In a world where relations are the norm (online and off), learning how to relate to each other in liberated, spaces is hard. We internalize so much behavior that's adaptive for our survival under authoritarianism, but turns incredibly when enacted in free spaces.

There's much learning & unlearning to do, and the struggles of earlier radical projects & spaces have much to teach .

@mattcropp Toxic shit happens with or without authoritarianism and one only need look at Twitter.

The issue is finding balance over governing our own spaces vs freedom for our users.

@Elizafox Access and lack thereof is controlled unilaterally by a bureaucracy accountable to a vanishingly small number of rich people.

@mattcropp Anyone can sign up with an Internet connection, what are you talking about

@mattcropp And Twitter used to do nothing about abuse. Or anything.

Also there's a key difference here.

Authoritarian government: goal is to consolidate power

Twitter (corporate): goal is to consolidate wealth

@Elizafox @mattcropp what he is saying is that the admins of instances need to learn to play nice and work together for the sake of the global collective of instances

@mattcropp @Elizafox he also means that people need to be more willing to assume good faith because this is a self-determining environment. people who are new to the platform are defensive here because it's what they know *there*

anti abuse in a semi-radical space (and that's what this is) is different than abuse in most spaces largely because the stakeholders are different.

honestly i think the next 3 months of mastodon is going to have some growing pains...

@Elizafox @mattcropp ... as people adjust to the community climate in the overall federation, and admins get a good feel for how to solve abuse issues in the federation. knee-jerk reactions and fighting will, with time, and effort from those experienced working in radical spaces, will eventually be calmed into fair and mutually beneficial arbitration.

i think we can make this work. we made dronebl work in the IRC days, this is surely easier than that.

@mattcropp @Elizafox in fact dronebl was at the time a radical exercise: having a dronebl API key basically meant you could remove any IP from IRC. but almost everyone wielded that power non-abusively.

mastodon can work if we empower people to be virtuous.

@kaniini @Elizafox

It was never going to be easy. But I'm feeling more hope right now than I have in a good long while. Tbh, the vibe right now almost reminds me of the first days of the occupy camps back in '11...

@mattcropp @Elizafox i remember the fallout between SFActive and Drupal advocates at indymedia. It was a dark time, but eventually they learned to work together again. At least the gold standard (Mir, possibly named that for ironic reasons) didn't require Java anymore as it was replaced with SFActive and Drupal. But it was a battle getting there.

@Elizafox @mattcropp One might wonder why IMC wanted to standardize on PHP software when they had a custom Java platform (Mir). Answer was: Mir had little maintenance and was too heavy for most collectives to install. Large support was needed from the global IMC techs to help stand up instances.

PHP on the other hand was easy, and Drupal was easiest, an average IMC Drupal install being 90% off the shelf components hosted at Linode.

@mattcropp @Elizafox Of course helping out with irc.i.o was always fascinating. Many times a collective would almost split in two and people would come in #ircd with a list of users they wanted banned. Or else, you know. Else what? They'd make their own indymedia instead, with hookers and blackjack in true Bender fashion.

@Elizafox @mattcropp What does this sound like? Mastodon right now. And yet still exists today with some small amount of users still hanging onto their IRC clients.

@mattcropp @Elizafox the most ironic thing of all is that some collectives intersecting with the indymedia ircd team is what actually kept them together because we weren't banning anyone so they had to work out their differences. Sometimes with our help, sometimes not. Funny that, an ircd admin team solving social problems in radical spaces. Who would have thought that one.

@Elizafox @mattcropp to wrap up my rambling: Mastodon is still a very young project. Absolutely it needs better technical anti-abuse solutions. However, devs (Gangron) and admins are still learning how to play this game. Those who have been around and know how to manage radical spaces need to step up and provide guidance. If we work on this and show them what we know about managing radical spaces, we can make progress towards making Mastodon a success.

@mattcropp @Elizafox Oops I mean Gagron there. I always remember it as Gangron for some reason. End of thread for real.

@Elizafox Anyone can sign up, and anyone can be permabanned on a whim with no recourse. Those are the rules of the game, under the structuring influence of which patterns of social relations emerge.

And what is wealth but a particular manifestation of power? Authoritarianism is an institutional pattern that can manifest in institutions that deal in economic power just as much as those that truck in the "political".

@Cocoron The normalization of the serious usage of the word still cracks me up some time. How long until the phrase "The Prime Minister of Tooted..." no longer causes anyone to crack a smile?

But, yes, been through a variety of shit in a variety of movements & spaces in the past decade. Shit's inevitably messy, but thankfully there's some so we don't have to reinvent every wheel...

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