Hi. I’m dedicated to lemmy, the fediverse and a decentralized social media as a public good.

We’re experiencing some growing pains. We will overcome these. I want to share some of my thoughts regarding these pains and hopefully provide some food for though as to solutions, and the solutions’ weaknesses.

  • Defederating is a last resort as we often say. The ability for individual to block instances could be a start to use defederation more moderately.
    • We can even curate defederation lists somewhat how ublock has blocklists. “I really don’t want to deal with any fascists bootlickers, so I follow the antifa defederation list” or “I disagree with many folks who defend China’s actions but maybe I can do some good by engaging in good faith, so I won’t defederate these instances, but that doesn’t mean I won’t block the most egregious users from those instances”

That said, there is a good reason to defederate for example when astroturfing is taking place. that said, when astrotrufing is taking place, there should be something of a funnel effect - outside instance showing a growing trend on certain topics, upvoting certain things en masse? Start to shadowban - not exacctly shadowban but really slow down the functioning of the site for them. Scenario: the agora starts a vote to defederate crushing-heads, a fascist lemmy instance. We begin to see a huge influx of user activity from that instance. Instead of altogether banning their participation, causing them to make sock puppet accounts on this instance, put in a queuing system so interactions with the site from that instance get processed more slowly, somewhat like slow mode on discord.

one thing about fully defederating an instance is that it invites them to create accounts on the instance which has defederated them out of spite. “Oh you don’t want to hear our FREE SPEECH? well we’re going to join your instance and FREE SPEECH ALL OVER YOUR ASSES”

Another thought I’ve had about the future of lemmy is just how easy it would be for state apparatus dividing, discrediting and sowing disunity. It’s been done and they’re not going to stop trying to inflitrate and muddy the discourse. This is why so many leftist instances seem very quick with the ban hammer. I mean, it explains why so many leftist countries maintain an authoritarian propaganda and censorship machine. It’s highly doubtful that’d be necessary if there wasn’t massive propaganda efforts from the outside.

It makes me wonder how Lemmy can work to avoid letting agitators muddy the discourse while still allowing free and open contributions from well intentioned people.

  • @[email protected]
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    1010 months ago

    I think all things are temporary, so it makes sense to think of solutions as temporary.

    Eating a meal doesn’t give me a lifetime of being full it gives me a few hours of being full.

    It may very well be that creating effective community space simply requires constant input. And not just input like “continue to implement these moderation rules”, but input like “continue to respond to observed community issues by designing and trying new feature sets”.

    It may be that the lifespan of any link aggregator is 5-10 years at which point it dies of one of a handful of deaths: authoritarian deep freeze, fizzle out loss of energy, overwhelmed by troll noise, etc.

    Just like a human eventually dies of cancer, diabetes, dementia, something’s gonna get each person eventually.

    Sorry I know that’s really abstract and doesn’t provide much in the way of concrete solutions.

    I think that having multiple interoperating communities is a good start, and it will solve the problem for a while, and solving the problem for a while is as good as it’s ever going to get.

  • manitcor
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    910 months ago

    id like more options at the admin and user level. defederation should be seen as a last-resort move, there should be all kinds of ways to filter communities and let users ultimately control thier views while letting the admin ensure they aren’t harboring undesirable content in thier jurisdiction.

    there will always be an issue with people manipulating the data but thats when you get into wholesale defed imo.

  • @[email protected]
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    910 months ago

    I don’t think there’s any community or platform that is not susceptible to groups of people posing as normal people and manipulating discussions.

    • @[email protected]
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      410 months ago

      Which is why the easiest thing to do is just have the discussions. If someone wants to act as if they’re just a regular person bringing up crime statistics about black people or something, just engage in good faith and present your counter. If they’re genuine, you’ve provided a genuine response, if they’re not, you’re still winning because their goal is to either prove you can’t ask certain questions or that people are hiding from the truth. Also, you automatically get an opportunity to influence any 3rd parties simply reading the exchange.

      • @[email protected]
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        110 months ago

        Even in good faith one can adopt the point of view of a caricature or bad actor.

        It’s normal to take multiple stances in the process of understanding something.

      • @[email protected]
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        310 months ago

        Don’t believe things just because you see other people doing so. Other than that I don’t know what can be done beyond community moderation. But eventually the bad actor would get into a position for community moderation since they’re doing it as a full time job.

  • 🐱TheCat
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    710 months ago

    If we maintain respectful conversations with each other, then bad actors from other communities will be obvious

    Also In general I dislike ‘playing nice’ with bullies to prevent them attacking you. Better to attack back.

    • @clay830
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      610 months ago

      Agree on the respectful conversation part. Part of being part of a vibrant, active social community is being able to communicate respectfully and perhaps even allow space for people you disagree with.

    • 🌴 𝓣𝓸𝓾𝓻𝓲𝓼𝓽
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      -110 months ago

      And it’s super easy to look at an instance for 30 seconds and tell what kind of comments its users will be bringing to your table. Defederate early and silently.

  • @[email protected]
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    510 months ago

    Create a set of rules, hold people to them, and enforce them fairly and impartially. Bans and defederation should not be for people whose opinions you don’t like - it should be reserved for people who cannot communicate in any meaningful / respectful way. Spammers, and trolls basically.

  • Bear
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    410 months ago

    I personally prefer to ban a person or community if I come across them and don’t like their behavior, rather then defederating the whole bunch, but I do acknowledge that me blocking someone doesn’t prevent voting spam. And again with people being able to just make an account on another instance after being defederated it makes it kinda moot.

  • @tallwookie
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    -110 months ago

    i really like the control that the individual has, at the user level, to block the communities/users they disagree with - defederation is just the next step up from that if an instance has a lot of spam, illegal content, tankies, liberal trash, support of incorrect sexual orientation, etc. it’d be nice if the individual was able to block entire instances, not just specific communities on those instances. I suspect that we will have that control in the near future.

    yeah, there’s avenues for abuse - saw that last night when someone with a clear case of mental instability was spamming on the fediverse community (their post was wild though lol). eventually moderation tools will be developed to defederate individuals from the instance itself (IP block them, etc), but those tools will never be 100% effective.