"Blockchain Rasputin over here is mad that moderation exists"
May 13, 2024 9:44 AM   Subscribe

After departing the BlueSky board of directors, Block Head and social media mogul Jack Dorsey gave an interview with venture capitalist Mike Solana in which he explained that Twitter rejecting advertisers is a blow for free speech and BlueSky is repeating the mistakes of Twitter, like moderation.

Needless to say, this has had tech pundits wondering if Dorsey actually understands what social media users want, while BlueSky staff pointed out the moves were to effectively accomplish BlueSky's goals (especially after Twitter's acquisition precluded the idea that it would adopt BlueSky as a protocol.)

(Thread title courtesy of Mefi's Own jwz and his observations on the matter.)
posted by NoxAeternum (62 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
 
So after thinking about it, Dorsey demonstrating his full ass merited more than an aside in Yet Another Musk Thread, because attacking moderation as inimical to "free speech" is... definitely A Choice.

(Also, jwz, I apologize, but "Blockchain Rasputin" is a thing of beauty that deserves to be shared.)
posted by NoxAeternum at 9:47 AM on May 13 [22 favorites]


it's 💩 all the way down

Unlike Elog and this clown, I'm Ok with my social media platforms terminating with extreme prejudice bad actors and people pushing viewpoints over honest interchange of ideas.

(The difference is kinda like pron vs art, I know it when I see it)

My BIL had his Twitter account timed-out by the previous Twitter Safety Team over such things as pushing ivermectin and all the other Q crap he got wrapped up in.
posted by torokunai at 9:55 AM on May 13 [6 favorites]


Dorsey likes Nazis and doesn’t know why anyone else might not like Nazis. He’s basically Elon-lite. Bluesky being a disappointment to him is very good news about Bluesky.

This thread by the Bluesky dev lead is also very good.
posted by Artw at 9:56 AM on May 13 [30 favorites]


> Blockchain Rasputin

there was a cryptokitty that really was gone
posted by bombastic lowercase pronouncements at 9:56 AM on May 13 [15 favorites]


While Elon’s lip service to free speech is obviously disingenuous—-he knows it leads to Nazis flooding the zone, and that’s the whole point for him—-I’ve never been sure about Dorsey. I think he really might be just a very, very dumb guy who doesn’t understand anything.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 10:00 AM on May 13 [16 favorites]


Ironic that I would actually pay some $$$ for really really good moderation + curation
posted by web5.0 at 10:02 AM on May 13 [3 favorites]


BlueSky remains slow and buggy for me, with a terrible interface. I only occasionally use it. X / Twitter, on the other hand, continues to perform well and be a great source for local politics and urbanism discourse.
posted by grumpybear69 at 10:05 AM on May 13


I do not find it surprising that powerful capitalists keep being in favor of hearing fascists out.
posted by The Manwich Horror at 10:12 AM on May 13 [27 favorites]


"And when you're entirely dependent on that, if a brand like P&G or Unilever doesn't like what's happening on the platform, and they threaten to pull the budget, which accounts for like 20% of your revenue? You have no choice, and... you have no choice. If you take a stance, and they pull the budget, and the stock market sees that, the stock price goes from like 70 bucks to 30. Then you have employees leave because they can get greater value elsewhere, and that's the whole conundrum that you're stuck in."

Ah, capitalism working at its best. /s

These tech dudes are so out of touch. The word "harassment" doesn't appear anywhere in the interview. The lack of imaginative empathy is staggering.
posted by ckoerner at 10:12 AM on May 13 [27 favorites]


Even though Blue Sky doesn't allow for private accounts currently, it does do a great job of giving me good content from my mutuals and other accounts. Basically, no one has come to pick a fight with me but then I don't usually type out content that requires antagonism. As my long term internet buddy Jack Fear has said about the kind of people who look for fights on social media: "You know who values the rush from arguing with strangers? People who have no friends."

Blue Sky remains for me: dumb jokes, cat pictures, talking about movies, and high weirdness.
posted by Kitteh at 10:16 AM on May 13 [9 favorites]


I’ve never been sure about Dorsey. I think he really might be just a very, very dumb guy who doesn’t understand anything.

Nothing the man has ever said has disabused me of this same notion. He's an imbecile, but he has money so that imbues his moronic utterances with undue credibility.
posted by Dark Messiah at 10:20 AM on May 13 [11 favorites]


I hope the suffering of BlueSky right now is worth leaving a Nazi bar? The more users they get the better the app will become, and I think what they've done so far is quite impressive.
posted by constraint at 10:20 AM on May 13 [1 favorite]


Nothing the man has ever said has disabused me of this same notion.

The Block Head thing in the FPP? That's not me calling Dorsey that. That's literally the title he gave himself when he renamed Square, akin to his mancrush's "Technoking" appellation.

I can't make this up (not nearly enough drugs in the world), and it's further proof that nobody can mock Jack Dorsey quite like Jack Dorsey.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:27 AM on May 13 [3 favorites]


Open access devotee decries existence of doors, locks. 🙄

Full disclosure, I'm a happy Bluesky user.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 10:29 AM on May 13 [4 favorites]


I think he really might be just a very, very dumb guy who doesn’t understand anything.

I worked with Jack at the start of Twitter. He's not dumb. At the time I knew him best he was very smart, and capable, and had a strong product intuition. I used to defend him more on Metafilter but don't anymore. He's too far gone and it's been years since I interacted with him personally. But he's not dumb.

For this latest thing I've been pondering what Anil Dash said in response to the interview
I understand the impulse to want to dismiss motivations as these folks just being dumb, but it's an error in the same category as "wait for the racists to die off". It's not ignorance, it's _intentional_ malice.

I knew Jack (not well) a long time ago, and he's not a stupid person. He's just now so obviously obsessed with control and radicalized by being surrounded by fellow extremist VC-brained nutjobs. That, combined with being a very manipulative (and yes, reasonably smart) person is far more dangerous.

Jack knows exactly how Bluesky has been designed, and is intentionally lying about it & the implications of those choices, because he’s a bad actor who wants to empower his fellow extremists. That’s why he gave this interview to a fascist.

Nobody’s asking for my advice, but if they were, it would be simple: pay attention to who is trying to destroy you, like Jack, and which valuable voices you’re losing, like Tressie, and destroy the former while moving mountains to embrace the latter.
posted by Nelson at 10:32 AM on May 13 [75 favorites]


When I heard that Dorsey was off the Bluesky board, I considered giving it a try... but then I heard what happened to Tressie. Standing pat on the fediverse for now.
posted by humbug at 10:37 AM on May 13 [5 favorites]


As with OpenAI, I'd love to know from credible sources outside the bubble about what really motivated him to leave. Money? Control? Both?
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 10:44 AM on May 13 [1 favorite]


I wish Bluesky were better than it is, so I could leave Twitter completely
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:49 AM on May 13


Dorsey's complaints about Bluesky are a reminder that these techbros just have absolutely no clue what life is like for people who aren't like them. To them, moderation is bad because it threatens their "right" to express their views without consequence. But that's because they have absolutely no clue what it's like to have hordes of people hating them because of who they are. It's a reminder just how incredibly entitled they are.

Also, Bluesky has improved over Twitter in key areas. Blocks don't just make a post disappear to the person doing the blocking - it completely disconnects posts between the blocked and the blocker. Someone put it as "cauterizing" the connection. It's so much better.

And the community labelers are a great way to distribute moderation options. Because it allows for not just your standard moderation options - allowing users to hide racism and extremism and trolling and the like - but even allow for some interesting filtering options. Like a labeler that lets you hide posts that are just screenshotting Twitter, or highlighting new accounts, or even hiding pictures of beans (just because!)
posted by evilangela at 10:53 AM on May 13 [11 favorites]


Like humbug I've stuck with Mastodon and the wider Fediverse, even as the general buzz around it has died down (tech still adores it and that's what I mostly follow), but I've already spilled a whole lot of words on that subject so I'll just leave a reminder that mefi.social is still active, and as far as I know you can still MeMail Pronoiac for an invitation. I think it'd be great if Bluesky does as they've promised and opened their system to the Fediverse, but I also fear that this will be forgotten if Bluesky takes off, or once it starts it'll eventually be shut down, as Twitter did for both SMS support and RSS feeds once they figured they didn't have to support them any more.
posted by JHarris at 10:53 AM on May 13 [16 favorites]


The first step in leaving Twitter is to leave Twitter.

The second step is finding something that replaces it. But don't let lack of step 2 prevent you from taking step 1.

I know my use case is not everyone's use case, but I've been happy in the Fediverse.
posted by caution live frogs at 10:54 AM on May 13 [23 favorites]


I read those comments. It’s amazing to me that someone who founded a social media company is so absolutely and completely clueless about how social media works.

Tech bros are really, really, really dumb.
posted by teece303 at 10:57 AM on May 13 [5 favorites]


I never paid much attention to Jack Dorsey but I guess he's what you might call a rusty, unsharpened tool lying on the floor of the shed.

FFS moderation is the only thing keeping most social spaces online from descending into chaos.

The Fediverse has really become my go-to social network - my instance has specific rules against any kind of bigotry and is also anti-corporate. We won't federate with Threads and troublemakers are promptly banned. Compared to the wasteland of twitter it's paradise.
posted by signsofrain at 10:58 AM on May 13 [12 favorites]


> NoxAeternum: "attacking moderation as inimical to "free speech""

This is your periodic reminder that Kathy Sierra was harassed off the internet and out of her career by notorious neo-Nazi weev for merely advocating for moderating comments on her own blog posts. And that was... *checks Wikipedia*... 17 years ago. I'm so very tired.
posted by mhum at 11:01 AM on May 13 [29 favorites]


I tend to hang out where my people are, and some of them are on BlueSky but more of them (especially my Metafilter pals) are on the Fediverse. Jack's departure from BlueSky was a net positive for me but I can see that it might not be enough for other people.

Related, I am underwhelmed by the news that Tressie quit BlueSky, presumably because of harassment, which: grr. But as much as I like the Fediverse, I'm not under the illusion that it wouldn't/couldn't happen there. The Fediverse and BlueSky have different social problems but they do both have problems.
posted by gentlyepigrams at 11:02 AM on May 13 [7 favorites]


Even if you are a straight up Nazi and want to make sure your fave social media platform doesn’t block Nazis, it indicates such a complete and total misunderstanding of the product to think moderation can be eliminated.

I’m sorry, I can’t be convinced a man that misunderstands his own products this badly is anything other than an idiot who is able to somehow convince people he isn’t one.
posted by teece303 at 11:05 AM on May 13 [1 favorite]


It’s akin to having a manager driving a tech product that is certain he can get a perpetual motion machine to power it.
posted by teece303 at 11:07 AM on May 13 [1 favorite]


If you take a stance, and they pull the budget, and the stock market sees that, the stock price goes from like 70 bucks to 30. Then you have employees leave because they can get greater value elsewhere, and that's the whole conundrum that you're stuck in.
This is an interesting bit of blindness. He can't imagine motivating good employees with anything other than the most money possible. He can't imagine getting money from anywhere other than the stock market (and, presumably, venture capital).

He wants to build a platform that's immune from capitalist/corporatist limits on speech, but he can't imagine funding it in any way other than the most capitalist/corporatist ways possible.

How does he think those two things are supposed to fit together?
posted by clawsoon at 11:29 AM on May 13 [8 favorites]


No, that's even worse than you think - that's Dorsey arguing "nobody should be allowed to tell me no."

The fact that's not an uncommon mindset in tech should terrify you.
posted by NoxAeternum at 11:37 AM on May 13 [9 favorites]


I'm out of the loop. Tressie? Anybody have a link summing up the who/what/where/when/why of that?
posted by clawsoon at 11:39 AM on May 13


My understanding (and I am not on Bluesky, so) is that Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom (author of Lower Ed, which is outstanding) got hit with a shoal of Reply Guys and was disgusted enough by it to leave Bluesky.

Reply Guys are also a plague on Mastodon, but I'm small-fry enough that blocking them one by one is good enough for now.
posted by humbug at 11:47 AM on May 13 [8 favorites]


Without further context, I would assume the Tressie in question is writer Tressie McMillan Cottom, who according to some tweets skeets posts I found on Bluesky (e.g.: this one or this one or this one) has left Bluesky. The posts suggest that she may have been annoyed/pushed/harassed off the site, but I don't know any specifics.
posted by mhum at 11:48 AM on May 13 [1 favorite]


web5.0: Ironic that I would actually pay some $$$ for really really good moderation + curation
Not ironic, web5.0, it's eponysterical.
posted by k3ninho at 11:52 AM on May 13 [4 favorites]


For all the people saying Jack Dorsey is actually very smart and insist he is not dumb, I have to point out that smart and dumb are not mutually exclusive.
posted by grubi at 12:15 PM on May 13 [16 favorites]


These tech dudes are so out of touch.

They all think they're gonna be the 21st Century version of Fritz Todt.
posted by aramaic at 12:16 PM on May 13 [1 favorite]


>smart and dumb are not mutually exclusive

Point of View Is Worth 80 IQ Points (either way)
posted by torokunai at 12:28 PM on May 13


There’s certainly a kind of dumb that comes from being just reasonably smart but convinced you’re the biggest super genius that ever walked the world.
posted by Artw at 12:31 PM on May 13 [13 favorites]


Jack Dorsey is not on mefi.social.

Just sayin'
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:33 PM on May 13 [5 favorites]


I'm Ok with my social media platforms terminating with extreme prejudice bad actors and people pushing viewpoints over honest interchange of ideas.

I, too, like Metafilter.
posted by ryoshu at 12:35 PM on May 13 [7 favorites]


There’s certainly a kind of dumb that comes from being just reasonably smart but convinced you’re the biggest super genius that ever walked the world.
My impression of Dorsey is that he is definitely not stupid but it has been years since he’s had to work with anyone who could safely disagree with him. When the only criticism you receive is from people you can blow off, you’re almost certain to get intellectually lazy and a ton of the Silicon Valley leaders suffer from it on topics which involve politics because they’re already used to dismissing the people who think they should pay taxes or be accountable.
posted by adamsc at 12:41 PM on May 13 [12 favorites]


“Blockchain Rasputin” *cackling*
posted by egypturnash at 1:01 PM on May 13 [2 favorites]


To them, moderation is bad because it threatens their "right" to express their views without consequence.

You are probably right, but what I don't understand is why they don't understand that moderation is good, because their users like it and their advertisers like it. You can be pro-free speech (and, IMHO, should be) but also recognize that moderation is a different thing and that, from a business sense, making your platform be "nice" (for whatever definition of "nice" fits your client base) is a good thing.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 1:47 PM on May 13 [1 favorite]


Because they are spoiled children.
posted by Artw at 1:50 PM on May 13 [1 favorite]


Dorsey always struck me as a bimbo (even by Silicon Valley/business world standards), but he is susceptible to the same criticize-me-and-I'll-turn-fash urges as all the other rich and famous people online. I'm not surprised that his reaction to being yelled at a lot was less "I need to spend more time offline" and more "I'm great, and those people are being mean to me, so there must be something really wrong with those people."

I like Bluesky, but the user base is getting more annoying. Is that a sign of the accelerating decline of ex-twitter, that the rats are jumping off, too?
posted by grandiloquiet at 2:07 PM on May 13 [2 favorites]


I'm out of the loop. Tressie? Anybody have a link summing up the who/what/where/when/why of that?

I spent some time looking for a good link and failed. I don't think there's a good writeup anywhere. I did find some useful primary sources that I'll share.

Tressie McMillan Cottom deleted her account tressiemcphd.bsky.social about a week ago (around May 5 or 6). As far as I know Dr. Cottom herself hasn't said anything about why.

It's hard to find details now because the account deletion destroyed a lot of context. There is a general discourse on Bluesky that her posts attracted a lot of obnoxious replies, some in bad faith, an endless parade of people arguing or pontificating. Here are several threads on Bluesky of people discussing this: 1 2 3 4 5. A specific recent event mentioned is an argument with someone being disrespectful to Dr. Hakeem Jefferson, a Black professor at Stanford.

More broadly, Bluesky’s growing pains strain its relationship with Black users from June 2023 is a good summary of general cultural problems at Bluesky. And Dr. Cottom herself wrote about an adjacent social media dynamic in 2021, Why Everyone Is Always Giving Unsolicited Advice. It's not at all about Bluesky but may be a useful insight into her thinking. I also enjoyed reading her 2016 essay about Twitter's reply UI, she has a remarkably nuanced insight into social media product design.

Connecting back to this Metafilter post, Jack's interview came out soon after Tressie left Bluesky. I'll quote again what Anil Dash had to say on that juxtaposition
pay attention to who is trying to destroy you, like Jack, and which valuable voices you’re losing, like Tressie, and destroy the former while moving mountains to embrace the latter.
posted by Nelson at 2:10 PM on May 13 [13 favorites]


a kind of dumb that comes from being just reasonably smart Artw I like a term that was used a lot by Hunter Thompson: halfbrights.
posted by BCMagee at 3:27 PM on May 13 [4 favorites]


Twitter didn’t have dual class voting shares to protect control? WTH?!
posted by bq at 5:19 PM on May 13


While Elon’s lip service to free speech is obviously disingenuous—-he knows it leads to Nazis flooding the zone, and that’s the whole point for him—-I’ve never been sure about Dorsey. I think he really might be just a very, very dumb guy who doesn’t understand anything.

I’m not sure that light can pass through the space between a disingenuous fascist and a dumb guy who cuddles up with Nazis. From 3’ away, they are identical.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:37 PM on May 13 [7 favorites]


I was really excited about the protocol Nostr that Dorsey is pushing, but now, not so much.
posted by mecran01 at 5:38 PM on May 13


Let’s all remember that intelligence and wisdom are separate stats.

1) is this a case of someone prioritizing ideology over capitalism? It seems like he cares a lot more about free speech than making money. He has this weird what-if where P&G demands content removal, the company declines, the stock market responds badly to lowered ad revenues, etc. but why would the company ‘take a stance’? If this is a publicly traded company, then it’s your *legal obligation* to put shareholder interests above ideology.
I would guess that he doesn’t believe moderation is popular with the public? But nothing he says touches on whether the public wants moderations or not. It’s all about how advertisers and the stock market would react. If he really believes moderation would be unpopular with the general public, wouldn’t ’free speech’ be the most profitable decision?

2) I don’t understand the whole thing about ‘building a protocol’ vs ‘building a platform’. Those seem like fundamentally different goals. Like, totally different things. I don’t understand what he wanted Bluesky to do. I don’t understand why he set it up like he did bc that doesn’t seem compatible with the whole ‘making a profit’ thing. And I don’t understand the endgame, if the endgame is mastodon. I have a mastodon account and I don’t see a path to profitability for it.

Also, it’s weird that my whole comment here is ‘but doesn’t this guy want to make money?’ Bc hey, ideals are better than money. But if you want to further your ideals *create a nonprofit instead of a publically traded or bc funded company*.
posted by bq at 5:51 PM on May 13 [3 favorites]


Now that I left Twitter I have 3 places to check: Bluesky (my favorite), Threads, and Mastodon.
posted by mike3k at 5:52 PM on May 13


bq, maybe he's still a true believer in the libertarian idea that free enterprise and free speech are best friends?
posted by clawsoon at 6:00 PM on May 13 [1 favorite]


‘but doesn’t this guy want to make money?’

He already has money. Now what is he wants is (more) power*.

*Power can be exchanged for money and control!
posted by Rudy_Wiser at 8:55 PM on May 13 [2 favorites]


“Blockchain Rasputin” *cackling*

@i-am-j.ag: Jack Dorsey looks like a guy who won't let you get a word in edgewise during his 30 minute long monologue about how he achieved ego death through ayahuasca.

@estrogenempress.gay: Also for the record Jack Dorsey looks like he sells ballsack tanning lotion at the local swap meet and probably smells like Corn Nuts and divorce paperwork.

@pairofclaws.bsky.social: Jack Dorsey looks like if you described Elon Musk's life to an AI.

@nedhartley.bsky.social: Jack Dorsey looks like the guy in a science fiction movie who says that we should worship the aliens not fight them, then they blow him up anyway.

@rushine.bsky.social: He looks like a black metal musician who went to prison for eating his bandmate.
posted by Wordshore at 4:48 AM on May 14 [12 favorites]


With respect to Dorsey's smarts or lack thereof, I have no personal experience with the guy. But I have personal experience with enough guys (and gals) over long enough time to have decided that "smart person" and "dumb person" are not particularly useful categories. I suspect that what Dorsey has going on is ignorance caused by privileged-guy blindness to unmarked categories and delusions arising from unexamined cognitive errors. These latter are probably all but unavoidable for someone with Dorsey's money. Dorsey could hire somebody to follow him around and remind him that he's just some guy, not a god, and not even really brilliant, but probably he hasn't.
posted by Aardvark Cheeselog at 7:34 AM on May 14 [6 favorites]


He’s basically entirely surrounded by reactionary suck-ups, like all tech billionaires.
posted by Artw at 8:35 AM on May 14 [2 favorites]


The problem is that he does have one of those people, but they misread the cue card and are instead whispering “memento more AI”
posted by notoriety public at 8:51 AM on May 14 [11 favorites]


i left twitter the day musk took control, where i followed both tressie and anil. i haven’t tried bluesky, but apparently it failed to hold onto good people. i also don’t know many details of the Dorsey antagonism, jist the general opinion reflected here. But I did read Dorsey’s interview the other day, and found it compelling enough to create a Nostr identity. I liked that accounts have to be a person, and that you could migrate at anytime with your network intact. Maybe I’ve misunderstood, but that seems ideal, no? You can use whatever app you find that meets your moderation requirements, and if the app goes astray, you can move. I also understand the point about business models, ad-driven vs another model, and it rings true to me. Tell me what I’m missing.
posted by mr ruby violet at 3:14 PM on May 14


I had a great time on twitter. I could see that it was finite, that it would only exist for a certain point in history, but I got a lot out of it. Mastodon absolutely sucked ass for me, each of the three times I used it, and I don’t intend to go back. There’s a big narrative I see on this site that mastodon is a great replacement for twitter, but there’s lots of use cases for these services, and if mastodon doesn’t work for you that’s fine.
posted by The River Ivel at 3:50 PM on May 14 [2 favorites]


I do think Bluesky's moderation protocol is worthy of mention, because to me it solves the big problems with Mastodon's federation system.

Each Mastodon instance has to have their own admin moderator, and can have other moderators, but that's a lot of social work an admin didn't necessarily sign up for, and as some have pointed out, this makes admins legally liable to deal with CSAM and other soul-destroying and illegal content. The other big problem is that each node decides for itself which nodes can be federated into its node, but it's an all-or-nothing thing: if they're mostly aligned but you and they differ on one particular policy, there's no real recourse other than to block everything. This became an acute problem with mastodon.org, which many admins wanted to pre-emptively block to force people out into other nodes, but also with journa.host, which had troubling ideas about moderation that other Mastodon admins mostly took out on its users.

Bluesky doesn't really have this problem - Bluesky have accepted that they're the reference node for the AT Protocol, and their protocol works just fine if 99% of people are on bsky.social and only the weirdos federate. But federation is an inseparable part of it; your username can be your website, and hosting, the frontend, and feeds can all be provided by third parties (I have a feed that's just gift links to paywalled websites.) But the big difference is the distributed moderation: Bluesky's moderation is a client of the AT Protocol, and that means that anyone can run their own moderation across the entire network - you follow a moderator, and their tags start showing up on your accounts and you can 'warn' or 'hide' posts and accounts tagged by a third party, and report posts to that party. Bluesky's mods are pretty decent thus far, they have an experienced Trust & Safety person on board, and when they inevitably fuck up, others will be able to fill in the gaps instead of having to beg Bluesky to do their job. There are already tags for all sorts of things, including for accounts that mostly seem to start fights, tags for screenshots of the other five websites, even things like posts with spoilers. What is important to you and your community does not need to be everyone else's problem, which I think is critical going forward - as long as it's something that people can meaningfully work with, instead of it just being a theoretical feature that doesn't reflect anyone's lived experience.

It feels like the dev team are delivering at a good cadence and people generally have a growth mindset for the network, which I think is important because I think that when community members are generally hostile about the people who own the community (cough, cough) the community is in terminal decline.
posted by Merus at 6:42 AM on May 16 [5 favorites]


That just seems a lot like solving federation by not federating TBH.
posted by Artw at 7:10 AM on May 16 [3 favorites]


Yes, moderation on Mastodon is messy and fraught, but there is a sense that it's because moderation itself is messy and fraught. If moderation seems easy, it's probably because its being done badly.

The more I become familiar with and use the Fediverse, the more I'm convinced that it may represent a solution to many of the internet's current corporate ills. It tells us that the solution to the problem of providing a service without a big rich company backing it, and all the terrible results that come about as it succumbs to enshittification, may be to split it up into thousands of little services that all talk to each other. Each individual instance can be good or bad, but those of which there's agreement they're bad get de-federated. So long as there's a general consensus, it can work well.

And it's an internet style solution, arrived at through cooperation and agreement. Those are the virtues on which the internet was built. A lot of the issues with the internet today come about because of bad faith actors abusing the trust on which it was created. Sure, there's always been terrible people on the internet, but it's relatively recently that they've banded together to cause their havoc. I like the idea of responding to that by using community. It's the first thing that's made me feel good about tech in a long time, certainly much better than NFTs or "AI."
posted by JHarris at 10:17 AM on May 16 [2 favorites]


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