[sca-comments] Social Media Policy

Dale Fong-Frederick dfongfrederick at director.sca.org
Sun May 23 06:53:55 CDT 2021

Thank you for your feedback.  I appreciate your detail and examples.

Dale Fong-Frederick
Director, Seat D

On May 23, 2021, at 6:10 AM, Insulae Draconis Social Media <socialmedia at insulaedraconis.org> wrote:

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 policy.

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 jurisdiction.

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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