TYT Core Values
Last updated: 5/16/23
TYT CORE VALUES
The TYT network is connecting progressives around the world. Whether it's at TYT.com, Youtube, Twitch, social media, or in-person events – our audience, the TYT Community, is the heart of our organization.
The several platforms (TYT.com, Twitch, Facebook, etc.) where the TYT Community has opportunities to connect with one another can offer different capabilities (ex: chat rooms, moderators) and cultures (ex: gamers, general population, TYT members only). It is our goal to provide support for these various spaces in order to encourage a positive, productive experience for our audience.
While we have official moderators, all participants are personally responsible for the success of our culture. Moderators are those who are familiar with that platform and have proven that they are trusted participants who have internalized our TYT Community Core Values. They know that they have one function: to support others and help cultivate the positive, productive culture that is important to us.
TYT Core Values
- Every action we take is to support our mission.
- Every action we take is to support our energy.
- We participate with a positive and productive attitude.
- We are inclusive.
- We lead by example.
- We reward with attention.
- We trust one another.
- We are courageous and we make room for mistakes.
- We participate in constructive communication.
- We speak from our own position.
- We inspire others to greatness.
- We check our ego at the door.
- We act with dignity.
- We respond immediately against disrespect and violence, while committing to a Code of Nonviolence.
See our tips for best practices when dealing with trolls.
Every action we take is to support our mission.
Our Mission: To boldly pursue truth, challenge the establishment, and drive positive change.
Each of us takes ownership for the success of our mission, which largely relies on the culture of our TYT Community. We seek to build a welcoming, positive, productive culture that encourages diversity of thought and is focused on helping to get policies passed that prioritize people and planet over profit.
So long as we each engage with integrity, authenticity, and in support of our mission -- we will create and sustain a culture that is strong, compassionate, resilient, and successful.
Moderators and staff at TYT trust community participants to build this culture. However, there are specific actions that may warrant a warning, suspension, or removal in order to act swiftly in support of our mission. Some of these include:
- Hate Speech
- Misrepresentation of Identity
- Sexual Activity
- Threats, explicit or implicit
- Unsolicited Advertising
Every action we take is to support our energy.
Being productive and positive requires a lot of energy. That energy can easily be depleted in toxic environments. As a result, there is a need for every single person to help cultivate the culture we seek by constantly reinforcing our Core Values and leading by example in all our interactions.
We recognize that each situation and interaction comes with its own set of circumstances and so we aim to lead by example with these TYT Community Core Values in mind as much as possible. This will help us to preserve our energy and, therefore, focus on our mission.
We participate with a positive and productive attitude.
We participate with a positive and productive attitude in all our interactions. We learn from one another. Attitudes are highly contagious; therefore, we make sure to have a positive and understanding attitude. We spread trust, energy, and enthusiasm.
We are inclusive.
We actively welcome and help newcomers make themselves comfortable in our community. We understand that not everyone we interact with considers themself progressive, and not everyone we disagree with is a troll. We help everybody develop and improve, both as participants and moderators, but everyone is a leader. Nobody is born with leadership: it is an acquired skill. We work with patience and kindness towards one another as we learn the mission of our community.
We lead by example.
The community as a whole will copy both its official and perceived leaders. We are all role models. We act just the way we want others to act. We participate in the very actions and behaviors that we ask of others. When we yell at or talk down to somebody, we spread the culture of yelling at and being condescending towards one another. When we advance and praise people for what they do, we spread the culture that people should advance and praise one another. Therefore, we do the latter. People will follow because of your example, for better or worse, and then will lead others based on the precedent that you set. In this way, your words and actions spread throughout the community, even to people you will never meet.
We reward with attention.
Every behavior that gets attention is reinforced. Therefore, we focus and give attention to desired behavior and, as much as possible, we completely ignore unwanted behavior. We praise the positive and ignore the negative (with one exception: "We respond immediately against disrespect and violence").
We recognize others for their ideas and contributions. We reward one another as often as we can, both in public and private. We praise and reward individual brilliance as much as community contribution.
We trust one another.
We know that each and every one of us wants the best for our community. We assume good faith. We assume that everybody wants the TYT Community to succeed, even when they do things we don't understand. We assume they act out of a desire to help, even if we perceive the result as directly opposite. In such situations, we show patience and encourage constructive solution-creation, displaying good faith and acting as role models.
We are courageous and we make room for mistakes.
We do not shame people for making mistakes. It's always okay to make a mistake, as long as one is capable of learning from it.
We participate in constructive communication.
We participate in respectful, constructive collaboration. If we dislike something, we discuss, we argue, we disagree. When we identify a problem, we bring a solution with it. If we see something we dislike, we respond by making and spreading something we like, instead of simply pointing out what we dislike. If we see a decision we dislike, we make our point about why we dislike it without provoking feelings or, better yet, we explain why an alternative could be better. If there's an issue with someone we're interacting with, we respectfully address it with that person. If we choose not to address it, we understand that it is our responsibility to let it go. When we see the embryo of an internal conflict, we dampen it by encouraging positive communication.
We work actively to spread mutual respect, and to dampen aggression and distrust. We work outward and cohesively, not inward and divisively. We need diversity in our community and strive for it. How we handle ourselves, especially under pressure, will be absorbed and emulated by those around us. Again, we communicate with respect and compassion.
We speak from our own position.
We stand for our opinions. We never say “many people feel...” or try to hide behind some kind of quantity of people. Our opinions are always and only our own, and we stand for them. The one exception is when we represent the community in a protocolled decision.
When we perceive someone as being in the wrong, we never say “you're stupid” or similar, but start from our own thoughts, feelings, and reactions. This creates a constructive dialogue instead of a confrontational one.
We inspire others to greatness.
We lead by inspiring and suggesting, never by commanding. Nobody can or should be told what to do. We do not have any kind of mandate to point at people and tell them what to do or how to behave. Rather, we must inspire them to greatness through our words and actions.
We check our ego at the door.
Our ego is a basic function of survival, but it is important that we recognize our ego's intention, primarily when we are feeling any kind of negative emotion. Otherwise, our need to be right, to be recognized, and/or to win can take priority over the success of the community. This toxicity is what we work hard to avoid. When we experience anger or frustration, this is often based on fear, and experts suggest that it helps to practice humility by asking ourselves:
Do I feel superior to others?
Do I feel inferior to others?
We remind ourselves that we are one part of the community and everyone's perspective is valid; others have helped us to get where we are; everyone is just as important as I am; nothing is permanent except for change.
We keep in mind that we all have strengths and weaknesses, and part of being successful is being honest with ourselves, working hard not to project our ego onto others, and being willing to learn from our mistakes and forgive others for theirs.
Our goal is not to be right; it is to be successful. We do not blame others when things go wrong or don't go our way. Instead, we look inwards and ask ourselves what we could do better next time. When we struggle with our ego, we find a trusted person in our life for advice.
We act with dignity.
We're always showing respect toward one another, towards newcomers, and towards our adversaries. We act with courtesy, calm, and factuality, both on and off the record, both in public and private. We do not condone violence in any manner, whether through our words or actions.
We respond immediately against disrespect and violence, while committing to a Code of Nonviolence.
Even though we have great tolerance for mistakes and poor judgment, we do not show tolerance when somebody shows disrespect toward others, or provokes violence towards anyone-including our adversaries.
Condescending argumentation, both aggressive and passive-aggressive, including speaking poorly about others, or other forms of behavior used to suppress another member is never accepted.
Starting or supporting an emotional conflict with a negative focus, and seeking support from others for such a line of conflict harms the community as a whole and drains focus, energy, and enthusiasm. When we see such behavior, we jump on it and mark it as unacceptable.
We have an important role in making sure that people feel secure, with no bullying accepted. If bully-like behavior continues despite having the behavior pointed out, that person will be shut out from the area where they are disrespecting their peers, and if some friend invites them back just for spite, we will probably shut off the friend too. We have absolute-zero tolerance for disrespect or intentionally bad behavior against fellow community members, and violence towards anyone.
See our tips for best practices when dealing with trolls.
This document is adapted from Swarmwise by Rick Falkvinge. It cannot be used to beat somebody over the head because a certain part can be read a certain way: the important thing is the spirit and not the letter.
How to Handle Trolls
Tips Click on a topic below, or scroll down.
- Ignore the Trolls AND Respond Immediately.
- Not all trolls are trolls.
- Identify trolls and determine if they're worth it.
- The Silent Majority - your audience is bigger than you think.
- Stick to facts. Don't Attack.
- When someone refuses facts.
- The culture we participate in is the culture we will live in.
Ignore the Trolls AND Respond Immediately.
Trolls jump into comment sections and downvote posts right away for a reason: doing so immediately causes the negative to rise higher and to do so quickly, which creates momentum as people are persuaded. To combat this, do the opposite - upvote original posts immediately, as well as supporting comments.
Not all trolls are trolls.
Recognize that people who simply disagree or have a question are not necessarily trolls. In fact, they must be addressed in order to help inform others. This helps to make sure that lies and misinformation do not spread. Do so in a respectful and compassionate manner, but stay firm to what we know. The vast majority of people circulating misinformation or propaganda are doing so unknowingly.
People asking questions is a good thing. Embrace them. Questions are how we learn. They are a sign of intelligence and we tend to attract intelligent people to the progressive movement. Answering questions in a compassionate, thoughtful way can turn someone from an opponent into neutral, if not advocate. But, moving someone from opposition to supportive takes time (strong opposition → mild oppo → neutral → mild support → strong support). Be patient.
Identify trolls and determine if they're worth it.
Trolls aim to cause drama, divert people from the organization or person's purpose, spread propaganda in order to achieve their agenda, or simply to get attention. In other words, they are not arguing in good faith.
Watch this 12 minute video about how to identify trolls and why it's strategic to simply ignore them. Learn their tactics, why we should never play defense, and how to take control of your own narrative.
Keep in mind that they are louder, but they are few. Like bullies, they usually just go away when they don't get what they came for. But, when it becomes clear that their troll-like behavior is spreading misinformation, lies, or confusing the general public, it may be time to act.
The Silent Majority - your audience is bigger than you think.
Understand that when you respond, or not, to people on social media, your audience is not so much the person you are responding to (if at all), but the people who are silently watching that conversation. This can help you to determine if something should be ignored, and how to address it if necessary. More often than not, your intention is not to change the person's mind you're conversing with, but to help the silent majority determine fact from fiction.
Stick to facts. Don't Attack.
It is true that there are far more people who will agree with us when they listen to our view since we have the facts on our side, but it's really hard to listen when someone is making you feel dumb or defensive. Most people are victims of the lies even as they perpetuate them. They aren't stupid. They aren't bad people.
It's important to create space for someone to change their mind and admit their wrong, and that very rarely happens when you shame someone, or cause them to become defensive. That's just human nature regardless of your political affiliation. If they never change their mind, that's okay - remember the silent majority.
When someone refuses facts.
Stay strong and refuse to let them bully you out of providing facts and push you into personal attacks, which then discredits you by stooping to their level, or at least gives them ammo and reflects poorly on our movement. Don't give them that benefit. Let their unreasonable comments sink in for the silent majority.
The culture we participate in is the culture we will live in.
We have an opportunity to insist on constructive dialogue with people we disagree with. Divisive argumentation amongst everyday people is turning some otherwise good people into trolls, victims of propaganda, and now perpetrators of propaganda and cyber-bullying. Stay strong. We do need to start confronting these people as appropriate, but it is important that we establish ourselves as the informed, intelligent, compassionate individuals we are.
Code of Nonviolence
A fundamental basis of unity in our movement is our commitment to nonviolence in all our actions. We recognize that any violation of or departure from this unity in nonviolent discipline - no matter how small - may seriously damage our movement. Thus, we understand that upholding this commitment is of utmost importance for our common mission. We define nonviolence for the purposes of all our actions as a movement to include the following commitments:
- We will use no violence, verbal or physical, toward any person, under any circumstances, including in response to aggression.
- We will maintain an attitude of openness and respect toward all we encounter in our actions.
- We will not use hostile language, swear, use insults, or engage in any aggressive, threatening, or intimidating behavior that provokes others.
- We will not allow ourselves to be provoked into aggression.
- We will not destroy or damage any property.
- We will carry no weapons.
- We will not wear masks or otherwise conceal our faces or identities. Masks to protect our health and the health of others is the obvious exception.
- We will exercise personal and collective responsibility to ensure all participants adhere to this agreement.
Adapted from Democracy Spring and the Poor People's Campaign Covenant of Nonviolence