Community Mission Statement

Welcome to IFTAS Connect! 

We’re thrilled to embark on this journey with you to create a safer, more inclusive Fediverse.

At IFTAS, we’re passionate about nurturing trust and safety across the Fediverse, making it a welcoming space for everyone. The Fediverse, however, is not a singular platform, it’s a sprawling federation of independent communities, providers, and platforms, each with distinct goals and needs.

The Fediverse welcomes all groups and cultures, each with the ability to set their own rules and govern their own spaces. Some may disagree with each other, but we believe that disagreement is good and healthy, a sign that differences have been allowed to flourish.

We’re excited to work with you to build a space in which disagreement is welcome. As we gather up tools, knowledge, and standards, we won’t seek to find the “one right way” to solve a problem, but to spotlight best practices and success stories that have worked for you, with a keen eye on finding common ground. To do this, we need the participation of people from all communities and backgrounds who feel safe and empowered to share what they’ve learned.

We have adopted key principles to help us cultivate a valuable community. These principles may not work for your community, but they’re how we want to shape ours.

Principle 1: Disagreement, Not Conflict

Our community’s heart lies in its Community Participation Guidelines and practices, all carefully crafted to foster healthy discussions and celebrate diverse viewpoints, and to accept ongoing disagreement if it can’t or shouldn’t be worked through. Our working groups and community library are structured around the expectation that people will disagree.

In order to encourage disagreement, and to help people feel comfortable stating it, we promote respectful and constructive conversations, where everyone feels safe to express their opinions. This is not our attempt to quash disagreement, but to enable it. In a space where people are allowed to be as loud or as rude as they want, only loud and rude people will end up speaking.

Principle 2: Be Member-Led

We believe that knowledge comes from the bottom up, not the top down. Together, we’re learners and leaders, empowering each member to shape our community with their unique insights and experiences, helping each other determine what’s best for their own communities.

Members help lead IFTAS through participation in our Moderator Advisory Council and in working groups, and here, on IFTAS Connect. We are eager to explore other ways to empower members to lead.

Principle 3: Prioritise Diversity

Every voice tells a story. From the languages we speak to the paths that led us here, our journeys enrich the Fediverse.

There are many different ways to experience the Fediverse, as individuals and communities. Things that may impact experience include, but are not limited to what country you live in, whether you’re new to the Fediverse or have been around for a while, whether you’re on a big server or a small server, which platform you’re using, whether you have one or more disabilities, your race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, or religion. These and more may impact why you came to the Fediverse, what features you’re looking for, what your financial resources are, how much time you have to fix problems, what your threat models are, and more.

We encourage community members who are comfortable doing so to optionally self-identify what types of experiences they are speaking to. This helps us share information and advice in context. It also enables the IFTAS team to see if we are successfully welcoming participation from diverse groups, or if certain kinds of experiences or voices are dominating our spaces. We will do our best to address any gaps that we see, at all levels of IFTAS, from member discussions to representation on the moderator council, the advisory board and IFTAS leadership.

Principle 4: Draw Hard Lines Where Necessary

As stated, we assume by default that disagreement is reasonable and good. However, while we embrace a tapestry of thoughts, we stand united in drawing clear boundaries against harm, ensuring a safe space for dialogue and discovery. We consider certain extreme views and practices to be out of bounds, for example the sharing of child abuse material, terroristic content, or targeted hate. While we still welcome certain kinds of disagreement (for example, you may disagree that a given approach or tool is effective, or raise awareness of an unintended consequence) we consider the ethics of the practices in question a settled matter and will not waste time or alienate community members by debating them.

Because the Fediverse is decentralised, it can be difficult to coordinate and defend against these extreme views and practices. We view IFTAS – as a coordinating body – as having an important role in helping decentralised communities protect themselves against specific harms.

English (UK)