We are simple with defederating: we do not allow hate speech, and we must consider our own limits when it comes to moderating. If an instance allows hateful speech or in our judgement has users who are too much for us to currently manage given the state of Lemmy, we defederate with it. These judgements are always open to being reconsidered, particularly if they are informed by a lack of moderation tools.

Hate Speech

For most instances, the choice to defederate is based on the amount of hate speech present on the instance and/or the instance explicitly endorsing it. Since hate speech is not controlled on the instances that these users come from, we cannot expect those users to change their behavior when participating on our instance. While users may exist on some of these platforms who do not spread hate speech, the choice to defederate is made to reduce the burden on our moderators and admins.

Occasionally these instances or users from these instances will point their fingers at Beehaw and make claims about our political leanings or whether certain kinds of politics are banned. To be explicit, the kind of politics that are banned here are those which enable hate speech such as fascism. We do not defederate based solely on political disagreement.

Lack of moderation tools

The choice to defederate from an instance can also be based on our inability to effectively moderate that instance’s users. As of now, only two of our defederations are on this basis (lemmy.world and sh.itjust.works), and we hope to eventually refederate with both of them.

The primary factors which influence a decision on these grounds, if it’s made, are:

  • If an instance has an open registration policy - these are extremely problematic for us given how federation works and how trivial it makes trolling, harassment, and other undesirable behavior;
  • Whether an instance causes a disproportionate (and overwhelming) number of moderator actions we take, or contributes an excessive amount of time we have to dedicate to moderating bad actors;
  • Our need to preserve not only a moderated community but a vibe and general feeling this is a safe space for our users to participate in - which instances may negatively impact;
  • The reality that fulfilling our ethos is simply not possible when we not only have to account for our own users but have to account for literally tens of thousands of new, completely unvetted users, some of whom explicitly see spaces like this as desirable to troll and disrupt and others of whom simply don’t care about what our instance stands for.

Last updated 10 Sep 2023, 13:37 -0400 . history