Riverside Camp is an invite-only Mastodon server run by myself, Clarity Flowers for my friends. It isn't intended to replace your other social media use (unless you want it to), but rather wants to be a home-away-from-home, a place to be that is away from the churn of Twitter.
This is a place to encourage each other to be creative, to connect with a small community, to share thoughts and feelings, and to share the things that we love with each other.
This is not a place to boost and share the things that upset you. If you like doing that, that's ok, but please put it elsewhere. Sharing your bad feelings and hard times is ok though! There's a difference between "I've been really struggling lately" and "this NYT article is terrible."
This is also not a place to argue, debate, or hash out conflicts. Microblogging, on a structural level, is very poorly equipped for these sorts of interaction. If you need to handle a conflict with someone DMs can be a good place to start, or if you're not comfortable with that you can reach out to me to ask for help. Friendly and collaborative discourse is welcome, but don't engage in that sort of thing without first checking to see if they're in the mood.
This is a small community, where I hope we can all trust each other. On other social media platforms, there's a sort of mode of interaction that's easy to fall into (I certainly do) that is impersonal and angry. The equivalent of bumper stickers or lawn signs: communication that assumes the reader is in conflict with you. I'd like for us to avoid that, here.
This page is not a code of conduct; it is a mission statement and a work-in-progress. Let's all collaborate to figure out what kind of community we want to be!
Sexist, racist, ableist, and other exclusionary jokes are not appropriate and will not be tolerated under any circumstance. Any language that is unwelcoming—whether or not it rises to the level of harassment—is also unacceptable. We know mistakes happen, so be open to feedback and learning to fix harmful patterns
I am the steward of this server. I use the word stewardship intentionally to reflect a different perspective from the language of leadership and power that is common in online communities. My stewardship is a responsibility to community and to the infrastructure that it depends on. My power to manage the server, to nurture the space, and to help resolve conflicts derives from the trust placed in me by you all. If you find that trust faltering, I'd love for you to reach out to me so we can figure things out.
As the steward, I take responsibility for everything that happens here, including:
Stewardship doesn't have to be only my responsibility! In fact, if the server grows I will definitely want help with it, if only to ensure it won't all go down if something happens to me. If you want to help, please reach out to me, and I can help train you in all of the responsibilities involved. You may even find that you will want to start up your own server to invite your friends to as well! I would love to form a neighborhood of instances with a high-degree of trust between them.
As members of a varied and vulnerable community, it’s easy to cause harm unintentionally. Rather than avoiding conflict, we want to embrace and accept that conflicts will occur, and develop a culture of resolving conflicts healthily. Everyone has their own communication style, but if you feel at a loss there is a practice called Non-Violent Communication that has worked very well for me.
Microblogging platforms are very unequipped for healthy conflict resolution. It can be very hard to be open to one another when you're engaging in public. For this reason, consider using DMs as an alternate and more private way of talking. If you're not comfortable with DMs, I'm happy to help you.
A good first step in handling a conflict is to replace your own value judgements with observable facts, our feelings, and our needs. As a simple personal example, instead of “I’m so lazy”, you can say “I’m frustrated that I haven’t finished this song yet”. Value judgements and opinions are subjective and can lead to disagreements. Statements about your feelings encourage empathy and shared understanding.
If you find yourself hurt or frustrated or dissatisfied from someone else’s actions in the server, or if you notice or suspect that you’ve done the same to someone, reach out to them. If you don’t feel comfortable doing so, you can always contact me or directly file a report using the Mastodon reporting system, and I'll help you figure something out.
Mastodon is a lot like Twitter, except it is federated, meaning that you can still communicate and talk with the outside world, but the management of the software and data storage you depend on is done not by a company but a person, potentially someone you know personally.
This server uses Darius Kazemi's hometown fork in the spirit of run your own social. It supports "local-only" posts, which can only ever be seen by other members of Riverside Camp, helping to foster a greater sense of place, community, and privacy.
If someone from Riverside Camp is harrassing you, or you notice someone else being harassed, you can contact an administrator (listed at the top of this document) directly or file a report using the Mastodon reporting system (click the "..." on a post and then use the reporting feature). We will not name harassment victims without their affirmative consent.
The data you post here lives on a server that I run. I promise that I won't look at your private data. You are just going to have to trust me on this.
This is, however, an ActivityPub federated server. This means that other people on other federated servers can find you, send you messages, etc. This also means that any information you put in posts might end up "federated". If anyone from another server can read a message you send (even if it's a private message), that means your message has been copied onto their server, and their admin will have access to it, and there's nothing stopping them from sharing it further.
If you want decent privacy (the info doesn't leave this server), the best way would be to only make local-only posts, and only send private messages to other people on Riverside Camp. This is kind of like email: if you are on a private email server, and you send an unencrypted email to a gmail account, congrats, Google now has the content of that email. But also, you do this every day, so, hey. The internet!