censorship and content moderation is a difficult problem. i don’t think its solution involves a bunch of american corporations being in charge of and thought policing large chunks of our online communication.

leaving moderation to centralized entities clearly isn’t working, but decentralization also prevents effective censorship. so maybe these are not the tools we should be using.

it affects more than just criminal use, and our problems are growing beyond the political, affecting our collective mental health. social media is very hard to moderate without raising ethical questions, and impossible to moderate without introducing subjective bias.

we need to better understand how ideas—or weaponized memes—spread throughout the system, and come up with countermeasures to mitigate its amplifying and accelerating effects, regardless of message content.

it’s not even a new problem. we’ve failed to mitigate the dangers of mass media from the start.


i certaintly don’t expect any solutions coming from the likes of facebook or google because their very business model is part of the problem

what social media platforms do right now is sort of segregate people into these ideological bubbles, causing the well-known echo chamber effect which leads to radicalization, atomization and people losing touch with reality. i think this is the wrong way to go about it.

maybe the way to limit the spread of information should be based more on geographical closeness than closeness of interests.

another factor to consider is that people tend to form parasocial relationships with influential personalities the moment they click the follow button.

@mia Or platforms should give users the tools they need to act as individual rational agents who can think for themselves and not succumb to irony poisoning. Of course, I'm not expecting this to happen but y'know

@allison well, even if you magically equip everyone with media literacy, i don’t think that’s going to solve the problem.

you also have to consider for example, how many people go and ask google for things like relationship advice, or how they should behave in certain situations. i get the feeling that people are increasingly insecure and anxious. constantly looking for validation is also what fuels a lot of online aggression against outgroups, exaggerated virtue signaling, etc.

@allison nobody wants to get pushed out of their in-group for being different, and mass media tends to form groups with cult-like ideologies. the way things work now is just fundamentally dangerous and damaging to our society.

@mia I'm not talking about media literacy jfc, but I'm generally in agreement with most of the points you made here.

@allison sorry if i misunderstood. i guess in other words, provide the means to build a collective immune system?

@mia Yeah that's exactly what I was implying. It's not as if these platforms optimize for being healthy modes of engagement with self and the world, quite the opposite in fact. I think there's a lot of potential for platforms that *do* which has yet to be realized
@mia @allison society can get fucked tbh

i been fucked by society my whole life, at this point i think subversive is good. not like society is going to thank me for allowing it to fuck me over some more.

@mia I really like that idea of bringing back geographical closeness into the digital mix. Not the way annoying geoblocked videos or creepy “find people around you” app features do it, but instead somehow creating a buffer or at least letting people give more importance to spatially local interactions... I guess it’s part of the general idea of bringing more meatspace-like interaction into the digital space, to make us more human on the web?

@stragu @mia
There are multiple problems with that, I think. Geographical location is sensitive personal information. Limiting online communications based on that would be an overt attack on anonymity, which is now more important than ever in the age of witch-hunts and doxing. Second of all... isn't being able to interact with people all the way across the world one of the greatest things about the global Internet? Online interaction is abstracted and disembodied, and that is its glory.

@vivit @mia I definitely agree about concerns around privacy, this needs to be taken into account and sharing location should only be an opt-in thing, with the possibility of providing a very imprecise location like a whole city.
I also agree with your second point: I never said it should be a hard restriction. It should be an option we can turn on or off. I love that we can find communities around the world nowadays. It’s even a lifesaver for some of us!

@mia [slight exaggeration]voh me simping for shitposters and youtubers because I'm too-online

@mia from my understanding, this is one of the big arguments behind local-first networks and gossip networks that solarpunks/permacomputing ppl love to think about

it's not the *essential* argument, but it all ties in together. generating ideological bubbles is, if nothing else, really fuckin' profitable, the converse is that thinking about your neighbors first is actively dangerous (organizing, movement-building, mutual aid, w/e)

I'm deeply skeptical of big-T Tech, but not quite in a way that makes me go all-in on the solarpunk thing, if only bc it strikes me as an offshoot of the classic "separatist commune outside of normal society" thing with fresh+updated analysis; the analysis is pretty stimulating, though

idk if you know xj9 (I'm not in the tilde crowd but everyone seems to know everyone there), but if you don't, she's who i've read most about it: sunshinegardens.org/gemini/sun

@mia it seems plain to me that engaging on a local basis first/foremost isn't a universal band-aid for oppression and material conditions, but idk, maybe it foments some magical deep understanding of one another, maybe it's above my paygrade atm

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