Announcing Changes to the Exponent Facebook Group

mormon-feminist-body-of-ChristOn behalf of the Exponent team, I am announcing that we have changed the privacy settings on the Exponent Facebook group. The Exponent Facebook group is now a closed group instead of a public one. This change will make it more likely that posts to the group will be seen by group members in our news feeds.  It will also make posts and comments invisible to people who have not joined the group.  (The Exponent Facebook business page remains public and visible to all.)

We make this change with no small amount of trepidation. Closed Facebook groups are notorious for hosting the online equivalent of fistfights and we Exponent bloggers are busy people who don’t have any desire to spend all hours of the day and night moderating. A very small team of bloggers has generously volunteered to devote some of their precious, unpaid volunteer time to moderating the closed Facebook group, but we have neither the time nor the desire to treat group members as children in need of a babysitter or hostile enemies in need of a referee. We are starting the closed group on a trial basis for now and if we find that a very high degree of moderator surveillance and intervention is necessary to keep things civil, we will delete the group as a failed experiment. We do have real lives to attend to, after all.

We have created a list a list of guidelines for civil dialogue. Please familiarize yourselves with these guidelines and voluntarily abide by them if you choose to participate in the closed Facebook group.

You may prefer a more confrontational, in-your-face, calling-people-out sort of discussion style than prescribed by our guidelines. I am not saying that your way is wrong, but I am saying that our group might not be the best fit for you. If you would rather not abide by our guidelines for Exponent Facebook group discussions, please remove yourself from the group. Don’t worry! The Internet is replete with venues for confrontational discussion and we would be happy to spar with you in those spaces.

We will remove group members who are flagrant or consistent violators of group guidelines, but I hope you won’t make us do that too often. If you choose to participate, choose to follow the guidelines. If you don’t want to follow the guidelines, remove yourself from the group. That will make things easier on all of us.

If these guidelines work for you, you can join our closed Facebook group here:

Everyone is encouraged to follow our public facebook page, regardless of whether you choose to join the closed group:

Exponent Facebook Group Discussion Guidelines

  1. The Exponent Facebook group is a forum for Mormon feminists, Mormon feminist allies, and people considering becoming a Mormon feminist or ally.
  2. No fake profiles. Only real people.
  3. Posts should center on Mormonism and/or feminism or issues that intersect with Mormonism and/or feminism. Please place unrelated posts elsewhere, such as on your personal Facebook timeline.
  4. Maintain the same civility in this online forum that you would use in a face to face conversation. Be honest without name calling or profanity.
  5. Ask questions when you don’t know. A thoughtful answer is a gift, not an entitlement.
  6. Listen well and share the floor. The goal is to learn and share, not persuade or attack. Keep comments brief. The person with the most comments does not win.
  7. Presume goodwill. Clarify before you convict. Assume the person posting is not trying to hurt you. Set the tone. Affirm what you can and add facts and counter-examples.
  8. Acknowledge your own culture and that others have a different background.
  9. Be willing to look inward and question your own views.
  10. If you change your mind or feel bad about what you wrote, you can write another comment or apologize. Don’t delete your original comment. (Editing comments is permitted.)
  11. Speak from your own experience.  Do not negate the lived experience of someone else.
  12. React towards the issue, not the person.
  13. In our closed group, all things are private. Sharing information gleaned from the group outside the group is cause for expulsion.
  14. Be cautious in sharing personal or confidential information within the closed Facebook group. We cannot keep your secrets safe for you if you share them with hundreds of people and your mother-in-law could join our group at any time.
  15. If you need help with another online conversation outside of the Exponent Facebook group, recruit privately from your personal network, not within the Exponent closed Facebook group.
  16. If you do not comply with a moderator’s instruction, or block a moderator, you may be removed from the group.

The following Resources List provides more detail about how to do your part to contribute to civil dialogue.  The Resources List also provides background on feminist theory and terminology, especially as it relates to Mormon feminism.

Resources List

Having Productive Conversations

Promoting Self-Awareness

Understanding Feminist Terminology

April Young-Bennett
April Young-Bennett
April Young-Bennett is the author of the Ask a Suffragist book series and host of the Religious Feminism Podcast. Learn more about April at


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