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My experience of getting harassed and how Mastadon dealt with it brought up some insights.

1. I joined Mastadon yesterday, a network that presents an alternative to toxic social platforms.

Rest in the pictures below 2-5.

This toot is getting some attention so I need to add. The above happened only when I joined as part of the exodus of Indians feeling disillusioned with Twitter. In the last week, I've faced mansplaining, condescension, harassment and unsolicited DMs, none of which the moderators have shown any interest in tackling. Instead I've been informed that this is 'not a police state' and that they can't do anything. The welcome mat has worn thin and Masto is just a poor Twitter imitation now.

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@ideasmithy Another thing we can do with the tools available to us is that we can actively block people and merge our block lists. It is quite easy to do this on here.

@Midhatkhan Get a block list in csv format from someone and import it on your account and then merge.

@ideasmithy
To build a safe environment for everyone, is very important that all the users help in reporting issues.
To everyone: if you see someone else get harassed don't wait for the admins to notice on their own, just report the trolls!

@NicholasLaney
Remember: The report button is there for a reason.

Reporting 👏 trolls 👏 is 👏 praxis

@ideasmithy

@NicholasLaney @ideasmithy
I should add that because Mastodon instances are not ruled by any corporate overlords, admins here DO listen to complaints. Here the user IS the client. Mastodon instances (at least most of 'em) were created by real people for real people. This alone makes the difference.

@NicholasLaney @ideasmithy yes!! Everyone else must report whenever they see. It shouldn't be just up to the victims.

@ideasmithy the fragility that comes with their masculinity never ceases to amaze me

Good going
And great job @ mods

@ideasmithy he's already made another account Ramya and started following me. I just blocked him again. This is already getting tiring.

@a_crmdgn @Paridhigupta Ah, forewarned is forearmed. If you see any problematic actions by this (or any other accounts), please Report immediately. The moderators are working hard to keep out toxicity. And that includes users not having to hide from trolls but bringing them to the platform's notice.

@ideasmithy @Paridhigupta I've actually muted and blocked him already. His comments on other accounts are already creeping me out.

@a_crmdgn @Paridhigupta Please Report him. Muting and Blocking only let him stay on the site spewing poison at others. He appears to have blocked me so I can't see any problematic toots to Report. My experience says the moderators take Reports very seriously

@ideasmithy @a_crmdgn @Paridhigupta

If you are uncomfortable with this guy, even if he has not specifically been creepy with the new account, you could just ask him not to engage with you. If he does that despite your request, it becomes harassment, according to the T&C, and can be reported for a ban again.

So, do what's comfortable for you. But don't just block/mute.

@a_crmdgn please report him. I had blocked him again so can't see his stuff. But it's better to report him, the moderators are swift.

@ideasmithy You are so right. @Mastodon os certainly taking strong stand against any bullies and harassers.
See this to believe how a strong stand was taken by them before the judgement. This is called having a spine.

@ideasmithy hi,
Please post the same in Twitter so that women who are trolled find the difference between Twitter and Mastodon

@ideasmithy More power to you Ramya. And a big up for mastodon. Am not active on Twitter, but loving this sanitised space.

@Mimi1234 Likewise. What a refreshing change to be taken seriously and not have to prove that one deserves to be protected from such scum.

@ideasmithy Hope this stays like this as it achieves scale.

@Mimi1234 @ideasmithy why do you think it will not. If we do get RW, we will get more mods. If need be, I will put my hat in the ring, although I detest being the mod. It's no fun :(

@ideasmithy This guy also kept calling me "dear" and said "why are you so worried?" Took some 4 messages to shut him up.

@ideasmithy So was your experience on Mastodon more positive than on Big Social Media sites?

By the way, you should always add "alt text" to images you post for the benefit of our users unable to view images for whatever reason.

@ideasmithy @OCRbot (I have no idea how well OCRbot will handle the first image)

OCR Output (chars: 1958) 

@Lioness
Image 1:
Today, I encountered my
first Mastodon troll. He
left a harassing comment
and when I said I'd report
him, he called me a right
wing extremist and began
asking other accounts to
report me.

today.

That's a maroon cotton saree with a green
kalamkari border and yellow pallu. Iadded
green kalamkari fabric for sleeves on the
blouse and yellow cuffs to match the pallu.

I can't doa thing about the way things are.
I'm out but I'm not down yet.

#iIWear #Saree

r ~Amit~
@​Lovamit
@​ideasmithy Cutie please eat more

© 09-Nov-2019 16:00 » Web

Image 2:
I reported the account.
His previous postings
contained similarly
inappropriate messages to
other women.

Within minutes, his
Mastodon account was
suspended. I also recived
a reply from the
moderators with
instructions on dealing
with trolls and what they
were doing to curb it.

(37.5)

Image 3:
Compare this with other
platforms.

1. The Big solution
offered is to MUTE. This
only means the victim
cannot see the harasser.
How is this safer?

2. Alternately, one is
asked to BLOCK. This means
the harasser knows you're
avoiding them and makes
them more confident of
their bullying because the
victim 'got scared'

3. The REPORT feature puts
the onus on the victim to
prove the harassment, to
follow up, to drum up
support usually from other
users concerned this will
happen to them too.

(4/5)

Image 4:
This is how toxicity grows:

1. Level of harassment grows when
harassers feel they can get away with
it. This guy went from one misogynist
commentto calling me right wing.

2. Delay in action allows harassers to
becomea mob. This happens with
gendered & political harassment all
the time. He was gathering a crowd to
attack me for saying his actions were
not ok.

3. Other users are complicit with their
silence and by asking the victim to
ignore it or gaslighting their
experience because they're scared
it'll happen to them. This is how we
silence each other.

(5/5)

@ideasmithy Are you expressing that many of the same problems can arise on this platform?

@qcat Just laying out something that happened here that happened before, and how the platform dealt with it.

@ideasmithy

Encouraging other users to report a user is not encouraged on mastodon, and can even be seen as 'brigading,' a form of ganging up on people.

Each instance has it's own policies, so if you don't agree with the policies of the instance you are on, you can open another account elsewhere and optionally, move your existing content to it.

Mastodon instances do not have advertising revenue like FB, twit, so they're dependent on volunteer labor and/or Patreon finance to have moderators.

@ideasmithy Good points and a happy ending.

I'll note: when I see abuse and harassment directed *at other users*, I'll check to verify that it is what it seems to be, and report it.

Mastodon's "report" feature also allows calling up other toots by the reported user. Often you'll see a consistent pattern emerge directed either at one or many users.

Third-party reports are almost always helpful as they remove the subjectivity of the direct participants.

@ideasmithy Sympathy. I know mastodon.social moderation can be a bit lackadaisical, but that's particularly bad.

@ideasmithy Mastodon.social is not the only instance of fediverse, I advise you to look for an instance that could suit you in terms of moderation for example.

@valere Why? I have a large enough audience on Twitter already. It's not my problem if this platform didn't live up to its promises.

@ideasmithy Except that the problem comes from the moderation of m.s.
there are thousands of other Mastodon instances that apply different moderation rules or that because of their smaller size will be able to meet your needs while allowing you to have access to the whole fediverse as you can for the moment. m.s is only one instance among others.

I hope in any case that you will no longer be bothered by such behaviour. 🤗

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