Frequently Asked Questions
What is Fastnote?
Fastnote is a new website where you can write short, civil, anonymous notes to anyone, and those notes are posted publicly where everyone can read them.
Why did you create this site?
Many times while watching TV or reading the news, we wished we had a quick, easy way to “talk back” and tell people what we think. Fastnote grew out of that desire. We saw an opportunity to create a new way to communicate online through civil and constructive notes to people and organizations.
Whom can I write on Fastnote?
You can write to almost anyone on Fastnote. You can write to public figures like politicians, athletes, and celebrities. You can also write to organizations, like businesses, TV shows, sports teams, clubs and other groups.
Plus, you can add almost anyone’s name on Fastnote. So you can write to people like your neighbor, boss, teacher, coach, etc. And all notes are posted publicly, so everyone can read them.
The only people you can’t write are deities and people under the age of 15.
How do I know that an addressee name is really the one I think it is?When users add names, we ask them to include information that will help others identity that person or organization.
If you see one or more similar names and you are not sure you have found the correct name, you can add that name using more information that would help you, and others like you, identify that addressee.
How do I know if someone has read a note I wrote to him?
You may never know for sure that everyone sees the notes you write to them. However, as the site grows there’s a good chance people will eventually hear about and see notes that are written to them.
Also, it can still be satisfying to know that other people will see your note -- they may agree with it, discuss it, or share it -- even if the intended recipient does not. In some respects notes on Fastnote are like letters to the editor -- they're not written just to the editor. Others are likely to see your notes and think about your comments, even if they are not seen by everyone that you would like to see them.
Of course, if you know the addressee you can let them know that notes have been posted to them on Fastnote. One way to do that is by using the “Share” button next to an addressee’s name or any note to that person. When you click the Share button, you will be offered a variety of ways to share that page or note with others, including email, Facebook, and Twitter.
Is there an anonymous way to let someone know there's a note to them on Fastnote?
Yes. You can use the Share link to send an anonymous email to someone, letting them know that you (or someone else) posted a note to them on Fastnote. To do that, click the Share link next to the name or the note you’d like to share, select the anonymous email option, and enter the email address(es) that you would like the email sent to.
Are there any rules for using Fastnote?
Yes. Here are our Ground Rules:
- All Notes and Comments Must Be Anonymous: We don’t want anyone to pretend to be speaking for someone else.
- No Private Information: Names, notes, and comments may not include personal, private or contact information such as telephone numbers, physical addresses, email addresses, social security numbers, account numbers or similar information.
- No Children under 15: Notes and comments may not be about, or addressed to, people under 15 years of age.
- No Defamation: Names, notes and comments may not contain content that is false and defamatory.
- No Malicious Accusations or Rumors: Fastnote is for sharing helpful, well intentioned comments, opinions and suggestions.
- Notes and Comments Must Be Civil: Notes and comments may not contain content that is vulgar, profane, pornographic, abusive, hateful, or degrading to any individual or group.
- English Language Only: We may develop sites for other languages, but for now Fastnote is for English only.
- No Infringement: Notes, comments, addressee names and information may not violate others’ copyrights, trademarks, or other intellectual property rights.
- No Spam or Solicitations: Fastnote is not for solicitations (even for good causes), and it may not be used to spam anyone.
- Legal Use Only: Fastnote may not be used for any unlawful purpose or for promoting illegal activities.
Why do I have to be anonymous when I write?
There is no reliable and practical way to verify identities on the Internet. We don’t want anyone to pretend to be making comments for someone else.
On Fastnote, the emphasis is on what is said, and to whom it is said, not on who said it. An inconspicuous 15-year old can have his or her comment read with the same interest as a note from a famous Nobel lauriate. All writers have an equal opportunity to have their comments heard on Fastnote.
What do you mean by “civil?"
People of all types and ages will be coming to Fastnote and reading the comments posted by our users. It some ways it is like a public bulletin board for opinions and suggestions, except that all comments are made specifically to a named individual or group. Therefore, the notes and comments posted on Fastnote should be fit for public consumption – similar to the comments allowed in newspapers or in a town meeting.
Who decides what is civil and what isn’t?
At Fastnote, we are not trying to set society's standards. Rather, we are trying to reflect and conform to them. Therefore, we ask our community of users to help us. We ask readers report Name, Note and Comment violations that they see. And volunteer Moderators help make the decisions about what stays on the site and what gets removed.
Can I respond to a note that was written to me?
All users can make comments in response to any note that they see on Fastnote. The content rules for notes also apply to comments -- they must be civil and anonymous. (We cannot verify identities of addressees, so we will not let someone claim to be an addressee and respond as if they were.)
You can also respond to a note in a different way, by writing a note of your own to the same name.
Can I reply to the writer of a specific note on Fastnote?
You can post a comment to any note, and everyone can read those comments. Also, we will send an email informing the writer of the note that a comment has been posted to that note (unless they have turned off that feature). So there's a a good chance that the writer of the note will see your comment.
Can I remove my name or someone else’s name from Fastnote?
You can remove any addressee name that you have added to Fastnote, unless notes have been posted to that name.
We do not have a way for you to remove a name if someone else added it to our system, unless that name violates our rules. We feel that people have a right to make comments to other people, and to have those comments open to the public to read. Therefore, we will remove those names or notes only in certain circumstances, which are those that violate our rules and Terms of Service.
If you feel the presence of any name, any note, or any comment on Fastnote is a violation of our rules, then we ask that you report it using the tools we provide on the site. That is the best way for it to be reviewed by our staff or our volunteer moderators. If they agree that the Name or Note should be removed, then it will be removed promptly.
Can I edit a name on Fastnote?
Users can edit the Other Details, the Community linkage, and the deceased indicator for any name that they added to Fastnote.
Why can’t I write to God or another deity on Fastnote?
People are often very sensitive about comments they think are disrespectful or otherwise inappropriate about (or in our case, to) their god or others they worship. So we ask our users to not add the Names of God or other deities to Fastnote.
Why can’t I write to children under 15?
We are strong believers in the benefits of free speech, even though people can say things that are inappropriate and harmful. With the help of our community of readers and Moderators, we will try to identify and remove harmful content that violates our rules.
However, our processes will not be perfect and some potentially harmful notes and comments may be posted and read before we remove them. Also, some might be acceptable according to our ground rules, but they might require a certain level of maturity to accept or deal with appropriately. Therefore, we think the best way to protect children under the age of 15 is to not allow them to be added to the site as addressees.
How many Fastnotes can I write?
You may write notes to as many people as you'd like on Fastnote.
You can write up to 5 notes per day to the same name. The most recent note from you to each name will be shown as an Active Note. Your previous notes to that name will be Archived.