Scientists, disturbed by anti-science and far-right content, starting to leave Twitter

Originally published at: Scientists, disturbed by anti-science and far-right content, starting to leave Twitter | Boing Boing


Twitter? You mean “X”, the social media site hosted at :roll_eyes:


People are welcome to Mastodon. It’s pretty great having the ability to block entire servers if they have bad moderation policies. The toxic sorts tend to congregate and get encysted away from the rest of the Fediverse via shared blocklists (h/t fediblockhole which really oughta be a core feature accessible via UI - federated blocklists are a gamechanger).

It’s a pretty killer feature, IMO. There’s a lot of assholes, but you can actually do something about them en masse instead of playing whack-a-mole. The threat of defederation forces servers to actually do something about their shittiest users.


The Rock Clapping GIF


I can definitely understand leaving a once well loved site that no longer provides content one wants to consume.


I’ve been pretty pleased with Mastodon. I’m not a power user or anything (I was never a big twitter user either), but Mastodon is better in just about every way.


Yeah. It’s absolutely not a utopia, and there are tradeoffs that come with federation, but I think it’s the way forward that avoids the worst of centralized social media.


Posting ones reasonable and informed opinions to Xitter is just tossing more logs onto the fire. All you’re doing is giving them more fuel for their blaze of bullshit.

You’ll just get drowned out by Q-anon conspirators, literal nazis, and frothing bigots. It’s just Parler now. Leave, don’t look back. The sooner you leave, the sooner they’ll get bored, and the sooner it will collapse when they don’t have an audience for their horrible ideas for society.


I find this to be one of the more acceptable titles that various outlets have given Elon. I think something more like “Overexcited Daytrader and Media Personality” or perhaps “Professional Wealth Inheritor and Ted-X Speaker” might ring truer, but who’s got the time.


I don’t know if this was intentional by Nature or not, but lol.


Gobshite is accurate, but the media will never say that.


gobshite (plural gobshites)

  1. (Ireland, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, slang, offensive, vulgar) One who engages in nonsensical chatter or unwanted conversation.

  2. (Ireland, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, slang, offensive, vulgar) A person of very poor judgment and unpleasant character.


I find def 1 and 2 equally applicable. How will I choose??

Why Dont We Have Both GIF


Will also echo my positive experiences with Mastodon for this.

For those who need to advertise, and for whom virality is a major goal, Mastodon can be a bit limiting. So, small business owners, artists, etc. can seem to find it stifling.

For scientists, however? You can end up with a server dedicated to hosting all of the professional researchers and educators and get exposed to a common community that really echoes your priorities.

For someone reading science posts, you find one corner and you can quickly expand through that whole community even faster than on Twitter.


In a nice bit of serendipity, the Monterey Bay Aquarium left Twitter yesterday.


Also, while the media tends to have a gloom/doom boom/bust narrative, I’ve seen a lot of other people maintain some meaningful use and build real community there.

In some ways, it’s immaterial if it ends up being the “dominant” platform, because it’s already viable.

Edit: Don’t want to gloss over its flaws. It can be really nitpicky and we need to do better at encouraging and protecting minority community participation. The numbers don’t lie, and we need to have better outcomes.


Which are actively being destroyed by fascists. I’m guessing that things are going to only get more dangerous for people on these platforms who disagree with the fascism, and that will start to more obviously spill out into real life. There is going to be a kristallnacht moment sooner or later, where people will see real world violence against the people who are not fascists still hanging on. Perhaps now is the time to starve the beast of eyeballs before that happens.

Then don’t.

Mike Yard K GIF by The Nightly Show

And at some point, people need to vote with their attention, at the very least.


I mean, most of the better communities have just… blocked the fascists and moved on. I don’t deal with them in my feed. I’ve stayed the hell away from BlueSky and X lately because they’ve got the laundry list of classic bad actors back around.

What we need is a better blocking system, though. It’s still bound too much dichotomy between individual block and defederation. Mekka Okereke has had a lot of really good design suggestions on the topic.

Regardless, the service I’ll use is the one that has the highest “diverse community voices” to fascist ratio. I don’t use those services to be heard so much as to widen my net and find useful insights.


Or people could just leave X? It’s pretty clear at this point that it’s already a nazi bar, so why keep giving them your time and attention, when there are better places to go that don’t have nazis. That’s just helping the nazi bar stay in business.


Absolutely. That’s why Mastodon’s at least worth considering. It’s got a lot of improvement to make, but not having a bunch of owners/administrators actively signal-boosting fascists? None of the other services meet that standard.

About the only interaction I’ve had with X is when the only customer service account I can find is a Twitter feed :expressionless:

I still need to figure out how to move these BBS credentials away from it


One thing I think we lose out on federated systems is the ability to make yourself “less” visible to trollies. (I know I can’t outright stop my abuser from stalking me if I have a public Twitter, but he won’t see what I’m doing moment to moment if he also spends most of his time from his public Twitter account)

Interesting. I wonder why “-rolls” gets autocorrected to “trollies” on this site. It makes me sound like I’m trying to be cute.