Communication Guidelines#

These guidelines are applicable when acting as a representative of Matplotlib (for example at sprints or when giving official talks or tutorials) and in the following community venues managed by Matplotlib:








  • mailing lists:




Social Media Coordination Communication Channels:#

team mailing list: public chat room:

Content Guidelines:#

  • stick to Matplotlib, 3rd party packages, and visualizations made with Matplotlib

  • also acceptable topics: Python, Visualization, NumFOCUS libraries

  • no gratuitous disparaging of other visualization libraries and tools; criticism is acceptable so long as it serves a constructive purpose

  • follow visualization communication best practices

    • don’t share non-expert visualizations when it could be harmful

      • put on meeting agenda when answer isn’t clearly to hold off on sharing.

    • clearly state when the visualization data/conclusions cannot be verified

      • do not rely on machine translations for sensitive visualizations

    • example:

  • verify sourcing of content (especially on instagram & blog)

    • Instagram/blog: ensure mpl has right to repost/share content

    • make sure content is clearly cited

      • example: a tutorial using someone else’s example clearly cites the original source

  • Limited self/corporate promotion is acceptable, but should be no more than about a quarter of the content of the blog/discourse post.

  • if you think content is borderline, ask before publishing it

  • acceptable image guide:

    • union of site guidelines favoring caution:

      • keep it geared towards science/data visualization, and non-controversial images

    • site guidelines:




  • add alt text to images and videos when the platform allows



  • warn on bright, strobing, images & turn off autoplay if possible

  • for images made by the social media team:

    • make graphic perceivable to people who cannot perceive color well, due to color-blindness or low vision

    • do not make bright, strobing images

    • more guidelines at

Behavior Guidelines#

  • keep responses polite, assume user statements are in good faith unless they violate the Code of Conduct

Recurrent Social Media Campaigns:#

  • Release Announcements

    • Highlight new features & major deprecations

    • Link to download/install instructions

    • Ask folks to try it out.

  • signal boost third party packages

  • GSOC work during GSOC recruiting and work times

  • John Hunter Excellence in Plotting, submission and winners

Social Media Following Guide:#

  • only follow organizations/projects - mostly numfocus projects

    • especially 3rd party packages

    • should at least be visualization related

    • sponsors are also acceptable

  • do not follow individual accounts for any reason (even maintainers/project leads/Guido!)

Twitter Persona#

  • Is a sentient visualization library, so talks about itself as a we, us, our, and it. Avoids talking about itself in the 3rd person.

  • Very earnest, eager to please, and aims to be patient & painfully oblivious to snark and sarcasm.

  • Gets over-excited over shiny visualizations - lots of emojis and the like - and encourages folks to share their work.

  • Highlights various parts of the library, especially the more obscure bits and bobbles.

  • Acknowleges that it is a sometimes frustrating tangle of bits & bobbles that can confuse even the folks who work on it & signal boosts their confuzzlment.