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Like, if another social media site open to everyone popped up tomorrow, is there anything that could keep it from becoming a toxic hellscape that silences dissent and pushes women out?

Like, if another social media site open to everyone popped up tomorrow, is there anything that could keep it from becoming a toxic hellscape that silences dissent and pushes women out?

37 comments

The internet has turned a toxic corner and it seems that the majority of men that control algorithms like it just the way it is.

Usenet groups were fun and interesting back in the day. Lesbian.com was actually full of lesbians. “You’ve got mail” was such fun to hear and to see what email I had gotten.

Now, we have toxic Shinigami Eyes, toxic preddit, toxic porn everywhere, toxic twitter, toxic pedophiles, we can’t be totally honest about who we are or where we live or we will get toxic doxxed, etc.

The exciting promise of the internet has become a soul-sucking wasteland.

I think the potential of social media has been eclipsed by the issues it causes. I'd rather go back to the old internet of special interest forums/communities and have my real life social networks back. All of that stuffed died for me 10+ years ago, but I got so much more out of both back then. I think it's possible that social media as we know it will collapse eventually and perhaps something new could take its place, but I don't know how they can keep the same things from happening again.

[–] Hera 18 points Edited

Yes.

Honestly, I think it's very simple*. Because we used to have an internet and social media that was far less toxic.

1.) NO ALGORITHMS. This is the number one reason why modern social media has become so toxic and it needs to go. Dashboards should be chronological order by default and if algorithms are involved, they should be something you opt into (selecting a "popular" tag in a search that displays latest posts by default). Having algorithms take center stage is a huge player of how extreme views (both left and right) have garnered such power. Algorithms encourage outrageous behavior as a computer can't differentiate between a post on a thread that says, "Keffals is a man who grooms kids" (fact), "all t******s should die" (right wing hate) and "Keffals is a goddess and queen who did nothing wrong" (left wing lie). As far as it's concerned, all are engagement and thus the op thread (whatever its content may be, though for the sake of discussion let's say it's another lie about how "transwomen are women") deserves a boost.

2.) If your site allows individuals under 18, it absolutely, positively, can not allow porn or other adult content to exist on the same platform. This is the other huge one. Kids social media sites were big back in the 00s (anyone remember Neopets lol?) and I wish online spaces for kids could come back so I can post and chat in peace. Kids should have their own spaces on the internet that are safely modded and tailored to protect them from porn and extreme ideas from any political alignment. The amount of grooming, especially into a trans identity or a depraved fetish (I have seen many minors on twitter calling themselves zoophiles and MAPS while being surrounded by adults who publically groom them into this) that goes on on twitter pales in comparison to even tumblr. Twitter either needs to either pull the plug on porn, or pull the plug on under 18's using the site.

3.) During arguements, only mod/erase actual instances of hate speech, such as posts that call for violence against others, slurs, etc. Calling a transwoman a man is fact, not hate. But calling him a "t****y faggot" is hate speech and should be delt with. Simply saying rude things or forcing others to face objective facts they just don't like is not hate speech, and to call it that does a disservice to victims of real hate crimes. People need to be able to express dissent within reason, and politics shouldn't dictate when speech that isn't hate speech suddenly becomes "hate speech".

*IN THEORY. After seeing how hard the pedo enclave has gone to scrub kiwi off the internet for the audacity of hosting content that showed that popular trans activists are depraved sick fucks, I do think it will be theoretically difficult to implement these simple changes after seeing how hard they go and seeing how much of the rot comes from deep within.

After seeing how hard the pedo enclave has gone to scrub kiwi off the internet for the audacity of hosting content that showed that popular trans activists are depraved sick fucks

I swore I wasn't going to write about this subject anymore, but I just had to interject this update.

JM said on his Telegram the other day that even his post office box has been cancelled and his attorneys are getting squeamish due to threats. His business forwarding service has dropped him as well citing "ties to Russia" as their lame excuse (even though the forwarding goes through Kyiv, so that's a pretty massive fail on their part).

He concluded his message with

I hope you all realize by now that they won't stop at taking down websites. They want you to fucking die.

This should be pretty damn chilling for anybody regardless of how one feels about that particular website per se.

I spent so much time on neopets on and off from 10 years old and into my late teens, maybe even early 20s at one point.

I remember feeling that their rules were too strict but in hindsight that is exactly why it was such a great wholesome experience that kept me coming back. Everything was purely about the game and nothing on the site itself veered into sexuality or relationships. It creates such an amazing community and user created content. I believe one of the rules was no linking to outside websites and boy it really made a difference.

Kids in my family enjoy Roblox similarly, especially when the parents don't allow voice chat. But apparently Roblox recently changed some rules so I don't know how that affects it.

[–] Medusa91 0 points Edited

I still love neopets but it’s gone down the toilet a little bit because the current team prioritised the pay for options. But I LOVED it back in the day, with a bit of tweaking it could still be such an awesome site

They did have big issues with advertising but I think there are more rules around that now. The games rooms were so fun and the fearie quests!!!! It just needs a few touch ups and it could be so great again

People didn’t like that they outright banned certain words, you couldn’t even sneak them in to other words and perfectly innocent words were banned because of this - there was one famous time that the filter failed (I think an update or something) and the message boards were immedietly filled with swearing and racism.

Yes it's a travesty what happened to that website. It got so many kids into coding and web design so seamlessly. I don't think they even intended it at all. Remember the plots having clues in the page source code? No other site had such an intricate functioning ecosystem. I think what I loved about it the most is there were so many different ways to make neopoints that it didn't feel like as much of a grind and you can have different play styles. You could run your shop, or do stocks or just play games, or something else I probably forgot. I don't think we can ever get something like that again because how ingrained everything was in the old style of internet. It fully embraced being a website instead of trying to fully detach you from reality. It's something I really can't find in games anymore.

I sincerely doubt it, sister, and this makes me sad to contemplate and discuss.

I started working in tech, connecting to the internet was very very new (Windows was 3.11, Mac, OS 7.x, 56K modems were cutting edge, for reference). I had so much hope and optimism that we were providing access to a communication space that would democratize speech and the world! Eventually, we would have the Library of Alexandria, but better, because all voices could add their stories and knowledge. Education would be free! Speech wouldn't be able to be Censored by Government! And for awhile, it was moving in this direction.

Tech has always been overridden by men. They were the CEOs, the money men then, they mostly are now, despite women's efforts. Men help men, men create situations where women may get seat at the table, but what is served is still what men cooked up together, with no women participating, and only considering women as they benefit men. Unregulated space to make money is their crack cocaine with a side of Viagra.

Porn. The absolute refusal to do anything about this, to even discuss this. When I hear about children and young peoples' depression, or this trans crisis, I never, ever hear criticism about the unregulated access to porn. One only hears about it when it makes the dicks no longer work. I have no idea how to fix Porn on the Internet, now that many see this as an absolute RIGHT.

Once the unmitigated greed found a way to monetize the internet, and the dawn of Facebook, etc. it began the current hellscape we see today. It really ramped when smartphones arrived, and twitter became the new Town Square. I still find it mind bending that hard news breathlessly covers "Tweets", and that anyone with a connection to the internet can see the most debased pornography man has ever made for free, and with very little threat of being shamed publicly. Pedophiles brag openly about instagram being a favorite site, as mothers are happy to provide an unending parade of photos and videos for them to collect.

The only way I can see this happening is if women banded together and created an alter-net, but this would be expensive, and would ultimately still be impeded by greed, and men eventually.

I wish it were different, sister, I really do.

[–] ghoul2 Ghost w/the most 11 points

The problem is that communities got gobbled up by big companies and individual websites disappeared. If we went back to everyone having their own blog, every topic having its own bbs forum instead of having to be a subreddit on reddit, every band having its own fansite again... but no one wants to pay for hosting and building and maintaining these things becauee it's easy to push it off on Zuckerberg's Meta Mansion. We have to push for individualizatjon on the internet, using sites outside social media again, etc.

The price we pay for social media is the lack of individuality for the sake of convenience. It's a bargain and we chose wrongly because we thought it would be efficient to consolidate things but it actually just killed creativity.

A bit like what happened to the high street

[–] ghoul2 Ghost w/the most 1 points

Oh yeah very true! Especially because streets are public places but mall interiors are privately owned

The price we pay for social media is the lack of individuality for the sake of convenience.

This is how I feel about organized religion, and it's very interesting to see it applied to social media. Thank you for this very thought-provoking comment.

[–] ghoul2 Ghost w/the most 1 points

Interesting application of it! Do you mean like the decline of the small community oriented church into a large unified corporate megachurch? Because I definitely think that has been detrimental for people's individual relationships with churches etc

Maybe a controversial opinion but I think the reason churches thrived in the past was actually the community of them. I’m not religious but I grew up going to church, I’d sit in the pews half daydreaming but as soon as it was over (or when I was younger and we had Sunday school) we’d all be in the community centre the church had, the church ladies ran a little tuck shop and there’s be cups of tea and biscuits and lots of gossiping, playing with the other kids etc. They organised a lot from there, various different things some more churchy than others but I think it played a huge part in the local community and I think that’s what kept a lot of people going back even if they weren’t into the religious side of it. The church hall was used for a lot of things, after school clubs, mum and baby clubs, wedding receptions and birthday parties, ours ran a youth night on Friday nights where you could buy sweets and fizzy drinks, they let us use the CD player and basically just hang out and was relatively successful in the winter where we were less likely to sit out in the cold. If I’m remembering correctly all of those clubs were ran by women. Don’t get me wrong churches have done a LOT of bad things and I’m not trying to diminish why some people really don’t like them, but humans seek out community and in a lot of ways smaller churches had a good hand in helping that and connecting local people.

Not quite. I think organized religion in general sacrifices truth for the conveniences of order and something more easily marketable. It's easier to build community and create bonding experiences over shared beliefs, but there's a tradeoff, and I don't think it's a good one. Like with social media.

Arguably maybe it was better when the Internet was like HAM Radio, only the domain of specialist hobbyists who knew how to get on BBS and Usenet and had all the requisite equipment and technical know-how to enter terminal codes? Whereas everyone else in normie-land either didn't have a computer, or those who did, primarily used it to type letters and do spreadsheets for the office. Maybe print a calendar or birthday invitations with grainy clip art.

The "Eternal September" seems to be when a lot of this stuff went wrong and the "series of tubes" became as much a fixture of society as the flush toilet, and clogged up with as much of the same stuff.

Corporate social media is toxic because of the monetization of personal information and the algorithms that prioritize conflict, not to mention censorship by the terminally online trying to write their fetishes into law. The lower-key Internet of the first 10-15 years wasn’t bad. I still have tight-knit friend groups of people I met there, some of whom I’ve never met in person. If governments can manage to rein in Big Tech there’s still the potential for that to come back, I think.

I think social media for one should get rid the ability to message random people especially underage kids. I think all video chats with talk to strangers like Omegle should be banned that for one will limit the amount of children being groomed or the make it difficult for stalkers to harras their victims. Make porn and adult websites behind a paywall and make it forbidden to advertise anywhere especially with a explicit ad. I think they should be more non multiplayer gaming websites for kids like how it was before flash died like what Disney and Nick used to have.. That would give kids a distraction before going on tiktok. I think sisea bill should go into effect in which everyone has the right to remove all intimate videos of themselves should be removed from the internet and other people's devices

I think COPPA (and whatever relevant laws exist in countries outside U.S.) needs to be adjusted to make it illegal for minors to get online, period. The biggest mistake society ever made was letting kids onto the Internet at all.

Give them a computer, fine; I had a big beige Macintosh from Sears as a kid and I loved it. Played games, made graphics, even learned a bit of coding. But we didn't have a modem in our house until I was in college.

It is, but social media companies make too much money platforming horrible speech and dangerous ideas and ideology. Now Texas and Florida want people to be able to sue social media for moderating their platforms and removing conspiracy theories and calls for sedition and insurrection. So even if social media companies grew a backbone, now right wing politicians want laws prohibiting large social media companies from moderating what gets posted on their platforms.

I think any attempt to and men would be throwing fits and crying censorship.

Because god forbid somewhere online actually have restrictions to make it appropriate for all

Depends on the design.

Wikipedia is not working because anyone can edit. For example, a month ago I read a book then checked out the wikipedia page on the topic: the discussion was cherrypicked so that it went against the researcher's findings. That's going to happen with any "facts" that people find stressful. Crowdsourcing info like that only works if you're only crowdsourcing among people who know how to be objective. The only way to have full control is to not crowdsource anything, but that's labour intensive and not as effective, so I can see some sort of hybrid model. It might make more sense to have paid editors who then supervise the crowdsourced material to prevent political bias etc. The boss would have to be ok with having editorial control, though, instead of just letting it rip.

Social media is designed to mess with people, so it doesn't work as-is. It might work if the algorithms worked better (less for profit, more to be pro-social). Or as someone else suggested, no algorithms at all. I do think Ovarit needs to stay by invitation only for now.

Porn? I suspect the only way to get past the "free-speech" defence is to apply the Nordic model to porn (and to all sexualized content in job descriptions). Then you could have all the free speech you want, but if you can't get actors to join in your speech for free, that should tell you something.

In general, leaving pretty much anything entirely up to the free market is going to turn into a mess. The free market does some things really well, but people have to stop worshipping it and just treat it as a useful tool.

I don't think so. I think it would work if it were common for people to have their own servers all over, but I do not think the internet as it is now is capable of being 'fixed'. Not a tech expert though

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