[sca-comments] Social Media Policy

Insulae Draconis Social Media socialmedia at insulaedraconis.org
Sun May 23 05:09:52 CDT 2021

Hi there,

I'm getting in touch as Social Media Minister for the Principality of
Insulae Draconis, of the Kingdom of Drachenwald, to pass on some feedback
and thoughts regarding the announcement of the new social media policy.

Since the launching of the SCA Inc policy, there has been a noticeable
negative response from the online community - as I'm sure you have already
encountered. Predominantly, this comes down to concerns the extent to which
the BoD seems to claim that unofficial groups and pages are 'connected' of
the SCA. From the glossary: 'Profile connected to the SCA: Anything
reasonably associated with the SCA, which includes but is not limited to
use of persona name on profile, SCA (or any local kingdom or group, listed
as employer), use of registered heraldry for profile picture'.

I understand the reasoning behind this: that an individual breaching the
anti-harassment, anti-bullying etc rules on social media should be able to
be held accountable for their actions within the SCA. I, and the populace
of the Principality of Insulae Draconis with whom I have spoken about this
policy, support this wider goal and agree with the general principle.

However, the specific wording used in the policy has resulted in several
people and groups withdrawing from any semblance of an association with the
SCA on social media, for example:

   - The Facebook group "Trans People of the Society of Creative
   Anachronism" has renamed itself "Trans People of the Society" and removed
   direct references to the SCA from its description and header image, citing
   the new social media policy as the reason
   - The Facebook group "Aspiring Scribes Forum" has similarly cited the
   new social media as the policy as the reason for taking the group
   'completely out from under the umbrella of the SCA.org', and that the group
   'will not in any way be associated with the SCA from here on out'
   - The FB group "SCA Garb" - a group with 10.7k members - was made
   private and subsequently archived. Although the group admins haven't issued
   a statement about this, the timing coincides with the launch of the new

The consequences are clear: this policy is driving people away from
discussing or being associated with the SCA on social media. With
particular reference to the Trans People of the Society Group, this comes
from a fear that many consider trans identities to be inherently political,
and that the new policy could be weaponised against the group and its
members, which reflects a wider concern that this policy will result in the
stifling discussion of issues of social justice as they pertain to the
society, for concern that they would be considered 'political' in nature
and thus contravening this social media policy. It has also resulted in the
outright closure of unofficial groups such as the SCA Garb group.

All these constrain online SCA activity and discussion, which impact
participation in the SCA as a whole as well as its visibility online.

Both on a personal level, and in my role as social media minister for the
Principality, I believe that this policy as it is currently worded is
damaging. I understand and support the desire to take action against people
who may say things outside of an official SCA context but which indicate
they may be dangerous in the SCA. However, the policy as it stands is
overly-broad and vague in how it will be applied. If the policy cannot be
reworded, I wonder if some specific example cases could be included in an
appendix of the policy to outline in what circumstances the policy will be
enforced, and how, and what circumstances fall outside the policy's

Thank you for your time and efforts in keeping the SCA a safe place,

Henric vanden Casteele (m.k.a. Ari Ibsen)
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