Parler, the "free speech" alternative to Twitter, breaks out the ban-hammer

I agree with you, but still think a federated and decentralised FOSS version of social media platfroms is an experiment worth trying. Those current “whole” Internet (really aspirational walled garden) social media communities are demonstrably unhealthy for society. Take out FB’s and Twitter’s core premises of their for-profit advertising/engagement business models and their rejection of open standards and you eliminate a lot of the core dysfunction of social media platforms.

That doesn’t eliminate the node moderation issues, of course. Despite its relative success in doing things like turning the Gab instance into a toxic pariah, Mastadon is still struggling with that (as Wil Wheaton’s bad experience showed). But even if (as I agree is likely) one beigist corporate instance/node with crappy, lowest-common-denominator moderation policies and a bogus commitment to “balance” becomes dominant, there will still be a lot more choices – federated with the dominant node or not – to choose from for those who want the core benefits of social media with competent moderation of your quality.


Advertising is considered spam here.


Agree with this analysis, although I’m sure there are other core issues endemic to virtual group communications due to relative anonymity and general perceived lack of consequences, (or even just the absence of physical ques that check anti-social behavior in real life). The main thing about the The Profit component is an overwhelmingly distorting factor in the way in which FB et al select for maximum adrenaline.

I think there’s an analogy in the way that digital behavior is forced from the analog circuitry underpinnings simply by using high values of amplification (via feedback). When phenomena is made to snap to the extremes a higher degree of predictability occurs leading to greater control - and hence profitability is achieved.


Completely agree. I’d also note that even with a real-names policy you still get privileged arseholes behaving like privileged arseholes, both on-line and in meatspace. That’s a more intractable problem than is running a social media platform without a dysfunctional for-profit business model.


Real names policies are a “fix” thought up by those who have power and have never been truly threatened or faced retaliation.


Seems weird to call something “The” x alternative to twitter, when there’s so many. I know in my circles even though Gab as a proprietary service got shut down, they’ve since moved on to fork Mastodon and move into the decentralized Fediverse. Even before the move, there were a lot of mastodon, pleroma, and other microblogging instances set up around the Fediverse claiming to be for “free speech” (and thus spewing a lot of racism, hate speech, and other disturbing content into the mix).

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You’re right, it isn’t a good Dad Joke; it is a great Dad Joke. :smiley:


I have a vague idea that social media platforms are going to wind up divided in much the same way our newspapers are. Places like 4chan & 8chan will be like the SUN and the Daily Mail in the UK, and Parler (“Parlour”?) will be like the Daily Telegraph (read, allegedly, by retired army colonels who think the country is going to the dogs). There will eventually be something like the Morning Star, with a very select clientele, and with any luck we might get something that might correspond to The Washington Post and The Guardian. Here’s hoping. It will probably need some kind of Monopoly-breaking legislation. I’ll just sit here with my pipe-dream.

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Why are people always abusing the “freedom of speech” right. Maybe you are allowed to say anything you want, but there can be consequences.
If, for example, you proclaim god does not exist during a church ceremony, you are probably asked to leave and possibly not permitted to enter ever again.
If you are in a sports bar of a specific team and you proclaim the rival team is better, the consequences might be more severe.
If you wouldn’t say what you write on the internet to people’s face, then don’t post it. If you do post it, it is a sign of cowardice.


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“…a whiter shade!”

I think for a large part of the Mastodon community that is a selling point, not a problem. Why would you want to give the whole internet access to your thoughts and a way to spew their violent rhetoric at you in their replies? I much prefer smaller communities, much like this BBS actually.

Whenever I follow a Twitter link to a positive message, I’m almost guaranteed to be met with some racist/hateful message as one of the first replies. It’s incredibly depressing and it’s really hard to remember those people are only a small vocal minority. Same goes for Facebook but to a lesser extent.

I’m not 100% sure why there was such a big hate for Wil Wheaton when he came in, but I recall that he had (maybe inadvertently) caused people to dogpile himself. I gather that’s really easy to do on Twitter if you have a big following, I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t do that on purpose. But I can fully understand that if you fled Twitter because of a Wheaton caused dogpile, you would not want him on your server.

Also, unlike on Twitter, on Mastodon he is free to do the following:

  1. Go to a different instance, there are dozens of respected servers accepting members and hundreds of other, less well vetted, servers too choose from.
  2. Start your own server, starting at € 7 a month you can have your own server where you are your own moderator.
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Superfluously imbibed.


I don’t understand this sentiment.

Do I disagree that Mastodon is doomed? No. I think every communication system on the internet will be killed off at some point (keeping my fingers crossed this will be true for email too), so in that case, Mastodon, Twitter, Facebook, Email, all will go the way of the Myspace at some point.

I think Mastodon is currently already a success, it’s useful for me as my main social media platform. It has quite some similarities with this BBS actually, there is aggressive moderation to weed out bad actors, for example. I also think, like on this BBS, most people on Mastodon agree that it’s ok for it to not be the dominating communication platform for the entire world.

So why say Mastodon is doomed? It’s useful now, and like everything else it will probably be surpassed by some other product.

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Yep, that’s one of the reasons, in addition to their being demonstrably ineffective at preventing the behaviour they’re supposed to stop, that I’ve always opposed real-name policies. It’s one of those “solutions” that only results in worse problems – usually for the vulnerable people they’s ostensibly designed to protect.

That’s pretty much it. It was a good-faith misunderstanding of his position on an issue as stated on one instance that snowballed into a multi-instance dogpile of harassment. I bring it up to show that the federated and decentralised model, despite the ability for one or more instances to ban a user or another instance, isn’t a cure-all or replacement for thoughtful and active (and dedicated) human moderation.

That said, centralised platforms like Twitter and FB already do a crappy job of moderation as much due to financial corner-cutting as to scale. Instances won’t have business-model constraints if they opt for quality human moderation, although the problem of moderation at scale that @orenwolf mentioned will still remain. I have to wonder if a hard-coded cap on membership in any given instance of a platform might be a way of addressing that.*

[*ETA: although someone who wanted to subvert that would probably just set up a bunch of instances with the same policies under their brand. Still, it would help address the scale/moderation problem in general and make good human moderation a more workable proposition for those instances that want it]

Well obviously it’s not perfect. But this imply that “the federated and decentralised model” is somehow a replacement for “thoughtful and active (and dedicated) human moderation” when the first is what makes the second possible.

Federation doesn’t guarantee good human moderation, but it makes it a lot more achievable then the world-wide winner-takes-all models that Facebook and Twitter use.

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It’s other people (the usual techno-utopians blinded by their love of the shiny new thing) who’ve implied that. What @orenwolf and I are pointing out is that it’s just not so.

Absolutely. I don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. As I noted above, the only thing worse than a decentralised model with instances of slipshod or non-existent moderation is the centralised model with slipshod or non-existent moderation we currently have with FB and Twitter.


They mean NON-sober counsel. Author means the terms of service have to have been written by a drunk person.

I’m going to be using this line from now on.


“Please stop literally posting pictures of your actual feces” is apparently the level of discourse that Parler is operating at right now.


Welcome aboard, Steets.

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