you each time you visit the community. Cookies themselves do not contain any personal information, and we do not use cookies to collect personal information. Cookies may also be used by third party content providers such as news-feeds.

Remember the Risks Whenever You Use the Internet

While we do our best to protect your personal information, we cannot guarantee the security of any information that you transmit to us and you are solely responsible for maintaining the secrecy of any passwords or other account information. In addition, other Internet sites or services that may be accessible through this site have separate data and privacy practices independent of us, and therefore we disclaim any responsibility or liability for their policies or actions. Please contact those vendors and others directly if you have any questions about their privacy policies. For any other information please email the community moderator at fscommunity@afsa.org.

Copyright 2018 - American Foreign Service Association