@liaizon Some ppl may not realize that they can middle-click the image or right-click and choose 'show image' to see the full, readable size:

Please stress to new users to pick something from here:
and not all flock to the same instance, which will add a lot of server strain to people who are hosting mastodon out of their pocket and donations, which is ALL INSTANCES.

No big corporate advertisers here. Only people.


@gemlog only way a social network can survive is to be centralized. it's why all the others practically died at the advent of facebook.

@Beiz This is blatantly and historically false.
Perhaps you have a mistaken idea about centralization and federation.
Do you imagine that e.g. MySpace was anything except centralized?
Email is federated in exactly the same way as mastodon, only with a different protocol. Peertube, Pleroma, Funk Whale etc. are the same.
I think we can safely declare email a success at this point...

@gemlog People in this discussion are understimating the threat. Due to the lack of controlling entities maintaining censorship of this particular type of manipulation, Mastodon cannot survive as a fullfledged mainstream social network, yet it is headed for critical mass.

Here is a video series touching on this topic: youtube.com/watch?v=1PGm8LslEb

Here are some other resources: mastodon.cloud/@dredmorbius/10

@Beiz "maintaining censorship" is your goal? - that's a different thing entirely.
Note the amount of censorship in email.
I'll check out your links tomorrow. Thank you.

@Beiz OK, sorry for the late reply. We may live in different time zones. I needed sleep for work today.
So, first off one can't protect everyone from their reading/viewing habits by censoring. There will always be ppl who read the National Enquirer/Daily Mail/whatever like it's news or watch 'pro' wrestling as if it is real. ~7% of the population has an IQ between 80 and 85. Others of us possess varying levels of gullibility.
Now, about your first link, which was to youtube...

@Beiz I've enjoyed some of that fellow's videos in the past. Very good on-screen personality and some fun slowmo vids. Sometimes you learn something, but nearly always entertaining.
First off, the problems cited and all the spy vs spy vs spy stuff is all related to the fact that the content is all monotized. Peertube doesn't have that problem.
2nd if you must use YT, never login to google-anything. Always flush cookies frequently and use containers addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firef and invidio.us addon.

@Beiz Your second link leads us to think of a more general problem with no perfect solution, because "There Is No Algorithm for Truth"! You can't, and neither can a large corporation reliably discern truth. Think of all the gaffs and retractions of the NYT, CNN, your local paper...
I try to read widely, recognizing the often blatant biases of the sources. Over time I have established internet friendships with people around the world. This helps too.

@Beiz My only other thought on this is to do the exact opposite of what you suggest: do NOT rely on corporate 'channels' to choose what you see and read!
My own online activity predates the www, so I may have a different perspective from some new users.
Don't sit back and let fox, cnn's focus groups and facebook, twitter and youtube algorithms dictate what you see like you are a slave to some TV-like experience.
Curate your own. Use mutes, blocks and filters.
It's YOUR timeline in the fediverse.

@gemlog my concern is not about protecting myself, but humanity as a collective. viral influence is a serious issue and can do all kinds of harm to the world when not under moderation. something that certain actors actively and readily sell, often to alt right activists. feelings triumph rationality and logic for most people. it is an ever changing devil the sheep will follow, all depending on their predispositioned perceptions of athority and of which is the most popular opinion of their peers.

@Beiz I've been trying to point out that you can't police the planet and, as the video you recommended to my attention pointed out, there is no algorithm for identifying truth anyhow. We can only do our best as individuals.
Some ppl will always be misled by the bad actors who want to take advantage of them.
There is no perfect solution, but a diverse federation of servers with published codes of conduct that ostracizes nazi instances is a big improvement over corporate, centralized twitter.

@gemlog you might be right. federation might be the key to this issue, if it is handled right and moderators do their due diligence. however, i just read this article earlier today:
which has me concerned in regards to the management. it stresses some key points. the article is old though and i don't know if much have changed since then. to add, there are already instances like gab.com setting a bad example; their association with mastodon damages the reputation for all.

@Beiz But whatever federates with gab is already blocked as well.
For all I know twit/goog/fb are behind blowing the silly gab instances (which keep failing) out of proportion to steer ppl from the fediverse and masto in particular? :-)
I have to go just now in real time (16h50PST), but I'm not abandoning our conversation.

@gemlog Just your suspicion or are there any sources?

@Beiz I put a smiley after that jokey assertion, but it would certainly be in their best interests to discourage eyeballs from leaving their platform.
And, frankly, I wouldn't put it beyond them now that I've thought more about it.
Story placements are cheap (even 'paid content' in very tiny, light grey text) and troll rooms aren't much more I *imagine* - I don't know how much that costs.

@gemlog @Beiz The people who think that mastodon won't last and that social networks must be centralized don't realize that the fediverse has already been around for a decade and has faced off various challenges.

The federated approach provides the best chance yet of having an actually habitable and democratic internet - in the sense of being run by and for its users.

Federation enables the isolation of bad actors, who are then denied the force amplification which centralized systems create. See what happened earlier with Hiveway, Counter and Gab. Two of those are still active, but their ability to spread their poison is contained.

I guess we get to see what happens now:

"This is a general purpose Mastodon instance supported by ethical untargeted ads. Almost all of the fediverse is ad free. This is great! But services like duckduckgo have shown that ethical, untargeted ads that are friendly to the user can be a great way to help a service grow and flourish while respecting users." tinyfed.com/about/more

Also, DDG just went over to the dark side, so there's that...

Personally, I'll mute the domain on sight.

@gemlog the more mastodon grows, the more business will come, the more users will come, the more of the problems will come, ad infinitum. i'm a digital marketing guy by education and i think of skillful marketing as the lesser devil in manipulations of this type. the psychology and techniques used are nothing new, but the way it's being obfuscated is getting better and better.

i linked the youtube url because for some reason invidio wouldn't load the video. it seems to be working now though.

@Beiz They'll have to be easily blocked/muted (and very numerous) sock puppets, because any corporate instance can easily be blocked entirely.
It will happen to some degree or other, but it won't be through the heavy-handed, throat stuffing tactics available to the likes of twitter.

@gemlog I will have to disagree with you here. Open networks are all about branding, be it personal or otherwise. This is a natural evolution of public platforms such as Mastodon (or Twitter), in pretty much every case. The reason being is that if you as an active digital content creator is unable to draw attention to your content, your creations serve no purpose; and you are as a human, most likely feeling discouraged to keep going.

@gemlog Hell, basically all accounts I follow, I do so because it creates something that I am interested in. Usually software. Or art. I'm also following corporate accounts to keep up to date on the services that I use (I do so here too, ProtonVPN/Mail). So while I can agree that twitter has taken a shift for the worse, bricking the use of hashtags, and making it impossible to break into content views without aggressive marketing and branding, it is still the main attraction of open networks.

@gemlog i know the second link is a bit more of an open question. thing is, i'm not very good at putting my thoughts into words and figured it was a better way to try and convey what it is i'm actually concerned about. people seem to think it's just my personal fear of reading bad things, but i am not at all concerned of the media i am subjected to, my cocern is the opinion of humanity as a collective, and how easy it is to twist when no one is regulating it.

i too miss the good old days of the internet too. idealism was high back then and everyone and everything was so nice. open commons for all. but it was also a lot smaller. nowadays, just about anyone and their dog can get online. with anonymity and near zero consequences to bad behavior, its no wonder there is so much human manure everywhere you look and no one to clean it up.

@gemlog Jaron Lanier calls social networks (mainly google and facebook), "behavior modification empires", and means that they could easily subvert democracy. they can sway the popular opinion at will. they don't, as far as we know, but they could. and that is where these, should we call them "rift" companies, hired by immoral people with self interests, come in and seed chaos, social fractures, etc. to sway the public opinion of entire nations.

@Beiz They can do that, yes. They are a real danger and they are already doing massive damage. They actually *do* and have done 'as far as we know'.
All *I* can do is promote ethical alternatives.
It seems quite obvious to me that your thesis of regulation and censorship by a central actor has already be proven false beyond a doubt by the very corporations you mention: google and facebook.

@gemlog Agreed, and it's what Jaron's TED is all about. But AFAIK they haven't actively done damage, it has been unintentional and usually part of algorithm mistakes. Of course that might be total bullshit, but I'm not convinced a big corporation would lie so blatantly and risk being hit by massive law suits. The article I linked though, discusses the regulation issues of the then iteration of the fediverse. I don't know if things have changed to be more democratic since the article was written.

@gemlog i mean, it's not like every german just decided to one day kill all the jews, it was all grown from peer influence.

so conclusively...that is my concern. it has very little to do with me, and all to do with everyone else on a global scale.

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Server run by the main developers of the project 🐘 It is not focused on any particular niche interest - everyone is welcome as long as you follow our code of conduct!