The Antisocial Network

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Büge
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Re: The Antisocial Network

Postby Büge » Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:49 pm

Thad wrote:the top 5 posters -- us, Brent, Buge, and Elfin -- made up about 25% of all posts


How did I sustain that much engagement in the boards back then?

...now that I think about it, the membership was much larger and more active. There was always something new to talk about. That's probably why I've transferred my flag over to Talking Time for the most part.
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Thad
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Re: The Antisocial Network

Postby Thad » Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:30 am

You're still in the top five.

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Büge
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Re: The Antisocial Network

Postby Büge » Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:14 am

I am?

Well, whaddaya know.
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Z%rø
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Re: The Antisocial Network

Postby Z%rø » Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:48 pm

I've mostly opted out of networks where I am not explicitly in control content that I see (my echo chamber has wonderful acoustics) or the people I interact with. Not that these boards aren't fine - it's just that I find other places where I can hold a conversation at both the depth and speed at which I require.

Twitter is there if I want to see what's going on among those I follow or if I just want to shout about a cloud and not expect a response or interaction. Tumblr is there for when I want to be fed content by those I follow and I can post things I consider my own content. Discord is there for engaging in communities with people in active conversation. Reddit is there when I want to dig deep on a niche game/community's particular resources.

With regards to the state of discourse: I truly think we're fucked on that. I don't know when we went from "If you don't like a platform, go make your own" to "YOU CANNOT BAN ME FROM YOUR PLATFORM, YOU ARE DESTROYING MY FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS!!!". I am actually fairly annoyed with how spineless (Or, perhaps more unscrupulous than I ever thought) the entire collection of them are.
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Brentai
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Re: The Antisocial Network

Postby Brentai » Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:11 pm

Probably around the time people started claiming that the number of Twitter followers you have affects what kind of hotel rooms you can book.
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Lottel
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Re: The Antisocial Network

Postby Lottel » Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:21 pm

Back when my ex went nuclear on my internet presence, I took a look around and tried to rid myself of a lot of needless flab. I also shopped around for new social media platform is barnacle myself onto.

I now have a discord solely for one single group chat. I got a new Twitter that was fine for a while, if a little lonely and then my ex found an attacked that one. Facebook I was barely using (too out of my control but still posted occasional baby pictures due to demand) to know I avoid like a disease.

I'm trying to post here but I don't video game or discuss politics. I've READ everything since we started these boards but I honestly have a hard time posting and waiting for a reply.

It's one of those fun things where I'm sure there's a lot of posters who are just waiting for more traffic to post more.

I've been trying lately to be more present, though.
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Re: The Antisocial Network

Postby Lottel » Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:25 pm

Everyone I know is just on Twitter "until we find the next twitter". Some are also using Mastodon but social networks require widespread adoption for them to be used in the way they are used now and nothing has that push towards saturation. Until then, I'm just throwing my hat into a hundred rings and hoping a city forms around it. Again, I'm waiting for posters to post so I can reply.

I don't know what the next social network I'm waiting for would look like but I'd like it to be short form and primarily for text instead of media.

I'd prefer it to be devoid of nazis but it's surprising how fucking hard it is for someone in a position of power to agree.
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Brentai
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Re: The Antisocial Network

Postby Brentai » Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:43 pm

The big problem is that a social network needs wide adoption but nobody actually WANTS a social network to have wide adoption. That's why the ones that are thriving right now all seem content to do what's best for themselves and to give everybody else the finger.
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Re: The Antisocial Network

Postby Mongrel » Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:24 pm

Yeah, niche social networks are all trying to find ways to be the next WoW killer Twitter/FB so they can get into the promised land of sweet sweet venture capital and ad revenue.

The second one is kind of silly if you think about it, because if you have a strong niche social network built around any sort of theme or common ground it seems like businesses appealing to that market segment would get far more bang for their buck advertising on a more dedicated platform. But while that does happen sometimes, it seems like most businesses just lazily pay a third party data firm to package and service their ads (which is of course how we get legit ads next to script-scams or wacky mismatches between bands and platforms which embarrass businesses and make the news).
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Re: The Antisocial Network

Postby Yoji » Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:37 am

*checks Facebook* ...heh, my last post was in late June this year, and I was asking if anyone else was on Mastodon. I still go back for IMs, keeping tabs on Warcraft guildies, and the occasional group event.

But for the most part I feel kind of stranded in the wilderness. I can't go back, at least not for long; it had become a 24/7 terrible Thanksgiving dinner at best, and that was before the data collection genie got out of the bottle, and long before the unprecedented electronic ratfucking in 2016. That's one of the main reasons I found my way back to our fair message boards: of all the islands I'm hopping between, this one is the biggest, safest, and well-charted.

Maybe it's better that way? Social networks that are more compartmentalized? It sure seems that way on my mental whiteboard, but real life has a nasty habit of ruining everything nice.
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Thad
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Re: The Antisocial Network

Postby Thad » Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:40 pm

Mongrel wrote:Yeah, niche social networks are all trying to find ways to be the next WoW killer Twitter/FB so they can get into the promised land of sweet sweet venture capital and ad revenue.

The second one is kind of silly if you think about it, because if you have a strong niche social network built around any sort of theme or common ground it seems like businesses appealing to that market segment would get far more bang for their buck advertising on a more dedicated platform. But while that does happen sometimes, it seems like most businesses just lazily pay a third party data firm to package and service their ads (which is of course how we get legit ads next to script-scams or wacky mismatches between bands and platforms which embarrass businesses and make the news).


Doctorow had an article last month titled Zuck’s Empire of Oily Rags where he observed that targeted advertising on Facebook really isn't that effective, it's just much more effective than traditional advertising, which is very, very ineffective.

Yoji wrote:That's one of the main reasons I found my way back to our fair message boards: of all the islands I'm hopping between, this one is the biggest, safest, and well-charted.

Maybe it's better that way? Social networks that are more compartmentalized? It sure seems that way on my mental whiteboard, but real life has a nasty habit of ruining everything nice.


That's certainly how I feel about it.

It also fits my posting habits. I quit #ff in large part because I'm not good at being a passive observer in a live chat, and if I start hanging out in one it starts eating up all my time. And I find the Twitter/Mastodon microblogging format to be antithetical to saying anything complex, nuanced, and meaningful. (Mastodon's default 500 characters are better than Twitter's 280, but still not enough. Granted, a Mastodon instance can set its own character limit, but I still prefer blogs for monologuing and messageboards for dialoguing.)

I do think there's a potential future in a return to smaller, more intimate platforms -- not that they'll necessarily replace the giant networks, but that they might become more viable alternatives again. (See the Budweiser/microbrewery analogy I used earlier. Budweiser isn't going anywhere, but neither are microbreweries.)

And I think effective moderation is only possible when moderators are part of the community. If you don't understand context and inside jokes, you can't tell the difference between a post that's abusive and one that's not.

For example, I once described Romo as "just barely one level above a black." My recollection is that he thought it was funny and (this was back when we had karma) gave me a karma for it. (And Romo, if I am misremembering and you didn't think it was funny, then I apologize, and I apologize for bringing it up again now.) Out of context, that remark is racist as fuck. In context, it is an ironic reference to a racist remark made by somebody else. It's an inside joke.

If somebody -- let's say Yyler, he used to get really mad about how he didn't get all our inside jokes -- if Yyler had reported my post (let's assume for the sake of argument that I'm not an admin in this scenario, even though I was when I wrote it), the admins could have explained to him that no, it's okay, it's an inside joke.

But on Twitter, the moderators have no way of understanding context or recognizing inside jokes.

And, what's worse, this is easy for trolls to weaponize.

Somebody gets mad at you, all they have to do is go through all your old posts, find one that looks offensive when taken out of context, and report it. Here's a recent example on Techdirt: How Twitter Suspended The Account Of One Of Our Commenters... For Offending Himself? It's about a guy who got his account suspended for using a homophobic slur -- in reference to himself.

And this is another one of those "we've heard this song before" things. That's exactly the sort of shit that used to happen on the Prodigy boards back in the old days. Moderators were piss-poor at punishing abusive posts, but they were a great resource that trolls (we called them "bashers" back then) could exploit: find somebody you don't like, go through his old posts, and report anything that looks even slightly controversial.

It is pretty frustrating to remember how much we hated that shit 25 years ago and observe that people have voluntarily gone back to platforms that work like that, that are so big that moderation is likelier to be used by abusive posters than against them.

Basically, as messy as things have gotten here -- not lately, but at various points over the past 16 years --, moderation decisions have always been personal. Again, moderation of any kind (or lack thereof) is always going to attract a certain amount of grousing, but even when it was bigger this community's always been small enough that the mods knew who they were dealing with and the context of things people were saying. Admin decisions are made with that knowledge of context.

And while certainly there have been disagreements over whether a reported post actually warranted any kind of mod action, I think on the rare occasions people have clicked Report, they've done so in good faith.

Except Guild. But he used the Report button to annoy admins, not because he actually thought it would get anybody in trouble. (In fact I think he may have used it exclusively on his own posts.)

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Re: The Antisocial Network

Postby Mongrel » Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:19 pm

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lol
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Thad
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Re: The Antisocial Network

Postby Thad » Sat Sep 29, 2018 2:24 pm

Masnick notes that this is probably incompetence, not malice, and that Facebook's spam filters likely trigger when thousands of people try to post the same story at the same time.

Still, that's no excuse; it's a bad look and it also highlights that automated filters just aren't very good.

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Re: The Antisocial Network

Postby Mongrel » Sat Sep 29, 2018 5:34 pm

Yeah, it's too much of an obvious shot in the foot to be deliberate, even for Facebook. Still funny and telling though.
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