at are very VERY similar to author 's concept of the Universal Laws in her mindblowing series. A short thread, 'cause I can't fit it all in one post.

In her far-future Earth, nation-states are now decided by ideology, not geographical borders. So a series of citizens of different "hives" live next-door to each other around the world, but there are also "Hiveless" who choose not to join one at all, for whatever reason. 2/

The Hiveless have a system of three sets of rules, which is where the comparison to comes in. Most people follow Graylaw, which is the normal liberal constitutional democracies of modern America, EU, etc. 3/

Some are whitelaw, agreeing to stricter rules in the name of societal benefit (think Scandinavian socialists, the religious, etc). And some are blacklaw, which means to other blacklaws only, there are no laws, including the right to murder, kidnap, rape, etc. 4/


The vast network of servers and communities that make up the ! system work exactly alike. They all have an open system of talking to each other, but then they each make their own rules for their own communities, as strict or as loose as they want. 5/

So some are very strict (whitelaw) in the name of keeping the place friendly (insisting on pronoun respect, for example), while some are like 4chan or the dark back hallways of Reddit (blacklaw), allowing any horrible you want. 6/

But most are like a mainstream place like Twitter (graylaw): Just, you know, don't talk about raping someone, or claim a certain race is the devil, and otherwise you're fine. And that's how you bring together such a diverse group into one working social network ecosystem. END/

@jasonpettus Conceptually this solves a lot of the problems I’ve had with centralized social media. I generally don’t like the idea of large parts of the internet being censored by a single party and I theoretically like that there are parts of the net that are still the Wild West.

@jasonpettus The issue is that I want to be able to control what I interact with and I usually don’t have any interest interacting with the darker parts of the net. In the case of centralized services like Twitter, I lose that control. I interact with all of it or none of it.

@jasonpettus In the case of Mastodon I can choose an instance that follows a rule set that I prefer but still engage with communities that are outside of that. It feels very Web 1.0. Individual forums and communities have their own standards but flitting between them is easy and encouraged.

@missingstring Yes, I really love that there are out there like whitelaws, some like blacklaws, and that I as a graylaw can follow any of the individuals in these other two I want (the ones who are funny and smart, for example), without needing to be blanket-exposed to every radical crazy in both those camps.

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