Terms of service

Many thanks to mastodon.social, from whom I took/adapted many policies.

The following guidelines are not a legal document, and final interpretation is up to the administration of scholar.social; they are here to provide you with an insight into our content moderation policies:

  • The following types of content will be removed from the public timeline:
    • Excessive advertising
    • Uncurated news bots posting from third-party news sources
    • Untagged pornography and sexually explicit content
    • Untagged gore and extremely graphic violence
  • The following types of content will be removed from the public timeline, and may result in account suspension and revocation of access to the service:
    • Racism or advocation of racism
    • Sexism or advocation of sexism
    • Discrimination against gender and sexual minorities, or advocation thereof
    • Xenophobic and/or violent nationalism
  • The following types of content are explicitly disallowed and will result in revocation of access to the service:
    • Sexual depictions of children
    • Content illegal in Germany and/or France, such as holocaust denial or Nazi symbolism
    • Conduct promoting the ideology of National Socialism
  • Any conduct intended to stalk or harass other users, or to impede other users from utilizing the service, or to degrade the performance of the service, or to harass other users, or to incite other users to perform any of the aforementioned actions, is also disallowed, and subject to punishment up to and including revocation of access to the service. This includes, but is not limited to, the following behaviors:
    • Continuing to engage in conversation with a user that has specifically has requested for said engagement with that user to cease and desist may be considered harassment, regardless of platform-specific privacy tools employed.
    • Aggregating, posting, and/or disseminating a person's demographic, personal, or private data without express permission (informally called doxing or dropping dox) may be considered harassment.
    • Inciting users to engage another user in continued interaction or discussion after a user has requested for said engagement with that user to cease and desist (informally called brigading or dogpiling) may be considered harassment.
    • Any sort of automated scraping of the site for user data whether for research or marketing purposes.

These provisions notwithstanding, the administration of the service reserves the right to revoke any user's access permissions, at any time, for any reason, except as limited by law.

Rights regarding content on Scholar Social

User-submitted content, including profile information, avatars, uploaded media, posted content, replies and any other information submitted to Scholar Social remain the property of the user who submits it (provided they owned it to begin with). Aside from our Patreon that allows users to contribute to site upkeep, Scholar Social members and staff do not monetise or sell material posted here. As much as is legally possible given the nature of this service, it is the policy of Scholar Social that users retain complete creative and legal control of their own submitted material.


This server uses several of the Mutant Standard emoji (https://mutant.tech) which are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/).

This server also uses Ferris emojis by dzuk, licensed CC BY-NC-SA.

This server also has an emoji that was modified from By Shisma - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=66115445

We also took the rhizome emoji from . (We tried to contact the artist, but no luck—if it's yours and you want it taken down, let us know!)

Bots and cross-posters

Scholar Social does not allow bots. We recommend that you put your bot on another instance.

Repeaters of RSS feeds or cross-posters from Twitter or other services are allowed, but only if they post to Scholar Social with the privacy setting set as Unlisted, so that your posts do not appear on the local timeline.

Longevity pledge

Scholar Social is committed to providing long-term service to the academic community, and has no plans to shut down.

In the case that the current site owner is unable to continue to maintain Scholar Social, they will make a good-faith effort to recruit a volunteer to provide services to the users of Scholar Social on the same terms as they are currently offered. (I.e. Scholar Social will never be sold to a large media company for them to monetise its content.)

In the case that no such volunteer can be found, users of Scholar Social will be given an advance warning at least one year before the site is closed.

In case of downtime or data loss

While we strive to provide continuous service and avoid errors and data loss, Scholar Social provides no guarantees regarding uptime and cannot be held responsible in the case that account data is lost or corrupted. It is recommended that you export your own data archive periodically. Backing up your account is your own responsibility. Users whose accounts are suspended for breaking our Community Standards will not be given an opportunity to download a copy of their archive.

Does Scholar Social use cookies?

Yes. Cookies are small files that a site or its service provider transfers to your computer's hard drive through your Web browser (if you allow). These cookies enable the site to recognize your browser and, if you have a registered account, associate it with your registered account.

We use cookies to understand and save your preferences for future visits and compile aggregate data about site traffic and site interaction so that we can offer better site experiences and tools in the future.

Do we disclose any information to outside parties?

We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your personally identifiable information for marketing purposes or to generate revenue. We may release your information when we believe release is appropriate to comply with the law, enforce our site policies, or protect ours or others rights, property, or safety.

We use masto.host for hosting.

Use of Scholar Social for research

Researchers who wish to study Scholar Social or our users by collecting data using the API or through any other means that does not involve an "opt-in" from individual users are required to submit their protocol, analysis plan and all relevant ethics approval documentation from their institutional review board or departmental internal review documentation by email to: scholar.social at protonmail dot-com. You may also be required to submit code you plan to execute so that it can be tested to ensure it does not degrade the quality of service to other users.

This does not apply to, e.g. surveys circulated on Scholar Social that individual users can consent to participating in. This does apply to database scraping software, or any means of recording user activity where our users might be surprised that they were included afterward, because they were not given a chance to consent.

Many of our users came to Scholar Social in order to avoid being included in unethical social media research, and so we place a higher value on conducting research on human subjects with informed consent than most other social media, in order to maintain high ethical standards.

At the admin's discretion, you may be asked to submit your research protocol, and the institution that is providing ethical review, even in the case that it is an opt-in survey. Failure to disclose your research plan may result in closure of your account, or having your network banned from our service.

Scholar Social instance blocking policy

Scholar Social will suspend other instances in cases where an instance publishes material that is illegal for us to publish.

Instances that consist entirely of spam-bots, follow-bots, or who appear to be scraping the Fediverse or doing other potentially malicious data-mining will be suspended.

Blocking of other instances will also occur in cases where another instance's policies are fundamentally at odds with those of Scholar Social. This includes, but is not limited to: explicit anti-queer hate/racism/sexism, the embracing of Nazi hate, exploitative depictions of children, toleration of harassment, etc.

Other instances may also be blocked in cases where the admin of another instance has abdicated responsibility for moderating their users' behaviour, either in a public statement or on their instance "about" page.

In the spirit of decentralisation, Scholar Social will silence instances with more than 10,000 members, unless they have closed registrations. Users of Scholar Social will still be able to search for and follow users on those instances, however they will not appear in our Federated Timeline.

Scholar Social will suspend any instance launched, acquired or funded by Alphabet, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, or Elsevier.

Scholar Social

Scholar Social is a microblogging platform for researchers, grad students, librarians, archivists, undergrads, academically inclined high schoolers, educators of all levels, journal editors, research assistants, professors, administrators—anyone involved in academia who is willing to engage with others respectfully.