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Scholar Social Community Standards

This is a queer-friendly 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 microblogging profile you can be proud to put on the last slide of a presentation at a conference." :)

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

Encouraged uses of Scholar Social

  • 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)
  • Satire and activism are welcome here, but they 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.)
  • Non-academic, "off-topic" stuff is allowed, but try to post this as Unlisted, not as Public

Who is welcome on Scholar Social? Do I need to be a full-time student, teacher or researcher?

The "topic" for this instance is: academia, research, teaching and learning, which is intentionally a very broad topic. You do not need an advanced degree to join (or any degree, for that matter).

If you consider yourself a scholar of any sort, and you are willing to engage with others respectfully, and you will respect our community's efforts to make this a safe space for queer people and other minorities, you are absolutely welcome here.

This instance was specifically started to provide a safe space for queer people and other minorities in academia. Due to the antagonistic relationship that law enforcement has often had with these groups, police officers and employees of any law enforcement or intelligence agency are not welcome on this instance.

Introduce yourself!

After signing up, 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 without warning.)

Content Warnings (CW's)

Please 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, 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.

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.

Image descriptions

It is an expectation of this instance that you add descriptions to all images and video that you post to aid in accessibility.

If you post an image of a screenshot of text, it is an expectation of this instance that you transcribe the text in the image description.

The Local Timeline

Posts on the Local Timeline (ones with the "Public" privacy setting) will be checked to ensure that Content Warnings are applied, images are described, and other expectations are followed. Unlisted posts will not be proactively reviewed, but will still be subject to rules regarding abuse and other hate-speech.

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!

Not every post on the Local Timeline should be CW'd, but most should. Do your best to try to accommodate each other, and try to be understanding when there is a clash of expectations or needs.

Unwelcome conduct on Scholar Social

The following will result in: a warning from the admin or having offending posts deleted, possibly without prior notice.

  • Providing unsolicited advice to strangers
  • Inappropriate un-CW'd posts on the Local Timeline (see above for CW policies)
  • Posts with un-described images or video
  • Shortened links, e.g. bit.ly, goo.gl, ift.tt, lnkd.in, is.gd or t.co (These are considered malicious because link-shorteners track users without their consent and obscure the destination address, which also prevents users from being able to decide whether they want to visit the link beforehand)
  • Advertisement or apologia for cryptocurrencies, NFT's, or multi-level marketing schemes.
  • DOI links (e.g. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k959) are allowed but the post must accurately describe the title/author/journal to allow the reader to decide for themselves whether they would like to follow the link. (In cases of very long titles, you may truncate it, and in cases of long author lists, "First-Author et al" will do.) Posts with DOI links where the target of the link is not described, or not described sufficiently, may be deleted without warning.

Things that will get your account closed, possibly without warning

  • Racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, able-ism, etc. (will result in a permanent ban, you may not receive a prior warning)
  • Serious dishonesty that is hurtful to others (e.g. falsely representing oneself as a member of a minority; services offering to write academic papers to help students cheat; vaccine denialism; predatory conferences or journals; overt pseudoscience such as flat-earther-ism etc.)
  • Anything that could be described as "spam"
  • Impersonating other people
  • Harassment of any kind
  • No bots and no "institutional" accounts operated by non-members 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

Regarding attempts to abuse these anti-abuse tools and policies

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.)

Full terms of service