A Social Contract for the Community

Social Contract

Objective:

Create a supportive online community whereby the participants grow in their photographic
endeavors.

 

Welcome to The Community:

We are a collection of photographers of highly varying tastes, skill levels, and equipment
preferences. What we do here is this:

  1. We organize friendly competitions centered on a theme or technique as a means of honing our own skills and supporting the artistic endeavors of others.
  2. The pursuit of better art and expression is our highest objective — community is the tool we use to achieve it.

Expectations:

This being the internet, however, requires us to agree on a basic set of guidelines — a social contract for the community — which will allow us the best means of supporting one another. 

The purpose of the principles is to ensure that we continue to pursue our objectives and do not cause damage to the community.

Here are the key expectations:
  • All community members abide by the principles
  • Group leaders are responsible for their group members and their actions
  • All community members are treated equally with regards to these principles
The expectation is that you, as a member of the community, will understand and abide by the principles and those around you will be on the same footing. The community is tolerant of all skill levels, expressions, and endeavors that fit its principles. The community is intolerant
of those who are intolerant of its principles.
 

The Principles:

Kindness is paramount:

  • If you cannot be kind, be silent.
  • If you are not kind, there will be consequences for your actions.

Support the community, the community’s art, and the community’s growth:

  • Being supportive means:
    • Positively-framed critique of someone’s art
    • A focus on improvement
    • Making sure our community members are comfortable even receiving feedback before providing it
    • We’re not experts, we’re students of photography
    • Photography is about the photographer, the photographer’s artistic expression, and the photographer’s technique — the gear is a distant fourth

Communicate and act mindfully:

  • We’re friends AND we are internet strangers — remember that. Both can be — and are – true.
  • Know your boundaries — not everyone shares your view of the world and not everyone is ready to be your best friend forever
  • Treat others how you think they would like to be treated — you must consider how your words and actions may affect others
  • You have autonomy and agency, and your actions will therefore speak the loudest

Your actions can have consequences:

If your actions are not kind, you will face consequences. If it’s the case that your actions violate any of our above principles you will quickly find your actions affecting you and those around you. When it comes to decisions with regards to consequences, your actions will be your most
prominent witness.
 
Your first indication that you are skirting the principles is that your group leader or another community member will notify you via Direct Message, and the expectation will be set that you shall, immediately, begin adherence to the principles once more. Additionally, you are expected
and obligated to take restorative action to rectify the situation — this may mean making amends, apology, or some other form or action to restore the prior condition.
 
Your second indication that you are skirting the principles may take the shape of the following, depending on the severity of your actions:
 
  • You lose points in the round
  • You are suspended from a three-round challenge
  • You and your group loses points for a round or three-round challenge
  • You are prevented from participation in any challenge or challenge group under penalty subjecting an entire group to disqualification.
This is a strong community. But the internet is what it is and people on the internet are what they are. This can make any community fragile. 
 
We will make sure ours won’t break.
 
Photography is a beautiful, graceful part of the world. We’re going to keep it that way.
 
These principles may be updated at any time.
 
 

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