LURK ATNOFS chapter: How to run a small social networking site with your friends
Saturday, May 14th 2022

IRL location: Varia, Gouwstraat 3, 3082BA Rotterdam
Online location:

Learn more about the Rosa server:
Varia's Code of Conduct:

Links to other pads:
Day 1:
Instance roundup and user handles:

12:00 - 12:45: Block 6 - Money + Resources and how to use them
13:00 - 13:45: Block 7 - Defining expectations and norms: Codes of Conduct, Terms of Service and Privacy Statements
14:00 - 14:45: Block 8 - Governance, Moderation and hosting: CoC, ToS and Privacy Statements in action
15:00 - 16:00: Break
16:00 - 16:45: Block 9 - Maps and diagrams: Visualizing infrastructures, workflows, resources and interdependencies
17:00 - 17:45: Block 10 - Final presentations

Consent collection (opt-in):
- using maps/diagrams:ezn, Tekla, ccl, reynir, robertwgehl, Dorian, balder, Roellidia, Mara, Nona,Dave, artemis, Marloes, Manetta, Angeliki, dooho, wonjung, Heeju
- using drafts for CoC/ToS/Privacy Statements or any outcome of exercises: reynir, balder, Dorian,ezn,robertwgehl, ccl,Tekla, Roel, Mara, lidia,Nona,Dave, artemis, Marloes, Manetta, Angeliki, dooho, wonjung, Heeju
- screenshots and/or extracts of the pads: reynir, cristina (ccl), Dorian, Tekla, ezn, balder, robertwgehl, Roel, lidia, Mara, Nona,Dave, artemis, Marloes, Angelikidooho, Manetta, wonjung, Heeju
- photos:ezn, Dorian, balder, Tekla, ccl, robertwgehl, Roel, lidia, Mara,Nona,Dave, artemis, Marloes, Angeliki, Manetta, dooho, wonjung, Heeju
- blurred-out photos: Nona

12:00 - 12:45: Block 6 - Money + Resources and how to use them
First some feedback from the online folks: ppl in the space need to speak up a little more and it would help if ppl turned on their camera when they speak and mention their name :) Thank you from the remote people! 

A short note on infrastructure: today the etherpad notes are hosted on the Rosa server, the shining star of the ATNOFS project of which this workshop is a part. Rosa travelled to Romania for the second ATNOFS event and yesterday returned to Rotterdam :)

This block is about keeping your instance sustainable in terms of resources (financial and human). Aymeric explains how LURK came about and will start waaaaay back, with the history of art servers in Europe about 20 years ago.

Artists and hackers working on alternative infrastructure. The situation was quite easy. You could sustain yourself with workshops, lectures and part time jobs quite well. As a result you had lots of collectives, such as GOTO10 of which Aymeric and Marloes were part of, but also Openlab, Hackitectura etc. Rent was quite cheap so it was insane compared to today. Right now, in for instance Varia, it is much harder (need to do much more work on 'on the side'). Back then, it was a way of life. Servers provided for free and there were many. Governments were supporting cultural orgs to start working with high bandwidth and started allowing artists to put servers a bit everywhere. Free bandwidth, free service on a scale not seen before. You would learn how to serve these things yourself in your collective. You would engage with your community, develop all sort of projects.
Services offered like irc server, wikis, mail, mailinglists, webhosting, streaming, ...
Not just GOTO10, it was jhow everyone was working at the time. Everyone would start to exchange things. Sharing infra was quite common. There was no accounting involved, everyone was working in a privileged environment. It was a choice at the time: either you go towards towers of doom ? or you would go towards this software bazaar ? 
This way of working is not possible anymore.
Then the creative industry model started being pushed by governments in EU. When Lurk was started, started with same approach as before. Just started it but it was already more difficult than earlier. 

Things started being more complicated when LURK started to look into the fediverse. 

Roel and Aymeric were interested in netculture and following fediverse as 'research'. First attempt at doing social media federation similar to 15 years ago. Roel became maintainer of instance. This changed things. In old 'system' your users have similar knowledge of the tools you are using. Everyone on 'admin' level. Different dynamic. Now users were not engaging with the instance in the same way, lurk was providing a ready made service.

You slowly move to being a service provider. Previous net culture was more egalitarian. Now, the classic issue is that you burnout, you rage quit and then the service is over. 

They needed to look into how time was spend. Tried to quantify. Running lurk went from way of life to actual work.

The question now was not whether post.lurk was going to crash and burn but rather when.
There needed to be a compensation, a transaction taking place. Using privilege to push forward a more ethical model for cultural sector where this labour is being paid so that in the future other groups can also replicate it.

At the same time, how to start this model. LURK didn't want to start an organisation. 
Open collective org allows you to have a fiscal host for your organisation even if you are not a legal entity. Transparently, showing donations. Everyone gets same service and people contribute what they want. Using Varia rate of 25,- euro an hour. Calculated that roughly 200 euros per month was needed.

Trying to break surveillance capitalism loop of software is free, services are free, but always a catch... mechanism of value extraction behind the scenes.

There is always a catch: is it the hobby of someone? Is it the privilege of someone? Is someone making money from your data?

Aymeric shows a very messy diagram of the Lurk workflow, including procrastination loops and occasional potential exits from them. Also including documentation of their efforts, so that potentially others could take over in the future. But documentation is also extra task. 

Response Lurk got: they reached their target of 200 euro a month almost. 1% rule<> seems to apply. Tiny group taking care of things, small group engaging actively, and a majority of lurkers.
statistically speaking 10% of people are giving back. At the same time, the hope was that there would be a bigger response. It's coherent with the result from LURK. 10% of people are engaging with LURK and the rest are the lurkers. Self-fulfilling prophecy.

This model was improvised on the spot.

Sunbeam City example
Sunbeam community as example of the hero model, one person taking on all (crazy intensive) tasks, this person eventually burns out and community at risk of dissappearing. 

Any initiative, even offline, has this tendency.

Framapiaf example
Hosted by Framasoft. They provide this instance that they calculated and they can add to that. [i missed this one sorry, didn't get the model...]
From jitsi (Dorian): It's an instance hosted by the NGO Framasoft. They are subsidized, and have a whole organization infrastructure already in place, so they and other communities like them don't need added donation input to run this service the same way smaller groups would

Datacoop model
Chipping in gives you a voice in the community.

There are many ways to do it, but you HAVE to do it or you will burn out eheh.

<20 minutes to discuss prompts in same groups as yesterday if nobody objects :)>

Questions Block 6


Copying from the Varia pad

13:00 - 13:45: Block 7 - Defining expectations and norms: Codes of Conduct, Terms of Service and Privacy Statements
Lidia introduces this block. And again because we were muted :) and again .... o.0
We'll follow the same structure, lurk experience and after that prompts to discuss with your group. 

Code of Conduct (CoC), Terms Of Service (TOS) and privacy policy are important documents to determine the conditions for using the service and of course conditions of privacy for users. 
Who feels safe, respected, and welcomed. This is an important question to ask as you review and develop the CoC and ToS.

Started really small with ppl who already knew each other, so only after half a year a TOS and CoC were made. 
Roel shares his screen with beginning of documents in git repo.
It has been updated and expanded responding mostly to bad experiences. Public XMPP channels were the biggest problem. More about this later. is an online first community so this makes the existence of these documents very essential. 
They asked for feedback on Mastodon instance but last decision was with Lidia, Aymeric and Roel. Ultimately an oligarchy :) How open/closed would you like this process to become. 

Roel points out that copy-pasting CoC and such is difficult because you do need to actually ensure that you can do what you say you will. e.g. when you say you will create a safe space, do you actually have the tools and skills to do that?
Avoid virtue signalling, you need to take into account what you are able to actually deliver (CoC needs active moderation, so do you have the time for that? etc.)

Prompts block 7:

<Working on prompts in groups - 14:10 CEST back>

Questions block 7

14:00 - 14:45: Block 8 - Governance, Moderation and hosting: CoC, ToS and Privacy Statements in action
Cristina posted a link to documentation photos in jitsi:
Cristina (she/her) says: "I will share username and password in the call 😃 
Cristina (she/her) says:If you would like one removed, please feel free to do so "

Roel starts the block 'Governance', will be shorter. Aim is to give you an idea of the tasks and labour that could be involved with moderation. Same formula, lurk history and prompts :)

Current practices only came about after years of having these services up. Moderation policies very ad hoc and shaped by incidents that happened. Public chat rooms were most problematic, not Mastodon. 

Homebrew server club chat room is a room where ppl share stories/experiences on self-hosting. Discoverable through search of index of chatrooms who could be interesting, because it is a room with many ppl in it and lots of activity. It attracted more and more ppl also trolls.
because it was anonymous, easily to find
How to handle this as moderators? Nuke channel? Once you start acting on things, banning ppl for instance for specific behaviors, it may seem unfair if the rules are not clear from the beginning. 
One particular example in term of our(?) servers: hate speech section: 

"Hate speech, such as, but not limited to: white supremacy, ethnostate advocacy, discussion of national socialism / nazism will not be tolerated. Users who violate this rule will be unconditionally banned."

Lots of incidents happend in other timezone, moderators would wake up to a flood of messages that violated TOS. Before TOS they had to reason with people, which takes time and is hard. This influenced rule nr. 2 from the Mastodon TOS <>

Rule 2. "Help keep sealions at bay!  LURK is here for discussions, also the difficult ones. However, for particularly baity topics including cryptocurrency, NFT, Vim/Emacs and ${OUTRAGE_OF_THE_DAY} please use the local-only function to prevent attracting bad faith actors from across the network."

"sealion" harassment method is to keep asking questions to keep moderators very very busy.

Within the community we know we can have these discussions. Ask to use local-only posting for these topics. (did I get that right?)

Also decide how we want people to talk to each other. One user was very cynical for instance, in offensive way but in tone. Added rule to address that.

Being mindful of public/private nature of certain chats, and making sure potentially fraught topics occur in more private spaces to ensure that they can remain productive and safe for community members.

There is a report function in Mastodon admin. Roel shows a report of a user who has a complaint about another user (with permission of the first). He mentions always getting a heavy feeling in his stomach when a report comes in. Not always easy to deal with.
Sometimes it might involve users writing in another language, then it is hard to decide if it is offending the rules unless you involve a translator. 
You can make notes for other admins. You can limit and suspend ppl. 

Lidia shares a link to a document explaining whats what in mastodon moderation:

Site settings is another panel in admin dashboard. There you can set site name, but also if it is closed or open registration. 
They worked a bit on the CSS to add a 'why do you want to join?' blurb on the landing page.  To limit requests for accounts that are not fitting. Still not everyone reads this. Requests like "you seem to do cool stuff, I wanna join" without any information about their art practice. Examples of requests send with little effort to read the prompt:
"this is interesting"
"i know someone on lurk"
You can accidentally batch accept/reject with the 'accept all' or 'reject all' buttons, be careful.
You cannot adjust the refusal message... The invite system is also quite crude. You can either turn it on, and users can generate invites, or you turn it off. You cannot hand out 1 invite per user for instance. Not customisable. This goes against the care they try to put into the service.

Lurk receives 1 request per day atm. Each takes about 2 hours (??? did I hear that right?) of ping pong between admins to make decisions.

Dorian in jitsi mentions: "you can set who is allowed to generate invites. I don't know off the top of my head how granular it is, but I do know there is an option for moderators only to be able to generate them"

Server rules, 'be a kind host', if you invite ppl in, take the time to welcome them and show them around. This has worked quite well so far.

Moderation tab: federation. Shows all different servers you are connected with. You can see what you have limited. Blocked ones that cannot reach out to us. Shows which ones are unavailable/offline. The following is automatic, ones a user starts following someone on another server and shares something from a 3rd server, you follow that 3rd server. So it grows very fast. 

For moderation they rely on a chat room.

Blocklists: list of servers that are troublesome yet can be undocumented (not clear what was the trouble and for who etc.) but some lists are documented as pointed out by Reynir in jitsi chat. This is problematic because ppl can abuse it by adding people they do not like on the list, who will then be shadow banned on many instances.

Looking at federated timeline is also part of moderation work. 
With a team of admins its good to see who wants to do what kind of work. Looking at federated timelines can be hard for ppl who were victims of harassment for instance. 

Governance model now determined by Roel, Lidia and Aymeric. It would be great to sit down with everyone but this is not workable atm.
impulsive, time constrained (it is work on the side, each has lots of other work), benevolent (well intended, best effort), eurocentric (one time zone, culturally homogenous), oligarcho-do-ocracy (they decide + trying to get things done). Undemocratic, complicated but it does work and has been fun mostly. 

Right now blind trust between admins of lurk, which makes it possible for each to also take moderation decisions by themselves.

CoC should be an evolving document and 'enforced'/enacted actively.
Question of force following admins came up.
Helpful Heron account is automatically followed by all accounts, so certain things can be centrally communicated.

Make sure when discussing to not aim for ideal scenarios but for something you can actually realise in practice (the possible).

Prompts block 8:

Questions block 8

<break!!! back at 16:00 CEST>  \o/
After the break we'll work on prompts as part of the mapping exercise (sorry for the fake news)

5 - 7 min presentation of main discoveries/problems/things encountered at end.
Coming hour use mapping and diagramming to show what you've been discovering/discussing. Aymeric shows 2 diagrams/flow charts with lurk decision making/workflow process.
Another map you could do is one of your infrastructure. Its handy to have as document. Inventory of services. Helps visualise scale and how fast things grow. Highlight how certain services/machine links are handled.

Lurk hosts certain services on very old machines, restricted in terms of cpu etc. so need to be very careful with what you host on it. Finetuned approach to server administration. 
On map also 'exclusive' and 'shared' labels for infrastructure/servers, because some are shared with other collectives.
Lurk also has more modern servers. Greenhost service Eclipsis for organisations with an activist agenda. If you are accepted you get credits for their cloud system (budget for amount of RAM, server space, etc). 

Greenhost - one of the oldest server company which has been using green renewable energy (questionable). They try to use recycled machines.

Also main backup machine, old intel atom nettop machine,  very popular 15 years ago, now shared by many university ? ? 

Manis - Roel's temporary backup replica
Main backup has been flimsy so there is a plan C backup machine. Now getting more serious about backing up. (so Roel can sleep at night).

As LURK grows, backups become more and more serious.

Agnes and Borok are free as in friends. 
Mastodon instance is free as in service (eclipsis project)
A few years ago, Greenhost encountered some funding problems. Greenhost asked support letters from people they were supporting because their funding was challenged slightly.
Manis is self-funded.

Mutual aid between servers.
Aymeric shows another map of the servers on the fediverse, showing geographical location.

The map that Roel showed yesterday talks about the diversity of the network (instances, culture), and this one asks is there diversity in the hosting? You start to see that the biggest chunk of fediverse hosting is Europe, followed by USA, followed by Japan.

When you are running an instance, what kind of infra are you going to be engaging with? From self-hosting at home to going to the cheapest option you can find online, reglardless of their impact on the planet, their politics or judicial conditions [slightly rephrased]
2 extremes with oceans of possibilities between them :)

We'll work on mapping and finish the day with a short show and tell. 
DDDUG is going to present already because it is very late in Seoul (past midnight).
They mostly discussed the prompts from they 1. Because they are a new instance the questions for today were a little too early but they will revisit them as they will become more important to them in the future.
For who is this instance meant? Themselves and their friends. 
Who is not welcome? A person who promotes animal products intentionally and memes and images who strengthen negative stereotypes. "for example, 'funny/pleasant/joyful image = African' vs. 'angry image = White women'" quoted from etherpad page below ->

SNS- social networking site
funkwhale is a federated music sharing system, akin to bandcamp 
Mailinglist can be used to share exchanges, experiences etc. and stay in touch with each other!

Roel will share some scripts and recipes to keep hard disk space used as small as possible. He mentions that developers of Mastodon have the stance that if you run out of space, buy a bigger hard disk. 

<We will take 30 minutes from drafting diagrams and then do brief presentations as wrap up but also use the mailinglist for further discussion>

# Presentations

## Notes

### Robert W. Gehl, Organization for Ethical Source
I am going to bring these questions to the OES as part of a larger report to them. I can share the report with LURK/email list as well.
* If the OES wants to run its own instance:
    * The Organization for Ethical Source has a membership process in place; I would recommend Masto accounts be limited to that membership. 
        * OES membership is voluntary; there is a code of conduct.
    * The OES is very strong with CoCs and I believe will not ignore questions of moderation.
        * This is especially the case because people involved have faced trolling and threats of violence.
        * I imagine the CoC for any instance will err on the side of being strict.
    * The OES is using Slack (ugh) to organize; I do not think I would recommend Mastodon as a location to do their work, but rather as a place to discuss the need for ethics in FOSS.
    * In terms of hosting, I anticipate they will simply use existing cloud services (e.g., Digital Ocean or Linode). 
    * In terms of labor of admin and moderation: 
        * There are OES members with Mastodon admin experience
    * One of the potentials for LURK and others is that the OES has lawyers who are developing new approaches to Intellectual Property – this could result in additional software that includes Ethical Licenses – possible scripts and other tools?
* If the OES hears all of this and decides to simply set up an account (
    * There are precedents:
        * Tutanota
        * Thunderbird
        * Startpage
        * As far as I know these are official accounts, not bots
    * However, such accounts are on the "big" servers and I know that smaller servers do not like to federate with servers that have promotional accounts. Marketing and branding logics tend to do poorly on the fediverse.

So, to sum up, I think the choice for the OES is to demonstrat their vision via an ethically-run Mastodon instance or seek to share their messages via a Mastodon account OR simply do what so many others have done and only use corporate social media. My recommendation will be to run its own small instance.

Oh: and: *FUN.* We should acknowledge that all of this is work, but Mastodon is a social site and it can be so much fun.

### Mapping


Nonameyet group:
    Georgian language is not up to date with this technical vocab. Want to have a meetup to translate things together. Share materials in general and do workshops. Don't want to dump Mastodon on people and leave people on their own.
    Want to still federate, eg with lurk. Sheltered in terms of them taking care of it and inviting more people.
    Probably not a huge network in Georgia. Not their aim, prefer a small community of connected people rather than a big one of ppl doing many things.
    In terms of discussion, want to know who's up to what, sharing artworks etc, maybe they can ask them to share anecdotes about events, personal stories that can engage people more, rather than just asking people to come to their events.
    Commitments and resources. Time is the most valuable one. Want to nourish and let this space grow but time is a limit. How to find new team members with new skills with other resources and to diversify their profile. 
    Money and funding: crowdfunding is not common but would like to initiate it. External funding/grants. So many strings attached. Just crowdfunding wouldn't work, just art funding wouldn't work, should be combined in order to not constantly chase funds. 
    The context where this instance is placed already has a lot of challenges and limits.
    Don't have detailed or established norms, but there are ideas of what to put down. Will use some of the resources that were provided during the workshop, such as About pages. This is something that they will work on.

Enby Social Club
# Summary/Presentation

## Basic outline of group

Enby Social Club is a group for non-binary individuals in our local area of Michigan, USA. We have created and maintained this space so that non-binary folks can have a social environment with others who share the experience of navigating life with a gender that does not fit into the &ldquo;norm&rdquo;.

In order to maintain the close feel of the group from our chatroom base currently, we might choose to not federate a mastodon server, or perhaps only federate on a whitelist basis. We would like the atmoshpere of the mastodon server to be community discussion oriented like our discord server. Discussion are open and any member can jump in at any time.

Currently we are not associated with any institutions, and it will remain that way so that our members who work with local non-profits do not have to stress about keeping their speech limited for the sake of publicity.

We are not seeking to actively grow. We currently manage ~100 users effectively. We have ~30 regularly active members.

## The Team

The team is myself and five other moderators. Two other moderators have experience with mastodon already, and will have skills to help onboard people and moderate that space if/when we get it up and running.

We have two people with significant technical skills, and the entire moderation team has shown they are skilled with mediation between members or when one members violates our CoC. The greatest scarcity is time, with money being a concern, although not an immediate one.

So far the moderators have a wide enough spread of times during the day they are available, so we have a fairly well rounded coverage there, and the needs for mediation and moderation have been to a level where we can simply divy up work as people have energy.

## Procedures

-   How are your CoC and TOS accomodated pro-actively/preventatively?
    -   On-boarding proccess in the chatrooms is to ask new people to read rules as they join, as well as introduce themselves. This ensures members are at least nominally familiar with the CoC, and that we engage everyone in a common community area.
-   How is the CoC enforced? Who does that?
    -   Moderators address individuals when behavior breaches CoC. This is done mostly in full view of the group
    -   On the rare occasion an indepth conversation nees to be had with an individual that will happen one on one between a mod and that person.
-   Who are admins, who are mods? How are they reachable?
    -   in the discord platform, members can tag the @mod role to get all mods attention.
    -   How would we do this in mastodon? A @help account that all mods share and turn on all notifications for?
-   How do you assist each other with grey/vague issues regarding moderation?
    -   currently done mainly via a group chat that only the moderators have access to.
    -   moderators are fully empowered to take individual action
    -   often after such things other moderators will concur in private chat
-   Is there a group account for mod/admin or individual accounts?
    -   currently individual accounts
    -   we have discussed creating an account for moderation actions, that way our personal accounts are free for personal speech
-   How is the place governed in theory? How is it in practice?
    -   the hope is based on consesus, we often take informal polls in the group
    -   in practice it&rsquo;s pretty similar to the oli-do-archy. the moderators simply undertake the necessary labor and actions
-   How explicit can you or do you want to be about how things are enforced and directed?
    -   for efficiency and safety, I think moderators need the ability to act on their own at will, to prevent and minimize harm
    -   but hopefully we can structure the community such that they do view the whole space

# CoC

Guidelines for this server:

-   Keep this a healthy and connective space by respecting each other and presuming good intent.
    There should be no harassment or intentional insults; try to do the oops-ouch thing and be considerate of others&rsquo; pain if they are hurt by words you use.
-   Use names and pronouns as requested.
    If you make a mistake, edit your message to correct it ASAP, or correct yourself verbally (then move on without a lot of self-flagellation) if it happens in voice chat.
-   I and a few other members will act as moderators, helping out if folks have trouble, giving you colorful pronoun roles, creating new channels if needed, and so on. In some servers mods try to control conversations, but please don&rsquo;t make us work hard to keep peace here! If you have an argument with another member, work it out privately if possible; if that isn&rsquo;t possible, or if the interaction is malicious, racist, or otherwise harmful, come to me or another mod for assistance.
    If you need a moderator, you can call us by typing @mods in any channel or messaging one of us privately.
-   Try to keep conversations more or less in the appropriate channel for the topic. Members or mods may suggest moving channels if appropriate. Please use the rant channel for venting and potentially distressing topics.
    If linking or posting content that is reasonably likely or known to be triggery/harmful, use censor bars and warn for it.
-   When someone vents or shares a problem, check with them first before troubleshooting. They might just want conversation or a compassionate ear and not a fix.
-   Just as in the Facebook group, be considerate of others&rsquo; privacy and safety. Don&rsquo;t out anyone outside or share their personal information or photos, and don&rsquo;t share screenshots without permission from those in the screenshot.

If anyone has group norms to add, we would be happy to consider incorporating them. Thanks for your attention.

If you are just entering the server — or if your name or pronouns have changed and you want to update them — your next step is introducing yourself in the intro channel!
Copy the following into intro and fill it out:

-   Name:
-   Pronouns:
-   Over 18?
-   How I relate to non-binary identity:
-   How I found Enby Social Club:
-   You should know about me:

We have a safe word/emoji system in place for people to inform the group if some topic of conversation is harmful and needs to be put on hold. If these terms are invoked it’s a sign to stop immediately, not to push and argue about whether or not the claim is valid. This is for harm reduction, not a debate of right vs. wrong.

If you find that a conversation has taken a turn that veers into traumatic territory for you invoke these words and/or emojis. If there’s a particular message that’s the problem and not the whole topic, feel free to react to it with these emoji.

“Yellow” & ⚠️ : This conversations squicks me and I’d like to pause it until after I’ve had some time/have done some centering activities. Topic should only be reinitiated by the person who yellow‘d it.
“Red” & ⛔ : This topic is harmful to me and I need it to stop to prevent further harm.

Please use spoiler tags (along with a warning for the specific content) when posting images or detailed messages that contain any of the following:

-   guns
-   medical sharps
-   car accidents
-   insects
-   religious trauma
-   intentional weight loss
-   clowns

These are the ones I know of pertaining to specific server member requests, so please let a mod know if you need something added to the list!

# Dave - MayFirst Movement Technology (MFMT)
- For whom is this instance meant? 
This is the core question. We used to have a mastodon instance but it got too little use and was discontinued. The issue is, who is the community? MFMT has many members that are organizations, which use the hosting services we provide for their website, email, database, etc. Also some are individuals like me. @dave (me) is here to revisit the sns concept because I want to recruit social activists who share a concern with oposition to surveillance capitalism to work on ways to bring FLOSS tech to mainstream activists who in the US seem to disdain it. Can we start a kernel community that will be welcoming and be a place for solidarity?

  But, this is not necessarily a focus of the MFMT organization. I am researching it so I can report back to the coordination team (leadership group) of the MFMT board. There is a divergence of interests: how do coop members that are organizations engage with a Hometown instance, vs. individual people? 
To me, the coolest thing about the fediverse is its FLOSS non-capitalist nature, enabling voluntary mutual support (time, money) to operate it as a free community commons. So I face the question personally - if I build it will they come? What would I need from the MFMT organization to facilitate the service's use by individual members and by individuals from with organizations that are members? Would MFMT as an organization volunteer to support this mission to use a Hometown instance "to recruit social activists who share a concern with oposition to surveillance capitalism to work on ways to bring FLOSS tech to mainstream activists"?

Who is not welcome?
To what extent does this server need to be a sheltered or a hyper-connected space?