10 votes

I should be able to mute America

20 comments

  1. [9]
    onyxleopard
    Link
    I can understand the sentiment of wanting to keep your conversations local, but I have two reactions to this. One: If you only want to communicate with locals, then maybe the web isn’t the right...

    I can understand the sentiment of wanting to keep your conversations local, but I have two reactions to this.

    One: If you only want to communicate with locals, then maybe the web isn’t the right place for your discourse? It’s called the world wide web for a reason.

    Two: Twitter is essentially an American export. If people want to make an Australia-only Twitter competitor, just do that? If there was actually a market for such a thing I’d imagine it already exists. I’m sure you can find a smaller pond like an Aussie subreddit if that’s what you want. But, people clearly want the global town square thing that Twitter offers, so complaining about an essential feature of the platform seems misguided to me.

    12 votes
    1. [8]
      NaraVara
      Link Parent
      He doesn’t want to only communicate with locals. He wants Americans to STFU

      He doesn’t want to only communicate with locals. He wants Americans to STFU

      5 votes
      1. [7]
        onyxleopard
        Link Parent
        So he wants Americans to read his tweets, but not see their responses? That’s not what I took from this, but if that’s really the case it seems like a juvenile power fantasy.

        So he wants Americans to read his tweets, but not see their responses? That’s not what I took from this, but if that’s really the case it seems like a juvenile power fantasy.

        4 votes
        1. [6]
          rogue_cricket
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          I don't think he cares if Americans see it or not, as it's specifically Americans he has this issue with. Maybe he'd be happy to have some Malaysian or Italian folks chiming in. Lots of countries...
          • Exemplary

          I don't think he cares if Americans see it or not, as it's specifically Americans he has this issue with. Maybe he'd be happy to have some Malaysian or Italian folks chiming in. Lots of countries out there.

          But I think it's more like he wants a global audience for his posts, but when Americans get a hold of it it often becomes a minefield for everyone else that there's no prize for navigating. I kind of get it - I don't care if Americans interact with posts about other countries, or have opinions about them, but while Tildes is OK for this often the experience in the wider world often ends up like this:

          • Someone posts about a Thing which is occurring in their country. It goes a bit viral and maybe escapes its original audience by just a little.
          • Some Americans see it and they interpret the original Thing it in terms of their own political and cultural landscape. Often they simply incorrectly assume that whatever is being posted about is occurring in America and was posted by an American. Maybe they'll say something like "our president" even if the country in question does not have a president.
          • If it is otherwise explicitly specified to be in a country that is not the USA, that doesn't necessarily stop people. Many will press on regardless despite not having enough knowledge of the culture or on-the-ground politics or sometimes even vocabulary to have an interesting opinion about the Thing, and will respond to it as though whatever culture/political tension taking place in America is universal and applicable to the Thing.
          • None of the above causes any hesitation. They post their opinion about it despite not really having any understanding about the Thing, and their unsolicited opinion has basically zero value to the people whom the Thing is actually relevant to or intended for. (But they didn't post it for those people, they posted it for other Americans!)
          • When it gets found by those other Americans, now whether they know about the Thing is irrelevant because they can latch on to something American-y the first responder said and reply to that. It goes back and forth like this for a little bit because oh boy do these two types of Americans hate each other.
          • Eventually it snowballs so far out of control that all interesting discussion about the original Thing is completely subsumed by Americans slap-fighting other Americans about stuff that is happening in America. Thing is now a proxy and a prop for the players in the "American Cold Civil War". (Some particularly dim people in the comments may at this point just be loudly and embarrassingly blaming Thing on Biden or Trump outright regardless of their involvement in it.)

          It is tiresome. And it has a negative effect on all discussion, it spreads like virus and other places are importing this style of rhetoric and conflict. You see people talking about how they're German and they have Trump-obsessed family, or how Canadian Grandpa became so confused and poisoned by the internet in general that he now believes that there's some form of 2nd Amendment in Manitoba. (This is more general social media and the susceptibility of the human mind to influence - if it weren't America it'd be something else, but, you know, right now it is America so that's what people see.)

          Of course the required caveats: not every American does this. Probably not even many of them. I'm sure the above behaviour bothers many Americans who legitimately do have a good grasp on Things and would like to respectfully discuss them or learn about them. But... I mean, I don't see a lot of Brazilians derailing threads to talk about Bolsonaro's policies the same way Americans do about Biden, you know? Whether it's due to history, sheer volume, American culture, Internet culture and in what combination I really can't say, but colloquially 95% of derails of this nature happen due to people trying to frame things in terms of the USA.

          14 votes
          1. Amarok
            Link Parent
            I like calling it the "Uncivil War." The threads follow the same general style of sports threads where fans are talking smack over a game. At least the people in the sports threads are having some...

            "American Cold Civil War"

            I like calling it the "Uncivil War." The threads follow the same general style of sports threads where fans are talking smack over a game. At least the people in the sports threads are having some fun, the political threads not so much.

            2 votes
          2. [4]
            onyxleopard
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            I don’t think this is true outside of platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, etc. If you want to firewall off Americans or any other tribe that you disdain, you’re free to do so on your own...

            And it has a negative effect on all discussion, it spreads like virus and other places are importing this style of rhetoric and conflict.

            I don’t think this is true outside of platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, etc. If you want to firewall off Americans or any other tribe that you disdain, you’re free to do so on your own platform. But, you can’t hop on these global platforms and demand they cater to your specific demands. That is self-centered nonsense just as much as uninformed foreigners butting into conversations without context or proper socialization.

            1 vote
            1. [4]
              Comment deleted by author
              Link Parent
              1. [3]
                onyxleopard
                (edited )
                Link Parent
                It seems to me those rallying behind funbunger with this cry are earnestly asking for Americans to not be allowed on funbungers’ threads. Do you disagree? As a meta-level note, I feel like I have...

                No yanks on the thread! came the rallying cry, NO YANKS ON THE THREAD!

                It seems to me those rallying behind funbunger with this cry are earnestly asking for Americans to not be allowed on funbungers’ threads. Do you disagree?

                As a meta-level note, I feel like I have these interactions quite often on Tildes. I read a post critically and I take its claims in earnest. I comment from my vantage with my personal interpretation. And then someone comes along with an interpretation that only makes sense if I discard certain (sometimes central) parts of the post either because they are sarcasm or otherwise disingenuous. Maybe in this case these cries on Twitter are sarcastic or parody or otherwise frivolous. But I find it exhausting to have to try to reparse everything and shave off every possible ambiguity in order to align on an interpretation of the source that isn’t inconsistent.

                This leaves me feeling like either I’m very bad at reading, others are very bad at reading, or everyone is bad at reading and writing and critical thinking, which are all depressing prospects.

                1 vote
                1. [3]
                  Comment deleted by author
                  Link Parent
                  1. [2]
                    onyxleopard
                    (edited )
                    Link Parent
                    American and Aussie humor are certainly not strictly overlapping sets. But, if I’m to entertain that the entire episode here is frivolous, then I’d contend that this piece isn’t really worthy of...

                    American and Aussie humor are certainly not strictly overlapping sets. But, if I’m to entertain that the entire episode here is frivolous, then I’d contend that this piece isn’t really worthy of being posted on Tildes to begin with. If the actual takeaway here is “Yanks don’t get it when Aussies are taking the piss”, well that’s trivial and not worth publishing 1k+ words on.

                    I thought there was a larger commentary here on a reaction to American discourse being unwelcome. With some of the comments on this Tildes thread commiserating, that sentiment seems to be earnest and heartfelt. It seems incompatible that it’s both earnest and frivolous at the same time. But maybe this is my simple American brain not being “chill” enough to assume the cognitive dissonance to accept both positions.

                    1 vote
                    1. [2]
                      Comment deleted by author
                      Link Parent
                      1. onyxleopard
                        Link Parent
                        But doesn’t this imply that the cries for American Twitter to be firewalled are not actually frivolous? Like, if the author actually believes that toxicity on Twitter is solely from American...

                        What if Twitter's toxicity is a distinctly American byproduct?

                        But doesn’t this imply that the cries for American Twitter to be firewalled are not actually frivolous?

                        Like, if the author actually believes that toxicity on Twitter is solely from American sources, wouldn’t the cries actually be non-sarcastic, but serious requests to rectify this situation?

                        (I don’t actually agree that Americans have a monopoly on toxicity, but if you did take that position, then interpreting the article as completely earnest and not sarcastic seems internally consistent to me.)

                        4 votes
  2. Rez
    Link
    It's just a symptom of the death of local media and communication. Instead of communicating with the people who are ostensibly part of our communities, digital media has meant the death of...

    It's just a symptom of the death of local media and communication. Instead of communicating with the people who are ostensibly part of our communities, digital media has meant the death of thousands upon thousands of local sources of information and community - you now get breaking news from a tweet instead of a reporter who has a reputation in your community, and you now get community from a Facebook page instead of a local group you physically attend. We're now increasingly connected to faraway peoples and places while being increasingly disconnected from the actual people of our city, state, etc., we're part of this abstract collective digital psychosphere where we're just shouting into this void and the echo of our combined shouts comes back in a twisted form that doesn't represent how any average person actually thinks and feels.

    11 votes
  3. [2]
    Protected
    Link
    It's funny that every single Twitter user seems to mention at some point that Twitter has large scale failings that makes engaging with it a miserable experience... Yet they keep using it....

    It's funny that every single Twitter user seems to mention at some point that Twitter has large scale failings that makes engaging with it a miserable experience... Yet they keep using it. Stockholm Syndrome?

    Nationality aside, we don't need to be where these people are. We could be literally anywhere else. But I strongly suspect that at the end of the day the users in the article stay on Twitter because they want what Twitter has to offer, and that's an audience inflated by a large number of toxic people rather than a much smaller and cleaner one.

    7 votes
    1. NoblePath
      Link Parent
      In my recovery group, we call that addiction to excitement.

      In my recovery group, we call that addiction to excitement.

      6 votes
  4. HotPants
    Link
    First mute the yanks (Americans.) Then mute the bloody poms (English.) Then mute everyone but Australians and maybe New Zealanders. Then mute any discussion about politics or religion. Then what...

    First mute the yanks (Americans.)

    Then mute the bloody poms (English.)

    Then mute everyone but Australians and maybe New Zealanders.

    Then mute any discussion about politics or religion.

    Then what do you have left?

    Actually, that sounds fucking A. O. K.

    5 votes
  5. [6]
    teaearlgraycold
    Link
    I’m surprised to learn that there are whole countries with not entirely toxic Twitter vibes.

    I’m surprised to learn that there are whole countries with not entirely toxic Twitter vibes.

    3 votes
    1. NaraVara
      Link Parent
      It’s largely a scale thing. There’s like 30 million Aussies in the world and about 330 million Americans. There’s something about the scale that allows American dipshits to form a positive...

      It’s largely a scale thing. There’s like 30 million Aussies in the world and about 330 million Americans. There’s something about the scale that allows American dipshits to form a positive feedback loop of dipshittery, where the dynamics of social media basically function as a genetic algorithm to evolve and refine what people say and how they interact and frame things to be maximally obnoxious.

      India has a similar problem, as does Brazil. I think smaller countries just don’t have enough of their own kinds of idiots to condense into an idiot singularity in the same way. They’re like idiocy brown dwarfs, they lacked the mass to trigger a self sustaining fusion reaction and become a star. Or at least, the ones so inclined just roll up into American idiocy instead of forming their own.

      9 votes
    2. [4]
      vord
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I do think (as an American), that if everywhere in the world were just as horrifically emotionally toxic as America is, it would be worthwhile to just push the big button and end it all, because...

      I do think (as an American), that if everywhere in the world were just as horrifically emotionally toxic as America is, it would be worthwhile to just push the big button and end it all, because humanity failed.

      I'd be surprised if 20% of Americans are not toxic in a few substantial ways. I don't think I could honestly include myself in that number.

      I think part of the problem is a lack of proper collective shared trauma. We've not seen the decimation of a World War in our backyards. Shared trauma, while horrible, builds empathy. Anti-vaxxing didn't really have any steam until things like polio disappeared. Bet you'll find 0 people who are unvaccinated among those who had friends/relatives die of things we now vaccinate against.

      Sure there are isolated events, natural disasters, school shootings and other terrorist attacks. But it's often so distant and isolated (USA being larger geographically than Europe) thar they end up getting minimized and being used as yet another politicalization issue.

      I'd wager having rubble left from bombs dropped 50+ years ago or still finding active landmines might help make war less 'Call of Duty' and more... war. It's easy to garner political will for war when the majority of the populace experiences it glamorized via movies and games (or being the sick fucks we are, laughing at real footage of the nukes being dropped).

      4 votes
      1. [3]
        Wolf
        Link Parent
        I see your point, but as someone who's lived in a few countries over the years, people are emotionally toxic everywhere and it has nothing to do with shared trauma. People are just like that. Also...

        I see your point, but as someone who's lived in a few countries over the years, people are emotionally toxic everywhere and it has nothing to do with shared trauma. People are just like that. Also trauma is relative. You don't need to experience a World War to have trauma. I think all the events you listed as isolated only seem like that because you are comparing to much bigger events that happened. Considered from American perspective, when all you have known is peacetime, even 'isolated' events can be huge. School shootings, police brutality, 9/11 are all major trauma points in the collective American mind.

        I think the American Internet is especially toxic because of America's relationship with media. America's biggest export is entertainment. It's the strongest in soft-power and a lot of that has to do with Hollywood. There's a lot of grifters and manipulators in media and their shitty tactics have naturally flowed over into social media. A lot of the toxicity comes from people wanting attention to get their 15 minutes. Combined with general lack of support for mental health and four generations that are addicted to sensationalism, you are going to get a lot of toxicity.

        9 votes
        1. [2]
          post_below
          Link Parent
          Definitely. We haven't yet put much effort into being any other way. Left to their own devices, our evolved drives and defense mechanisms will produce a mix of altruism and toxicity in response to...

          People are just like that

          Definitely. We haven't yet put much effort into being any other way.

          Left to their own devices, our evolved drives and defense mechanisms will produce a mix of altruism and toxicity in response to a life.

          We've barely begun the conversation about how we can change that. Or have we even begun it?

          2 votes
          1. vord
            Link Parent
            One of the defining traits of being human is that we can choose to be better. Therapy and education go a long way.

            We've barely begun the conversation about how we can change that. Or have we even begun it?

            One of the defining traits of being human is that we can choose to be better. Therapy and education go a long way.

            1 vote
  6. Wolf
    Link
    I am actually really down for this. There's a handful of countries that I want completely wiped from my internet experience. They produce so much spam across the internet it's mind-boggling. Most...

    I am actually really down for this. There's a handful of countries that I want completely wiped from my internet experience. They produce so much spam across the internet it's mind-boggling. Most countries are fine though.