Replied to People will come to adore the technologies that undo their capacities to think by Doug BelshawDoug Belshaw (Doug Belshaw’s Thought Shrapnel)

I’ve got no issue with having an ‘outboard brain’ where I store things that I want to look up instead of remember. It’s also insanely useful to have a method by which the world can join together in a form of ‘hive mind’.

What is problematic is when this ‘hive mind’ (in the form of social media) is controlled by people and organisations whose interests are orthogonal to our own.

Great post Doug. I like your three things:

  • Hive-mind not linked to shareholder value
  • Find voices in other places
  • Curate not just consume

Personally speaking, I have not found a home on Mastodon, but spend less time on Twitter. Instead, I scroll through my feed within Inoreader, while follow up links captured through Nuzzel.

In regards to voices in other places, I subscribe to a number of blogs, podcasts and newsletters.

I also try and curate what I read. However, I feel that I could probably do more to join the dots.

Replied to All is petty, inconstant, and perishable (Doug Belshaw’s Thought Shrapnel)

Zooming out a bit, and thinking about this from my own perspective, it’s a good idea to insist on good security practices for your nearest and dearest. Ensure they know how to use password managers and use two-factor authentication on their accounts. If they do this for themselves, they’ll understand how to do it with your accounts when you’re gone.

Thank you for the reflection Doug. I must admit that it is not something that I had necessarily thought about. I think in regards to social media, it makes me glad that I have scripts setup to constantly delete my content.
Bookmarked Kate O’Halloran made a mistake on Twitter. But admitting it wasn’t enough for trolls – ABC Life (abc.net.au)

Freelance journalist and sportswriter Kate O’Halloran knows the risks of being a woman online and daring to comment on areas traditionally dominated by men. Kate was abused, harassed and left fearing for her safety after making an error in a tweet she posted while watching a game of AFL.

Kate O’Halloran reflections on her mistake on Twitter. She discusses how she was trolled, firstly on Twitter and then on Facebook. Associated with all this, O’Halloran discusses the toll that it took on her and her family.

I still haven’t read the comments on the post I made before I logged off. In fact, when I re-read over the abuse I received for the sake of this article, my smartwatch warned me that an “abnormal heart rate” had been detected.

She closes the piece encouraging people if they care for the welfare of those being targeted to contact them to provide support.

Patrick Wright discusses O’Halloran’s example to unpack the statistics associated with online abuse and bullying. He also provides a number of suggestions of what to do when placed in such a situation, including reporting, deflecting comments, using humour and blocking.

Replied to

Personally, I think that we need to create structured spaces for students to learn to be in such spaces together, This is a better answer IMHO than running away from them. Plus, I think that social media can be positive, it is not all negative, right?
Replied to Likes, likes, and more likes

I’m not sure I’m going to change my habits back? It feels rude. Isn’t that interesting? I feel an obligation to be more generous, more ‘like’-able. I share an anniversary photo on Facebook, someone takes the time to send us well-wishes, I guess I should like their comment. I share something on Twitter and someone responds. I don’t have a response in return, so I should like their tweet as my response/acknowledgement. Someone shares a wonderful family moment on Instagram, I should be nice and like it, after all, they liked my family photo. And so suddenly my habits above became watered down to things I should do to be polite on social media.

David, your discussion of the act of liking reminds me of a post from Kevin Hodgson. In a lengthy response, I clarified my personal use of ‘likes’ and how it might differ to others.

I also enjoyed Doug Belshaw’s reflection of Twitter about likes versus bookmarks:

Bookmarked The machine always wins: what drives our addiction to social media (the Guardian)

The interesting question is what it is that is so addictive. In principle, anyone can win big; in practice, not everyone is playing with the same odds. Our social media accounts are set up like enterprises competing for attention. If we are all authors now, we write not for money, but for the satisfaction of being read. Going viral, or trending, is the equivalent of a windfall. But sometimes, winning is the worst thing that can happen. The temperate climate of likes and approval is apt to break, lightning-quick, into sudden storms of fury and disapproval.

In an edited extract from The Twittering Machine, Richard Seymour touches on the addictive nature of social media. Whether it be positive or negative, it feeds our tendency for more. It reminds me of the Two Minutes of Hate in George Orwell’s 1984. This is something that Cal Newport touches upon. The question I was left wondering is whether blogging and platforms like WordPress are any different? If so, how?
Bookmarked A Framework for Moderation (Stratechery by Ben Thompson)

The question of what should be moderated, and when, is an increasingly frequent one in tech. There is no bright line, but there are ways to get closer to an answer.

Ben Thompson responds to CloudFlare’s decision to terminating service for 8chan with a look into the world of moderation. To start with, Thompson looks at Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and the responsibility platforms have for content:

Section 230 doesn’t shield platforms from the responsibility to moderate; it in fact makes moderation possible in the first place. Nor does Section 230 require neutrality: the entire reason it exists was because true neutrality — that is, zero moderation beyond what is illegal — was undesirable to Congress.

He explains that the first responsibility lies with the content provider, however this then flows down the line to the ISP as a back stop.

Bookmarked Time to Rejoin Tumblr? Thoughts on a Social Media “Reunion Tour” (Tedium: The Dull Side of the Internet.)

Five social networks that offer ripe opportunities for a “reunion tour” of your own

  1. Flickr. Owned and acquired, and later sold in a fashion very similar to Tumblr itself, the photo-sharing service (now owned by SmugMug) has moved to a pay model, but it could still be a great tool for folks that are looking for a more low-key version of photo sharing.
  2. DeviantArt. Going back to a vintage site doesn’t necessarily mean that the site will look like it did 15 years ago—something that can definitely be said of DeviantArt, which just released an ambitious redesign that was so out of character for the old-school platform that it recently trended on Twitter. It’s an opportunity to go back just after a snazzy renovation.
  3. LiveJournal/Dreamwidth. Technically, the old-school LiveJournal is still around, and the one you definitely don’t feel like sharing might still be online. But its ownership has changed dramatically over the years, in keeping in tune with its Russian user base, and it has led to moves that you might not be cool with. Fortunately, there’s an alternative in the form of DreamWidth, a fork of the original LiveJournal that’s been around for a decade.
  4. Internet Relay Chat or Usenet. If you’re a bit older, you may have gotten your first taste of a social internet through either of these digital protocols. They’re still around, though their focuses have changed dramatically, and you may find yourself most at home if you’re a developer. (IRC will be easier to get back into, just an FYI.)
  5. Blogging. As I wrote at the beginning of the year, the blogosphere is a culture worth defending, and if you can add something to it, you should! If you’re looking for the most retro-seeming blogging experience possible, Blogger is a good choice because Google hasn’t updated it in years.
Ernie Smith reflects on Automattic’s purchase of Tumblr and uses this as an opportunity to review and revisit some social media spaces that have seen better days, but still might be worth our revisiting. Personally speaking, I am an advocate for blogging and possibly POSSEing to some of these other places. Therefore, hedging your bets both ways.
Bookmarked Shame Cycles and Twitter Rage (edifiedlistener)

How do I engage someone whose viewpoint differs significantly from mine without necessarily triggering the shame-defensiveness-anger cycle?

I don’t have definitive answers but I’m thinking of ways I can help myself wrestle with these situations more effectively – which means in a way that I consider my own care and safety first before trying to save the world that’s already on fire.

Reflecting on the recent furore that has arisen around Tom Rogers’ post sharing who to follow on Twitter, Sherri Spelic share some tips and questions to consider when dealing with the toxic side of Twitter.

– Is my engagement here necessary or essential?
– Will this conversation be helped by my intervention? In what way?
– Use a side commentary by quote-tweeting the original source of conflict.
– Use questions or invite the person to elaborate on a point of confusion.
– What is this involvement calling forth in me?
– Is this time I have to dedicate to this cause right now?

This always has me coming back to Ian Guest’s PhD about Twitter and wondering about all the possibilities, as well as what part Twitter itself plays with all this.

Marginalia

The next time we feel drawn into a rage-inducing exchange, we can perhaps first ask ourselves how the platform benefits and if that’s where our energies are really best spent. Twitter loves our rage. Our individual and public health do not.

Bookmarked How YouTube Radicalized Brazil (nytimes.com)

YouTube built its business on keeping users hooked. This has been a gift to extremist groups. An investigation in the company’s second-biggest market found serious consequences.

Max Fisher and Amanda Taub look at YouTube’s roll in subverting the traditional methods of political engagement in Brazil. This reminds me of what is happening in Italy and Hungry.
Bookmarked Remembering Instagram Before the Influencers (Vice)

Artists like Audrey Wollen, Alexandra Marzella and Arvida Bystrom moved to Instagram from Tumblr in the early 2010s. But the past few years have seen the platform shift.

Daisy Jones takes a look at the early adopters of Instagram and what happened to them. It would be interestingly to look at the early adopters across all the different platforms, whether it be Tumblr, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook and Mastadon. I wonder if there is a correlation across the different platforms and the creativity and voices they foster.
Bookmarked The most popular social media networks each year, gloriously animated (The Next Web)

It’s hard to remember a world without social media, but it existed – as did a lot of other networks. We tracked their evolution.

This is an intriguing representation of social media over time:

It is useful as a provocation for many conversations.

Liked Social Media Could Make It Impossible to Grow Up (WIRED)

In sharp contrast to Postman’s prediction, childhood never did disappear. Instead, it has become ubiquitous in a new and un­expected way. Today, childhood and adolescence are more visible and pervasive than ever before. For the first time in history, children and adolescents have widespread access to the technologies needed to represent their lives, circulate these representations, and forge networks with each other, often with little or no adult supervision. The potential danger is no longer childhood’s disappearance, but rather the possibility of a perpetual childhood. The real crisis of the digital age is not the disappearance of childhood, but the specter of a childhood that can never be forgotten.

Excerpt adapted from The End of Forgetting: Growing Up with Social Media by Kate Eichhorn, published by Harvard University Press.
Bookmarked Trump’s social media summit and me by Ben WerdmüllerBen Werdmüller

Code is never more important than life. Genocide is always a bigger problem than software distribution licenses. Hopefully this is obvious.

While I accept that it runs counter to the stated principles of the free software movement, I believe we need a new set of licenses that explicitly forbid using software to facilitate hate or hate groups.

Ben Werdmuller discusses Minds use of Elgg and its involvement with hate speech. He argues that to counter the abuse of people and open source software, we need a new set of licenses that prevents misuse. This reminds me of Mike Monteiro’s call for reform in regards to design industry to eliminate such situations.
Bookmarked Opinion | I Shouldn’t Have to Publish This in The New York Times (nytimes.com)

The way we regulated social media platforms didn’t end harassment, extremism or disinformation. It only gave them more power and made the problem worse.

Cory Doctorow wonders about the future social media and copyright laws.
Bookmarked Adding Instagram to a Social Reader by Chris Chris

Screenshot of my Instagram feed Photo by Donna Murray Photography
I mentioned yesterday my frustrations with Instagram were at an all-time high, and I wanted to “soft quit” the app by adding my follows as a source in Monocle. I didn’t find any existing guide on how to do this (sorry if I misse…

Chris McLeod provides a useful guide for using Granary to create a feed for Instagram to use within a feed reader.
Bookmarked We Have Never Been Social by Kathleen FitzpatrickKathleen Fitzpatrick (Kathleen Fitzpatrick)

If the problem has not been the centralized, corporatized control of the individual voice, the individual’s data, but rather a deeper failure of sociality that precedes that control, then merely reclaiming ownership of our voices and our data isn’t enough. If the goal is creating more authentic, more productive forms of online sociality, we need to rethink our platforms, the ways they function, and our relationships to them from the ground up. It’s not just a matter of functionality, or privacy controls, or even of business models. It’s a matter of governance

Kathleen Fitzpatrick outlines her new project to rethink the web from the ground on up.