How to make the Fediverse a more diverse and safe place?

I have recently been involved in discussions about racism on the Fediverse.
I didn’t know that but apparently twitter can be a more safe space to POC than the Fediverse, because there they are in a bubble of POC and allies, who know a lot about racism and how to avoid everyday racism.
So what can we do to make the Fediverse more accepting and open?
Obviously good moderation is one point. I recommend everybody follow @FediBlock and ask your moderators to block instances on the blocklist.
Also education is very important.
And creating safe spaces could be an idea. I actually created https://a.rathersafe.space exactly for that reason. Though I didn’t yet really present it to the public.

What are some other ideas?

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We have an interesting discussion going at SocialHub on Moderation in general. Among others Mike MacGirvin of Zap has some interesting views on how this might be improved.

In it I quoted an earlier idea of mine to make Moderation more of a first-class citizen of the Fediverse which I call Federated Moderation (and could be further extended to become Delegated Moderation). I’ll include the Lemmy brainstorm here with link to SocialHub (as I can only include 2 URL’s currently):

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On a different level, and maybe even more important than moderation, is the notion of Community: spaces where you not only feel safe, but where you feel at home. Community concepts aren’t well-represented on the current fedi. An instance is an implicit community.

Hometown by Darius Kazemi is a good example of an effort that tries to make the most of instances as safe communities. They are meant to be very small, invite-only for the most part, and really only for friends and those you really wanna meet online. In traditional social networks, but also on the Fediverse (on the larger instances, or aggregated timelines) with scale things start to break down and become more toxic. Dunbar’s number may be important here.

I am a proponent of taking Community concepts next-level, way beyond the instance-is-a-community idea, in a paradigm I call “Community has no Boundary”. An ongoing discussion on SocialHub is:

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I would say from experience that there are indeed pockets of very good people on Twitter. But they spend a lot of effort fending off bad actors in many cases. That itself can create a sense of shared struggle and experience, and solidarity, which are wonderful things in their own way. I like the idea of safe spaces though. It seems to me that a good way to bring in more diversity might be to start an instance (of pick your favorite federated app) just for a small diverse irl group, maybe your local collective or socialist chapter, just to give an introduction to fedi in a small safe environment with a specific group orientation. And see where it goes? I mean, it’s not a very scalable approach, but we can let the centralized players worry about scale :sweat_smile:

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Yess! Fully subscribe to this idea. Note that in concept this aligns to what meetup.com is doing as well (but as a centralised, specialised, walled garden platform, of course). On fedi we could extend the concept, as it can include any application type to support the irl groups.

Update: I think this warrants a separate topic, @LEDCoyote. I am curious to dive deeper, and look at ways to organize.

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I think this also intersects the user experience of onboarding. It’s relatively easy to get into, say, a Mastodon instance. Though takes some wrapping ones head around the whole idea of federation (and I’m a dev!). And I intend to get into some other AP applications soon. Would be great to brainstorm ideas to streamline user onboarding. I’ll try to makes some notes of what seemed confusing etc while it’s still relatively fresh in my brain…

Update: just saw this topic as well, to which this post is apropos Has anybody joined the Fediverse because of you?

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Yes, storytelling. Most of it immediately goes in some kinda technical-oriented explanation and abstract ideas. The federation is a technical concern. It is more like, by joining the Fediverse you enter a new social world or realm, woven together by the same people that use it, and tying together bits and pieces that allow you to have unique experiences that don’t exist on the ‘business web’.

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Absolutely this. The storytelling that de-abstracts, makes concrete, the experience of the federated web. To bring it back to @paula 's op, getting the stories of POC and other marginalized people—why they came to fedi, how/if they found community here, if they left then why—would be of great understanding

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Continuing along this line of thinking… What about a sort of community understanding project of gathering stories, with a focus towards BIPOC, and other marginalized and people of difference, to learn more about the whys and hows of their joining, existing in, and leaving the Fediverse?

To start out, I think we’d want to discuss something of an interview format, though it needn’t be very rigid or anything. But some kind of standardized framework would be helpful, both to help guide the conversation along and keep it focused, and well as to try to obtain a consistent set of data across interviewees.

And then thinking about how to present the information that is gathered… Obviously, personally identifying information should be treated with care / discarded, but what else to consider?

I love the idea of gathering stories and looking for meaning in them. If we get some momentum in this and a format starts to gel it might be fun to practice on one another :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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