• 1 Post
Joined 9M ago
cakeCake day: May 12, 2020


I will give Twitter some credit in the fact that running such a busy platform with international networks providing high availability, replication, mirroring, and caching is no simple feat from an engineering perspective. It is a bit more involved than spinning up a VPS with the latest version of Mastodon. On the other hand - yes - it is a very top-heavy operation with an inordinate amount of resources dedicated to developing and honing features which are harmful to the platform’s users, and marketing those anti-features to ad agencies, investors, and other malign actors.

It turns out that message boards are nothing new. People have been setting them up for their own enjoyment since the dial-up / packet radio BBS era. Many of the technical challenges in running massive platforms like Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter only became problems because these companies sought to monopolize the entire Internet and consolidate hundreds of thousands of subcommunities into one platform. Many of these challenges can be avoided through decentralization. This also frees up resources to respond to the needs of the sub-community rather than attempting to standardize and commoditize all forms of communication under a universal model.

We got banned. I obviously have a vested interest here so I’m not going to attempt to be too impartial, but here’s a summary of what happened.

About a month ago Reddit removed 2000+ communities under the guise of clamping down on hate speech. The vast majority of them were bigoted shitholes and we were glad to see them gone. Overall, it probably did more good than harm - but we had been a thorn in Reddit’s side for a while and they couldn’t help but use the situation to both-sides us. Of all the communities they removed, Reddit mentioned r/The_Donald and r/ChapoTrapHouse specifically in their announcement.

Reddit has a long history of waiting until it is far too late (ie. people getting hurt by lunatics, generating bad press, and impacting their appeal to advertisers) to take action against harmful communities on their platform, and this was no exception. A few months prior to the ban wave, the vast majority of The_Donald’s userbase had already moved to a new independent platform, and by the time they removed the subreddit it was more or less a carcass of its former self. That didn’t stop them from doing a victory lap, claiming the goodwill, and patting themselves on the back for it though. Meanwhile, they nuked one of the most active, anti-sectarian leftist watering holes. One of the most militantly anti-bigoted, anti-capitalist communities on the platform.

Anyway, I don’t mean to prop us up as saints or anything. For the most part were generally shit-posters who recently (over the past few years) discovered there is more to politics than the established political parties and what they show on TV. None the less, we had a lot of organizers in our community and a lot of people with really intricate knowledge of anti-colonial history.

Most of us were lumpen dumbasses, but it was a place where we could fool around and rib each other while learning little bits here and there about about the world, about political economy, about organizing tactics. How we got here, what else is going on, and how we might pool our resources and make the world a slightly better place. A place where we could confirm that we aren’t actually going insane, or alone.

Collectively, I think we knew we had lost something special. Nothing else can explain the amount of work that has gone into restoring the community on independent infrastructure on such short notice, or the bond that has kept thousands of complete internet strangers in touch after having the carpet suddenly pulled out from under them.

I fear I am over-romanticizing ourselves.

Imagine if r/dankleft ran all of Reddit.

To answer your question more truthfully, I have no idea. We’re a gang of around 3-10 thousand Reddit refugees who have been cooped up in a discord server for three weeks and we are figuring things out as we go. We’re in uncharted territory as far as this community goes.

At the moment we’re working on adding a post/comment reporting feature, and giving community mods the ability to disable link/image posts. The APIs, database migrations, and back-end work are pretty much done. For the most part we just need to put together the user interface for these features.

The Discord was raided last week so that gave us an extra impetus to have these moderation tools before launch.

In effort to pick things not already mentioned here, Stellarium and Darktable.

We did it, Lemmy!

🎉 🎇 🎈

I’ve been getting back into Kerbal Space Program lately.

Portage gang Portage gang Portage gang.

Apt is nice too.

I thought this platform allowed you to view deleted comments though.

I believe this is only if the moderators remove your comment. If you delete your own comments/posts/account, they do not appear in the mod log.

There is room for plenty of healthy discussion without entertaining arguments as idiotic as “the Nazis were actually leftists.” The user deserved the ban. Perhaps you can reform some people who’s brains are this poisoned, but there is a balancing act between dignifying these beliefs with a response and fostering a community where no one feels threatened or excluded. It boils down to the paradox of tolerance, and it raises the question of what the objective of this community is. Personally, I’d rather have marginalized folks feel welcome than relitigate the merits of fascism.

For real. Disingenuously misrepresenting the social forces which lead to the rise of the Nazi regime to score points on the people who fought to stop it is coming very close to Holocaust denial by proxy.

It’s not as blatant as outright denial, but it aims to absolve the groups who were responsible and rob us of the historical understanding necessary to prevent such things from happening in the future.

Additionally, there is a plan to implement a purge feature for particularly egregious posts, but as long as these communities are not allowed to spread their roots here, there shouldn’t be much of an issue. Seeing fascists and bigots getting whacked in the mod log doesn’t bother me much at all.

There’s nothing stopping them from setting up their own instances (like Gab did with Mastodon), but they will be ostracized from the fediverse.

Yeah, basically the plan is get the website set up, settle in there, then we can work on setting up a Matrix homeserver. We want to reach land before we sink the boat that’s taking us there. Using FOSS exclusively is a development milestone for the site, and there is a lot of interest in adopting Matrix both for development and community discussion.

For those who (reasonably) don’t feel like using Discord, I’m just going to state for the record that the Discord instance that was spun up for the community migration two days ago currently has 8,300 users. A few minutes ago one of the voice channels broke out into a chorus of The Internationale.

Chapo Trap House is a weekly, roughly social democratic comedy podcast which started in 2016 covering the Sanders campaign and presidential election. It has continued since then, lambasting obnoxiously dumb media pundits, opinion columnists, conducting interviews with interesting people, parodying pop culture, and pressing back against some of the worst trends in both Republican and Democratic politics.

The Subreddit began as a fan community, but quickly turned into a large tent non-sectarian watering hole for all stripes of anti-capitalist political tendencies. Various kinds of Anarchists, Communists, Social Democrats, and “radlibs.” There were many struggle sessions and arguments, lots of ribbing, dunking, and self-criticism, but generally if you were an anticapitalist, and not an absolute moron, you were welcome. It was a general discussion place for a wide variety of leftist podcasts, news, and media. There was even a running joke that “Citations Needed” was the official podcast of the sub, and that the Chapo Trap House podcast was actually named after the community.

It became one of the most active (per user count) communities on Reddit, despite being quarantined for edgy slaveowner and landlord memes, with daily discussion threads averaging 3000-5000 post per day. Its “extremely online” userbase became a constant scapegoat for brigading and abuse from liberals and conservatives throughout Reddit who didn’t like their assumptions being challenged. Since a large portion of the users holding the anticapitalist line anywhere on Reddit were members of r/ChapoTrapHouse, everyone tended to assume this criticism was a coordinated campaign to manipulate the discussion, and thus, a TOS violation.

As far as branding goes, I don’t think the community takes any issue with “appearing” to be extremists. They have a relatively coherent worldview, and underneath the surface of memes, there was a fair bit of historical and theoretical education taking place. People learning about historic struggles for liberation and emancipation, learning about theory and political economy, sharing that history, examining how it fits or conflicts with political theory. Aside from the edgy rhetoric, I’m not aware of any members of the community actually engaging in acts of extremism. The truth is, there was a spectre haunting Reddit, and for the most part, their imaginations about what was taking place within the CTH community got the best of them.

First of all, it is proprietary. Second, the client has deep access to the operating system in order to implement its screen capture and overlay functions, which poses security concerns. Third, it is centralized and a warrant can be issued to Discord to scrape user data and messages without the server’s “owner” being informed. Fourth, it does not provide encrypted messaging functionality. Fifth, it is a bulky Election app.