Updated: Jun 5, 2020
Discord is a chatroom platform similar to IRC or Slack. We have fostered a very large community there, with approximately 3500 members and see around 17,000 messages per day as of 5/27/2020.
Invite link: https://discord.gg/qrAqPAQ
⭐ Be a welcoming community to anybody who wants to get into ant keeping
⭐ Cater to everybody! Anters, DIYers, kids, parents, regional communities, etc
⭐ Grow the ant keeping hobby by helping people explore how awesome it is
⭐ Keep people interested by being a place to relax and chat with like minded people
To help achieve our goals, we also have some rules:
No harassment Under no circumstances can you harass someone else, pick fights, or cause drama. There's never any reason to be an ass.
Be respectful of the conversation Please don't instigate unnecessary or unwanted conversations or discussions, or be generally disruptive. Stay relatively on-topic - this includes hijacking the conversation.
Don't be annoying Just be considerate of others - using bot commands in general, unpingable usernames, obnoxious profile pictures, spam of any kind, pinging many users for no reason, talking with constant line breaks or emojis, shitposting, etc.
No NSFW If it could get someone fired, or if it's disgusting or it's not suitable for minors, do not post it.
No hit-and-run advertising Do not advertise other servers, services or products unsolicited. This includes via DMs, with the exception of if (and only if) the other user requests the link. https://redd.it/7j3x2s.
No enabling illegal or invasive trades More information in # trade-agreement. If you see this, report it! The following is not allowed:
Posting your illegally obtained ants
Naming people who keep ants illegally, thereby telling others where to get more info
Attempting to make or set up illegal or invasive trades
Being complicit (turning a blind eye) to any of the above.
Use the server responsibly Don't be under 13 (per ToS), don't ask for or post other's personal info, don't post your personal info.
No discrimination Sexism, racism, homophobia, et al, will not be tolerated.
Trade agreement All trades must observe the rules listed in # trade-agreement.
Feedback and reporting
First of all, mods are not always around! If there is a problem in the chat, there are a number of ways to bring it to our attention,
First, we like our community to be self moderating where they can - simply talking is the easiest way to sort problems!
Failing that, you can ding the @moderator role to pull all of us in,
You can look at user list to see which moderators are online, and ding one of them,
You can DM one of the online moderators, if you're not comfortable calling people out in the chat,
Next, we welcome all kinds of feedback.
Discussion of the rules and how they're enforced is always welcome in the # server-discussion channel.
If you have a problem with how something is enforced, you can do it there or you can do it in DM with the moderators.
Most of the time if a moderator is too close, they ask another moderator to step in. If you feel like they should have but they didn't, you can request a different moderator handle your situation instead.
Lastly, not all mod action is a punishment! To make the chat go in a productive direction, we have only a few tools available to us. When the mods are getting ignored, we utilize those tools to steer the chat. We ask for your understanding in that we're simply trying to improve things :)
How our rules were made
Rules are initially picked from community guidelines and much larger, very successful servers. These are rules that work great for everyone else, and are generally easy to respect.
After a draft is made, we open up a server discussion to allow people to get their concerns in. Typically these discussions are several hundred messages long and rules are adjusted and rounded out through this.
Lastly, we individually DM users to get personal opinions - this will weed out things that people didn’t want to talk about, so that we can address stuff that might not be comfortable to talk in a wider setting.
How our moderators are qualified
I have many years organizing communities such as volunteer communities, political communities, esports communities, video game guilds, sports clubs and other social groupings.
Mods are picked based on a number of factors, including what and how they can contribute, time zones, experience, community presence and how easy they are to get along with. I also lean on my experience to be able to pick out who would be a good mod.
Mods go through a trial period to make sure that they’re a good fit and that the community can approve of them, this typically takes about a month.
All of the moderators are held accountable to each other and if a moderator steps out of line, they are expected to apologize.
Explanation of how moderation happens
Mod action beyond a short mute is voted on in the staff channel. Evidence is gathered and presented to the rest of the mod team, and a vote is held.
More than anything else, we look at intent and integrity. If you are doing underhanded things intentionally, the punishment will be harsher.
Example 1: An excited new hobbyist joins the server, saying he found ants on vacation, and brought them back with him. The mod team evaluates the evidence, and as the person didn’t know, they’re told they should not have the ants and should freeze them, and if they do, that’s the end of it.
Example 2: Active keeper who knows the laws goes on vacation, and tries to show off his colony that he should not have, before realizing what he did and tries to cover up the evidence - this person will most likely be met with a ban.
Example 3: Two passionate keepers in the hobby are having an argument. They’re trying to be respectful, but it gets heated and the mods have to step in. As both parties recognize it didn’t need to go that way, no moderator action is taken.
Example 4: Two people are having an argument. They start throwing insults around, and a mod steps in. One person tries to claim they did nothing wrong, and that the moderators should mind their own business. That person will get a mute.
Example 5: One person continuously causes problems in the server. Typically, they’ll apologize, but people are getting exasperated having to deal with it over and over. This person will receive escalating punishments until the behavior is corrected or it results in a ban.
Example 6: Someone causes a minor fight on the server. A moderator DM’s this person, and asks them to be considerate of others. Person responds with cursing and insulting the moderator that is simply trying to improve the chat. This will result in a mute or a ban instead of just a warning.
When you join a community and make public posts, you generally enter an agreement to abide by rules, lots of which typically restrict freedom of speech. You see this on twitter (rules against abuse being part of the terms of service) and facebook (policies against hate speech specifically also incorporated into their TOS).
These kinds of restrictions come into play when you do work for someone else, or when you enter private homes or businesses as you can be bodily ejected or have the police escort you out at the owner's discretion. Informally, we have these listed as our rules. This is accepted practice.
The reason we do this is because running a discord takes a lot of time. It started from nothing, and we slowly grew it into what it is today. Discord policy allows a discord server to effectively belong to the people who run it because it would be nothing without them, literally. Letting terrible content through, not moderating the discussion, etc, the discord wouldn't attract the kind of users we want and the users we would want to retain would begin to leave.
We have a lot of lofty aspirations for the community and the hobby. Many types of people, such as those that do not get along with others, have no respect for the laws, or who are simply unable to contribute meaningfully are incompatible with these aspirations.
We also have a limited amount of time to deal with problems that arise, so while we try our best to be incredibly patient, with some users taking upwards of 40 hours collective mod time where we believe they’re not a lost cause, it cannot continue forever.
The bottom line is we are as patient and careful with what we do as we can, we also have a community to protect. Protecting includes making sure that the moderation team is composed of sensible people, as well as taking the time to assure the community that we’re working towards making it better. But it also means removing people that detract from the moderators being able to do good work elsewhere.
The discord has been through a lot to get to where it is currently, and we are still trying to grow! Here is a synopsis of the events that have lead us to where we are currently.
Below is a brief timeline of major events:
Jan 14, 2017 - Jash creates the server in an attempt to get away from apathetic/toxic chat owners and illegal traders
May 14, 2017 - Server reaches 100 members
July 3, 2017 - Server reaches 200 members
October 3, 2017 - Server reaches 500 members
April 27, 2018 - Hosted by r/aww subreddit of the week
May 7, 2018 - Cr3(Antflights.com) joins the server
June 4, 2018 - Soul takes over as owner
June 5, 2018 - Server reaches 1000 members
July 13, 2018 - New interest based roles released
March 8, 2019 - Tostoness(Entomologist) joins the server
March 20, 2019 - Tar Heel Ants joins the server
April 4, 2019 - Miles(The Ant Network) joins the server
April 4, 2019 - THA does first discord giveaway
April 22, 2019 - Antkeeping wiki roadmap completed and development begins
May 10, 2019 - Server reaches 2000 members
May 26, 2019 - AMA with Miles
June 6, 2019 - Hotness bot implemented
June 8, 2019 - Antflights integrated into discord
June 22, 2019 - Carnivorous_Entomologist joins the server
July 9, 2019 - Hotping role added
July 23, 2019 - AMA with Tostoness and Dr Carlos A Blanco
August 1, 2019 - Xanuri’s mites identified as a likely new specie