Rule Explainer

Expanded explanation of the rules that govern user conduct on Hachyderm.

The Rule Explainer

The Rules / Code of Conduct are the most important thing to understand when on Hachyderm. A quick recap of the rules:

  1. Don’t be a dick
  2. No hacking
  3. No violence
  4. No fascism
  5. No colonialism
  6. No white supremacy
  7. No religious extremism
  8. No nationalism
  9. No racism
  10. No homophobia
  11. No transphobia
  12. Safe space: LGBTQIA+
  13. Safe space: neurodivergent (ADHD, Autism, etc.)

As a general rule to keep in mind:

If your intended post is in a grey area for one of these rules, then err on the side of caution and reach out to the mods via our GitHub issue tracker.

Don’t be a dick

Hachyderm and its surrounding community have found safety and value in a primary guiding principle, that is often hard to interpret.

Don’t be a dick.

We believe that everyone knows when they are “being a dick”, and we do not tolerate this level of aggression towards our community.

In short, we believe that you know if you are being a dick, and therefore you should be able to stop. If you do not stop, you will no longer be welcome on Hachyderm.

Being a dick is measured by “self control” and “intent”.

Are you able to restrain yourself? What are your intentions?

If your intentions are to hurt, brandish, slander, diminish, insult, or offend someone you are likely being a dick. If you are commenting on anyone’s “tone” or whether or not they are “having a civilized” discussion you are also being a dick. We believe you should be able to restrain yourself in these situations. If you do not restrain yourself, we believe that you are likely being a dick.

Being a dick is the opposite of respect. We believe all “bad takes” on a topic can be voiced with respect. We hold each member of the community accountable for managing themselves and finding a respectful way of communicating their contrarian views.

We expect all members to be respectful and thus, not be a dick.

What about “shitposting”?

Oxford dictionary defines shitposting as:

the activity of posting deliberately provocative or off-topic comments on social media, typically in order to upset others or distract from the main conversation.

In short shitposting is allowed on Hachyderm.

However, shitposting can easily violate our “don’t be a dick policy” if it turns into offensive trolling at the expense of others.

The key factor in distinguishing between shitposting and being a dick is “at the expense of others”.

We believe that any time clout, attention, credibility, fortune, or fame is gained “at the expense of others” it is likely close to a violation of our “no colonialism” rule or a violation of our “don’t be a dick” policy.

We don’t want to be the “shitpost” police. We encourage you to shitpost, just not at the expense of others.

No hacking

All usage of Hachyderm as a service should fall under “expected use”. Explicitly, users should not attempt to hack, expose vulnerabilities on our infrastructure, attack our infrastructure, or use our infrastructure to do these actions toward other servers or entities.

In terms of discussions, users should not discuss the specific mechanics of how to attack or compromise our own or other services. Generic discussions in the infosec space are welcome, especially if they are formatted to educate e.g. “here is how to protect against XSS attacks” or “here’s what you should know about the OWASP Top Ten”. Discussions around publicly known attacks and vulnerabilities are welcome, again only if the intent is to educate. “Here’s what you should know about Big Data Breach Du Jour ™️ “.

No one should ever discuss infosec knowledge where they have privileged access. e.g. If you know of an unpublished vulnerability that an entity or community hasn’t had the change to address, whether or not they have been notified, and other best practices in this space.

As the moderator team is volunteer, what this means for reports that come through as violating this rule: sharing privileged information, compromising other users or services either via information or action, are all activities that will warrant account moderation. We may not always be able to verify if a report is “privileged” or not so we will always err on the side of caution with these reports and handle from that posture.

What you should do if reporting this type of activity

Make sure to include as much information as possible in the report, including any and all posts or links to other relevant information so we are able to quickly and easily see the severity and scope of the issue being reported.

What you should do if you were reported and you believe it was in error

If you were reported for hacking as defined above, make sure to include as much information in your response to us as possible. For example, if you were reported for disclosing privileged information that is in fact public, include links to that effect. Just as we need the report to make it as easy as possible for us to “trust but verify”, we need you to make your appeal as easy as possible for us to “trust but verify”.

What you should do if you are interested in helping with security

If you are a security specialist and interested in joining the volunteer mods to help us keep our service secure, please reach out to us in our GitHub issue tracker to let us know your intent and we can figure out further conversations from there.

No violence

Violence can include words and actions, and can be between adult humans, adult humans abusing children, or humans of any age abusing animals. Specifically the following are not tolerated:

  • Causing intentional injury or threatening to do so
  • Any form of harrassment
  • Any form of stalking
  • Behaviors that result in emotional distress or fear
  • Encouraging violent behavior
  • Posts in favor of domestic or state violence
  • Posts in favor of animal abuse or cruelty
  • Posts in favor of child abuse or cruelty
  • Images, videos, or descriptions of the above

No fascism

Toots in favor of fascism either abstactly or concretely are not allowed. This includes sharing material and media that is in favor of fascism.

No colonialism

The history of colonialism worldwide is a layers on layers of suffering. Discussions that whitewash or otherwise diminish or deny this history will not be tolerated.

No white supremacy

White supremacy and anti-Blackness are not welcome on this server. Not all forms of white supremecy are easily filtered out by the No Violence rule, although there are obvious overlaps. Systems of oppression rely on multiple layers of support, starting with more covert and escalating to more overt.

To clarify, this is frequently represented by a pyramid that represents the more “socially acceptable/practiced” (note: not here) and “less socially acceptable” forms of racism:

Pyramid of covert and overt racism, lists many supporting forms
at the bottom including colorblind racism and moving to acts of
violence at the top. Pyrmaid fully described in linked text below.

This image is borrowed from the Religion and Race hub article on Overt and Covert Racism. The article fully describes each of the terms and concepts listed on the pyramid. To be clear: all forms of white supremacy, be they overt or covert are unwelcome on this server and will result in being banned.

No religious extremism

Religious extremism is not tolerated on this server. Just like white supremacy, there are layers to religious extremism that start with supporting forms and ends toward violence. Also like white supremacy we do not tolerate supporting forms of religious extremism any more than we do overt religious extremism. There isn’t (yet) a handy infographic to share for this one, yet, but what this generally means is:

  • Attacking / demeaning others’ religion is not tolerated
  • Supporting violence towards the participants of a religion is not tolerated
  • Spreading hateful speech regarding religion is not tolerated
  • To clarify potential grey areas: atheism, as the absence of religion, as well as agnosticism is covered by the above. Other philosophies that could be considered “religion adjacent”, like secular humanism, are also protected by this rule.
  • Spreading support for a subset of one religion spreading hate, violence, etc. against other religions or philosophies is not tolerated.
  • Supporting or spreading support of one religion being “dominant” over others
  • Supporting or spreading support for religiously motivated hate speech or violence

As a point of clarity: this does not mean that people cannot analyze or otherwise discuss religion in this space. It simply cannot cross the line into causing harm and requires good boundaries and healthy respect by all active participants. All participants must also keep in mind that their conversation will be visible by many, many non-participants in the Fediverse.

No nationalism

What we are trying to distinguish here is, similar to above, extremist ideology. As a quick example, you might feel pride that your country has universal healthcare. Awesome! This is fine. If you have made your national identity your whole identity, and use that identity to harm others either by direct action or proxy action, then that would be the “extremism” aspect that is disallowed on this server.

No racism

A lot of this rule overlaps with No White Supremacy; however as an extension and clarification from that rule: discrimination on the basis of race or ethnicity is not tolerated on this server. Neither will hate speech or propagating hateful ideas on the basis of race or ethnicity be tolerated.

  • Attacking / demeaning others’ race or ethnicity is not tolerated
  • Supporting violence on the basis or race or ethnicity is not tolerated
  • Spreading hateful speech regarding race or ethnicity is not tolerated
  • Spreading support for dominance of one race or ethnicity over others is not tolerated
  • Supporting or spreading support for racially or ethnically motivated hate speech or violence is not tolerated
  • Supporting or spreading current or past historical dehumanizing tropes on the basis of race or ethnicity will not be tolerated

No homophobia

Homophobia in any form is not tolerated on this server. Some specifics:

  • Attacking / demeaning others’ sexual orientation is not tolerated
  • Supporting violence towards people on the basis of sexual orientation is not tolerated
  • Spreading hateful speech regarding sexual orientation is not tolerated
  • Supporting or spreading support indicating one sexual orientation as “the only correct” one, or “only natural” one, etc. is not tolerated
  • Supporting or spreading support for hate speech or violence against a specific sexual orientation, is not tolerated
  • As few points of clarity:
    • All those who are not heterosexual are protected by this rule, even if they do not identify as specifically gay
    • Those who identify as asexual, whether this is considered a sexual orientation or the absence of one, are protected by this rule
    • Romantic attraction, which is separate from sexual orientation, is also protected by this rule

No transphobia

Transphobia in any form is not tolerated on this server. Some specifics:

  • Attacking / demeaning others’ gender is not tolerated
  • Supporting violence towards specific genders is not tolerated
  • Spreading gender-based hate speech is not tolerated
  • Supporting or spreading support of misinformation around gender identity will not be tolerated.
  • Supporting or spreading support of cruelty to transgender children and adults will not be tolerated
  • Those on the gender spectrum, who may not identify as trans but who may be non-binary, genderfluid, etc. are protected by this rule.

Safe Space: LGBTQIA+ and Neurodivergent

These are being worked on to expand on the above.

The three grey areas

Current events, past events, and personal experience

Hachydermians may need to discuss some topics on the above “No” list from time to time. Whether it is sharing current news, feelings about current news, personal experiences and/or impacts, or making historical connections the fact is that the world is a bit on fire. Conversations from these perspectives are welcome, however: use content warnings on text and media whenever discussing or sharing anything that might fall under these rules. If you are unsure, use a content warning as that is why the feature is there. This is how we as a community can give space to as many as we can: both those who need to talk about certain topics and spread knowledge about them as well as protect those who are actively experiencing, or recovering from, the topic in the discussion. To put it another way: one person’s case study is another person’s life and trauma, treat these conversations with respect.