This page, prompted by the #TwitterMigration of late 2022-23, is intended to be a rolling, continually updated collection of legal (and law-adjacent) links and resources for those deploying or administering their own Mastodon instances (servers). There are undoubtedly many superior guides out there from a technical or operational perspective; my focus here is on three broad areas:
- Legal: Legal, compliance, regulatory, privacy (“data protection” in EU parlance), intellectual property (especially copyright, e.g. DMCA safe harbor), online liability (e.g. Section 230 in the US), judicial and legislative developments and threats
- Trust and Safety (T&S): Risk, abuse, harassment, spamming, scams, stalking, threats, phishing, doxxing, violent or hateful speech, dangerous dis- or misinformation, platform manipulation, data security breach, surveillance
- Content Moderation: Involving features of both of the above, as problematic content and misconduct in social media poses threats both to site or platform owner/operators (from a legal/liability perspective) and to the communities themselves (degrading or destroying trust, collegiality, community, signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio, overall value and usefulness)
But first, a brief pep talk courtesy of EFF:
“I worry that people will not want to host instances at all, because they go, ‘this is too scary,’ says Corynne McSherry, legal director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit focused on civil liberties in the digital world. “But it doesn’t have to be scary.”
OK, now on to the good stuff!