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A BRIEF HISTORY OF KOLEKTIVA

Kolektiva was launched in June of 2020 by anarchist media collectives Antimídia and subMedia with the aim of developing autonomous, digital communication infrastructure for the movements we support and participate in. It soon expanded into an informal organization with members based in a handful of places all around the world. Kolektiva's first project was a PeerTube instance, Kolektiva.media.

Its purpose was to offer a free, non-corporate platform for anarchists and anti-colonial content producers looking to bypass Google, Facebook, and other surveillance capitalist firms, as well as censorship mandated and enforced by governments. When Facebook began purging a number of pages associated with anarchist and antifascist projects in July 2020, Kolektiva set up a Mastodon instance, Kolektiva.social. It has grown rapidly since then, thanks in large part to its open registrations and the increasingly widespread and apparent need for alternatives to the dominant social media platforms. It is important to note that Kolektiva.social started as an ad hoc response to a specific problem, mainly related to the ability of social movements to broadcast information publicly, in the context of the summer's rebellion, and that none of the Kolektiva team were, at that time, especially familiar with the fediverse, from a social point of view, when we started this instance.

There were controversies, arguments, and accusations. So, as we entered 2021, Kolektiva.social began an (ongoing) effort to expand our number of moderators and to clarify our expectations of users, and users’ expectations of us. Kolektiva.social is just one component of a larger project that is aimed at getting as many people off of corporate social media as possible, and especially people who are involved in anti-colonial, anti-capitalist, and anti-fascist movements. It is also a volunteer project, and time is limited. As a result, we expect it to take us a while to really get a handle of what we're trying to accomplish here, how we should try to accomplish it, and what exactly is within our capacities. Nevertheless, we don't intend to go anywhere, and we are committed to learning from our mistakes and always improving on past failures.

THE GOALS OF KOLEKTIVA

Kolektiva exists to provide digital infrastructure for anarchist and anti-colonial movements. We seek to enable as many people as possible to share news and information without relying on centralized and intensively surveilled platforms. We are motivated in this work by the principle of internationalism, and a desire to increase communication and collaboration across state-imposed borders and linguistic divides.

In the coming years, we hope to scale up the project in a number of ways by doing all of the following:

  1. encouraging the exodus of anarchists and other anti-capitalists/anti-colonialists from corporate platforms towards independent, open-source alternatives such as those offered by Kolektiva
  2. producing instructional videos for new users, and resources for those seeking to set up their own fediverse sites/instances
  3. building up our physical server infrastructure and technical capacity
  4. expanding and diversifying our moderation team
  5. experimenting with other ActivityPub platforms, such as Mobilizon and Pixelfed
  6. introducing a new framework to better organize content and facilitate translation

KOLEKTIVA.SOCIAL CODE OF CONDUCT

Coming up with this policy has been a bit of a balancing act. On the one hand, we do not want to make too many hard-and-fast rules. We are anarchists, and therefore, we do not care to think too long about how to govern every aspect of how other people should behave. On the other hand, we won't allow our collective resources to be used to spread ideas that go against our values. To this end, we have come up with the following guidelines. We plan on adapting and changing these guidelines over time, and are open to feedback, critique, and suggestions from other Mastodon users, moderators and administrators.

WHAT YOU SHOULDN'T POST AT ALL:

Posts containing the following content will be removed, and users who repeatedly post this type of content will have their accounts suspended and/or deleted.

  • Racist, misogynistic, homophobic, ableist slurs, or other derogatory pejoratives for oppressed identity groups (unless you belong to that group and are reclaiming the term)
  • Flatly racist, casteist, ableist, sexist, transphobic, or otherwise chauvinistic and bigoted discourse
  • Symbols, slogans, memes/jokes, and vapid talking points associated with any part of the reactionary right, and the same for elements of the left advocating for genocide/mass killings in the name of authoritarian socialism or anti-imperialism
  • Targeted harassment (i.e. evading blocks, repeated hostile replies, or posts intended to instigate brigading/dogpiling against a user), even for righteous reasons
  • Pornographic and/or sexualized images depicting people who did not consent to their image being shared
  • Propaganda from political parties that seek to win elections
  • Purposeful misinformation
  • Messages promoting or encouraging pseudoscience, conspiracism, or breaks with reality
  • Messages promoting purely commercial enterprises
  • Spam

POSTS THAT SHOULD BE ACCOMPANIED WITH A CONTENT WARNING:

We have neither the capacity nor the slightest interest in monitoring all content posted on Kolektiva.social, nor do we enjoy making judgments about what is, or is not, acceptable speech. For this reason, we encourage people to use Mastodon's built-in Content Warning (CW) tool to label posts that other users may find upsetting. Unlabeled posts that are reported to us as containing the following content will have a Content Warning added to them, and the user will be notified.

Accounts that regularly post the following types of posts without Content Warnings will have their accounts silenced, or suspended, based on the severity of the behavior, and will be asked by the moderators to move onto another instance.

  • Any visual depiction of nudity
  • Any visual depiction of blood, severe injuries, torture, murder, or medical procedures
  • Any unambiguous visual depictions of drug use or drug paraphernalia
  • Any message detailing sexual acts
  • Any message mentioning suicide, self-harm, abuse, rape, or sexual assault that does not relate to a current issue
  • Spoilers (within reason)
Apart from what is itemized above, we do not have specific guidelines for Content Warnings. All users are encouraged to be considerate of others’ needs and preferences, particularly with respect to things that are widely considered repulsive or distressing (for example, the worst events in human history and the worst things that people can do to each other).

We explicitly do not, and never will, require users to tag political content and news-related posts.

Special Cases Worth Extra Explanation:

Nudity, sex, drugs, and drug paraphernalia. We want Kolektiva.social to be as accessible as possible to minors, incarcerated people, and others whose internet access is monitored. These subjects, when visible on the public timeline, may lead to authorities speedily and irreversibly blacklisting our website in a way that political content may not. For this reason, and some others, we ask that all images depicting these subjects be accompanied with a Content Warning.

The COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 is a real disease, and vaccines and masks are useful measures for impeding its spread. We will treat messages to the contrary as either "Purposeful misinformation" or "Messages promoting or encouraging pseudoscience, conspiracism, or breaks with reality" as itemized earlier. It's not that we think various "experts", on health subjects or others, are entirely beyond questioning. It's simply that we also disdain our platform being used to spread health myths that are, by and large, generated and boosted in the same parts of the internet as far right conspiracy theories about the present order.

The Russo-Ukrainian War. We consider the Putin regime in Moscow a part of the "reactionary right" as itemized earlier. We will not censor discussion of the Ukrainian far right or other problems in Ukrainian society, but we will consider gross exaggerations of these problems as "vapid talking points" aimed at providing rhetorical cover for the Russian state's imperialist aggression. We may view credulous linking to Russian state-affiliated media as "Purposeful misinformation" or "Messages promoting or encouraging pseudoscience, conspiracism, or breaks with reality" as itemized earlier.

Analogizing Israel and Nazi Germany. We support the self-determination of the Palestinian people as well as the destruction of the ethnonationalist Israeli state, alongside all states, and we are glad to host content celebrating Palestinians' anti-colonial struggle and denouncing Israeli atrocities. Rhetoric comparing Israelis and/or Zionists to the historic German Nazis, however, is as unnecessary and unhelpful as it is insulting to Jews, including anti-Zionist Jewish comrades. We consider it a form of "chauvinistic and bigoted discourse" as itemized earlier.

Astrology. We don’t believe in it but it’s fine.

USING KOLEKTIVA.SOCIAL

BLOCKING AND MUTING

We encourage users to make use of the block and mute options to help control what content appears on their timelines. While moderators will do our best to block bad offenders and defederate from toxic instances, we recognize that people have different limits and expectations of the fediverse, and these options allow for a more personalized experience. Evading blocks and mutes is not part of respectful engagement, and may lead to suspension and deleting of accounts, and a permanent ban from Kolektiva.social. Instructions on how to use personalized Block and Mute controls can be found here.

REPORTING

Unlike centralized and corporate social media platforms, the process of moderation on Kolektiva.social is intended to be accountable. The users who make up the moderation team are listed publicly for this reason. We want to receive reports regarding all forms of unacceptable behavior (that we can reasonably respond to), and we will do our best to follow up within a reasonable time frame. Instructions on how to report a post can be found here.

NOTES ON REPORTING

  • Reports made by users on other fediverse instances about Kolektiva.social users are anonymous. For example, if @example@mastodon.online reports a Kolektiva.social user, we will see that a user from Mastodon.online has sent a report, but not their username. We cannot respond to users about their reports if we do not know who they are. We always know which Kolektiva.social users have issued which reports, however.
  • Reports without explanations are significantly harder to follow up on. Links, explanations, and other information are encouraged and appreciated. Furthermore, we cannot reasonably take actions against users when there is no proof of bad behavior or ill intent. Please include examples and/or reasons in your reports.
  • A report does not guarantee the moderation response that you've requested. If reporting users are not satisfied with our decisions, we suggest using the Mute or Block functions.

ACCESSIBILITY

We encourage the usage of captions and descriptive text when posting images, in order to make your posts more accessible to users who use screen readers. For the same reason, we also discourage the usage of excessive emojis in posts or usernames.

Our instance is open to users of any language. The most commonly spoken language among Kolektiva.social mods and admins is English, but we can also communicate in Ukrainian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Haitian Creole, Greek, German, French, and Belarusian. Members of our team won’t be able to effectively communicate in other languages apart from those listed above.

If contacted by users speaking other languages, we may seek out help from other Kolektiva.social users or the admins and mods of other instances. Barring that, we may make use of online translation software.

SAFETY AND DANGER ON THE FEDIVERSE

The Kolektiva.social moderation team is made up of relative newcomers to the fediverse, but we understand that all of the problems associated with other online spaces are also present here. Some of these problems relate to surveillance by institutions that aim for social control, and some relate to the forms of oppressive and anti-social behavior that permeate broader society. Most of the members of our collective are anarchists who have been involved in social movements for years. That is to say, we understand a few things about how repression works. We also know how and why anarchists get into fights with one another, because we have been in a few fights ourselves. At the same time, there’s lots that we don’t know.

As a group, we can draw on a pretty wide array of experiences, but some problems around technical security are simply very complicated, and the same is true of some of the controversies that unfold in local scenes, or over the Internet in general. We will do our best to address issues as they come up. But because we are real people who live in this constantly changing world, we are likely to make mistakes. We also simply won't be able to satisfy all the (sometimes competing) requests and reports that we receive from users.

We believe that it is imperative that anarchists and social movements abandon surveillance capitalist platforms. In fact, we think everyone on Earth should abandon these services. Platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter spy on us, hand our personal data over to hostile forces, and help to poison political discourse through monetized algorithms and the spread of reactionary ideologies. We want Kolektiva.social to be able to serve as a landing pad for people who are new to Mastodon, the fediverse, etc. For this reason, we are intentionally set up as a large, welcoming instance with open registrations. We have no interest in hosting fascists or other annoying and miserable people (and will ban them once we have a good reason to do so), but obviously some of the people on this platform may be ruder, rougher, and less sensitive than those found on smaller, more community-focused Mastodon/Hometown instances. When we talk about a mass exodus from corporate social media, we recognize that this will involve all sorts of people, and not just those who we already agree with. To paraphrase Maurice Moe Mitchell: we have a low bar to entry and a high standard for conduct.

We want to allow people to learn how they want to conduct themselves before removing them. That said, even though we intend to be open and welcoming, we will not allow arguments around "free speech" to serve as cover for harmful, entitled, and/or obnoxious behaviur. We are aware of the broad conversations taking place around anti-Blackness and other forms of racism on the fediverse, and we take this seriously.

While we see it as important to provide a space where users can be themselves and reach out to others as they wish, repeatedly posting unsolicited opinions on other people's posts, playing “devil's advocate” with strangers, and other similar forms of obnoxious behavior have their limit, before they become a pattern. If you are having problems with a specific user, please feel free to reach out to one of our moderators for help with explaining microaggressions and subtly oppressive behaviors.

DEFEDERATING FROM OTHER INSTANCES

We will do our best to remain defederated from the most toxic parts of the fediverse, and will attempt to keep up-to-date on collective initiatives such as #fediblock. But to maintain Kolektiva.social's usefulness as a communications tool and social media platform, we don’t intend to defederate from large instances based on the actions of a small minority of their membership. We also don’t want to turn defederation into our activism.

Given Kolektiva.social’s relatively large size on the fediverse (and especially in the “anarchist neighborhood”), we recognize that any decisions that we take to defederate from a given instance can severely limit that instance’s users’ ability to learn about, and engage with, various worthwhile sorts of information that Kolektiva.social users are putting onto the fediverse. Because of this, we will rely more heavily on suspending and silencing individual accounts, unless the instance itself is irredeemable. We will do our best to maintain open lines of communications with other admins, and to pass on reports about their users where we deem it necessary/appropriate.

We also have a Matrix groupchat set up where we can communicate with mods and admins from other instances. If you would like to join, get in touch.

A NOTE ON DECENTRALIZATION

We are aware of the criticism of large centralized Mastodon instances, and the arguments for a more decentralized network of smaller Mastodon servers. We are sympathetic to these criticisms for a number of reasons, not least of which being that they often come from our fellow anarchists. We encourage our users to find another instance that they find fits their expectations and views, or barring that, to create their own.

That said, we also see a need for large instances with open registration that can serve as landing pads for those escaping from corporate social media platforms. This is a role that we see Kolektiva.social filling as we move forward with our short-term goals. We will continue to assess our role in the fediverse moving forward, and are open to dialogue with other groups about what this can and should look like. As noted earlier, we plan on producing a series of resources aimed at helping people set up and manage their own Mastodon instances.

CONTACT US

Feel free to message or tag any of the following members of our mod team.

Moderated servers

Mastodon generally allows you to view content from and interact with users from any other server in the fediverse. These are the exceptions that have been made on this particular server.

Filtered media

Media files from these servers will not be processed or stored, and no thumbnails will be displayed, requiring manual click-through to the original file:

Server Reason
switter.at
brasileiros.social

Limited servers

Posts from these servers will be hidden in public timelines and conversations, and no notifications will be generated from their users interactions, unless you are following them:

Server Reason
2ar.xyz
assortedflotsam.com
baraag.net
blob.cat
contrapointsfan.club
degenerates.fail
glindr.org
hunk.city
rcsocial.net
salesforce.social
social.illegalpornography.com
social.raptorengineering.io
society.kalli.st
spinster.xyz
switter.at

Suspended servers

No data from these servers will be processed, stored or exchanged, making any interaction or communication with users from these servers impossible:

Server Reason
10minutepleroma.com
albin.social
anime.website
animeisgay.com
anitwitter.com
antivaxxer.icu
archivefedifor.fun
bae.st
based.directory
beefyboys.club
beefyboys.win
beehub.org
bitcoinadon.social
bitcoinhackers.org
bittube.video
brighteon.social
buildthatwallandmakeamericagreatagain.trumpislovetrumpis.life
bwzone.xyz
capitalism.party
cawfee.club
censorship.icu
cock.fish
collapsitarian.io
community.halle-leaks.de
community.highlandarrow.com
counter.fedi.live
counter.social
cryptids.online
cyzed.com
d-fens.systems
definitely-not-archivefedifor.fun
degooglization.icu
detroitriotcity.com
dev.civiq.social
develop.gab.com
distrotoot.com
elves.forsale
explosion.party
fedi.club
fedi.valkyrie.world
fedi.z0ne.moe
fedicy.allowed.org
fightbig.tech
forum.decisiveliberty.news
freespeech.firedragonstudios.com
freespeech.group
freespeech.icu
freespeechextremist.com
frennet.link
fuck-man-i-just-want-like-one-friend.xyz
gab.ai
gameliberty.club
gearlandia.haus
gleasonator.com
glittersluts.xyz
gorf.pub
honkwerx.tech
http:cyberfuck.club
http:pleroma.gretagangbang.biz
https:gleasonator.com
iddqd.social
katiehopkinspolitical.icu
kiwifarms.cc
lain.sh
letsalllovela.in
liberdon.com
ligma.pro
monads.online
nazi.social
neckbeard.xyz
nnia.space
noagendasocial.com
nobodyhasthe.biz
ns.auction
pawoo.net
paypig.org
pedo.school
pieville.net
pl.smuglo.li
plandemic.icu
pleroma.gretagangbang.biz
pleroma.skyshanty.xyz
pleroma.soykaf.com
poa.st
political.icu
povertypimps.xyz
princess.cat
projectveritas.icu
quodverum.com
rapemeat.shop
rayn.bo
rino.icu
ryona.agency
search.fedi.app
shitposter.club
shortstackran.ch
skins.gay
skippers-bin.com
social.ancreport.com
social.anthro.cc
social.handholding.io
social.sakamoto.gq
social.urspringer.de
springbo.cc
stereophonic.space
sylveon.club
the.hedgehoghunter.club
theburning.world
thecitizen.icu
theduran.icu
thepopulist.icu
traboone.com
tweety.icu
untwitter.cf
video.halle-leaks.de
video.nobodyhasthe.biz
video.pure-isp.eu
videos.martinezperspective.org
voicenews.icu
wurm.host
yggdrasil.social
zetamu.club
brasileiros.social