Totem is designed as an educational resource for communities learning about digital security. It is an initiative of Greenhost and Free Press Unlimited. The Totem platform provides a way for content contributors and community users to continuously interact and exchange knowledge throughout the learning process.
The goals of the platform are:
- To improve basic understanding of digital security and related tools for journalists, activists and human rights defenders by creating a safe online classroom environment.
- To Build a safe MOOC based on existing open source software (open EdX) that is co-developed with- and usable for digital training organizations, individual trainers and students.
- Sustainability through collaboration to continue the availability of the platform once the initial stage of the project is completed.
Greenhost and Free Press Unlimited
Totem is built on Open edX, an open source educational platform started by EdX, an initiative of Harvard and MIT together with the xConsortium. Greenhost and Free Press Unlimited provide TOTEM as an open source platform in order to ensure that it can become a sustainable resource, welcoming to contributors and communities well beyond the start of the project.
Types of Content
Totem platform content is adapted, developed and produced in co-development with content partner organisations, digital security trainers, and communities. Totem hosts three kinds of content: 1) original content developed for TOTEM by Greenhost and Free Press Unlimited, which is available to all TOTEM users; 2) content created by invited content contributors, which is also available to all TOTEM users, and 3) community content created by course instructors, which is only available to those participating in the course.
- Official TOTEM content developed by Greenhost, Free Press Unlimited, together with content partner organsations, is vetted by an advisory board to ensure that it meets content standards OR conforms to a set of quality guidelines.
- Community content is the responsibility of course instructors. It can be flagged by users of the platform who want to provide feedback or express a concern over its quality.
- Official and community content has a timestamp to indicate the date it was last updated in order to help contextualise and verify the accuracy of the materials presented.
All content on Totem is licensed under a creative commons attribution share-alike license. This licensing scheme provides autonomy and control to community content contributors while also encouraging collaboration and avoiding the duplication of existing resources.
TOTEM Content Partners
Community Content contributors and Course Instructors
- When creating new learning modules, community content contributors choose how long the module should remain online. Content can be temporarily de-activated or chosen to never expire.
- Community content contributors are expected to periodically review, update, or remove curricula modules as they become outdated or outlive their use.
- Community content contributors and course instructors are given the opportunity to provide feedback on publicly available content.
- Community content contributors and course instructors can ‘flag’ content if they believe there to be an issue related to its quality, however the decision to remove material rests with TOTEM.
In the current version of TOTEM, community users are invited to use the platform by TOTEM, a TOTEM content partner, or a course instructor. In future TOTEM versions, anyone will be able to create an account and join open trainings and modules.
Invited community users can:
- See and interact with materials produced by content contributors or given access to by the content contributor and/or course instructor.
- Flag or provide feedback on the curricula, to be reviewed by TOTEM.
- Users are expected to contribute to a friendly and respectful environment throughout the use of the Totem, including its discussion forums, wiki, documentation pages, and learning modules.
- Users invited to participate in closed learning modules do so at the discretion of the course instructors. If course isntructors determine that participants are not abiding by community standards, they may choose to terminate their participation.
Users may not engage in the following activities through services related to Totem:
- Harassing, abusing, or targeting Totem users through hateful, violent, or intimidating language
- Storing or distributing material that endorses discrimination on the basis of race, gender, class, religion, or political views.
- Attempting to compromise the anonymity of Totem users by forcing the disclosure of legal names or other forms of identifying information.
- Misuse of services by distributing viruses or malware, engaging in a denial of service attack, or attempting to gain unauthorized access to the computer systems of the Totem host or Totem users.
- The unsolicited promotion of commercial services and materials.
Users who experience or observe the above unacceptable activities should flag instances with platform moderators by writing to email@example.com. Complaints receive a response within 72 hours
Accounts found to violate community standards through the unacceptable activities listed above shall be terminated by Totem.