Terms of Service on pod level

As you might have read in other posts, I am quite new on diaspora* and running my own pod. I have been thinking about why I want to run a pod and what I think is acceptable use of the pod.
I endorse the ideas behind diaspora. I also have been involved in a few discussions about freedom of speech on diaspora*.
For me, personally, there is no absolute freedom of speech. Sometimes freedom of speech conflicts with other base freedoms and rights. When another base freedom or right gets violated by the freedom of speech, IMO the freedom of speech stops to exist. That’s also the point that I as a podmin will step in and start moderating.

In order to have consequent moderation, I think moderation should be based on some predetermined agreement, which I will call the ToS (Terms of Service).

I know there is a, by default not activated, ToS provided with the pod software. I activated this agreement, but it is still the default version.

With this discussion I would like your opinions about a ToS in general, and what would you put in such a ToS?
So I am trying to get to a ToS that suits my needs and could get some help from you all by commenting with your opinions.
Some previous discussion that could help:

Current ToS included with diaspora is like this:

The ToS that comes with the software is simply a template that you can enable if you choose. You are free to (and indeed, encouraged to) adapt it to suit your particular circumstances, or to reject it entirely and set your own terms. Please don’t feel limited by what is in the default version.

The default ToS were forked and adapted from those at App.Net – see PR #5104.

Oh, and that PR was in response to the discussion titled ‘Add ToS and PP documents for podmins to use’ that you’ve cited.

@goob, thnx for the response. I am curious towards your own opinion towards a ToS. With this discussion I would like to trigger some comments from others if they think a ToS is necessary and if so, what should be in a ToS?
How explicit should a ToS be formulated? What topics should be covered in a ToS.

example of “what others have”:
Wikipedia: https://foundation.wikimedia.org/wiki/Terms_of_Use/en (CC-BY-SA)
Mastodon: https://mastodon.social/about/more (Code of Conduct, CC-BY-SA)
Discourse: https://meta.discourse.org/tos (CC-BY-SA)

On my pod I would like to respect free speech of individual users as much as possible, but I do not want to enable insincere or mission-oriented accounts.

For example, I don’t want to shut down a person’s expression of political views, even if they differ from mine. On the other hand, I don’t want to host fake accounts that are part of a larger coordinated campaign intended to influence elections for the benefit of third parties.

Another example: I don’t necessarily want to shut down an account used to present someone’s goods/services. On the other hand, I don’t want to host spam accounts or accounts that are part of a larger impersonal marketing effort.

Not sure I’m really expressing myself adequately here. But beyond ToS, how would one go about implementing such policies?

To be quite honest, what you are asking for here is legal advice, and free legal advice/legal advice from non-qualified people is illegal in both Germany (where this Discourse is hosted), and the US (where some of the project assets are located), so I am not sure where you are heading at.

If you want to have custom ToS that fit your needs, please contact a local lawyer. That’s all any project member can tell you in this topic.

It would be disappointing to pull the “legal advice” card and kill discussion. My goal is to discuss this subject with other podmins and maybe we can come to some decent insights what would be reasonable and what not, what would be necessary and what not…

Feel free to do that. But be careful, because running a service in Belgium is a different story than running a service in the US. :wink:

I really appreciate what you’re trying to do. Some pods allow bots, porn, etc., and some don’t. I would prefer a pod that is heavily moderated to help avoid things like porn and profanity, Nazism, etc.

To others, though, “even hate speech is free speech and don’t you dare interfere with free speech!” I see both points of view clearly and kinda sorta agree with both. The right to speak is one thing, but there’s no “right to be heard” that requires the rest of us to listen.

Bravo for what you’re hoping to do, and good luck with it!

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