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Scholar Social Community Standards

This is a general-purpose federated Mastodon instance. You may use it as a personal account, but the focus is on academics. This is supposed to be "A Mastodon profile you can be proud to put on the last slide of a presentation at a conference." :)

Real names and credentials are recommended if you plan to use your account on this instance for networking purposes, but they are absolutely not required.


  • Brag about your publications
  • Share references and resources
  • Network with other academics
  • Recruit participants for academic surveys—formal, IRB-approved ones or even informal ones (just make sure to CW them so that others can consent and don't get too obnoxious about it; see the full Terms of Service for details about other research on Scholar Social members)
  • Add descriptions to images and video that you post to aid in accessibility
  • You must add CW's (content warnings) that are accurate and descriptive enough to enable reader consent to the following types of posts:
    • strong language,
    • rants,
    • selfies,
    • current events (includes: US or non-US, local, national, international, and should be applied regardless of whether sources are academic or non-partisan),
    • high-conflict or otherwise exhausting issues of popular debate (e.g. climate change, GMO's, privacy issues, elections, #metoo, etc.),
    • mentions of death or violence,
    • references or links to Facebook/Twitter/other big tech companies,
    • spoilers of popular and recent TV shows or other media,
    • ASCII art (this one is important to ensure that someone using a screen reader doesn't have to listen to an attempt to read out a bunch of obscure symbols)
    • stresses particular to academia such as grades, exams, thesis progress, academic job market prospects, and
    • anything else where another user might want to decide for themselves whether or when they want to interact with your post.

    If someone says, "CW your politics," they probably mean "please add a CW to posts mentioning current events or high-conflict or otherwise exhausting issues of popular debate." Please try to charitably interpret their request in this light.

    (There is a setting in your preferences to open all posts with Content Warnings automatically, if you don't want to click through each one.)

  • Post "on-topic" stuff as Public and try to post "off-topic" stuff as Unlisted or Private. We have a pretty broad conception of what counts as on- and off-topic, as the theme of the instance is academia or just learning generally. Use a CW if you're not sure that your post is "on-topic." Let's try to avoid turning the Local Timeline into the same rehashing of the outrage-of-the-day that we see on Twitter!
  • I will be actively checking posts on the Local Timeline (ones with the "Public" privacy setting) to ensure that they are both on-topic and that Content Warnings are applied. I will not be actively checking your Unlisted posts (ones that are visible to your followers and not posted to the Local Timeline), but if I receive a report or a complaint, I may ask you to apply a CW, and you will be expected to do so.
  • I won't say that every post on the Local Timeline should be CW'd, but most posts should have one. If there is any doubt whether a prospective reader of your posts might want to choose for themselves whether or not they read it, please err on the side of applying a CW.
  • It is also recommended to use the "Unlisted" privacy setting for follow-ups in a long thread of posts, rather than posting the whole thread as "Public," so that only the first post appears on the Local Timeline.
  • Satire and activism must make a good-faith effort to punch up. ("Punching up": making jokes or criticism at the expense of those with more power, higher status or greater privilege.)
  • Post a message to the Local Timeline telling us who you are, what your academic interests are, and helping us to get to know you better. I have set the administrative account to automatically boost public posts tagged with #introductions. (But if you abuse this by using it for anything else, I will close your account.)


  • NO: Racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, able-ism etc. (will result in a permanent ban, you may not receive a prior warning)
  • Do not attempt to use Scholar Social to legitimize academic/intellectual dishonesty of any kind (e.g. services offering to write academic papers to help students cheat; vaccine denialism; predatory conferences or journals; overt pseudoscience, etc.)
  • Do not post anything that could be described as "spam" (e.g. predatory journals or conferences, etc.)
  • Do not post shortened links (e.g. bit.ly, ift.tt or t.co—we have 500 characters; you can let us all know what we're clicking, thanks!)
  • Do not impersonate other people
  • Do not harass other people
  • Do not demand that someone asking for some sort of accommodation justify themselves. It is exhausting and unfair to require those with a need for some sort of accommodation to explain it every time, and placing this burden on them will result in de facto exclusion from this instance. E.g. if someone asks for you to add a CW to a post, answer with "I'll delete & re-draft my post, thanks!" rather than "Why do you need me to do that?" You may not understand another person's needs, but please try to make our instance welcoming for everyone just the same.
  • Do not attempt to weaponize our Community Standards or anti-abuse tools/policies against marginalized groups such as people of colour, women or queer people. Users of Scholar Social are expected to have the literacy to understand that "reverse discrimination" is not real, and so attempts to re-centre discussions of marginalized people around the feelings of the privileged will be taken as manipulative behaviour undertaken deliberately in bad-faith. (E.g. white people should not demand that people of colour put CW's on every discussion of race; a straight person who reports a queer person for writing "I hate straight people" may find their own account suspended.)
  • No bots please; Scholar Social is for people
  • Accounts that automatically repeat a Twitter account, RSS feed, etc. must post to Scholar Social as Unlisted, not Public
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