Administration, moderation, and federation policy for lemm.ee

This post aims to clarify principles for how administration and federation is done on lemm.ee. It is intended to be an overview of general guidelines, not a formal set of rules.

Instance rules

This instance (like most others) has a set of rules which are always visible on the sidebar of the front page. All users of this instance are expected to follow these rules in all of their activities, including:

  • Community moderation
  • Posting
  • Commenting

⚠️ Our rules apply even when you’re posting in a community on another instance. For example, this means that you’re not allowed to post advertisement spam using your lemm.ee account on any other instance (even if that other instance has no rules).

Each community hosted on lemm.ee is free to have additional rules in addition to our instance wide rules, but instance rules supercede any community rules and must always be enforced.

Responsibilities

Admins

  • Ensure that there are no communities on lemm.ee which break lemm.ee rules
  • Ban lemm.ee users who break our rules on other instances
  • Ban users who consistently break rules across multiple communities
  • Purge illegal content from lemm.ee

Moderators

  • Ensure that posts and comments in their communities don’t break rules
  • Ban users from their communities for consistently breaking rules
  • Ensure that they only provide accurate and clear reasons for mod actions

Users

  • Downvote low quality content
  • Report rule violations
⚠️ Admins are not responsible for censoring content from other instances.

In exceptional cases (illegal or extremely disturbing content), admins will step in and purge the content from lemm.ee servers, but in general it is undestood that our instance rules do not apply to external users on other instances, and censoring and curating external instances for our users is not a general goal for lemm.ee admins.

Federation

Lemmy is a federated network, so a lot of content will be posted on other instances. It is possible to limit which instances lemm.ee is federated with, this is called defederation.

Defederating another instance has the following effects:

  • Our users will stop seeing new posts and comments from users of the defederated instance (on all instances)
  • Users of the defederated instance will stop seeing new posts and comments from our users
  • Users of the defederated instance will be prevented from participating in communities hosted on lemm.ee

As mentioned above, it is not a goal for lemm.ee to censor and curate external instances. While there are certainly instances which contain content that wouldn’t be allowed on this instance, breaking our rules outside of this instance is not by itself enough of a reason for us to defederate other instances.

That being said, we will defederate any instance which is directly harming lemm.ee users. This is up to the discretion of our admins. Some concrete examples of instances which we would defederate:

  • An instance which has a 2:1 ratio of bots to users 🤖
  • An instance which is focused on creating spam in the network
  • An instance which systematically allows large groups of users to break lemm.ee rules in communities hosted on lemm.ee
  • An instance which is knowingly spreading CSAM into the federated network
What should I do if I see content I don’t like on another instance?
  • If it’s low quality content, you should always downvote ⬇️
  • If you think it breaks local rules for the community or instance, then report it and local admins/mods will deal with it
    • Your reports will also reach lemm.ee admins, so if it’s about illegal content, then we can purge it from lemm.ee servers
  • If it’s just some user being a prick, then you can block that specific user (lemm.ee admins will not take action in case of external users posting on external communities)
  • If it’s a community dedicated to being awful in some way, then you can block that specific community
  • Odo
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    1 year ago

    Would me posting about piracy in a different instance (an illegal activity in most jurisdictions) constitute a violation of the “illegal content” policy?

    • sunaurusOPMA
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      1 year ago

      When you say “posting about”, do you mean actually distributing pirated content? That would definitely be illegal and I would certainly enforce removal of such posts, because even when posting on external instances, your posts will still be stored on lemm.ee servers.

      If you’re just commenting on piracy topics, and not distributing anything (or facilitating distribution), then that should be fine.

      • Odo
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        1 year ago

        Looking at my reddit profile, I have talked about where content could be found, what are the recommended VPNs for P2P, what seedbox providers are trustworthy, and discussed software solutions for piracy. Would that count as “facilitating distribution”? (which sounds a bit ambiguous).

        • sunaurusOPMA
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          1 year ago

          There’s nothing inherently illegal about VPNs, P2P, seedboxes, torrents, software for torrents, etc - as a software engineer, I have no trouble understanding that these things all have legal purposes. There can be no realistic case made against someone just because they use (or discuss the use of) any of these things. You can post and comment about stuff like this all day long.

          Also: discussing piracy topics in general (like commenting on the legality of it, just saying you do it, whatever) without actually using lemm.ee servers to host anything sketchy is fine as well.

          On the other hand, telling people “go to coolpiracywebsite.com to download the latest avengers movie” is very sketchy - you’re not directly distributing anything, but I think a case can be made that this comment is directly facilitating piracy, and if someone sends me a legal letter to remove such a comment, then TBH I will most likely just comply rather than deal with the hassle of trying to figure out how legal it is. Just being frank here - I don’t want to create false expectations of lemm.ee servers being a safe haven for content with sketchy legal status.

          • Odo
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            1 year ago

            That seems fair, thanks for expanding on it.

          • Gulmar
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            1 year ago

            Just wondering, where is the server hosted? Do any country rules apply to where the server is hosted or to where the user is located?

            For example, relating to piracy, in my country it’s only illegal to upload pirated content, downloading it is perfectly legal (even the uploading part is not being enforced). Also stuff like gdpr and whatnot, is this taken into account, or how does this work?

            • sunaurusOPMA
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              1 year ago

              Hey, the server is hosted in Europe. As far as piracy goes, it’s not allowed on lemm.ee regardless of where the user lives. You can check our privacy policy here, it should be quite easy to read for humans (not made for lawyers): https://lemm.ee/legal

              • Tankton
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                1 year ago

                I was unaware that piracy is not allowed. I run /c/piracy , where do we draw the line?

                The rules as in the sidebar:

                Rules are simple:

                No abusive language
                No bigotry
                No advertising
                No pornography