@wilw I’m so sorry. Please find an instance with a better admin. Mastodon is better with you in it.
@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.
But yes, it's different.
@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.
@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.
@suw And if we're calling bona fides, I have 2 million years of Krell culture to back myself up.
@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.
@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.
@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.
@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.
@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.
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.
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