I have added "no institutional accounts" to our Community Standards, because periodically an organization or a school or something tries to set up shop on Scholar, and they invariably spam the Local Timeline with nothing but links back to their Twitter account

If you are a member on Scholar and you have a compelling reason why this is a bad policy, I'm legitimately open to discussion

:NoAt: If you are not a member of Scholar, please do not interact, thanks


@socrates Why is the rule "no institutional accounts" rather than "no linking back to Twitter?" I dunno, having institutional accounts here isn't something I currently do but it is something I can imagine wanting to do for things like some of the workshop series I run or for smaller research cluster-groups.

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@JubalBarca @socrates musing - I've debated a few times setting up an account for Open Life Science (openlifesci.org), an organisation I co-run, and largely haven't because of exactly this concern - I don't have time to do more than link back to twitter. I kind of like the idea of being _able_ to toot on behalf of OLS, but I also feel like probably I could negotiate / re-open that discussion if I ever got the energy to actually curate original content for OLS

@yoyehudi @JubalBarca Yeah, it's tricky because—where to draw the line between "member of the community who's really excited about something" vs "spam from a rando who just wants to advertise their Twitter and tell us about their Brand"?

And I guess in some ways we're all "cultivating a brand" if you want to think of it in those terms (I really don't)

Maybe a better policy is—"group" accounts are allowed for Scholar members who want to speak with a different voice?

@socrates @JubalBarca that is clear and requires an element of pre-established trust that would (hopefully) prevent or reduce spam.

@JubalBarca 1. There are already several rules about not turning your account on Scholar into a dump/mirror to another account, but none of the institutional accounts that ended up here were interested in following them

2. I have a really hard time drawing any other principled line to distinguish posts made by an institutional account from "spam"

3. Academic departments or schools shouldn't be foisting IT costs on to, well, me personally and making me administer a server for them

@socrates Could the rule be drawn to departments/schools/funded bodies rather than organisations more widely? Because I get point 3 if it's like the University of Wherever History Faculty, but I'm more thinking about e.g. the Coding Medieval Worlds seminar I run or the Medieval Caucasus Network, aka network bodies with a lot of ECRs & independent scholars without available instituional support.

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