Hi community. The team has been working on community guidelines. Consider these both effective immediately as well as still work in progress. A feedback thread is located here so this one can maintain its announcement status.
Community Code of Conduct and Expectations
The intent of this section is to establish guidelines for the community members.
1. Post and reply in good faith.
We share an online community and maintain that community by keeping the forum a positive and fun place to be. Excessive negativity and sarcasm distracts from that environment.
Be aware and mindful of the forum and the podcast’s left-wing politics. It is intentional and the kind of environment that the Insert Credit founders and the forum’s host intend to maintain. If you do not feel you will be a successful contributor in this environment, you are welcome to lurk and just read, or to leave.
2. Assume others are posting in good faith.
Be welcoming and accepting of others in the forum community.
Be encouraging and supportive of people who post less frequently. This especially goes for people who are more active participants of the forum. There are many ways that people choose to participate. Some may feel comfortable starting new threads and conversations, some may only feel comfortable replying, others may primarily lurk and post infrequently or hardly ever.
Being “well read” on the forum is not a prerequisite to participating in the community. Especially when someone posts a new thread on a topic that may have been covered before, consider if they are bringing up something in a new light with a different angle.
3 Do not post unwelcome content.
The forum rules will never have an exhaustive list of material that is considered hurtful or harmful. Do not post hurtful or harmful content, it is unwelcome. The moderation and admin teams reserve the right to use this clause as a blanket statement for moderating and content we cannot imagine and do not want in our community.
Content that targets any individual or group for exclusion or harm is unwelcome. This includes but is not limited to racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, targeting of religion, caste, socioeconomic status, etc.
Threatening members, implying violence, harassing members, or inciting self-harm are all unwelcome.
Shock-posting is unwelcome. This includes but is not limited to explicit violence, graphic sex and nudity, etc.
Posting misinformation or disinformation is unwelcome.
4 Your off-site behavior as it overlaps our forum community may impact your ability to participate in this community.
We expect that your off-site behavior as it overlaps our forum community to be inline with guidelines here. An example is coordinating harassment of our members off-site. It is unwelcome and will not be tolerated.
Moderation Guidelines and Expectations
The intent of this section is to lay out guidelines for the moderation process.
1 All forum members have the right and responsibility to report content that is unwelcome in the community.
Report the post by using the “flag” option in the “…” menu at the bottom of each post.
Flagging posts are preferred to individually sending messages to moderators or admin teams. By flagging a post, members get faster response times to issues (as moderators will get to flags as a team rather than as an individual), and more consistent behavior from the moderation team.
The Moderation and Admin teams will evaluate the flagged post and determine what steps should be taken. Steps can include specific Private Communication threads to inform the member that their content is unwelcome and why, locking a member’s account for a period of time (cooling off period), or prohibiting a member from participating in the forum (banning).
The admin and moderation teams are all volunteers. They are expected to act with integrity, transparency, and good-faith in their decision making.
Note that as the forum’s host, Brandon Sheffield has final authority over the Insert Credit Forum Community.
Insert Credit Forum Operational Continuity Plan
The purpose of this plan is to ensure operational continuity of the Insert Credit forums when they are impacted by unforeseen circumstances. It is impossible to make a contingency plan for every unforeseen circumstance. By thinking about these issues proactively rather than reactively, the admin and moderation staff will be better prepared to act in a uniform direction when something does come up.
Out-of-Band Communication Channels
There are two ways that the general usership of the Insert Credit forums can find out information about the Insert Credit forums in case of a service disruption.
The @-@ handle of the Mastodon account is “TBD”. This account will post updates about forum service disruptions and maybe other fun stuff during normal operation. Please check this for information first as it is a “one-to-many” communication method. Specified members of the forum’s moderation and administration team have access to this account.
Publicly-facing Email address
An email is also available at the address “TBD”. Specified members of the forum’s administration team have access to this account. Please email this address if there are technical issues with the forum that are preventing general access. Do not expect an emailed response. Updates will be posted on the Mastodon account for broad communication.
Moderator Roles, Responsibilities, and Expectation
The purpose of this section is to align the forum community on how moderators can and do act.
1. Moderator Expectations
- All unpaid community volunteers that serve at the pleasure of the Insert Credit forum admin staff broadly and Brandon Sheffield specifically.
- Expected to set an example of the forum’s code of conduct.
- Expected to be generally participating members of the community. Note that participation takes many forms. Reading posts, liking posts, starting threads, and commenting in threads are all considered participation.
- Expected to be generally well-read on the forum and understand the forum’s mood and culture. This does not mean that a moderator is expected to read every thread and every post.
- Expected to act as a team in their activities.
- Appointed by the admin team. Moderators are expected to serve a term ranging between 6-24 months depending on the agreement they make with the Admin team. This will promote a healthy forum culture by preventing concentration of power, and preventing burnout by rotating responsibilities
2. Moderator Responsibilities
- Approve new forum members by approving their first posts. Suggesting via Private Message that new users make an introductory post in the Introduce Yourself thread is encouraged, but not required and is left to the moderator’s judgment based on a new user’s first post.
- Respond to flagged posts by the community by approving or deleting flagged posts. General expectation is that when a moderator does not feel like a situation is reasonably clear, they will post a proposed direction in the Moderation Staff Private Message thread to align with the rest of the moderation team.
- Maintain a healthy forum culture by intervening publicly and transparently in threads that may need a reminder about the community guidelines before the thread becomes Unwelcome Content by the forum guidelines. This action is based on moderator judgement.
- Maintain a healthy forum culture by intervening privately via Private Messages to users before they begin posting unwelcome content. When a moderator does this, it is expected the moderator will post what actions they have taken (sent a PM to a specific user) in the Moderation Staff Private Message thread to inform the rest of the staff. This action is based on moderator judgement.
2023-05-11: based on community feedback, updated code of conduct 4.a to clarify overlapping off-site behavior expectations.
2023-07-31: Integrated operational continuity and moderator expectations and responsibilities.