SOGI list policy

Focus of the list

The SOGI list provides a space for global advocacy, focusing on discussions and strategies related to sexuality, sexual rights, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and gender expression, and seeks to situate these discussions within a broader human rights framework. We encourage list members to bring an intersectional approach to their participation in the list, taking into account gender and/or trans representation, linguistic accessibility, linkages with other social justice movements and meaningful engagement across all regions of the world.

Management

The list is managed by ARC International. However, list members also share responsibility for encouraging compliance with list policies and etiquette, where appropriate. ARC is always open to feedback from list members about any policy or management concern.

Moderation

Individual SOGI list postings are unmoderated. Postings from subscribed members, under their subscribed e-mail accounts, are automatically distributed by the list software without review. We reserve the right to put some subscribers on “individual moderation”, if they display disregard for policy and etiquette after warnings by list management and/or other list members. We also reserve the right to remove list subscribers for such behaviour.

Language

While it is obvious that the majority of list postings are in English, list members are welcome to engage in list conversations with other members in the language of their choice. Other list members are encouraged to avail themselves of free on-line translation services to follow the gist of conversations.

Membership

  • Currently, no-one is able to “self-subscribe” to this list. All list members must be referred/recommended by a current list member and manually subscribed by ARC International staff. Non-members are not able to post to the list or access list postings.
  • We also attempt to only subscribe individual e-mail addresses, not mass aliases that are filtered to a number of recipients.
  • While we cannot (for security reasons) make specific member details and contact information available to list members, we circulate periodic updates, which will include the numbers of subscribers, and a breakdown by region and affiliation. This can also be made available upon request.
  • The list was established as an NGO space for strategy sharing. Over time, the space has evolved to include some funders, progressive faith based groups, UN staff, academics/independent scholars, and journalists. Sometimes, these lines are not clear, for instance some funders straddle the line of NGO/funder, and some writers are involved in organizations or services that function as NGOs.
  • Given potential security concerns that have been raised regarding journalists, we reserve the right to vet their subscription with list members, if there is a concern or question about their membership.
  • State or government representatives are not eligible to join or participate in list discussions.

Security

We require that all list members adhere to a confidentiality rule that members cannot re-post or use the contents of other list members’ postings without their explicit permission, or unless it is clearly marked as a document that can be publicly circulated. This rule was established to protect the identity of list subscribers and to allow members to discuss freely and share information/strategy among themselves before deciding on a more public course of action, and is strictly enforced.

“Netiquette”

As previously stated, individual postings are unmoderated, so members are free to post messages without screening. The list also allows for the distribution of attachments, although large files can pose a challenge for those on slow internet connections. Occasionally, especially in response to complaints, we try to remind people about the stated goal of the list, and provide informal guidelines to help ensure the smooth functioning of the list. Matters of list etiquette include the following:

–       The list is not intended as a forum for personal promotion or personal advancement. In the interests of fostering diverse voices and viewpoints, it is hoped that list members will not seek to dominate discourse. In discussions/debates, for example, it is preferable to avoid responding to every post or restating positions that have already been expressed. While there is currently no set limit as to the number of postings per member per week, we trust that list members will respect the fact that constant posting may have a chilling effect on others.  Individuals who persistently post excessively may be switched to “individual moderation”, at the moderators’ discretion.

–       List members should exercise careful consideration before posting promotional information about events that are very local in nature, not accessible to a broad cross-section of the list, and perhaps not pertaining to regional or global activism;

–       Requests relating to subscription, unsubscription or list administration, should be directed to the list managers at: sogi-list-owner@arc-international.net, not to the list as a whole;

–       Consider limiting traffic flow when there are specific ongoing campaigns/events which may be of interest to the global community, but could be summarized rather than posted with a step-by-step breakdown of all activities;

–       The list is not a platform to repost ongoing debates/disputes on other lists or in the blogosphere that offer very little to strategic discussion;

–       Try not to send large unsolicited file attachments, instead making these available to individual list-members upon request or publicizing a link where those files can be accessed by those interested.

–       List members are expected to express themselves in ways that are respectful of the diversity of our communities. For instance, sexist, racist and other offensive or insulting language is not tolerated.

–       Given increasing traffic on the list, there is limited tolerance for one line “reply-all” posts that simply congratulate, thank or acknowledge another person’s post.

Conduct

We have preferred to maintain the listserv as mostly a self-regulating space. Occasionally, we have sent out “guidelines” for conduct, almost exclusively based on complaints from other users. When concerns have arisen, we usually try to resolve these amicably/constructively by approaching relevant parties off-list. Conduct violations that may result in suspension or removal from the list include: personal character attacks, and violations of security of the list postings. In the case of character attacks, this has usually been a warning and then suspension, if necessary. In the case of security threats, this can lead to permanent removal.

Additional information:

If you have any questions about these policies or their application, please feel free to contact the list managers at: sogi-list-owner@arc-international.net

For Frequently-asked Questions about how to post, managing your subscription, accessing the list digest option etc, please click here.

Thank you for your participation in the SOGI list, and your contribution to making this a space where diverse voices can be heard in order to advance equality and justice for all members of our communities.

SOGI list subscriptions here.