The sheer number of people on Facebook with their real names, photos, locations and workplaces on their profile who are happy to throw abuse at other people kinda disproves the argument that it’s online anonymity that causes abusive behaviour

@kirstyyarr afaik its less "online anonymity" and more "online you cant punch me in the moment"

@kirstyyarr Yeah. I remember when mr_xenophora was first all excited about it for this very reason (10 years ago). I said, "Yeah, I'm skeptical."

@kirstyyarr yep. it’s their personality which is part of it as well.

@kirstyyarr That argument against anonymity was always bogus. They just wanted real identities for advertising reasons, otherwise it's hard to cross reference the profiles with information from other sources, like credit card companies and data brokers.

@kirstyyarr Looking on the bright side, I guess I don't need to worry so much about prospective employers somehow tracking down my Mastodon profile and being put off by the nonsense I post if people can get away with being openly out-and-out hateful.

(I'm joking; there's obviously no bright side to abusive behaviour.)

@kirstyyarr i heard about the Dunbar number or Dunbar's number or something, it's about the number of people our brains are capable of conceptualising as actual humans with thoughts and feelings and it's very low. so it's not that we don't fear consequence, it's because we don't think there IS a consequence because we can't see those we hurl abuse at as human. our brains are too small

@kirstyyarr Before I left Facebook, I owned a page with about 120k likes. The flamewars in the comments were, honestly, nastier than anything I've seen on any other platform. My neighborhood group (!) was almost as bad. Lack of anonymity extending to *knowing where you live* was no deterrent to abusive behavior.

@gcupc @kirstyyarr

It may have always been pure shite, but the two sharp declines in the quality of my FB experience were about six months after I graduated college and again after the 2016 election. There was also a slow decline between HS and college while Zuck was ruining the site with constant redesign.

More about the 2016 decline in the nest post.

FB mega group culture 

FB mega group culture 

FB mega group culture 

@gcupc @kirstyyarr

it does lead to actual physical violence in smaller communities/countries or groups of young people who might form cliques/gangs and is precisely why there are now *real* "cybercops" in various parts of the UK, they are often based in Police stations in rural areas that have fairly good broadband but lower crime rates than cities.

The officers already have experience/training in dealing with domestic/neighbourhood violence and get surveillance training on top of this >>

@gcupc @kirstyyarr

but they also have access to specialist CSI who can seize/inspect computer data, cellbrites and other such boxes (to get data from mobile phones when required), and at least /some/ level of co-operation from the USA based corporate social networks to hand over data without too many obstacles.

Everyone here is focused on GCHQ/MI* etc so often overlooks the rôle of "normal" cops (its not even a secret thing and is regularly reported in local news)

@dredmorbius @kirstyyarr Except transparency and accountability were exactly what gamergate was calling for. This is really a bizarre article

@dredmorbius @kirstyyarr So true. Some sub-reddits remain civil because of community rules and mod efforts. I recall that Ello had a rather easy going vibe. What the community allows is what it seems to get, pseudonymous or real-name.

I think ad tech platforms just like to push the bad pseudonym angle just to collect real names for their own business efforts of advertising.


I bet Zuckerberg would say: "But at least there's less outright rape and murder threats, right?"

us_pol, us_rel 

us_pol, us_rel 

us_pol, us_rel 

us_pol, us_rel 

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@kirstyyarr I wouldn't know, I'm not on Facebook. But I avoid being over-rude online anyway. It seems rather uncouth and unproductive.

@kirstyyarr Aye, online abuse happens because the platforms allow it. They see the bickering, insults, threats, and they go "Yup, that's fine here."

Except the really big ones don't just allow it, they encourage it, 'cause anger gets more engagement than anything else.

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mastodon isn’t just a website, it is a federation—think star trek. thousands of independent communities running mastodon form a coherent network, where while every planet is different, being part of one is being part of the whole. is a small, friendly family-like instance aligned with queer, leftist anti-oppressive politics. welcome!