Users of the world, unite(?) 

This Public Books review/essay by Gregory Afinogenov covers a lot of ground relevant to what's going happening on Mastodon right now.

"Who gets to decide what an online community is and how it functions? ...what if, instead, we focused on ourselves as users, with all our contradictory impulses, and looked for ways to liberate ourselves?"

(I'm biased since I'm mentioned favorably in it but it's really worth a read)

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Users of the world, unite(?) 

fwiw I agree with his assessment of Jessa Lingel's book — "Lingel sees class as primarily an aesthetic or cultural language that codes certain modes of interaction as poor or wealthy, rather than as a set of power relationships that determine who benefits from the way Craigslist operates." Not an uncommon problem with a lot of digital humanities scholarship , but unfortunate since Craigslist is worthy of a more thorough full-length book treatment

Users of the world, unite(?) 

@jomc That part about offshored, invisible, traumatizing work of moderation made me think of Borges's Lottery in Babylon – would things improve if we all had to take a turn doing that? We've got no idea what other people have to go through, happy to believe the line about our feeds being generated by our friends and processed by an algorithm.

Users of the world, unite(?) 


i get into this a little bit at the end here but that kind of graphic objectionable content just doesn't happen when you are dealing with grassroots online communities where the founder/operators/staff know who all their users are and moderation is more like peer mediation

Users of the world, unite(?) 

@jomc I find it so dispiriting that we "regular" users are just lightyears away from these people's experiences. “When we do it well, no-one even knows that what we do needs doing.” Ok, rather than forcing everyone into Babylon's Lottery, let's repurpose all these tedious cookie popups with "I accept this social media network relies on traumatising its workers" messages instead.

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