Karyl is a user on mastodon.social. You can follow them or interact with them if you have an account anywhere in the fediverse. If you don't, you can sign up here.
Karyl @karyl

Folks,

I know Twitter's a shithole but remember that it's not JUST the admins' fault.

Fleeing from the constant negativity, vicious flame-wars and harassment? Those things are just as likely to happen here, if we're not careful.

Mastodon is not popular yet, but it's growing. One day it will be. Security by obscurity is not security at all, as I'm sure you're aware.

We need to be on our best behaviour, promoting the values we want to see on our networks.

It's not someone else's problem.

❤️ ✌️

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@karyl Well said - I like the idea that each instance is separately moderated, but all it takes is "too many" folk and that could become unworkable too... Best to start off as we mean to go on!

@garrymac Yeah I've been seeing a lot of "phew, this is so much better than Twitter" intro posts. It's true, but that doesn't mean it will automatically stay that way ;)

@karyl
Well said, hopefully nothing catastrophic happens much like ADN used to be like. Peaceful.

@karyl Agreed but some built-in features make harassment and ugliness harder to do on mastodon. there's a TOS that seems to be actually enforced, you can limit the audience of your toots, words aren't searchable but hashtags are, you can block entire instances in addition to people, etc. It's not always going to be a paradise but I think it will always be better.

@afabulous Agreed- The infrastructure is definitely improved. One of the reasons I like this place. But in the end, we can still be dicks to each other if we really want to :P

@karyl remember when news sites thought that forcing people to log in with their real name facebook would make comments sections more congenial

@afabulous Lol... Honestly back then, I thought that might actually help. Who knew everyone was so comfortable being racist assholes even without anonymity?! :P

@karyl back when Obama was president I played a game, how many comments would it take to mention him on some totally unrelated article? I got to 4 on some article about urban gardening

@afabulous Hell you can still probably do that. People are always "But Obama"-ing on critiques of Trump's policies

@karyl I finally learned and I don't read my local paper's comments anymore.

@karyl @afabulous [raises hand]

There are settings where that's important, because a lot of the awfulness Trump builds on came from Obama. And before Obama it came from the other guys.

Caveat: I've never been on FB.

@amylsacks @karyl sure, lots of Obama's policies were less than perfect. But these commenters aren't policy wonks, they're garden variety racists who reflexively oppose absolutely anything Obama did.

@afabulous @karyl Yeah, I think the oddest variation of that I ever saw was early in his 1st term. On LJ, this guy demanded that POC stop complaining about how hard they had it now that they had the White House. Uh... 🙄

@karyl @afabulous I do use my real name here & a few other sites. I can't speak for everyone but there are times when it's helped me put the brakes on. Unfortunately, that's sometimes meant blocking/muting someone who was majorly pushing my buttons... so I didn't go off on them & their b.s. like I desperately wanted to. 🙃

@amylsacks @karyl I don't use my real name here or on Twitter because I want to be able to talk about trans and queer stuff w/o that potentially hindering my job search. I'm careful how I comment on public-facing Facebook.

@afabulous @karyl Oh, yeah. I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all solution. (As for my alleged career, you don't even wanna' know. LOL.)

@afabulous @karyl A big difference is many Mastodon instances are hosted in countries where glorifying any type of political extremism (Nazi content, extreme Islam etc) is fully illegal, as are various forms of harrassment.

Instance admins are often young folk paying for hosting with their own money via methods that can identify them to their domestic authorities. in some countries they must by law publish valid contact info. So there is no incentive for admins to create trouble for themselves.

@RussSharek I can toot with the best of 'em :)

@karyl i was thinking about this just earlier today when a friend jokingly brought up mass migration to here from tumblr

as much as i really love mastadon at the moment, popularity always seems to bring with it a crowd that gets set off into mobbing and witchhunts all to easily

@karyl @shiirojasmine very much so. we've already seen it happen with personalities that built a presence on those other networks. it'd serve us well to identify how these things happened and get in front of the problem... mobbing, harassment, corporate presence, etc. all started somewhere and it'd be cool if some non-shitty Social Media expert could identify what the appropriate ounce of prevention might have looked like that would've prevented those dynamics in those spaces.

@lifning @karyl i think as long as anon isn't an option that you can have on here, a lot fewer ppl will be willing to go around hurting others. no one wants to be remembered as part of the crowd that drove somebody off social media or to suicide after all.

plus a liberal amount of blocking never hurts

@karyl @shiirojasmine sadly, some of the offenders that come to mind are very not-anonymous instance admins that have done some awful things (e.g. doubling down on suicide-baiting, spreading disinformation about other people), even acting counter to their own codes of conduct... but having perfectly lovely people on the instances they run, who it wouldn't be fair to punish. humans are cliquey by nature and this stuff happens, anonymously or not... dunno how to mitigate it though

@lifning @karyl that's very unfortunate :C

i'm not sure if there's any sort of easy solution to this problem, but i think mastodon has provided some pretty nice tools that i haven't come across on some other sites

i haven't used it yet but i like the cw option, and i like that you can block users or whole instances. anything can be improved upon, but i feel like this is already a great start

@karyl @shiirojasmine yeah, I'm generally hopeful being that we've made steps in the right direction! but we'd better not rest on our laurels and assume the tools we've already built are gonna be a panacea. lots of work yet to do :)

@karyl @katebowles yeah but if that shit starts happening on a wide scale, me and my small community can just block everyone else and live our own little lives. totally different paradigm.

@karyl There's a key difference between the fediverse and Birdsite, and that's federation. You can set up an instance and block other users or instances if they become hostile. That means to a large extent you can avoid the concentrated hothouse of badness which Twitter is rapidly becoming. Be in your own community, but also connected to others. It's unlikely to be something which Birdsite could ever imitate without breaking their business model.

@karyl I see where you're coming from. But sometimes I've seen people tag *any* disagreement as "harassment," no matter how carefully worded it is... just because they're outnumbered (or imagine they are) and they don't like it.

I wish I was clearer as to what you meant by *negativity*. Can you give an example? My image may not match yours at all.

@amylsacks @karyl I mean, sure, but also like, part of that mentality comes from the fact that harassment is such a problem over there that people become guarded they begin to just assume everyone is coming at them with malicious intent.

@kellycrow @karyl Yeah. But I'm not sure there's *any* site which can fully insure against that. Some days I feel like I've checked out every school of board (and moderation) there is, including so-called "free speech zones." Only one has stayed home to me for more than 3 yrs.

@amylsacks I mean sure, but it's nice having a space where there's actually some semblance of effort to keep it cordial. But, as @karyl said, it's also on us to behave with each other and not trash up the space.

@kellycrow @karyl [nod]
Sorry to say that following this guideline sometimes means being the bigger person & walking away. Maybe for good. I did that last year and felt like crap about it for months. But when you realize that almost no one has your back... [shrug]

@karyl @kellycrow Probably means I should have more than one instance to hang out in, but I keep having tech issues w/that. [grumble]

@amylsacks @karyl I've had a private account as my main experience on Twitter for the better part of a year now because I had to delete multiple accounts due to harassment, and not just "disagreements" but... actually having threats of violence and having my tweets mirrored to Kiwifarms. The site is too big and site staff just really don't give a fuck.

@kellycrow @karyl That's crap. I'm sorry about the assholes.

Near the end, I'd locked up, too. But it was more about personal anxiety-type issues.

Let's just say what finally pushed me over the edge was seeing the spawn of a certain pol trolling the place nonstop just like his Papa, and knowing the owners would let him forever because all they really care about is hits and ad revenue.

@kellycrow @karyl @amylsacks Maybe if you were racist, they'd care. I've been suspended on Twitter three times strictly for calling racists "racist." e_e

@kellycrow @karyl @amylsacks I did this many times, so I always tried to keep it in mind when others got defensive off the bat, too. Twitter is rough.

@amylsacks Of course negativity can mean a lot of things, but what I had in mind when writing the post was the propensity of left Twitter to endlessly jaw about how shitty US (and to a smaller degree, UK and Aus) politics are on any given day. No solutions or organization, just "look at the car crash today! Ooh blood!"

luckily that's something Masto handles REALLY well, what with the CWs. But we still have to make sure we use them :)

@karyl OK. That I totally agree with. It's bugged me for a decade-plus that when I try to talk structural change w/people they'd mostly rather rubberneck personalities.

@amylsacks I think it might have a little something to do with cable news. That's what we're used to, so that's what we perpetuate. It's a bloody mind killer.

@karyl For sure something to watch for.. a while back I signed up for a site called natter, what was a tight nit community got taken down by drama from the inside. Still, I'm optimistic

@karyl thank you for stating this. I feel like this probably needs to be a regular reminder that goes up every so often. I'm new here and LOVE it, but the reality that Mastodon might turn the way of other networks is a very real possibility, and that thought is highly disconcerting.

Love and peace guys.

@karyl Great point. Follow-up question: in the (inevitable) event that we see the ingress of bad actors, what action can/should we take? What are the tools at our disposal?