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 recommended if you plan to use your account on this instance for networking purposes, but they are absolutely not required.
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).
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.
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.
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.)
You must add CW's (content warnings) that are accurate and descriptive enough to enable reader consent to the following types of posts:
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.
As a point of etiquette, 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.
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.
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.
Every post has its own "privacy setting." Posts that are "Public" are listed on the Local Timeline, and so we apply higher standards to these posts than to ones with the "Unlisted" privacy settings, that only your followers (and those who have these posts boosted into their timelines) see.
It is an expectation of this instance that all Public posts be "on-topic," and "off-topic" stuff be as Unlisted or Private. We try to 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. For example, I often post about Star Trek, and I use the Unlisted privacy setting for these posts. But when I'm posting about something I've learned in grad school or a paper I'm presenting, I use the Public setting.
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.
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.)