Code of Conduct
This document lays out the ground rules for participating in the Fosstodon community. It is intended to protect all members of our community from harassment and to ensure that our community is as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This is a working document, so the Fosstodon team may amend this CoC to better meet these goals in the future.
- Provide a friendly, safe, and welcoming environment for everyone interested in Free/Libre/Open-Source Software, regardless of level of experience, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, personal appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, age, religion, nationality, political affiliation, or other similar characteristic.
- Create a supportive community, where people freely share their passions and are excited and positive about each other’s successes.
- Provide a venue for casual conversations — we may all be passionate about technology, but that doesn’t mean that our conversations always centre on that shared passion.
While it’s important to know what Fosstodon is, it’s just as important to understand what we’re not. Fosstodon is not:
- A free speech zone. Fosstodon is a community with specific — and high — standards of behaviour. If you would like to exercise your full free speech rights, you can do so somewhere else; while on Fosstodon, you should agree to follow the community rules set out in this CoC.
- An advocacy space. There are many important, controversial and political issues; and advocating for what you believe is important. However, Fosstodon is not the place for that advocacy. Even correct views can violate our CoC.
- An experts-only space. We all share a love of FOSS, but no Fosstodon user should be shamed for not understanding a basic concept or told to read the manual before asking questions about a certain technology.
Public Toots are those that are posted to the public timelines. This means that anyone on Fosstodon can see your Toot on the local timeline and anyone on the Internet can see your Toot via the see what’s happening page. This also means that your Toot will be visible to any instances that Fosstodon federates with, via the federated timeline.
At Fosstodon, we consider a non-public Toot to be Toots that are not posted to the public timelines. These include Toots that are posted with the following privacy settings:
- Unlisted - Not posted to public timelines, but viewable if someone visits your profile.
- Follower-only - Only viewable by a user who follows you.
- Direct - Only viewable to users who are @ mentioned in a Toot.
Users who follow you have consciously opted in to what you have to say. By using Follower-only you are talking direct to those people, and not the wider fediverse. People who follow you are more likely to understand the context and tone of what you’re trying to say.
Always use a CW where appropriate, even for Follower-only and Direct Toots.
Rules for All Toots
All toots (public and private) should abide by the following rules:
- Do not use slurs or racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist or otherwise discriminatory or hateful jokes or language or promote white supremacy, anti-Semitism, transphobia or other hateful ideologies.
- Do not harass anyone, participate in group harassment of anyone, or otherwise engage in personal attacks. Posting or threatening to post other people’s personally identifying information (“doxing”) constitutes harassment.
- Do not be intentionally antagonistic. A post or reply designed to provoke a confrontation is not acceptable.
- Do not post adult content, including pictures containing nudity, or unwelcome sexual attention (including sexualized comments or jokes).
- Do not post spam. Toots that are nothing other than a link and/or contain an inordinate number of hashtags constitute spam, as does any overly commercial self-promotion. (It is fine, however, to toot about your own projects and share what you are excited to be working on — just keep the toot itself interesting).
- Do not use automated tools to toot without participating in the community. It is fine to post with an automated tool (e.g., a Twitter cross-poster) so long as you are an active member of the Fosstodon community and respond to replies you receive here. However, unmonitored accounts that post automatically are not acceptable.
- Do not “shitpost” - while humorous posts are allowed, and actually encouraged, there is no place for “shitposting” on Fosstodon.
Additional Rules for Public Toots
Public toots should follow the above rules and should also abide by the following additional rules:
- Do not post about inflammatory, controversial subjects without a Content Warning. Ideally, you would not post about inflammatory subjects at all on the public timeline. However, it may be acceptable to do so in some cases, but it is never acceptable to post inflammatory toots without hiding the content behind an appropriate Content Warning.
- Do not engage in name calling, ad hominem attacks, or any other uncivil behaviour; criticize ideas, never people.
- Do not tone police. Other toots may violate the standards of civility we set on Fosstodon, but you should not criticize users for their tone. If the user is a member of the Fosstodon community, you should report them; if not, you should feel free to block them. In neither case should you criticize their tone.
- Do not toot in languages other than English (which makes moderation prohibitively difficult — as discussed in a separate blog post).
- Do not debate moderation actions in public toots. If you disagree with how a moderator enforced this CoC you may direct-message the moderation team or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, if you support Fosstodon financially, you can raise the issue in the Patron Chat.
Always remember that your public toots are read not only by our existing community members (who may have the context to know what you mean) but by potential future community members as well. Strive to keep the local timeline representative of the inclusive, friendly community we want to build.
If you notice a toot that violates this code of conduct, please report it. It is easy to assume that someone else has already reported a toot, but it is easy for everyone to feel that way and no one to report the toot.
Let the moderators moderate
If you see a toot that potentially contravenes this Code of Conduct, do not try to moderate, reprimand or enforce this CoC. That is the job of the moderation team.
Instead, please report the toot to the moderation team, who will take appropriate action.
The moderation team will always take a pragmatic approach to every report they receive - if they feel that a problematic Toot isn’t explicitly called out in this CoC, yet is inappropriate for Fosstodon, the Toot will likely be removed and the member will be dealt with appropriately.