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Server rules

Below is a summary of rules you need to follow if you want to have an account on this server of Mastodon:

  1. Stay on topic . The majority of your toots must be related to rail trails and related adventure.
  2. No NSFW (not safe for work) content.
  3. Keep it civil . No personal attacks, doxxing, calls for violence, or similar behavior.
  4. No politics unless they directly relate to rail trails.
  5. Commercial posts must be on-topic, limited, and not third-party or affiliate links.

About trails.floor9.com

This is a curated Mastodon instance focused on rail trails, off-road cycling, and related adventures. If it’s tangentially related to riding the trails, it’s welcome here! We try to be flexible about this but if you’re looking for a more general-purpose Mastodon instance, check out mastodon.social or one of the many other Mastodon instances.

We openly federate with ActivityPub instances such as Mastodon, Pixelfed, Nextcloud, and Hubzilla, even if their content is unrelated to rail trails. This means that our “Local” timeline will always be focused on two-wheeled off-road adventures, while our “Federated” timeline will be a rich plethora of what our community finds interesting.

About Mastodon

Mastodon is a free and decentralized social network where you have total control over your data and privacy. Instead of one single company having control over the network (like Twitter or Facebook), there are hundreds of independent Mastodon instances all over the world. With rare exception, these instances can call talk to each other and seamlessly share content.

With your account on trails.floor9.com, you can easily follow your friends on other Mastodon instances like mastodon.social or toot.cat. You can reply and boost their posts just as if you were all on the same server – and they can do the same to you.

If that sounds confusing, it’s really exactly the same as how someone with a Gmail account can email someone with an Outlook account.

The advantage to Mastodon is that your data isn’t locked down by one single person or company. If you don’t like the way one server is run, you can easily download your data and take it to another Mastodon server. And you can even seamlessly interact with users on other platforms, such as Pixelfed and Friendica.

Related Content

The majority of your content should be directly or indirectly related to rail trails. We think this is pretty obvious, so we’re not going to create an exhaustive list of allowed and disallowed topics. But just in case you have questions, here are some examples of content we want to see. This is by no means an exhaustive list; let common sense prevail:

  • Toots about your / others’ rides, including photos, videos, links, and text
  • On-topic reviews, such as your experience at a local bike shop, at a trailside café, or even on a trail
  • Links to sites about your ride, rail trails, and cycling in general
  • Organizing events such as bike repair classes, group rides, charity fundraisers, and civic meetings
  • Advertising (within reason) your related business such as a bike-friendly campground, trailside brewpub, or bike shop
  • On-topic sales such as bikes, accessories, and services
Some examples of content that we don’t want here are:

  • Yet another debate about e-bikes vs conventional bikes. All are welcome here.
  • Toots about which political party is best
  • Posting articles that aren’t even tangentially related to rail trails or cycling
  • Personal attacks, including doxxing
  • Porn or illegal content
When in doubt, ask yourself: is this even remotely related to the outdoors? We’re flexible here, but keep it reasonable.

Server Rules

  1. Stay on topic. The vast majority of your posts must be related to rail trails and other self-powered two-wheeled adventures. For more on this rule, see the “Related Content” section of our about page.
  2. No NSFW content. Sexual content, gore, and any form of NSFW content is prohibited. Nobody wants to see the open wound you sustained while mountain biking, but if you post it, be sure to tag it as sensitive content.
  3. Keep it civil. We don’t all have to get along but personal attacks, doxxing, and calls for violence are prohibited.
  4. No political discussion unless it directly relates to the outdoors. “Senator John Doe is blocking development of this rail trail” is fine, but “the (insert political party here) hates the outdoors” is not.
  5. Keep commercial posts reasonable. This means:
    a) Commercial posts must be directly related to rail trails. Own a campground, brewpub, café, coffee shop, bike shop, or other related business along or near a rail trail? Go for it! Commercial content that is not directly related to rail trails will be removed.
    b) Don’t overdo it. Don’t dominate the local timeline, and don’t hijack conversations to promote yourself.
    c) Affiliate links, third-party advertising, and posts which in the sole opinion of the admins are deceptive or misleading are prohibited.

Moderation Standards

To ensure transparency and accountability when it comes to content moderation, we’re openly publishing the standards we use to moderate content and users.

  1. It is the general policy of the admins to:
    a) follow a doctrine of minimum intervention and err on the side of preserving content, even when that content may be considered distasteful or unwelcome by some;
    b) federate with all compatible instances, except when we
    c) block instances that are primarily focused on content that is illegal, offensive, or NSFW, such as child abuse, Nazi sympathizers, or porn.
  2. When content is reported or observed, the admins will objectively review the content to identify exactly what server rule was allegedly violated.
  3. The admins will consider the context of the content. The totality of circumstances, rather than the existence of the content in a vacuum, will be used to identify potential violations.
  4. If the content violates our server rules and
    a) can be easily corrected by the user (for example, correcting ambiguous wording), admins will provide the user an opportunity to correct the content. If the user does not correct the content promptly, the admins will remove the content.
    b) can not be easily corrected by the user but is not a severe violation (for example, flooding the timeline with on-topic sales posts), the admins will remove the content.
    c) constitutes a severe violation (for example, posting porn), the admins will remove the content and suspend the user. The length of the suspension will be determined based on the severity of the violation, the user’s standing on this instance, and the user’s history of violations.
    d) is deemed, in the sole opinion of the admins, to be illegal or likely illegal (for example, posting content showing the abuse of children), the admins will remove the content, suspend the user, and refer the matter to law enforcement. Such a referral will include all information about the user in our possession including email addresses, IP addresses, activity logs, post history, and all other known information.
  5. Users who frequently violate the rules may face additional action including content removal, suspension, account termination, and referral to law enforcement. The decision to take additional action will be taken considering the totality of circumstances rather than any one piece of content in a vacuum.