@yishan: I've now been asked multiple times for my take on Elon's offer for Twitter. So fine, this is what I think about that. I will assume the takeover succeeds, and he takes Twitter private. (I have...…
Likely relevant with the increasing size of the Lemmy federation.
All of what he complains about is pretty much solved with the self-hosting and federation features of Mastodon or Lemmy. Feel like you’re being censored? Start your own instance or join someone else’s instance.
I am less optimistic about that. I theory yes, but looking at the way people in the Mastodon federation go about defederating entire instances and any instance that still federates with said instance because they don’t like some specific person’s opinion…
Moderation isn’t really solved by federation, it just makes it harder to get enraged about this single face-less entity that does all the “censorship”. But that doesn’t mean instance moderators are not subject of plenty of accusations of “censorship” and “political bias”.
This is suprisingly level headed. But the problem goes away the moment social media giants go away. The problem with the internet are the monopolies. Once you don’t have monopolies the free market can function. Censorship ceases to be a problem when a single platform doesn’t dominate the conversation.
He articulates the problem well. I don’t know either way whether it is correct whether there really isn’t any agenda or bias in how Twitter is moderated, it might be true, it might not, more likely it is just not that simple because there is push and pull forces at work inside of Twitter ae well and its administration is not just some homogeneous hive mind. But it doesn’t really matter anyway.
I think where he goes wrong is that he seems to indicate that he thinks there is a solution, that will allow gigantic monolithic social media platforms with millions of billions of users to exist with no tension about moderation policies and free speech limits, and all it requires is that everyone on the whole platform just be civil and change how their brains work and suppress their individual cirtlcumstances that led to them behave in manners that are destructive to civil discourse and do it all at the same time.
Well, that won’t happen. Maybe the solution is that we don’t need platforms that are as big as Twitter or Facebook. Maybe the solution is for people in leadership positions at these companies to recognise that humans are not ready to be put into an environment like that. Which basically comes down to societies and nations designing the market incentives to make disintegrating these too-large giants of companies an attractive proposition. Though how that could be. I don’t know. The more immediate solution for Twitter would be, for Elon to buy it for fifty billion dollars, take it private, then liquidate it and tell everyone to go to fedi.
I didn’t get this impression at all.
Neither did I. It seems like he’s indicating he’s aware of the opposite case. That this solution is impossible.
Maybe I’d better go read the post again.
I think some of his points are valid, mainly the sheer impossibility of moderating platforms with millions of users online at any given moment. It’s just hard to square his insistence that the companies running the platforms are neutral while they’re owned and operated by the ruling class. Then of course his random plugging of the lab leak silliness and his Musk stanning just throw me off completely.
Pretty good read, with some very relevant points thanks.
For decades, the notion of free speech was peddled as the differentiating factor between enlightened western democracies and the authoritarian eastern barbarians.
The reason this was possible was because there was a very narrow Overton window in western mainstream. Majority of the population of western countries shared a liberal worldview. This system worked because quality of life that westerners enjoyed was generally better than the rest of the world and this reinforced the idea that liberalism was the best system possible.
The lifestyle in the west is largely subsidized by brutal exploitation of the countries the west colonized. However, as Lenin notes in his Imperialism essay, capitalism inevitably turns the process of exploitation inwards towards the heart of the empire and this is the phase we’re entering now. The wealth of the west is increasingly becoming concentrated with the oligarchs, and the material conditions for the majority are rapidly deteriorating.
The collapse in the standard of living has opened up the Overton window much wider. There is no longer a single mainstream world view in the west. The liberal centrist narrative is shrinking while both the left and the right are growing. Most of social media platforms in US share a liberal bias because that’s the predominant ideology in the tech world. Now that there is a significant number of voices outside the liberal mainstream we’re seeing platforms like Twitter starting to censor speech that falls outside liberal mainstream.
It’s pretty much unheard of for liberals to be banned on Twitter even when they say absolutely heinous things or spread misinformation. The same standard that’s applied to the right and the left is not applied to the mainstream.
The notion that these companies don’t care about politics is pure nonsense. However, the belief that this is the case is entirely real. People who hold mainstream views often see themselves as being apolitical. And they see the mainstream as the natural order of things.
The west starting to admit that a certain amount of censorship is in fact necessary for a society to function cohesively. This negates one of the strongest arguments the west had for its superiority.
My theory is web-of-trust-based moderation can fix this but not on Twitter because they won’t allow such an integration. So we should try it on the fediverse. One of these days I’ll hook this kind of thing up to Mastodon (watch https://github.com/weex/wot-server if you’re interested in knowing when that happens).
Hmm, so like a social credit score for the fediverse? Trolling a bit of course, but that seems like it could have a lot of unintended consequences that are rather bad.
It just needs to be transparent and openly worked on, unlike the american social credit score system.
Even a totally transparent social credit system necessarily results in social chilling and internalized self-censorship. There are different opinions on that and some people consider this the only way to have a harmonious society, but I hope we will find a better solution at some point.
More of a high-dimensional trust vector but I get your point. We won’t know the consequences until we try it. Some of the potential advantages are scalability, transparency, optionality, automation, resistance to bots, and decentralization.
Is this guy the one who wanted slaves in space or someone else?
You’re thinking of Steve Huffman.
I don’t think so. He is the guy that wants to plant a lot of trees.
This dumb motherfucker really tried to “both sides” this shit then literally declared that racist lab leak bullshit to be true, lmao
He said he believed it and clarely noted it was just his opinion.