Proposal for #FairNetiquette for FairCoop Chats (telegram, fairchat or whatever)
Netiquette for chat efficiency and good work flow*
1. Introduction: Why is it necessary to agree on a netiquette for FairCoop chats?
Currently, most of the Telegram groups operating in FairCoop are public and open supergroups. This has many advantages for the users because: up to 5000 users can be included, they can enter and exit the chat rooms whenever they want, and (if they know the public link) they can see the content of the group in a transparent way without having to join it.
While it is true that these type of groups are necessary for a process of transparency and openness, we must be aware that we also face certain disadvantages because, over time, people may appear who want to spam or troll the groups, with little or no desire to join us, contribute, and/or build community.
In the same way, and given that the groups are increasingly adding more and more people in both quantity and diversity, it is important to define certain protocols for interactions, in the interest of:
- promoting respect and harmony
- increasing participation
- promoting teamwork and consensus building
- making the most of the time available / improving productivity / being effective in the processes we are constructing via our chats.
2. Basic aspects to keep in mind:
2.1 - for newcomers (when you join a new group)
If it's a supergroup, you'll have access to all the content of the group (before you even join). Scrolling up will give you an idea of all the topics being discussed.
Sometimes, groups are not supergroups and you can join:
- by means of a public link (in this case you will not have access to previous content and discussions)
- if another member invites you (you can read up to 300 previous messages as long as you ask the member to do so)
In either case, some good practices to consider would be the following:
See the general behaviour of the group
Notice its flows and dynamics
It's nice to introduce yourself a little bit so that the group knows more about you: greet the group and maybe share a few lines about who you are!
Be patient if they don't respond to what you want/need right away
Please note that some questions or issues you are interested in may have already been addressed in the group.
Even so, don't be afraid to participate and ask for what you need. (Someone will surely be able to answer fresh questions or send you some answers that have already been given in the past.)
2.2 - For veterans (when new people join a group you've been in for a long time)
Often new people come to the group a little disoriented:
- asking questions that have already been asked/resolved in the past
- proposing things that have already been proposed/implemented in the past
- or they ask and propose things that are not very relevant.
Even if it seems a bit boring, some good practices to consider would be the following:
- Let's welcome new people (especially if they make the effort to introduce themselves!)
- Let's encourage those who show interest - initiative to learn, know more, collaborate, add, etc.
- Let's be PATIENT with all the people who are new to the groups, making it easier for them to get the information they need: welcome guide, codes of conduct, links of interest, etc.
GENERAL ASPECTS when making suggestions, writing, etc.
Avoid talking "in bursts" (as in writing a couple of words or phrases and then pressing ENTER) because what happens is you are monopolizing the conversation and saturing the group by generating hundreds of notifications (at least for the unwary ones who have them activated).
At the same time: try to avoid sending "screeds" or endless rants: it is better to split your texts into paragraphs (especially if you change your mind) because this way you will make it easier for the other users to respond to different parts and in an orderly way.
Try to be brief and concise; refrain from irrelevant information, however interesting it may seem to you.
Use inclusive, respectful and kind language.
Don't write in capital letters (because that means you're YELLING!)
Try to use punctuation marks correctly: commas, dots, dots and dots apart, etc., hyphens, asterisks, bold and italics, etc. to structure your arguments and make them easier to read and understand.
If you are going to share some information that is already online, send the URL link (avoid attaching large files)
Emojis are useful but try not to abuse them. Even if "one emoticon is worth a thousand words", let's be restrained when emotion overwhelms us. Let's try not to be 'emojicompulsive' :P
Avoid sending voice messages in group chats. They are easier to send but not to hear. They also use a lot of memory on your device and not everyone can download and hear them.
Avoid sending on "memes" and forwards such as personal photos and videos. Also greetings/personal congratulations to individual members (birthdays, births, weddings, prizes, etc.) it is best to do this directly to the person involved, but not in group chat.
Do not send spam or information not relevant to the groups.
Unless it is a relaxed conversation, do not abuse the stickers and animated gifs.
In our chats we have people participating from different continents; this makes it difficult to "respect" certain schedules and also, don't despair when you need something from someone who is in a different time zone than yours. Let's try to keep time zones in mind: we don't really know if the receiver has their phone turned off, in silence, in airplane mode or if they have turned on some form of "Do Not Disturb" or turned off the app's own notifications.
When presenting a new topic:
Make sure that what you are going to comment on is related to the group you are in! (if it is a communication topic, in the communication chat; if it is a technical issue, in the tech group).
Take a few moments before you propose something to see if there is any important discussion going on that you might be interrupting unnecessarily:
- If no one says or proposes anything, GO FOR IT!
- If you feel the need to comment urgently on something unrelated to a chat (in the middle of a discussion/conversation), out of respect for what is being talked about and who is contributing, include an [OT]* in front of your message.
The term [OT] means off-topic and is used for those contributions that are somehow unrelated to the ongoing discussion. It is a courtesy to indicate that an off-topic message is being posted that has nothing to do with what is being currently talked about, even though it may be of interest to the group.
When responding to or giving an opinion on a proposal:
Read well before answering; it may sound silly, but we often forget it:
1) Read well what has been previously commented on (may be a considerable amount of conversation according to the rhythm and intensity of the conversation, but it is advisable to do so if we want to have an informed opinion, especially if we enter when the subject is almost settled or hours or days have passed) 2) Check what we write ourselves before sending it to the chat (if we still send something and notice that we have made a mistake, Telegram allows us to click on our message and >> Edit).
Notify the person you want to answer:
- by replying to the message you have written (click on the message >> Reply).
- or by mentioning her @alias (so you can make it easier for her to be notified and follow you).
If any member of the group has already responded with a point similar to the one you wanted to make, you can reinforce it with a simple +1, "I agree", etc. But let us all try to make real contributions, and not to be redundant or to repeat points by saying the same thing 50 times.
If you haven't seen a chat in a while, you may have missed some conversations. We recommend that you don't bring up topics that are more than a week old (if you really don't need to).
WARNING: DON'T FEED THE TROLLS!
Inevitably we will often encounter people in groups who have a 'troll' attitude.
A troll is someone who publishes profanity, offensive material, difficult-to-detect lies, provocative, irrelevant or off-topic (OT) messages in an online community, with the primary intent of:
- annoying, or provoking a negative emotional response in clients and readers
- for fun
- to confuse and hurt the feelings of others
- or to alter the normal flow of conversation in a discussion topic
They often make people angry and pit them against each other.
THAT' S WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO "not to take the bait," and ignore these people.
How to behave in the face of trolling or aggression!
Let's avoid feeding the troll. Let's ignore him. Let's not respond.
Let's avoid answering stupid questions with another stupid or aggressive answer, nor starting an argument with another person (or different permutations of the previous ones).
Let's control our bad temper. It's very easy to make enemies by not knowing how to bite your tongue. Let's not say anything we wouldn't want to say in person, face-to-face.
Let's try to tolerate things even if they seem to be personal attacks >> and in the case of feeling the urgent need to respond to a (perceived) aggression, please, let us do it personally to the (perceived) aggressor.
We should be aware that the social rules we follow are not necessarily the same for everyone, and without the help of physical presence to extract visual clues and differentiate sarcasm from attacks and pranks from insults, it is always better for a group to presuppose good intentions.
For people who are new to a group, this last one is important: give yourself at least a few days, or even a few weeks, to confirm that you understand the different "tones of voice" of the different people who participate in the chat, before you take offence...).
Let's not respond aggressively to stupid comments or perceived attacks. If we believe that the issue is serious, let's contact one of the administrators of the group directly to evaluate the Blocking-Expulsion protocol.
Finally, in order not to monopolize collective chat, let's avoid the situation whereby the conversations become personal or just a "two-way discussion". We can always continue in a private and direct chat (the rest of the chat members will thank us!).
4. Conflicts | Unwanted Attitudes | Possible Reasons for Blocking
For each Telegram group, there will be - at least - 2 or 3 persons with admin permission. Only they can block/delete members at the community's request or on encountering harmful, violent, or non-appropriate behaviours.
EXAMPLES OF CASES MERITING THE USER BEING BLOCKED:
- bullying and violent behaviour
- hate speech
- racist behaviour
- gender-based / sexist comments
- spam / trolling behaviour
Or by sending inappropriate content and/or content that may hurt the feelings of those in the group (limits to be defined)