Federation Safety Enhancement Project Announcement

Announcing the inital release of the Fediverse Safety Enhancement Project

We’re excited to announce that the initial release of the Federation Safety Enhancement Project is now ready for community review.

What is the Federation Safety Enhancement Project?

The goal of the Federation Safety Enhancement Project (FSEP) is to reduce the administration burden for Mastodon admins, and increase safety for Mastodon users, by providing tools that will make it easy and convenient for admins and moderation teams to consistently discover harmful instances and protect their communities.

Who wrote FSEP?

FSEP was authored and researched by Roland X. Pulliam (Ro) in collaboration with Nivenly, The Bad Space, IFTAS, and Oliphant.social. Ro is a creative professional with over 20 years of experience and former admin of Play Vicious (PV).

If you want to learn more about Ro and his other projects, take a look at his website or follow him on the Fedi.

What was completed so far

The goal of the first phase of FSEP was to produce a starting product requirements document for Fediverse members working on shared safety projects to review and discuss. You can view FSEP v1.0 here. This first release has been reviewed by community members and other organizations that have shown interest in this space. We’re now opening it up for review and comment by you, members of the Nivenly community, and the broader Fediverse.

FSEP Feedback Loops

FSEP is designed to grow with feedback - v1.0 is not the “first and final” release. There are two “types” of feedback: minor and major changes. How to submit feedback and how it’ll be merged depends on whether it is minor or major.

Minor feedback is anything that clarifies, but does not significantly alter, intent and existing content. Typos, grammar, a bullet point that doesn’t render, adding a forgotten word or reworking a run-on sentence would all fall under “minor”.

Major feedback is anything that fundamentally creates, updates, or removes / deletes (CRUD) a concept in the document. An example of major feedback could be adding a new feature or criteria for Deny List Management or Onboarding.

When publishing FSEP, we are reconciling the published current version with FSEP’s source Google Document. When there are updates, the version number on each document will update and will be in sync. In general, minor updates will update the decimal (e.g. v1.1) and major updates will update the integer (e.g. v2.0).

The reason we are sharing the source Google Doc is because Fediverse moderation is a topic that cannot be limited to GitHub, which is a tool mostly used by those in the tech industry.

How to submit feedback

Please use any of the following:

If your feedback is minor feedback and can be merged without fundamentally altering the document, then please feel free to either open an Issue / PR directly if you are comfortable and able, or add an edit / suggestion on the source Google Document. Minor feedback will be merged regularly to keep the documents in sync.

If your feedback is major, please make a suggestion on the source Google Document for visibility and accessibility to moderators on the Fediverse. If you are unsure if your feedback would be minor or major, please submit it as a suggestion on the Google Document. In situations where major feedback requires deeper discussion, the discussion will need to come to consensus / resolve prior to adding the feedback as a version update.

We might be replacing GitHub for Issues / Discussions with another tool, e.g. NextCloud. If we do, then we will be updating this section to replace GitHub as the discussion source for this project (direct PRs for minor feedback will still be welcome). We’ll be testing NextCloud for the author Q&A, which is in the next section.

Live Author Q&A

Since this document has broad scope and potential to improve the moderation experience of many Fediverse moderators, we are working with Ro to have an author Q&A as part of this initial release. This is because we anticipate a lot of interest, questions, concerns, and desire to help steward the project as it grows with the goal of improving safety and moderation on the Fediverse.

We’re still finalizing the time and details with the author, Ro, at the time of this writing. Once we have the time we will update this paragraph with the necessary information and also share on our Mastodon account. We’re looking to use NextCloud or a similar platform to host the Q&A. Depending on how the tool experience goes, we will include it as one of the options for where to provide feedback.

What happens next? What do we need?

The ultimate goal of FSEP is to provide Federating platforms the ability to integrate with dynamically updating blocklists. Now that we have released the v1.0 document, we need the help and collaboration of the broader Fediverse Trust & Safety community, including existing moderators and admin groups, to ensure the resulting tools have the correct features and implementation detail. We want FSEP to ultimately be compatible with all major Fediverse platforms, including but not limited to Mastodon, PixelFed, CalcKey, and more.

Once the tool requirements are complete, we will need community support to help create and maintain the resulting integrations.

How can I contribute to this project?

There are two types of contributions to this project: expertise and financial. For expertise, please feel free to use any of the feedback loops to help iterate and move the project forward.

FSEP is a funded project. Thus far we’ve funded the authorship of this original requirements paper. We will need community and sponsor help so we can continue to fund the future of the project. Nivenly accepts donations through the following platforms:

Thank you

Special thanks to the partner organizations who made this work possible:

Quick FAQ

What is the Nivenly Foundation?

The Nivenly Foundation is a non-profit co-op organization that seeks to provide governance and support to Open Source Projects. Our belief is that more active collaboration will improve open source projects, and our goal is to provide spaces and supporting mechanisms that enable communities and maintainers to work together.

What does it mean to be a Nivenly member?

Nivenly has three member types: General Members (the community), Project Maintainers (those building and maintaining projects), and Trade Members (sponsors). General membership is open to the public, whereas project and trade members have an application process.

Do I need to be a member of Nivenly to contribute?

You do not need to be a member of Nivenly to contribute to this project.