Making changes to the database


It is intended that groups that use karrot can use the features of karrot to fulfil the needs of the group. If there is a need that cannot be fulfilled we intend to work with the groups to develop the necessary features, whilst keeping within the values of karrot. We don’t have infinite capacity, so we cannot develop all features that might be useful, and as a result there are scenarios where the features of karrot are not sufficient.

One of the most difficult areas is that of conflict, initially we did not develop any features that allowed a user to be removed, and when this need came up, we developed the membership review feature. This process allows the group to review the membership of a particular user. It involves a discussion and then a voting process. One outcome is that a user can be removed from the group.

If there is a conflict within a group that cannot be resolved using the features of karrot there is a possiblity for those with server access to remove a user from a group in the database directly. We have never done this.

They are three arenas in which a conflict might be resolved:

Within the community itself, through dialogue, mediation, or other means

This is the way we encourage as it’s likely where the real issue exists.

Using the features of karrot

We intend to provide thoughtfully designed features to encourage healthy communities. However, the features will never be able to account for all scenarios, it might be possible to abuse them, and ultimately technology cannot resolve underlying social issues.

Intervention by karrot team to modify the database directly

This involves somebody in the karrot team with database access to modify the database directly. Removing a user from a group would be one possiblity there.

This is a last resort if all other methods have failed. We are not members of their group and are not well-placed to make judgements about what happens within a group.

This agreement is about under which situations would we be willing to do this.



  • we maintain privacy of sensitive information provided to us
  • we are transparent about the outcome of decisions
  • we don’t believe technology can resolve social or human conflicts, only support people, and that the features of karrot might not be sufficient for the scenario
  • we aim to encourage healthy community
  • we try to understand what would be needed to improve the feature for the future
  • we use our own sense of trust when evaluating the request
  • we may decide not to take any action if the situation is unclear for us

Karrot groups’ members can send us requests for database changes, you can email us at and provide as much of the information as possible:

  • ideally show us your governance agreement or any similar document, that indicates you’re in the position to take that decision. It is more likely that we take action if we have a clear understanding of the governance structure the group uses, and how this request fits with that, e.g.:
    • there is a clear decision making process in the group, and there is evidence that this has been used, and the outcome shared with us
  • why it has not been possible to resolve the situation within the community. For user removal: you tried the membership review at least one time
  • why the features of karrot were not suitable for resolving the situation
    • optionally including any ideas for changes to the features that would have enabled you to handle the situation yourself
  • what you would like to happen, e.g.:
    • remove user 5424 from group 13341
    • remove from “foodsharing example”

What we would then do is:

  • stay in dialogue with you to clarify any details
  • keep that information confidential to the karrot team
  • database admins will act based on this agreement
  • database admins can seek advice or escalate the topic to the Karrot team
  • write up an outcome that is suitable for sharing
  • one of the karrot team would apply to join your group, and once accepted, inform group members about the outcome
  • if we decide there is no action needed, then we can stop here, otherwise continue…
  • record the outcome somewhere the karrot team can access
  • we will share a description of the process and the outcome on the main group wall

Consent on 2023-07-11 by Bruno, Nathalie, Nick, Vas