Anyone using or observing Twitter will be well aware of the recent purchase of the company, which throws the future of the platform into, at best, uncertainty, and at worst, turmoil.
In response, many scholars have been considering a move to Mastodon, a non-profit, federated alternative social network. Being federated, Mastodon requires access to a server (here’s more on how Mastodon works), which is where we come in.
In response to community requests and our own recognition of the potential in this moment, we are launching hcommons.social, a Mastodon server open to all scholars (which we take to include: researchers, librarians, instructors, students, staff and anyone else with an active interest in research and education.) While we expect this space to lean Humanities-heavy, we leave it up to users whether it feels like the place they want to be. To start, there will be no limit on sign-ups, though we will review that policy over time as we learn more about the costs and overhead of managing the server.
We’ve moved quickly to get this up and running, and are doing so in the spirit of experimentation. We’ve never done this before. Many of the people who use it will probably not have either. So we’re going to have to figure things out together!
To start, we are putting in place:
Server rules that prioritize harm reduction and will be enforced via…
A clear moderation policy,
And if you’re new to Mastodon, a wonderful HC user has created an excellent guide to getting started.