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  • Showing only topics with the tag "social media". Back to normal view
    1. Who's on the fediverse?

      There was a thread about this coincidentally exactly one year ago, give or take three hours. Ah, to be back in January 2020 I've been poking around on the fediverse again and I figured I'll never...

      There was a thread about this coincidentally exactly one year ago, give or take three hours. Ah, to be back in January 2020

      I've been poking around on the fediverse again and I figured I'll never start using it unless I'm following some people. So, who here is on it? Please share some other people you follow, if you like.

      I made an account a while back, and it was on the default instance since I didn't know any others to choose. I feel like it's a deliberate choice though (if nothing else it will give me a more curated timeline to scroll through) so I'd like to be deliberate about it at some point.

      17 votes
    2. Are there any viable alternatives for Facebook?

      A lot of people are currently switching over from WhatsApp to Signal right now, and the two are comparable enough that Signal can pretty much act as a drop-in replacement for WhatsApp. They have...

      A lot of people are currently switching over from WhatsApp to Signal right now, and the two are comparable enough that Signal can pretty much act as a drop-in replacement for WhatsApp. They have very comparable features, and Signal is easy enough to use that it's adoptable by non-techy people.

      Does something similar exist for Facebook? I'm fully aware of the network effects that keep people on Facebook, but let's pretend a lot of people wanted to leave that platform and migrate elsewhere. Is there anything that has a similar featureset and that is usable by the general population?

      22 votes
    3. The Great Deplatforming: An alternate explanation for the Parler, et al, shutdowns

      A common current narrative is that tech monopolists are suddenly acting of their own initiative and inconcert to deplatform the burgeoning fascist insurgent movement within the US. I approve the...

      A common current narrative is that tech monopolists are suddenly acting of their own initiative and inconcert to deplatform the burgeoning fascist insurgent movement within the US. I approve the deplatforming strongly, though I suspect an alternative significant motivating and coordfinating factor.

      An example of the "tech monopoly abuse" narrative is Glenn Greenwald's more than slightly unhinged "How Silicon Valley, in a Show of Monopolistic Force, Destroyed Parler"

      Greenwald's argument hinges on emotion, insinuation, invective, a completely unfounded premise, an absolute absence of evidence, and no consideration of alternative explanations: an overwhelmingly plausible ongoing law enforcement and national security operation, likely under sealed or classified indictments or warrants, in the face of ongoing deadly sedition lead by the President of the United States himself, including against the person of his own vice president and credible threats against the President-Elect and Inauguration.

      Such an legal action is, of course, extraordinarily difficult to prove, and I cannot prove it. A critical clue for me, however, is the defection not just of Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, Stripe, and other tech firms, but of Parler's legal counsel, who would have to be an exceptionally stealth-mode startup to fit Greenwald's, or other's, "it's the tech monopolists" narrative. I've tempered my degree of assurance and language ("plausible" rather than "probable"). Time will tell. But a keen and critical mind such as Grenwald's should at least be weighing the possibility. He instead seems bent only on piking old sworn enemies, with less evidence or coherence than I offer.

      This is the crux of Greenwald's argument. It's all he's got:

      On Thursday, Parler was the most popular app in the United States. By Monday, three of the four Silicon Valley monopolies united to destroy it.

      I'm no friend of the tech monopolists myself. The power demonstrated here does concern me, greatly. I've long railed against Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple, among other tech monopolists. Largely because as monopolies they are power loci acting through their occupation of a common resource, outside common control, and not serving the common weal. Hell: Facebook, Google (YouTube), Reddit, and Twitter played a massive role in creating the current fascist insurrection in the US, along with even more enthusiastic aid and comfort from traditional media, across the spectrum. Damage that will take decades to repair, if ever.

      But, if my hypothesis is correct, the alternative explanation would bet he opposite of this: the state asserting power over and through monopolies in the common interest, in support of democratic principles, for the common weal. And that I can support.

      I don't know that this is the case. I find it curious that I seem to be the only voice suggesting it. Time should tell.

      And after this is over, yes, Silicon Valley, in its metonymic sense standing for the US and global tech industry, has to face its monopoly problem, its free speech problem (in both sincere and insincere senses), its surveillance problem (capitalist, state, criminal, rogue actor), its censorship problem, its propaganda problem (mass and computational), its targeted manipulation adtech problem, its trust problem, its identity problem, its truth and disinformation problems, its tax avoidance problem, its political influence problem.

      Virtually all of which are inherent aspects of monopoly: "Propaganda, censorship, and surveillance are all attributes of monopoly" https://joindiaspora.com/posts/7bfcf170eefc013863fa002590d8e506
      HN discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24771470

      But, speaking as a space alien cat myself, Greenwald is so far off base here he's exited the Galaxy.


      Update: 2h30m after posting, NPR have mentioned sealed indictments and speculated on whether the President might be charged, in special coverage.

      19 votes
    4. Many people here believe that social media can't be both large and have good discussion because the human brain isn't made to interact with large numbers of people. What do you think of this?

      p.s the difference between this post and this post is that I want to ask questions and get people's opinions and answers in this one more. Here's a few examples, last one being an argument between...

      p.s the difference between this post and this post is that I want to ask questions and get people's opinions and answers in this one more.

      Here's a few examples, last one being an argument between a few people where most people, including Deimos agreed with this idea.

      Personally, I find this idea almost terrifying because it implies social media in it's current form cannot be fixed by changing or expanding human or automoderation, nor fact checking, because moderation can't reasonably occur at scale at all.

      However, I have 2 questions:

      1: If large social media platforms can't really be moderated what should we do to them? The implied solution is balkanizing social media until the 'platforms' are extended social circles which can be moderated and have good discussion (or more practically, integrate them to a federated service like mastodon which is made to be split like this or something like discord.) An alternative I've heard is to redo the early 2000s and have fanforums for everything to avoid context collapse and have something gluing the site's users together (something I am far more supportive of) or a reason for invite systems and stricter control of who enters your site but doesn't explain the idea that once your site hits a certain usercount, it will inevitably worsen and that is something that stems from human nature (Dunbar's number aka the max amount of friends you could theoretically have) and so is inevitable, almost natural.

      2: Why is moderation impossible to do well at large scales? While I think moderation, which I think is analogous to law enforcement or legal systems (though the many reddit mods here can definitely give their opinions on that) definitely likely isn't the kind of thing that can be done at a profit, I'm not entirely sure why would it be wholly impossible. A reason I've heard is that moderators need to understand the communities they're moderating, but I'm not sure why wouldn't that be a requirement, or why would adding more mods make that worse (mods disagreeing with eachother while moderating seems quite likely but unrelated to this.)

      20 votes