@wilw I’m so sorry. Please find an instance with a better admin. Mastodon is better with you in it.

@fraying @wilw Yes! People have been talking about instances specifically for celebrities and/or brands - maybe that's actually what it takes to make Mastodon work for everybody.

@tsturm @fraying Are celebrities not people too? Are they destined always to be treated differently because of _how others treat them_? That's just wrong, imo. If Mastodon can't work for a person who wants to just be a part of a community, but who happens to be famous, then it doesn't work for anyone.

@suw Celebrity is SCALE. Wilw's following here is modest, about 4k. On Twitter and FB, celeb accounts have tens to hundreds of millions of followers, even billions. That's mind-warping, literally.

(Three books ever have produced over a billion copies: the Bible, Quran, and Mao''s Little Red Book.)

It's powerful when the information flows /out/. It's /crippling/ when it flows /back/.

And infrastructure & admin also take hits.

They''re human.

But yes, it's different.

@tsturm @fraying

@dredmorbius @tsturm @fraying And if a social network can't cope with that, it won't cope with concerted attacks on minority groups, or propaganda, or any one of a million other things that have made FB and Twitter awful. The world is asymmetrical now, and we don't have the tools that we desperately need to deal with that asymmetry.

@suw @dredmorbius @fraying Federation might help solve some of these problems by allowing networks to be split - it’s a powerful deterrent to keep admins vigilant. This is exactly how Fidonet operated back in the BBS days.

I was a Fidonet echo moderator and I had the power to severe a BBS from the entire network if a single user misbehaved & the admin didn’t intervene. It was a very big stick to swing.

@tsturm @dredmorbius @fraying yeah, or it can allow instances where hate festers. if you admins aren't vigilant or if the bullies don't care, there's no positive impact of federation.

@suw Those canbe isolated.

This is an epidemiology / public heath problem.

Vigelance, monitoring, hygiene, vector control, innoculation, treatment, quarantine & isolation.

Admins and devs are asleep at the wheel.

@tsturm @fraying

@dredmorbius @tsturm @fraying Humans aren't a disease. Seriously, I've been having these conversations for nearly 15 years, Derek for way longer. Humans aren't diseases and communities are complicated, and if the makers of Mastodon don't get that, it's doomed.

@suw Information is a disease.

Or rather, diseases are information flows leading to population-based dysfunctions.

@tsturm @fraying

@dredmorbius Hey doc. Seems like you've got a metaphor that really works for you there. That's cool. It doesn't work for me, tho, and I've kinda gotten swept up in your replies here, so if you wouldn't mind, please leave me off of this chain, okay?

For those interested, the idea's not mine, I just stole it:

> There are really only three characteristics of an epidemic disease – Clustering, Spread, and Transmission.

This appears in disease, violence, propaganda, fads & fashions, innovation, culture.

It's not that information is a disease. It's that infectious, and environmentally-transmitted diseases, are information.


@dredmorbius @tsturm @fraying And yet, you sill have no clue what you're talking about.

@suw Thank you for your deep, considered, insightful, well-supported, and compelling analysis.

@tsturm @fraying

@tsturm @suw @dredmorbius @fraying It's reasonably swinging that stick that the Internet seems to have lost over time. We've gone from abuse@ mailboxes manned by actual people to automated bots and eventually... "this is a cost centre to be eliminated".
Unmoderated space (alt.*) has its place, but so does moderated polite discourse.

@suw What Federation offers, specifically, is compartmentalisation.

Booting wilsw /for specious complaints made against him/ is a pathology, though an understandable response for an admin with few other options.

Better, IMO, would be to reach out to wilw, say, "hey, this is a problem and is overwhelming us right now", and suggest, say, freezing his account for a few days whilst to storm blows over and something else can be sorted. It's likely good for general calm.

@tsturm @fraying


@dredmorbius @suw @tsturm if he’d been doing anything wrong, sure. But he wasn’t.

@fraying Sometimes, if a problem /concerns/ a specific element, even if that element is /at no fault/, you address it first.

This isn't punishment, it's tretment & resolution.

Also; this process happens /all the time/ in tech, addressing scale. But usually with far more caapitalisation. Most instances are one-person shops. A few have a handful of mods.

@suw @tsturm

@fraying @dredmorbius @suw @tsturm False. He (or a follower) was reporting anyone who mentioned his name, not just trolls and harassers. And there were groups of people leaving the instance solely to get away from him. Sometimes a person of notoriety are simply not wanted in a space where part of the user base doesn't want them, despite that person on their best behavior. (How many house parties do you think want a cop to attend?)

@fraying @dredmorbius @suw @tsturm It is not easy to manage a crowd. Part of administration is knowing which users are welcome and which will cause problems, and that requires making judgement calls that will not always please everybody.

Wil is a big boy, and he'll move on to a new instance or a new network. We can get past this, too.

@adriaanp @fraying @dredmorbius @suw @tsturm Arrogant of Wil to come into this instance and try to mold it more to his liking? Yes, it is.

@Down10 @fraying @dredmorbius @suw @tsturm ahh yes, twisting words to fit your narrative. Proofs my point.

@suw The long-term accommodation is probably celeb instances, individual or "hotels", geared up to deal with this, in code, metal, staff, training, and relations with other instances.

But that transition should be far better managed than this has been.

The other attacks you mention -- propaganda & bots, also concern me. This seems a dry run, or wet run, of just that.

@tsturm @fraying

@dredmorbius @tsturm @fraying Again, no. If there aren't the tools to deal with celebs there aren't the tools to deal with any asymmetric attack. It's that simple.

@suw If you think I'm arguing against that point, I'm not.

Though a difference is that celeb attacks have a specific target, easily identified, requiring protection.

Disruption attacks are general. They require identification, usually through cluster- and network-identification tools. Finding the social graph, which may not be directly apparent or manifested as, say, Mastodon follows.

Text & timing analysis often reveal these.

Then there's response & countermeasure.

@tsturm @fraying

@dredmorbius @tsturm @fraying No. Just no. Why should the victim of bullying be told to shush? And Wil's fame is in many ways incidental, because it's very easy to whip up a asymmetrical attack on a non-celeb these days, and that requires the same skills to manage as managing celebs.

@suw @dredmorbius @tsturm @fraying First of all his account is still here, so it doesn't really seem like he was actually banned.

Secondly, you have to consider the possibility that he was the problem. he burned a lot of bridges with the kinds of people that have signed up on mastodon from twitter.

The problem is he blocked, like, tens of thousands of people, many who didn't even interact with him, then advertised the list.

@suw @dredmorbius @tsturm @fraying he says he stopped but he was doing it pretty recently, like 2017 at least.

it's not a question of simply being a "celeb" but essentially directly, personally alienating tens of thousands of people.

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