Mastodon WTF timeline - Ansuz - mskala's home page
ansuz.sooke.bc.ca
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In the last few days I've been fortunate to witness an interesting chapter in the Internet's history, and I'm trying to compile a timeline of what has happened while the memories are still reasonably fresh. This is incomplete and a work in progress; I'll be updating it, and n...
@TheConquestOfBed
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169 mois

I genuinely don’t understand the point this author is trying to make. Anyone who reads a server’s About Page can get all of this same information from their blocklist if reasons are listed. And the author’s enlightened centrist “we don’t have red and blue politics in Japan” is total bullshit. The Japanese parliament is a neoliberal institution inspired by western legislatures, with conservative, liberal, and even social democratic parties. Feigning ignorance in this matter and claiming mysterious foreign political forces are at work just shows how politically uneducated the author is.

They seem to have a soft spot for lolicon, which is gross regardless of legality. Users have the right to not see child fetish art on their timeline.

I think it’s really telling that conservative instances are offended when liberal or leftist instances block them. Their egos can’t handle not being able to reach someone. But the claim that liberal and leftist instances block conservative instances “for no reason” is just false. They’re extremely racist, use loads of eugenics dogwhistles, and actively attack lgbt users. Any instance that defederates from a conservative instance and hardening their instance against scraping is totally justified in avoiding conservative anti-social behavior. Ghouls can get fucked and they deserve to be alone.

@nutomic
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9 mois

I think you are missing the point of the article. What it is talking about is that westerners often like to impose their standards on other cultures. Sure if you dont like “lolicon” or whatever thats fine, and you can block it on your instance. But you cant expect self-censorship from another community where it is considered normal.

To be honest i dont understand this thinking that every instance should federate with every other, and that blocking is something bad (also mentioned by @poVoq@lemmy.ml). In my view, the main point of the fediverse is that every instance can set its own rules, and decide on its own who to federate with (based on preferences of the local community). And especially for niche instances from completely different cultures and languages, there is little reason to federate.

@humanetech
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89 mois

In my view, the main point of the fediverse is that every instance can set its own rules, and decide on its own who to federate with (based on preferences of the local community).

Exactly. And this nothing, nothing at all different to how we do exactly the same in real life all of the time. Both at group levels and individually. the only difference is that online from a technical perspective you’ll have explicit block/allowlists that are the abstractions to how we don’t want to be exposed to certain things in certain contexts IRL.

@TheConquestOfBed
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9 mois

I don’t think anyone in the fedi is actively trying to report pawoo to authorities or get them taken offline. Most of the time they make a moral call and choose defederation. No one from the “blue” side of the fedi is harrassing “red” users. All my other posts are an attempt to illustrate it’s quite the opposite. The “red” side of the fedi gets easily offended by people arguing for defederation from their instances and takes it as a personal attack and a reason to harass queer and minority people in retaliation. But they don’t seem to register that #fediblock is an integral part of community self-preservation.

poVoq
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9 mois

They seem to have a soft spot for lolicon, which is gross regardless of legality. Users have the right to not see child fetish art on their timeline.

Not my thing either, but this really is a cultural difference and I kinda understand the Japanese point of view that hiding it behind a NSFW tag should be sufficient (as with any other legal pornographic images, such as Furry porn which seems to enjoy a lot of popularity on the Fediverse somehow).

However the problem is that since Mastodon and other such Fediverse servers cache images and other content, this legally means that federating with these Japanese servers could get the server admins in really big legal trouble as many countries criminalize the possession of even drawn or “look-alike” child-pornography / lolicon.

In the end it points to a larger issue, i.e. how is the Fediverse going to handle moral/legal differences in a global federation, when a lot of things can be perfectly legal and acceptable in one country but not in others especially with potential criminal charges involved.

Dessalines
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99 mois

Its a “cultural difference”, in the same way slavery was an integral part of ancient Rome, or patriarchal attitudes are a part of many cultures. It should be crushed out of existence, and never allowed.

poVoq
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9 mois

The cultural difference is about how a society deals with a situation. People into lolicon or child porn exist everywhere, and any kind of sexual exploitation of children is illegal and highly immoral in Japan as well (as it should be of course).

@abbenm
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39 mois

The cultural difference is about how a society deals with a situation.

Like by normalizing, and spreading cultural acceptance, which directly feeds into how prevalent it is.

poVoq
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19 mois

Isn’t that similar to arguments for or against the War on Drugs? Or rather how to deal with a real problem without demonizing people while doing so?

@abbenm
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9 mois

I mean, you can say it’s similar to anything, depending on what analogy you are trying to make. Then it’s just a question of whether your analogy is constructive or confusing.

I’m reading a book about Lyndon B. Johnson right now, so a convenient analogy for me would be North and South cultural differences in how they reacted to the vicious mutiliation and murder of Emmitt Till. In the South, it was considered unsurprising, not worthy of outrage, not a big deal, and some people even made jokes about it and thought it was funny, or even actively cheered it on. In the North it was a moral horror.

Imagine going into that subject, and insisting that we should be respectful of the cultural differences between the respective sides. That would be small minded shallowness masquerading as an insight on moral tolerance.

But what about [insert analogy] where it’s different? Oh, well with [insert analogy] it’s a question what you are trying to illustrate, and how relevant that is to anything. (A lot of people can coherently make an analogy that is nevertheless not pertinent, which chews up time and sidetracks everybody, and can be an excuse for not engaging with criticisms).

But the point is, there really are cases where it’s perfectly appropriate, even morally necessary, to conclude that certain things shouldn’t be normalized in the name of respecting cultural differences, because that whitewashes away harms. And insisting we shouldn’t engage in judgment is an exercise in shallow, vague and confused invocation of high minded principles in circumstances where they don’t apply.

@TheConquestOfBed
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9 mois

I mean, literally just defederate has been the tried-and-true method so far. Lolicons never have opinions worth entertaining anyway. If they complain about it, who honestly cares?

poVoq
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39 mois

Would you de-federate with instances where some users post Furry porn? I think de-federation should be a means of last resort, not first… otherwise why federate at all?

@TheConquestOfBed
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69 mois

SFW instances are already a thing? That choice should be left up to the users of that community not to free speech crusaders like the pleroma devs. If people decide that furry is fine but loli isn’t they should be free to make that choice and occupy instances that uphold that ruleset. I should have a right to decide I don’t want to federate with people who send me DMs telling me to kill myself, a thing which has actually happened to me.

poVoq
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9 mois

Sure, I am not saying you should not defederate if there are good reasons for it, but maybe other ways can be found that don’t require full de-federation of instances?

Oh and DMs are a totally different topic. Personally I think DMs should not be a thing in forums or the fediverse at all as the downsides are way higher than the upsides. If you want to exchange personal messages you can easily and more safely do so though XMPP etc.

@TheConquestOfBed
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59 mois

You’re putting personal ideology in front of functionalism. The function that demonstrably draws chill well-meaning people to mastodon and pushes queer people and minorities away from alternatives like pleroma is demonstrably the ability for administrators to perform full-instance blocks. This has already been heavily discussed within the mastodon community for years.

This is how it went down: a particularly toxic conservative or openly fascist community with nazi dogwhistles in their domain name or site description joins the fediverse (we’ll use kiwifarms as an example). Historically they would do harassment campaigns against queer/minority mastodon users via their own users. But the majority of masto admins went through a giant struggle session over it trying to decide what to do, and the solution they came up with was to defederate from the whole instance and purge anyone who sympathized with them as a weak link in the moderation system. This is how witches.live died, their admin was a racist PoS who migrated to kiwifarms after being found out.

Toxic communities still managed to do harassment campaigns through their periphery. Since they couldn’t infiltrate core mastodon communities anymore, they began to act through ‘free speech instances’. Usually these instances run on pleroma and per the platform’s ideology don’t defederate from anyone. Free speech instances tend to have lax moderation, or in rare cases will go to bat for their users who harass others based on some self-righteous trash ideology.

This has been demonstrated repeatedly. The sample size got to be big enough that free speech instances are now defederated on-sight. We still have problems with them, they’ve become strategic and have started using bots and rapidly create accounts on instances that were previously unknown. But the majority of the time there is very little drama on the mastodon side of the fedi. And most people like it that way. They prefer to feel safe and it makes them a lot more talkative.

poVoq
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49 mois

Hmmm, somehow you are arguing a different topic/fight then what I was talking about.

Pawoo and lolicons (or Furries or what ever) are not fascist harassment or pseudo-free speech instances.

Obviously against coordinated attacks like you are talking about, de-federation is the right approach.

@TheConquestOfBed
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9 mois

The former tend to be free-speech instance aligned even if they’re not themselves. They have a tendency to federate with them. There is also a significant amount of ecchi content in the free-speech half of the fedi. Furries are tolerated on the “blue” side because they’re nice to people and don’t put up with racism, sexism, etc. When you’ve been around it long enough you start to recognize the patterns.

poVoq
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9 mois

As the article explains in the time-line the shunning of these Japanese instances (that are only to a small percentage about lolicon) was almost instant over a moral outrage about what is perceived as child pornography so they never really had a chance to be part of the “blue side” fediverse. Obviously as a result they are now part of the “free-speech” fediverse as that is the only ones left federating with them… but in reality they are as big as either the “red” or “blue” part of the fediverse and thus form their own part.

Furries somehow got lucky and passed through that moral outrage filter, probably because it is even more weird and not technically illegal in most western countries.

@TheConquestOfBed
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89 mois

I’m not ever going to argue in favor of lolicon. Sorry. Finding it morally wrong is justified and anyone who doesn’t want to see that shit has a right to avoid it and defederate. Changing the language to “shunning” and suggesting that defederating from pro-lolicon instances is somehow racist doesn’t change that. I’ve seen plenty of chinese and japanese language instances in the TL that don’t tolerate that stuff.

And frankly, I don’t give a shit about furries because they’re not attracted to literal children.

poVoq
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9 mois

Umm, that seems like a very slippery slope. Some people might argue that furries are attracted to animals and thus might harm them. But obviously that isn’t the case. The same sort of misunderstanding is what the Japanese say about the difference between real child pornography and lolicon.

In another time, gays and trans-persons would have seen a similar kind of moral outrage. But luckily most people in the west have grown and accepted this as long as it is all consensual and no one is harmed.

Edit: I am not arguing pro child pornography at all :(

@TheConquestOfBed
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-19 mois

Holy shit, you’re literally arguing for child porn. Blocked.

@PP44
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29 mois

I don’t think he is. I think he is admitting that what is considered child pornography varies from a community/culture to another. Does that mean that any of those position aren’t inherently dangerous and should not be actively fought against ? Of course not !

The question about the moral interactions between culturally distant communities is at the heart of this debate, and I don’t think there is a simple answer. And on that, I think I deeply agree with you when you argue that communities choosing who to federate (or not federate) with is a very good approach that mimics real life.

Let’s just keep in mind that this method does not implies that anything that lies outside of a community moral standards should be blocked without a debate. But there are things that should clearly not be up to debate, I do not argue that.

@abbenm
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39 mois

The function that demonstrably draws chill well-meaning people to mastodon and pushes queer people and minorities away from alternatives like pleroma is demonstrably the ability for administrators to perform full-instance blocks.

This part threw me off. I agree with basically everything you said, but this sentence made it sound like you were saying the opposite. That is, to me it reads like “federating is bad because it pushes queer people and minorities away from Mastodon” even though that’s the opposite of what you mean.

Maybe just me.

Anyway, I think this is 100% right. It’s a good way of circumventing the free speech trolls, whose arguments were 100% in bad faith from day one. So you can pick and choose where you go!

I think one bad effect is that there are some confused people in the middle, who don’t moderate, who will let their communities get poisoned, and I guess I just wish the effort didn’t have to be on each individual mod, because there will be a lot of gaps that let trolls get through.

@TheConquestOfBed
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49 mois

That is, to me it reads like “federating is bad because it pushes queer people and minorities away from Mastodon” even though that’s the opposite of what you mean.

Federating with people who are ideologically opposed to your existence creates a horrific social atmosphere. It makes sense if held in the context of conservative violence against minorities. Federating in itself is an amazing technology that mimics actual real life community structures and I think it is capable of creating far healthier communities than mainstream walled gardens focused on engagement stats.

I think one bad effect is that there are some confused people in the middle, who don’t moderate, who will let their communities get poisoned, and I guess I just wish the effort didn’t have to be on each individual mod, because there will be a lot of gaps that let trolls get through.

I think it’s good that it’s necessary. Reddit runs on teams of sociopathic mods. Masto mods are much more chill and actually understand their own communities because everyone in it matters to them. If you can’t put in the work you shouldn’t be responsible for the well being of others and deserve to be defederated.

@abbenm
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49 mois

I should clarify. I mean to say something like “the option to federate or de-federate.” Federating with the bad guys is bad, and the option to defederate from them is good.

I think it’s good that it’s necessary. Reddit runs on teams of sociopathic mods. Masto mods are much more chill and

I think the system of block lists is pretty good. I don’t know if it’s easy to use a block list maintained by other instances, the way you can “subscribe” to adblock lists but I think that’s a good way to handle it, to avoid the big workload, get something that auto-updates, and still have granular moderation.

@TheConquestOfBed
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49 mois

Mastodon updates their blocklists with recommendations on the #fediblock hashtag. Good admins should be following it.

Dessalines
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79 mois

Yeah it’s a very weird article to me. The author tries to take a “neutral” stance, and is interested in how political, cultural and legal differences affect federated networks.

But its also very clear that they are a pedo or pedo adjacent, trying to defend it simply because loli is so disgustingly normalized in Japan.

The one thing I gained from reading it was reinforcing the idea that we should never allow porn or federate with porn instances, because it opens your site up to both pedos, and legal issues. The fediverse will evolve, instances will block or allow each other based on a ton of factors, but its not anything that will deal a critical death blow to it.

Halce
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9 mois

There are no content warnings on Lemmy yet. But would it be somehow possible to ban content containing certain specific keywords, or tags from federating (and all images would be required to provide a descriptor tag before posting) from showing up, similar perhaps a bit to how the slur-filter works?

Dessalines
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59 mois

We have both spoilers for comments, as well as NSFW / sensitive tags for posts. Currently its only possible to block accounts or communities. We don’t use the tag methodology (yet at least).

@TheConquestOfBed
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49 mois

Appreciate you, Dess.

Dessalines
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49 mois

U 2 fam

I think porn is fine but I often report for not tagging properly. I think servers that don’t enforce NSWF for porn should obv be hidden from the public timeline.

@GenkiFeral
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-29 mois

geez, you just negated yourself. eugenics was espoused by leftists at one point in time. (I am all for something like eugenics)

lgbt : Many gay people would never date a removed and are afraid of saying so openly. If people being against being forced to call a person by or treat a person as that person’s biological sex is unethical, then I’d rather be unethical or politically incorrect than be scientifically, realistically false. I am bi and have marched in 2 metro gay pride parades, but am seeing things go in too extreme of a direction in that movement. Extremism in ANY form is unhealthy for society.

There is real racism and real sexism and then there are people who make a mountain out of a mole hill - like people screaming about cultural appropriation and that certain items or even spices or recipes should be clearly labelled as being from this or that culture. Not finding a certain race or ethnic group physically attractive is not racism. Crying wolf just waters down an important issue and makes people avoid discussing such a serious topic Besides, if it is bigoted to call all ______ (this quality), then it is equally bigoted to assume all Conservatives are racist. You are painting with too wide a brush and may’ve used too broad language out of emotion.

Lolicon is certainly disturbing, though. I love Japan, but not that aspect of.

Nihon no otoko daisuki desu. San-nen mai ni, Watashi no koibito was nihonjin, desu. But, you are all wrong and I am the only one who is correct. blahhhhh

@TheConquestOfBed
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39 mois

(I am all for something like eugenics)

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Fediverse is a portmanteau of “federation” and “universe”. It is a common, informal name for a federation of social network servers whose main purpose is microblogging, the sharing of short, public messages.

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