@doot @freemo Looks like it didn't last. I just checked qoto.org/about/more#rules and the current rule says "hate-based racism, sexism, and other hateful speech [will get you banned] but generally unpopular opinions voiced respectfully will be fine".

I want to ask what "unpopular opinions" are important enough to warrant an explicit whitelisting here but also vile enough that someone might reasonably have assumed "no hate speech" bans them, but I already know the answer will be "tHe tRaNs dEbAtE"

@doot Is that fair? I have no way of knowing! But my experience is: almost certainly.

And if I were running a Mastodon instance, I probably would not read every post on qoto to find out, or engage in a "public, evidence-based due process" because honestly, who has that kind of time?

No, I'm going to assume it's a server full of YouTube Atheists debating whether or not my friends should have human rights and block the whole thing, and it's unreasonable for @freemo to expect anything else.


I have reworded our ToS maybe 30 times to keep appeasing objections like this and people just find new ways to twist it into something bad.. ill change it again I dont mind, but its getting absurd.. You ever think maybe you came in with a preconseption and went looking for something that would confirm it rather than the other way around?

Look what is meant is simple... derogatory speech isnt allowed, as long as its not derogatory speech then unpopular opinions are allowed. I will update QOTO so it copies the UFoI wording so there is no confusion, but we make this clear in several other places in our ToS..

As for the whole "what about this? discussion", Its an open-floor discussion, lots of people might have some bad ideas, thats why its a discussion.. but no exceptions have even been put up to vote, so lets try to worry about it if it happens...

I will make this clear, if hate speech or derogatory speech is allowed then QOTO would leave the UFoI. The irony, of course, is that leaving the UFoI would probably make people happy and they will just ignore the why and still call us nazis.

Still waiting for a single person to find even a single objectionable thing on the QOTO timeline, even remotely so.. but nah, that would just burst all the fun everyone is having calling people nazis I guess who are otherwise good people.




I realize I didnt fully answer your question in my last response...

So I assume by "the trans debate" you mean people debating if trans people are "valid"? So your suggesting that isnt derogatory speech but is a simple difference of opinion not falling under derogatory speech? I dunno, that is shocking, personally I think it is quite clear that would fall under the first clause as hate-speech/derogatory-speech... not that would not get an exception..

So what is not derogatory speech but is unpopular? How about debate over if QOTO is a good actor or not? The last week we got about I dunno 80 new users who were banned from their home instances simply for saying somerthing like "I dont see any prejudice coming from QOTO".. bam, their banned.. for... an... unpopular opinion.

Now i want to be clear there is a reason we have that clause in QOTO and not int he UFoI, theUFoI governs other instances. Therefore if some instance wants to make a rule making some sort of unpopular non-derogatory speech against the rules, they can. So that clause simply makes no sense... At qoto however as long as you are respectful, kind, and not derogatory towards marginalized people simply saying 'Windows phones are great" (an unpopular opinion) wont get you banned.


@freemo @doot Help me understand here. Do you think a user would look at the rule “no hate speech” and assume that it meant they couldn’t say Windows Phones are good? If not, why would you say “no hate speech but unpopular opinions are ok” and not “no bots but black people are ok” or “no advertising but you are allowed to use punctuation”? Putting the two things in one sentence implies a connection and that's concerning.

@freemo @doot To be, it implies that you're saying "no hate speech, but don't worry, we have a really tight definition of hate speech so feel free to push the envelope", which yeah, feels worth defederating from. I can't think of another reasonable way to read that sentence and your insistence on treating the two halves of it as completely separate entities just makes you look extremely silly.


I've taken your concerns into consideration and changed our ToS to be more clear.. do you think this satisfies your concerns (see our ToS, its live)

Under what will get you banned:

No hate speech, We define hate speech as any kind of communication in speech, writing or behaviour, that attacks or uses pejorative or discriminatory language with reference to a protected characteristic, in other words, based on their age, disability, ethnicity, gender, pregnancy, nationality, sex or sexuality.

Under What won't get you banned:

Unpopular opinions voiced respectfully will be fine, so long as it doesnt violate our other rules.


@freemo The head of BBC News last month told LGBT staff who complained about the department's transphobic output: "get used to hearing views you don’t like". thetimes.co.uk/article/fran-un

Lsat year Sussex Uni cried "academic freedom" when students demanded they fire a transphobic professor.

What do you expect people to assume when they see an "academic freedom" instance that has an explicit rule that "unpopular opinions" are allowed and which openly federates with fascists?


Well lets look to QOTO's openly LGBTQ community and see what their opinion is then, they would be the one to ask no?



@freemo I'm not trying to tell you what your own instance is like. You know better than me. I'm trying to explain to you how it *looks* to everyone else, and it feels like you just don't understand what I'm saying.

Which honestly, is a red flag. Like you could say "yes, I see that, but I think there's a place for less strictly moderated instances too and if that means some people defederate, so be it", but instead you started acting like Octodon will ban you for openly liking Windows Phone 7.


We have been federated with octodon for 5 years, over that time our policies have significantly increased in their explicit wording for protections of LGBTQ...

So what changed when octodon finally decided to defederate from us? Well.. Snow. A person who was openly a Nazi, an nazi who started their career on the fediverse on QOTO but quickly got banned.. he took on a vandetta openly to discredit us (see attached images)... He went around with a cohort of nazis as alts on various LGBTQ friendly instances and spread lies and misinformation about us... after 5 years of being recognized as a LGBTQ safe space he now has us viewed as Nazis, despite the fact that our policies have only improved.

So yea i have no doubt someone will and can **twist** what it looks like.. and even when i hear you, as I did, and change our ToS over and over and over again to appease every complaint it will **never** be enough. You and people who think like you will always find some reason to justify how it "looks" and not really care about what the reality is...

The disgusting fact is a knnown nazi publicly admited they were going to twist the LGBTQA community against itself out of spite, and all the people jumping on that band wagon are just proving that the Nazis are the ones running the show.... good luck with that.

One day you wake up, finding yourself inside a purity spiral, wondering if it will ever end..


They gotta be smarter than the nazis. If they are not, how do you fix that?

@EubieDrew I am trying to do that with the ... problem is that Snow was so good at his job of trying to discredit us that even the attempt at the UFoI is seen as just further proof that I am the Nazi....

@freemo @andrewt I’ve 1/2 convicted myself these accounts are someone in India somewhere paid to troll.


Only reason i doubt that is their too stupid to be paid.. its clearly emotional if they are announcing they are doing it.


@freemo @andrewt perhaps. I run across threads that will dog pile on me time to time seem very limited in thought & articulation. They get the spambot anyway.


Thats just cognitivie dissonance reefusing to accept that the world can be this shitty when it really is I think... but god I hope you are right.


@freemo @andrewt I’m not dismissing the nonsense. I just think something else is a foot to add to the frenzy


That would not surprise me.. its been shown to be the case with russia and likely other countries too. So yea there is an element of thatt, how much I cant say, maybe a lot.



Prejudice is a preconceived (usually unfavourable) evaluation or classification of another person based on that person's perceived political affiliation, sex, gender, gender identity, beliefs, values, social class, age, disability, religion, sexuality, race, ethnicity, language, nationality, culture, complexion, beauty, height, body weight, occupation, wealth, education, criminality, sport-team affiliation, music tastes or other personal characteristics (Wiki)

The point is, anyone can identify with many of these variables. All of the variables are amoral (neutral without any further personality context)

What is immoral is if a person has a grudge (a precondition bias) against a person or demographic of people, not because of their personality (their "goodness" or "badness"), but because of their ethnicity, body weight, sexuality, etc.

So, intellectually, we can define what prejudice is therefore what it's not.

The OP "raised eyebrows" about "unpopular opinions are fine". I interpreted the " unpopular opinions" within the context of what's consider an ethically academic context (civilised debate). That means not in the context of any institutions, academic or not, that explicitly express dubious prejudice ideologies.

@freemo is correct that the real fascists have a divide & conquer agenda. They do not value honesty & humility because they score low in those personality traits. hexaco.org/

So, on social media, there is a large variance of personality types. People that all have their own personal experiences, ideologies & hopefully, at least some empirical evidence so as to "ground" themselves.

In the context of a real "goodness" of character - if the average human (population statistics) has that quality, then joining forces is how we defeat the minority that don't. There is no such quality has perfection, however, maybe the United Federation of (aiming to be civilised) Instances (UFoI) can be a step in the right direction. If so, the wrong agents will spread disinformation (lies, deception, etc) to try & break up the UFoI. For example, spreading disinformation on this thread.

Anyone can tap or write "l heard X allows prejudice, therefore don't trust X".

Without a method to collect evidence (facts), it's all just social gossip (hearsay). It's the weight of the evidence that counts. If an instance evidently blocks hate speech, then it's actions speak for itself.

But, how can that evidence be quantified? considering the bad agents will be spreading false accusations against people & instances.

Just my thoughts on the subject.

@tsomof @andrewt

@freemo Like, you must see how "the allegations against us are false AND ALSO when we say 'academic freedom' we don't mean bigotry in fancy words AND ALSO when we say 'hate speech is bad but unpopular opinions are ok' we don't mean 'you can advocate for genocide as long as you're kinda vague about it and don't use slurs' AND ALSO we only federate with fascists to keep an eye on them" is never going to be an easy sell, right? You're asking for a lot of benefit from much less doubt than you think.

@andrewt I do very much understand how that can be twisted against us despite 5 years of public record of looking out for, defending, and investing in the LGBTQ community. So do I see how it can be twisted to be unpopular... yes I do.... Can you see how I care more about saving LGBTQ lives than I do about being popular and expect that people who are truely good people should be able to see that if they take more than a cursory glance?

@andrewt I do want to say i am sorry ive interacted iwth you so defensively... I should not. I appreciate and respect your abiity to engage respectfully

@freemo I mean I can't *see* that but to be fair I haven't looked into it. Happy to take you at your word, I've no reason not to.

It's tough, though — like, I've been on here for five years and hadn't heard of Qoto until a few weeks ago, so I guess the public record is not as well known as we might like. A lot of decisions will end up being made kind of on vibes, and I'm not sure there's much we can practically do about it.

Where that leaves us with things like Snow, I have no idea.

@andrewt See this statement I agree with 1000%... where that leacves us with things like snow... is finding a solution.. that attempt at a solution is the UFoI... sadly snow has done his job so extremely well that even solutions to address Snow are seen as just more proof I'm a Nazi

@freemo Yeah, I... I don't know if you can win this one. Ages ago I ended up on a Twitter blocklist somehow and I honestly don't know why. Maybe I did something to deserve it at some point, maybe not. But there's nothing to be done about it and honestly I worry that making noise will just mean people setting up new instances, blocklists, accounts, etc will remember it for longer.

@andrewt I usually find that given enough time the evidence eventually prevails... What will usually happen is a bunch of toxic people will rage hard against it, and then everyone in the fediverse knows about it... eventually the loud ones disapear and the silent majority prevails.

Consider this... the reddit post that started all this drama about the UFoI .. bvasically just a link to it, hit the record high upvotes of any post ever on the subreddit, bt a decent margin. It also had 87% upvotes. Despite this the comments were largely negative, but at the same time almost all negative comments had negative votes and the much smaller number of supportive comments all had positive votes.

This tells me that there is a huge silent majority... the people talking all universally hate it, but an overwhyelming majority overall actually like it.

Why you might ask? Because the ones attacking it are the most toxic people on the fedi mostly.. they will block and suspend you and get you on 33 block lists just for voicing support for the UFoI (one prominent LGBTQ member joined his server to the UFoI and immediately left and got on 33 block lists they wont lift). Soi people overwhelming support it, they are just scared to talk out, which is WHY they support it, they wish they had the ability to.

So whats that mean? IMO it means as long as we build up members without releasing the names until we reach criitical mass, then all gi kuve together, then it should be very popular as it will have enough momentum to feel more like a shield that a vulnerability.

@freemo I guess that could work, but those 33 instances aren’t going to sign up even anonymously, so I suspect the best you’ll manage is signing up a lot of instances who weren’t engaging with the discourse anyway, so nothing will actually change. I don’t know. Guess we’ll see.

@andrewt Consider this.. every example you just gave was the result of me knowingly making an unpopular decision because ot was pbjectively int he best interest of the safety of the LGBTQ on my server...

* The false alligations - > Largely a result of snow's hate/disinformation campaigh
* Academic Freedom -> It explicitly is stated it doesnt extend to derogetory, or hate speech, or bad-faith discussions about marginalized groups
* hate speech but not popular opinions -> Yea this makes sense since it can and was not clear, I have since fixed that per your suggestion. But keep in mind there was also a whole paragraph about this clarifying it in the ToS already
* federate with fascists -> This was a decision by about 1000 LGBTQ members who first created this instance, it was created originally to monitor bad actors as part of their safety network. We have taken several precautions though to mitigate this as well.

Your arrogant claim that *your* highly idiosyncratic personal view of
is what he looks like to *everyone else* is Hate Speech of the worst, namely passive-aggressive, kind.

How *DARE* you imposing your own prejudices on everyone else?!?


I would like to hope they meant "to some people" and not "to everyone else"... I like to give people the benefit of thte doubt. Though you are right that was horrible wording on their part.

I doubt they realize that while I have a lot of people who support me, the type of people I attract are also the non-confrontational types, so they arent the ones you see yelling in a crowd. My "tribe" are quiet people who like to avoid the drama... which ironically people like that are often theones that piss peoplke off the most.


Looks like @andrewt
is modeling the passive-aggressive hate speech pattern perfectly:
declare YOUR OWN idio[syncra]cy as "how everybody sees it" and declare any deviating standpoint unacceptable free speech.

We can't afford NOT confronting this deliberate kind of reality distortion.


Thge conversation ended on a positive note.. ill give them a pass for any rough passive aggressive beginings... In their defense I was being pretty defensive too.


@tatzelbrumm @freemo ok well I'll admit that was badly phrased but when I wake up to a bunch of uncharitable replies from strangers accusing me of "idiocy" and "deliberate distortion of reality" it does not make me *less* sympathetic to instance admins who decide to just block your whole server and not have to think about it any more. I thought yours was supposed to be an instance where conflicting ideas are discussed rationally rather than simply assumed to be bad faith?


It usually is.. people are touchy considering the constant barrage of attacks that sounded a lot like what you were expressing.. given the situation people are noticably snippy.


@freemo @tatzelbrumm yeah, I'm sure, anyone would be

And to be fair most of the replies were thoughtful and relevant (if a bit long). Just worked out badly that it was a long list of them with the meanest at the top.

I may have gone full Greta Thunberg on
"How dare you … ?!?"
and gotten a bit technical:
someone who doesn't want to participate in the open, public, discussion, but prefers to defederate from anyone who have a view of reality (or, in fact several simultaneous views of reality in its full ambiguity) that don't affirm one's own.

@tatzelbrumm @freemo yeah, you're right, I don't want to do that


this conversation is hard enough without being expected to have it in ancient Greek

undesirable self-awareness 

γνῶθι σεαυτόν

There are people in the Fediverse,
like, apparently,
for whom the following picture from de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnothi_s
must under no circumstances be posted without a Content Warning:


Help me understand here. Do you think a user would look at the rule “no hate speech” and assume that it meant they couldn’t say Windows Phones are good?

Its a qualifying clause, not an exceptional clause.. so that question doesnt make sense unless it were an exceptional clause.

“no bots but black people are ok”

The difference is hate-speech is sometimes misused to include things that arent hate-speech.. othertimes its misused to not include things that are hate speech…. on the other side I have never seen the term “bot” being misused to include black people…

All that said clearly the clause is causing confusion and you are interpriting it in a way that it wasnt meant to be. It is my job to make it more clear then… I will reword it now and move that qualifying clause to its own line and therefore address your concern so it wont be mistaken as an exceptional clause.


@andrewt @freemo @doot

It seems to me that you're saying that one can read indirect implications from the phrasing. I would like to posit that being more terse makes this problem worse.

When I joined fedi ~2 years ago, I suffered from the standard decision paralysis about which instance to join. In the end I followed a friend's recommendation, but before that I read rules (and federation policies/server blocklists) of a few instances and in many cases couldn't really tell what the rules mean. I can't point to exact instances I've looked at then, but I remember seeing rules essentially paralleling Stewart's definition of pornography (e.g. "do not make us add a rule"), which made me think that typical interpretation of anything banned in the rules was very expansive and that I was expected to read between the lines that anything that resembles a banned thing is also banned.

If you put yourself in such a position, you can see how such apparently-obvious clarifications are not necessarily that ridiculous. Perhaps the phrasing of this one is terrible, but then I expect it could be made better by making it more verbose and not terser.

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Qoto Mastodon

QOTO: Question Others to Teach Ourselves
An inclusive, Academic Freedom, instance
All cultures welcome.
Hate speech and harassment strictly forbidden.