Code of Conduct

This document lays out our ground rules for participation in the SFBA community. We have designed these policies to create a space that is safe for all community members, free from harassment and bad-faith actors. Our goal is to be welcoming and inclusive to as many Bay Area residents as possible. This is a living document, and the SFBA team will amend this document as necessary to ensure the safety of our users.

This is not a legal document and our team will address gray areas as they arise. This document is to provide insight into the values that drive moderation decisions.


  • Provide a safe and welcoming community for discussing San Francisco Bay Area activities, news, events, and experiences.
  • Provide a venue for both casual and serious conversation, with the ability for users to opt-out of unwanted content.
  • A place for fun! We aim to foster a community of individuals and business that love the SFBA. We welcome personal posts, event notices and organizing.


While SFBA aims to be welcoming and inclusive, it’s important to understand what SFBA is not. SFBA is not:

  1. A “free speech” zone. We encourage genuine conversation, even with disagreement, but we do not tolerate all forms of speech. Everyone on this instance is a peer, regardless of their stature or position. We do not tolerate hate speech of any kind. Bad-faith argumentation is equally unwelcome. Focus on de-escalating conflict and promoting understanding whenever possible.
  2. A place for general advertisement. Promoting your original work is welcome, but advertising others work or reselling items is not the primary goal for the instance, and you may find another server to be a better fit.

If you’re looking for any of the above, check out or joinmastodon to find a better fit.

What action can I take?

In many ways, you are your own moderator. Instance moderators will help you by enforcing server policies to limit bad behavior (as defined in the section below). However, you have many options available to curate your own timeline

  1. Mute accounts you don’t want to see content from, but you’re ok with them seeing yours.
  2. Block accounts you don’t want to see you.
  3. Block instances that produce content you would rather not see.
  4. Report content that violates the server code of conduct.

Rule for all Toots

We share many Toot rules with fosstodon

All toots (public and private) should abide by the following rules:

  1. Do not use slurs or racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ableist or otherwise discriminatory or hateful jokes or language or promote white supremacy, anti-Semitism, transphobia, castist, or other hateful ideologies.
  2. Do not harass anyone, participate in group harassment of anyone, or otherwise engage in personal attacks. Posting or threatening to post other people’s personally identifying information (“doxing”) constitutes harassment.
  3. Do not post in bad faith. That’s not nice.
  4. Do not engage in name calling, or ad hominem attacks; criticize ideas, not people.
  5. Do not post spam. Toots that are nothing other than a link constitute spam, as does any overly commercial self-promotion. (It is fine, however, to toot about your own projects and share what you are excited to be working on).
  6. Use hashtags liberally, and keep them relevant to the content of your post. Use CamelCase for mutli-word hashtags to make them accessible to text readers for the visually impared. For example, , instead of .
  7. Do not “shitpost” hateful content – while humorous posts are allowed, even encouraged, ‘shitposting’ are not exceptions to rules (1, 3). There are no ironic slurs.
  8. Mark content with a warning. We encourage the use of content warnings (CW) and hashtags to identify material that some users may not want to see (for example, #sfpol). Use of CW or tags allows users to opt in or out of conversations they don’t want. This does not mean all potentially uncomfortable content requires a content warning. Discussing lived experience or issues of identity do not require content warnings, though authors may choose to add them.
  9. Do not advertise crypto-related content. Discussion about cryptocurrencies are allowed, but any content that may be promotional or based in fraud will be aggressively removed. We are inspired by the problems identified by the “Line Goes Up” report, and will discourage such behavior.
  10. Do not be intentionally antagonistic with good-faith actors. A post or reply designed to provoke a confrontation is not acceptable. Instead, de-escalate conflict.
  11. Do not tone police. Toots may violate the standards of civility we set on SFBA, but you should not criticize users for their tone. If the user is a member of the SFBA community, you should report them; if not, you should feel free to block them. In neither case should you criticize their tone.
  12. Do not litigate moderation decisions on the timeline. The server provides a mechanism for appealing moderation decisions.
  13. Do not post illegal or illicit content. This includes unlicensed media. We will remove DMCA reports we receive.
  14. Be nice and have fun!

Activism is a welcome part of our community, and has been foundational to the development of the SFBA region. We encourage organizing and sharing opportunities for civic engagement.


If you notice a toot that violates this code of conduct, promptly click on the three dots at the bottom of the toot and report it. We will make a best effort to resolve reports within 48 hours.

It is easy to assume that someone else has already reported a toot, but if everyone feels that way, then there is no one to report the toot. When choosing “spam” or “other” report reasons, please include a short description of why you are reporting the post.

If you believe something is not a good contribution to the community, but is not covered by our Code of Conduct, please report it with a comment about why you are reporting it. The moderation team will take appropriate action

As a rule of thumb, content which violates our server rules will be deleted. If the moderation team finds that a user repeatedly violates server rules, they may be suspended. Similarly, if an instance receives a lot of reports they may be defederated.

After a Report

When our moderators receive a report, we will investigate to understand the context of the account being reported and the interactions that led up to the report. If our team decides that the content goes against our code of conduct, we will take corrective action.

If you disagree with, or do not understand, a moderation decision you can file an appeal using the tool linked to in the email you receive. Appeals abide by a few rules:

  1. Be respectful. If your appeal is disrespectful, it’s unlikely to be approved.
  2. You will not be assessed by the same moderator twice. Appeals will be assessed by a different moderator than the one that took corrective action
  3. We will get to them as soon as we can. While appeals are important, they will fall behind other work such as server stability or outstanding reports. We are not ignoring them, but they may take a few days.

This policy was last updated: November 22nd, 2022.