Who sets the rules on the Fediverse? How do I find out what the rules are on my server?

Because the Fediverse is a network of totally independent servers, there is no central set of rules for them. Each server creates its own set of rules which its members must obey. Usually the owner of a server sets the rules for that server, although some servers may consult their members about what should be allowed.

How do I find out what the rules are on my server?

  1. Go to your server’s website, you don’t need to log in.
  2. If you’re on a computer, click the “Learn more” link. If you’re on a phone, click the ⋯ icon.
  3. You will be taken to that server’s info page, scroll down the page until you get to a section marked Server Rules and click this to open it. It’s worth reading the rules before joining a server, they’re usually relatively short and written in clear plain language.

What kind of rules are typical on servers?

Most servers will have rules against bigotry, abuse, threats etc, but it is totally up to a server’s owner to decide. That’s why it’s important to check a server’s rules before you sign up or transfer an account, as they are not all the same and it’s best to know the kind of place you are joining.

How are the rules enforced? What happens if an offender is on another server?

If the rule-breaker’s account is on an admin’s server, the admin can issue a warning, limit the account, suspend the account or even delete the account.

If the rule-breaker is on another server, admins can limit or totally block remote accounts from communicating with their server.

If a server is consistently full of problematic accounts and refuses to do anything about them, admins can defederate badly-run servers. Really badly run servers tend to end up isolated, because so many other servers defederate them.

What if I disagree with a rule? What if a rule is unclear?

You can ask the owner(s) of your server if you have any comments or questions about the server’s rules. Bear in mind though that the owners have the last word on what is allowed.

Is it possible to run a server jointly, owned by its members?

Yes, some servers are owned and run jointly by co-operatives, where the members vote on what should happen and what the rules should be. Real world ownership structures such as co-ops can be applied to servers too.

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