Social Media is Toxic?Yes

Found at: sdf.org:70/users/gallowsgryph/phlog/2022-07-09_social_media.txt


Title: Social Media is Toxic? Yes and No
Date: July 09, 2022
Written On: Vim on Dell Latitude E6430 (Fedora 36)


  I opened `newsboat` this morning while getting some fresh water in my mug,
and noticed Drew Devault had a new blog post. One talking about how the
Fediverse is optimized for flame wars and toxicity. And I'll be honest, I do
agree with him...sort of.

  Honestly, the case of the Fediverse, the core of the problem isn't dark
patterns or social engineering baked into the platform's design (like with
Twitter and Facebook). In the end, it's the same issue that BBSes had every
December, and what NetNews/Usenet had with the Eternal September[1]: people.
Many people /choose/ to ignore rules and basic decency, choose to jump into a
discussion instead of thinking about their replies and how they affect others,
and just in general, choose to be assholes.

  But, even if there were stricter moderation, it wouldn't be enough to stop
or lighten that sort of issue. Those people would just find ways to act out
their aggression elsewhere. If you watch Jason Scott's "BBS: The Documentary",
one of the people interviewed even mentions following someone to their home and
threatening them if they didn't take their BBS down, simply because they were
running it on a /rival/ computer platform. And for a modern example, KiwiFarms
exists. that should be enough to convince most people of how bad it can get.

  Honestly, the only solutions really are better moderation, and a community
effort to make individuals realize that their actions aren't tolerated or
welcome. You can remove them from a community, but you can't remove them from
every community. But as long as you focus on the communities that encourage
positive or thoughtful discussion without the flamewars of the past, then you
can have a community that is far more welcoming without the gatekeeping that
you see so often among certain circles.

  It's why I prefer belonging to smaller communities, and the smolnet. Things
are far calmer here.


[0]: https://drewdevault.com/2022/07/09/Fediverse-toxicity.html
[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_September