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11-15-18 08:06:04 AM

Jul - General Chat - Sooo... Mastodon? New poll - New thread - New reply
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lion

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Posted on 08-22-18 12:41:27 PM Link | Quote
Still thinking about whether I should or not đź‘€
Xkeeper

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Posted on 08-22-18 01:46:53 PM Link | Quote
Originally posted by devin
I'm still alive and kicking on .social, for some reason, even though it basically collapses every time Jack Dorsey says/does something stupid again. Ah well.

"But for me, it was Tuesday" except it's Jack announcing something awful.


The influx of new users/followers is pretty nice though, even though it's led to another wave of discourse about decentralization/federation/etc. and a bunch of bad takes about "will this Twitter clone actually last????" (even though it's been basically thriving for two years or so now?)

I've been thinking a lot about this, and while I haven't had much time (or energy) to write long-form lately — see also, how long it has been since I posted much here — there's a lot of legitimate concerns on that front. Not only is the influx creating something of an "eternal September", but I think that the more people join, the more we'll see the same problems emerge as those on Twitter. Not in the sense of APIs or whatnot, but in there just being an ambient toxicity to everything. The reason it's been okay so far is because the amount of users has been small enough to be largely self-policing, but as popularity grows, it'll become a larger and more enticing target for people who want to cause trouble.

But also, the medium in general is so much more conductive to just... awfulness. You say one misguided thing and you'll get five people jumping on you, who then invite more people. Unlike, say, here, there's no way for a moderator to step in and go "OK, no more replies here, that's enough". You can't easily see everyone else dogpiling. Conversations are spastic and just. All over.

...

It's also a lot easier to just crap something out. I know a lot of people have trouble writing posts here (and doing the "well, hm, maybe... eh" fuck-it-delete-it dance), but on a social media platform like that, there's a much lower barrier just because you spend less time thinking about it. You get people's attention for only so long, the character limits are restrictive, and you generally spend a lot less time writing something out.

I dunno. I can already see the same patterns starting up again, and I don't know how long it'll stay worth it to be there.

Also...


and a bunch of bad takes about "will this Twitter clone actually last????" (even though it's been basically thriving for two years or so now?)

While the fediverse has been alive for a while (and even longer if you count gnusocial), instance rot is a real thing. I've had accounts on a handful of them that already are gone, or not working, and I have no idea if they'll ever be back. "i.write.codethat.sucks" (where I was writing about stuff I was working on) is apparently just gone, and "tiny.tilde.website" (tilde.town) isn't working right now and I have no idea when it'll be fixed. Even the instance I run has these problems sometimes.

The alternative is everyone being on a small number of really big instances, and with that we basically run into the same problems Twitter had.

Originally posted by lion
Still thinking about whether I should or not đź‘€

The only thing you have to lose is the 10 minutes you spend getting an account.
marrub

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Posted on 08-22-18 02:32:36 PM Link | Quote
Originally posted by Xkeeper
I've been thinking a lot about this, and while I haven't had much time (or energy) to write long-form lately — see also, how long it has been since I posted much here — there's a lot of legitimate concerns on that front. Not only is the influx creating something of an "eternal September", but I think that the more people join, the more we'll see the same problems emerge as those on Twitter. Not in the sense of APIs or whatnot, but in there just being an ambient toxicity to everything. The reason it's been okay so far is because the amount of users has been small enough to be largely self-policing, but as popularity grows, it'll become a larger and more enticing target for people who want to cause trouble.

I think this in particular won't be as much of a problem, but this is from my perspective as someone who doesn't look at public timelines and tries their hardest to bubble themselves in places like that.

Originally posted by Xkeepir
But also, the medium in general is so much more conductive to just... awfulness. You say one misguided thing and you'll get five people jumping on you, who then invite more people. Unlike, say, here, there's no way for a moderator to step in and go "OK, no more replies here, that's enough". You can't easily see everyone else dogpiling. Conversations are spastic and just. All over.

The balance between "time waster" and "real tool for conversation" has been shattered a hundred times over by social media. While I find it disgusting, I also tend to be somewhat drawn to Mastodon in particular because it at least attempts to acknowledge this balance. In a way while it's still terrible I find myself not minding too much when I try and act like it's not built for conversation, just for having fun with "blogging."

Originally posted by Xkeepor
It's also a lot easier to just crap something out. I know a lot of people have trouble writing posts here (and doing the "well, hm, maybe... eh" fuck-it-delete-it dance), but on a social media platform like that, there's a much lower barrier just because you spend less time thinking about it. You get people's attention for only so long, the character limits are restrictive, and you generally spend a lot less time writing something out.

And in turn, like this, people get attracted to it like moths to a flame. These kinds of places become forgotten because of time wasters. I'm guilty of this too, but I try and make an effort to not get trapped in the loop platforms like Twitter lay out. But it still feels weird, because it feels like the idea of conversation has changed. It's sort of a terrifying thought, because while this has happened many many times throughout history, never has it led to the ideal being intentional drivel over communal trash pyre. It feels like you can't go back.

Originally posted by Xkeepur
I dunno. I can already see the same patterns starting up again, and I don't know how long it'll stay worth it to be there.

It'll probably be a while. The way things are set up kind of keep that from happening. Maybe eternal peace within the fediverse is overly optimistic, but I believe it'll still be a nice space to be in a few years from now.
bp
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Posted on 08-22-18 04:11:09 PM Link | Quote
My most positive vision for this sort of this looks like this:

* FAANG continue their work to commoditizing the hell out of the humble common computer
* The cost of things like Google Compute Engine/Amazon E3 going down very quickly
* Things like docker/kubernetes/helm making spinning up your own Mastodon instance effortless and cheap (eventually it might become something like, put credit card, press button, receive Mastodon)
* Everyone just sort of runs their own Mastodon (or like their household's or close friends' group or something)
Tarale
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Posted on 08-29-18 11:30:41 PM (last edited by Tarale at 08-29-18 11:56:18 PM) Link | Quote
Hahahaha.

Well, that whole bullshit with Wil Wheaton sure was illuminating. :/

I don't like the dude, but I don't feel good about what happened either. It raises too many uncomfortable questions about how the fediverse will continue self-moderating. I'm not naive enough to think it was a utopia, but I'm also surprised at the toxic behaviour. The callouts, the shitposting, it was all a bit too familiar for a loose network that claims to be better.

It reminds me a bit of other social networks where, at the start, it seems like everyone is calling out the right people. This person is obviously unrepentantly terrible, and shitposting them to oblivion is cathartic and fun. And then, over time, things creep.

I don't think every place needs to be open and welcoming to everyone. But I think this… creep… and the toxicity that goes with it… well. It might be Wil Wheaton today (and I'm not even really sure Wil Wheaton deserved it?). Who will it be tomorrow? What kind of chilling effect will that have on speech?
Rambly

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Posted on 08-30-18 06:06:59 PM Link | Quote
i was gonna write a whole angry upset sad rant about mastodon in response to that but,

i'll just say that people can't just carbon copy the format that led to that horribly toxic culture's growth, make some minor changes, and expect everything to be fixed

but i don't have solutions. i'm better at recognizing problems than i am at having suggestions for improvement tbh

mastodon is still better than twitter, though, in the sense that it has features that should have been in twitter at least 5 years ago and the administration doesn't actively court nazis

(yes i know there's no single administration for mastodon, i'm speaking generally here. 2% of a social network actively courting nazis is a lot better than 100%)
hydra-calm
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Posted on 08-30-18 06:15:55 PM (last edited by hydra-calm at 08-30-18 06:16:21 PM) Link | Quote
These days, I feel it's a fundamental problem with the format too, though I think it's also the desire for spaces to be 100% pure, rather than livable in a practical sense for everyone. Also, Mastodon tends to brand itself (or at least people brand it) as A Platform, not a tool used to communicate with other activitypub software. I think framing it as software would make people more inclined to excise bits they didn't like from their own community, instead of demanding they be removed for everyone. Instance and user blocks already exist for this.
Rambly

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Posted on 08-30-18 07:08:43 PM (last edited by Rambly at 08-30-18 07:09:40 PM) Link | Quote
Originally posted by hydra-calm
Also, Mastodon tends to brand itself (or at least people brand it) as A Platform, not a tool used to communicate with other activitypub software.


i think naming the flagship instance after the software wasn't generally a good move. it leads to people thinking mastodon is just A Twitter Alternative rather than a new thing entirely. like, even i was confused at first because i conflated the fediverse itself with the flagship instance

i sometimes wonder if having a flagship instance at all is even a good idea? like it takes away from the federated...ness, of it. but also i recognize that having a "default" instance that people can branch out from later is generally good for people who can't commit to one instance (and fuck i use the default instance too, so...)




i lied when i said i wasn't gonna write an angry upset rant and i ended up tooting a bunch of sad words about mastodon that i'm going to repost here for some dumb reason (and it's pretty relevant to the wil wheaton thing, not that i love wil wheaton very much but yeah). i'm putting it behind a spoiler tag because it is genuinely pretty ranty and probably not pleasant to read



Tarale
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Posted on 08-31-18 10:26:04 PM Link | Quote
I continue to be SO troubled by that shit. Not because of Wil specifically--from what I understand, he's been shitty and doesn't really acknowledge that he's been shitty--but because it was followed up by more mob rule bullshit that really unsettles me.
Xkeeper

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Posted on 08-31-18 10:35:05 PM Link | Quote
I would probably be more concerned if it wasn't for the fact that he was a known piece of trash. As far as I'm concerned, it's the same as a bunch of people showing up and screaming at other pieces of garbage until they leave.

Mastodon started largely as a place for marginalized or otherwise often-ignored voices, and the problem with letting people like this stay is that they tend to invite similar jerks, until you end up in a shit spiral of jerks in, decent people out — sort of like what's happening with twitter, hmmmmmmmmmm.

hydra-calm
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Posted on 09-01-18 02:00:21 AM (last edited by hydra-calm at 09-01-18 02:05:44 AM) Link | Quote
I'm of two minds... The guy absolutely is garbage and probably doesn't deserve much clemency (or attention at all), but I think that mobbing (vs. using the moderation/privacy/self-protection tools built into the software) is a short-sighted way to go about getting rid of him. Obviously you have far, far longer experience with this than I do, though, so I might be being an idiot. I guess there's also the fact that he wasn't really "driven off" in an absolute sense anyway, since he could always spin up his own instance and let whoever chooses federate with him or not.

I guess it's just that I've seen dogpiling someone like this go wrong pretty often, since it's easy for those with bad intentions to whip people into a frenzy and send them after someone. Or for people to get out torches and pitchforks for a minor infraction out of mutual fear of the behavior. Definitely not saying that's happened here -- as I said, he probably doesn't deserve much. My issue is about the precedent and the similarities to patterns of behavior on Twitter.
marrub

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Posted on 09-01-18 06:37:58 AM Link | Quote
Originally posted by hydra-calm
I'm of two minds... The guy absolutely is garbage and probably doesn't deserve much clemency (or attention at all), but I think that mobbing (vs. using the moderation/privacy/self-protection tools built into the software) is a short-sighted way to go about getting rid of him. Obviously you have far, far longer experience with this than I do, though, so I might be being an idiot. I guess there's also the fact that he wasn't really "driven off" in an absolute sense anyway, since he could always spin up his own instance and let whoever chooses federate with him or not.

I guess it's just that I've seen dogpiling someone like this go wrong pretty often, since it's easy for those with bad intentions to whip people into a frenzy and send them after someone. Or for people to get out torches and pitchforks for a minor infraction out of mutual fear of the behavior. Definitely not saying that's happened here -- as I said, he probably doesn't deserve much. My issue is about the precedent and the similarities to patterns of behavior on Twitter.


Definitely agree. I think this doesn't happen often (if it has at all in the past?) because there's no incentive to do so. With wilw, the people who had recently fled twitter already had the pitchforks in their hands, they just needed someone to point them at.

But, at the same time, there were just as many mastodon "veterans" (so to speak) who joined in on it. I think this happened because of the mentality that nobody with any relatively high amount of popularity should stay on their platform. (So, some form of xenophobia, really )

It pretty much boils down to people being shitty because they either don't know how not to or because they would rather not have These Kinds of People on their platform. Everyone on my home timeline was fed up with it the moment it started, so I only really saw it from an "outside" view. Which was honestly refreshing because that kind of thing would never in a million years happen on Twitter.
Tarale
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Posted on 09-01-18 10:46:25 PM (last edited by Tarale at 09-02-18 12:02:41 AM) Link | Quote
Originally posted by hydra-calm
I guess it's just that I've seen dogpiling someone like this go wrong pretty often, since it's easy for those with bad intentions to whip people into a frenzy and send them after someone. Or for people to get out torches and pitchforks for a minor infraction out of mutual fear of the behavior. Definitely not saying that's happened here -- as I said, he probably doesn't deserve much. My issue is about the precedent and the similarities to patterns of behavior on Twitter.


Exactly this. Like I said, my unease isn't about Wil in particular, it's about the behaviour.

It's really easy to excuse the behaviour when it's someone like Wheaton, who has hurt a lot of people through his actions. But, from my experience online, it isn't always so clear-cut, and you start seeing dogpiles on more people who don't deserve it. Like kids who fucked up one time on their shiny new social media account.

Like, I heard accounts they dogpiled a kid right after that (that account seems to be back now though).

Here's an interesting take on it, as a security issue with harassment as an attack vector.
Xkeeper

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Posted on 09-04-18 03:20:15 PM Link | Quote
I guess part of how I see it is from the perspective of how online just is any more, with moderation that won't do anything or even worse. Kind of like how when there's nobody to actually handle issues of justice, you end up with vigilantes. Bad, but when it's all you have...

At least part of that is fed through shit like this:

Last month, after Twitter’s controversial decision to allow far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to remain on its platform, Mr. Dorsey (Twitter CEO) told one person that he had overruled a decision by his staff to kick Mr. Jones off, according to a person familiar with the discussion. Twitter disputes that account and says Mr. Dorsey wasn’t involved in those discussions.

Twitter’s initial inaction on Mr. Jones, after several other major tech companies banned or limited his content, drew fierce backlash from the public and Twitter’s own employees, some of whom tweeted in protest.


Ideally what would happen in a case like this is that the offending users would get punished, too, to reinforce that not only is that behavior not allowed, but that behavior will be punished.

There's a lot that has to be unlearned, but it requires everyone to be on the same — or at least a similar — page.
Rick
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Posted on 09-05-18 04:15:32 PM (last edited by Rick at 09-05-18 04:27:36 PM) Link | Quote
So I actually got a Mastodon account myself and...I really haven't had a lot of success in figuring it out.

I was once able to try to follow people from my Twitter account, but I've since lost how to do it? I kind of end up keep ping-ponging myself between my page and the preferences page and I kind of feel like an idiot.

Am I getting old and stupid?

(Edit: Never mind, figured it out finally!)
Xkeeper

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Posted on 09-05-18 07:34:23 PM Link | Quote
One of the nice things that isn't well explained in the interface is that you can paste someone's URL — for example, https://icosahedron.website/@Xkeeper — into the "search" bar and hit enter, and it'll load their profile for you to follow. You can also use the @Xkeeper@icosahedron.website format, but the web one is usually a little easier to copy and paste.

The "Remote Follow" button on (external) profile pages is a mess and I've never heard of anyone having much in the way of success with it.
BatElite
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Posted on 09-08-18 08:20:39 PM Link | Quote
It seems lately I'm having a better time than most simply by having such a small circle of friends that I follow and slowly expand outward. It seems every drama gets followed by another, and mostly I see people's reactions to it.

It's my primary and probably only place I expand my social circle really, and I'm not very fond of that dependence.
marrub

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Posted on 09-09-18 11:55:27 AM Link | Quote
One wrong move and the idea of justice turns to blaming innocents. Turns out that's no different in any social media corner. Won't reiterate because I don't want to bring drama here, but many people are bailing for a good reason. Ugh.
Xkeeper

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Posted on 09-09-18 12:18:27 PM Link | Quote
It's like anywhere else in that way, sadly.
Tarale
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Posted on 09-09-18 06:27:06 PM Link | Quote
Originally posted by marrub
One wrong move and the idea of justice turns to blaming innocents. Turns out that's no different in any social media corner. Won't reiterate because I don't want to bring drama here, but many people are bailing for a good reason. Ugh.

Which is exactly what I was worried about when I talked about mob rule earlier.

I wish I knew the answer though. It definitely is part and parcel of how microblogging works.
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