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Join the MuckRock Slack channel

Want to learn to be a better FOIA requester? Looking to share a great story? Join the MuckRock FOIA Slack channel!

The MuckRock Slack channel is a free, collaborative discussion forum to discuss both the federal Freedom of Information Act as well as state public records laws. We do ask that members follow the community guidelines listed below and understand that while we encourage courtesy and respecting the privacy of the forum, just as with any public mailing list, we cannot guarantee discussions had in the forum will stay in the forum. In other words, don't say anything in here you wouldn't want made public.

We also have regularly scheduled Slack chats, typically on Tuesdays and Fridays, to discuss particular issues with FOIA and public records. You can browse upcoming chats here or below, (Times are Eastern Time by default) or subscribe with your calendar app here.



MuckRock FOIA Slack Community Guidelines


The goal of MuckRock’s community Slack channel is to help foster knowledge, understanding, and use of the Freedom of Information Act and public records law among journalists, researchers, and the general public. To this end, our goal is to offer a welcoming environment, focusing on constructive dialogue around records requesting and government transparency.

To keep this a focused forum, we do not tolerate arguments among group members or any type of hostility or insulting behavior. And we are serious about moderating the group. If you violate our guidelines you may be immediately removed. In most cases you may be allowed to join again, but with the expectation that you will abide by these guidelines. Repeat offenders of these guidelines will be banned from the group.

We may delete contributions or block contributors that:

  • Make allegations against individuals or organizations that go beyond what is necessary to help frame a public records request.
  • Offensive language
  • Personal attacks of any kind
  • SHOUTING (in all caps) or hostility
  • Screen capping of conversations or quoting members without their permission outside of the Slack channel.
  • “@ mentioning” someone in a way that is harassing or excessive.
  • Content that's not relevant to the topic of public records, except in designated, “off topic” channels.
  • Marketing or spam

Please be aware that we may remove comments from this group for any reason and that group members who violate these guidelines may also be removed.

Due to the size of this Slack channel group, and the fact that it’s growing, deleting comments and removing members who violate these guidelines are important to ensuring the group stays constructive.

You are the other element crucial to the success of this group. Online conversations thrive when there is mutual respect and cooperation. And working as a team to help moderate yourself and others will help conversation remain constructive and respectful. If you would like to flag anything for review, please email or direct message Michael Morisy.

Just a few other things to remember:

  • This forum is not completely private. While we ask members to follow basic courtesy and ask for permission before quoting members, do not state anything that you would be uncomfortable with have escape to the public.
  • This community includes a wide range of people, including journalists, scholars, lawyers, activists, and many other permutations of requester. We want to support the general community with the goal of a more transparent government.
  • Online conversations are different from face-to-face conversations. Tone of voice and facial expressions don’t translate. Sarcasm, jokes and emoticons, like the smiley face sticking its tongue out, don’t always translate.
  • Dominating the discussion can end it. Look for ways to consolidate several comments into one – you’ll often prompt more thoughtful responses.
  • All capital letters = yelling. Please use them sparingly.
  • Don't be a "know it all." Everyone in this group has expertise.

Thanks again for your contributions. If you ever have questions or concerns, please contact us at

Book Club

MuckRock Book Club officially kicks off next month with Tim Weiner’s Legacy of Ashes, an expansive tour through the Central Intelligence Agency history.

Winner of the National Book Award and numerous newspapers’ “Best Books of the Year” list, Weiner’s survey is noted as one of the most comprehensive available of the secretive government service, but the Agency argues in its own review that “the errors of fact in Legacy of Ashes are numerous and of the kind that a half-way diligent graduate student would spot.”

There will certainly be plenty to discuss and learn, and we hope you’ll join us at 4pm Eastern on Thursday, November 2nd on Slack, where we’ll be discussing Part One and Part Two, which cover the Agency through Truman and Eisenhower (we’ll be saving the other parts for December and January).


Some topics suggested by other users:

Special thank to ProPublica and Marshall Allen, which generously granted permission to heavily base the above community guidelines on their own.