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Terms of Service

In this document, “Motley” refers to the Motley instance of Friendica found at “We” and “the administrators” refers to the administrators of this instance, currently @[email protected].

Motley aims to be an accessible, equitable, safe, and respectful space for all of its members. We strive to minimize harassment in the ways detailed in this document while also recognizing that no community space can ever be guaranteed to be entirely safe or free of harm. Therefore, we hold systems of personal and community accountability as guiding frameworks for addressing harm when it occurs.

This code of conduct outlines the expectations and responsibilities of all Motley members. Additionally, since we believe that certain ideologies present a significant risk to the Motley community and society at large due to their hateful, hurtful, or oppressive nature, Motley will categorically refuse to host advocates or affiliates of these ideologies, described below.

This code of conduct also serves as a statement of principles. Years of experience in online communities has taught us that a laissez-faire approach to moderation is an invitation to trolls, asshats, and people whose primary interest is domination. An untended garden will be overrun by weeds. We don’t believe that “neutrality” is possible or valuable for the community we want to cultivate, so we’ve used this document to paint a picture of what we value and who is and isn’t welcome here. Take heed.

This code of conduct applies to all Motley spaces, including posts, comments, forums/groups, events, and direct messages, both online and off. While we will prioritize an accountability-based, victim-centered model of harm resolution, anyone who violates this code of conduct may be sanctioned or expelled from Motley spaces at the discretion of the administrators.

Finally, Motley is only open to adult users at this time.

Core Values

These expectations are founded on core values which include:

  • Consent: Every person has the fundamental right to freely determine what they will or will not participate in.
  • Nonmaleficence: We strive to minimize the harm we cause to others, while also recognizing that this risk can never be totally eliminated.
  • Responsibility: We are all responsible for the choices we make, including their effects on other people.
  • Imperfection: Being a human is messy and contradictory, and even more so when we start interacting with others. We recognize that we all make mistakes, so we prioritize growth over perfection.
  • Equity and Justice: It is not enough to treat everyone equally or provide them with equal opportunities. We strive for fair and equal outcomes.

If you are uncertain whether a particular act is or isn’t welcome on Motley, you can turn to these values as guidance.

Unwelcome Actions and Behaviors

The following actions and behaviors are unwelcome on Motley:
  • Harassment
  • Bigotry
  • Microaggressions
  • Violence
  • Hiding behind the "irony" excuse
  • Using moderation to strongarm others
The sections below provide details and examples.


Harassment is continued unwanted, unwelcome or uninvited behavior toward someone. Harassment makes a person feel humiliated, intimidated, or offended in regards to characteristics such as their race, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability, appearance, body type, color, origin, or simply who they are. Harassment violates our principles of consent, nonmaleficence, equity, and justice.

Harassment is a broad term that encompasses a lot of bad behavior, including several of the acts described in other sections below. To avoid it, seek affirmative consent for your interactions with others, especially if those interactions are of a sensitive nature, and respect it when others say “no” or do not give explicit, affirmative consent.

Some additional examples of harassment include:

  • Deliberately "outing" of any aspect of a person's identity without their consent except as necessary to protect vulnerable people from intentional abuse
  • Unsolicited comments or advice regarding a person’s lifestyle or choices
  • Continued one-on-one communication after requests to cease
  • Nonconsensual photography or recording, including logging online activity for harassment purposes
  • Stalking or following


Bigotry is the intolerant and inflexible belief in one’s own superiority and the inferiority of others who differ. Since we can’t know what’s in your heart, we’re concerned less with what you believe and more with how you act. Saying bigoted things is unwelcome here. Acting in bigoted ways is unwelcome here. It violates our principles of nonmaleficence, equity, and justice.

If you’ve been around the Internet at all, this is often where you’d expect a self-appointed “rational” centrist to fly in on a perfectly-balanced biplane, trailing a banner reading “YOU LEFTISTS WON’T TOLERATE NAZIS SO WHO’S THE REAL BIGOTS?” Luckily, at Motley we understand the paradox of tolerance and choose to make space for members of groups who have historically been marginalized, prioritizing their humanity over the inclusion of people who would deny it.

Examples of bigotry include:

  • Misgendering or deadnaming someone
  • Sharing antisemitic comics
  • Endorsing a white supremacist video
In addition, we at Motley will outright refuse membership and federation to those who hold certain bigoted affinities. For more on that, see the “Unwelcome Ideologies and Affinities” section below.


A microaggression is a brief and commonplace indignity that communicates hostile, derogatory, insulting, or negative prejudice toward a member of a marginalized group due to their marginalized identity, or otherwise “others” that person. Because microaggressions are commonplace, people may not realize they are committing them until it is pointed out. Microaggressions violate our principles of nonmaleficence and justice and are unwelcome here.

To avoid committing microaggressions, consider reading up on common microaggressions, such as racial microaggressions and common ableist language. As described below in the “Response, Resolution, and Consequences” section, if someone “calls you in” for committing a microaggression, we expect you will respond by promptly apologizing and changing your behavior in the future.

Examples of microaggressions include:

  • Pointedly asking a person of color, “Where are you from?”
  • Using commonplace terms that associate an entire class of people with a negative trait, such as describing being swindled as “getting g*pped”
  • Insisting that someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity is “just a phase”


Violence is the intentional use of force or power against another person or group with either the result or high likelihood of causing injury, death, psychological harm, or deprivation. Threats of violence, including encouragement of self-harm or suicide, are absolutely not welcome on Motley, and are in direct contradiction with our value of nonmaleficence.

Limited leeway will be given for absurd and hyperbolic statements directed at non-user figures; for instance, “Jeff Bezos should launch himself into the Sun”. If you’re going to quibble with me about the difference between (a) saying, in a forum he’ll never see, that the richest man on Earth ought to be trebuchet’d through space, and (b) directly telling a vulnerable person to hurt themselves, then buzz off, you’re not welcome here either.

“But it’s ironic!”

Jokes that resemble the above, such as "hipster racism", still count as harassment under this code of conduct, even if intended satirically or ironically. Being anti-racist, anti-sexist, etc. is an ongoing process, not a one-time achievement that enables you to say bigoted things because you “get it”.

If you hide your shameful ideas in the safe space of “satire” and use “it’s just a joke!” as a tissue-paper shield for your ass-backward ideas, then save us the trouble. We know your type, and you’re not welcome here.

Using moderation to strongarm others

Motley prioritizes marginalized people’s safety over privileged people’s comfort. The following are generally not grounds for moderation:

  • Claims of "reverse -isms”, including "reverse racism," "reverse sexism," and "cisphobia"
  • Complaints about individuals asserting reasonable boundaries such as "leave me alone," "go away," or "I'm not discussing this with you.”
  • Asking mods to tone police other community members
  • Complaints about being called-in for racist, sexist, cissexist, or otherwise oppressive behavior or assumptions

Unwelcome Ideologies and Affinities

We believe that some ideas are not worthy of discussion in this space, and allowing adherents to those ideas is a direct threat to the safety and wellbeing of our community. If you hold any ideology that believes in—whether violently, non-violently, or religiously—the repression of people based on race, gender identity, sexuality, and so on, you are not welcome on Motley.

This includes, but is certainly not limited to:

  • Fascists
  • Members of the “Manosphere” (including Men’s Rights Activists, The Red Pill followers, incels, etc.)
  • Trans-exclusionary or sex worker-exclusionary “radical feminists”
  • Members of totalitarian or fundamentalist religious groups (such as Christian Dominionists)

Additionally, believers in the following conspiracy theories are unwelcome on Motley, due in no small part to the threat they pose to public health and wellbeing:

  • Vaccine denial (aka “anti-vaxx”)
  • Climate change denial
  • COVID-19 denial
  • Xenophobic, antisemitic, cryptofascist, or otherwise hateful conspiracy theories (such as Holocaust denial, Sandy Hook conspiracy theories, QAnon, Pizzagate, Illuminati, New World Order, etc.)
  • NFT peddling

Finally, you are not welcome here if you work in any capacity for any of the following types of organizations:

  • Immigration enforcement
  • Police
  • Intelligence/spy organizations

Reporting and Community Responsibility

We want Motley to be as non-hierarchical a community as is feasible. As such, all members are deputized to assertively “call-in” any behavior that violates this code of conduct. When a member calls you in for crossing the code of conduct, you are expected to listen and respond to that feedback promptly and compassionately, regardless of whether or not they are an administrator. Please refer to the core values listed earlier in this document to guide your decision-making.

That said, while community-based moderation may be ideal, we recognize it is not always feasible, especially if you feel it would be unsafe for you to “call-in” another member. If you are being harassed by a member of Motley, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please feel free to directly contact an administrator (listed at the top of this document). That’s what we’re here for.

We do not believe there is a clear delineation between online and offline life; the internet is as much part of the “real world” as what we do outside of it. The admins reserve the right to exclude people from Motley based on their past behavior, including behavior outside Motley spaces and behavior towards people who are not in Motley.

Response, Resolution, and Consequences

Administrators will address any harassing or harmful behavior through a transformative justice lens, prioritizing a victim-centered approach while also recognizing incidents as opportunities for individual and community growth. Participants asked to stop any harassing or harmful behavior are expected to comply immediately--if someone says "cut it out," then cut it out. You can hash it out with them later.

If a participant continues to engage in harassing or harmful behavior, the administrators may take any action they deem appropriate, up to and including expulsion from all Motley spaces and identification of the participant as a harasser to other Motley members or the general public.

We will not name harassment victims without their affirmative consent.

Sexual Content

Sexual content, including images containing adult nudity, is allowed and welcome on Motley. However, our value of consent takes precedence. This means:

  • Tag your sexual content liberally so that others who do not wish to see it can automatically block or hide it. At very minimum, use the #nsfw tag, which is blocked by default.
  • If you share original sexual content, it must be shared with the enthusiastic, freely-given consent of everyone involved. Posting others' sexual content without their consent is a severe violation of our principles as a community.
  • None of this supersedes our rules on harassment and unwelcome conduct above.

Be judicious about what you share. Obviously, we care about your privacy, but we cannot guarantee the security of content you share on the Internet. Anyone who sees your post could download or screenshot its contents. Share what you'd like, just be aware of the inherent risks.

Sexual content is only allowed so long as everyone depicted is an adult. Sexual content depicting minors is in no way welcome on Motley.


The administrators reserve the right to update this code of conduct (CoC) at any time at their discretion. Updates to the CoC will be communicated to users via email and posts from admin accounts. If you have any concerns about or suggestions for the CoC, please contact an administrator via email or direct message.


This was adapted from the Friend Camp Code of Conduct, LGBTQ in Tech Code of Conduct, Queer Scouts Handbook, and Mutant Standard Code of Conduct. It is licensed using a Creative Commons Zero License, meaning the contents are in the public domain.

Version History

  • 2022-01-25: Added "NFT-peddling" under conspiracy theories.
  • 2020-09-22: Added sexual content policy and note about adults-only limit
  • 2020-06-12: Published.

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