I’m unsure if I am still going to keep my Reddit account but I defiantly want to try use it less with the paid API drama. Ideally want somewhere to vent, talk about a game and see memes.
Sight ramble about Lemmy
I tried Lemmy around last December and felt underwhelm with lack of active community beside it mostly been tech-related stuff which not I like tech don’t get me wrong, but it not a replacement. Note that is way before Reddit announced the paid API and redditor want to do a Blackout for like a day at least so it may get more lively as days goes by.
Take what I say as grain of salt and perhaps have much more varsity of topics that’s at least popular enough and not just talking to the void.
What I want from the alternative in question
- Prevents toxic environment and no tolerances of harassment to minorities (e.g. LGBTQ+, POC, Disable people) which also includes no TERFs or Gender Critics whereas possible
- Variety of active community/topic
It’s been my dream to build an alternative to Reddit since back in 2015 when the moderator of a subreddit I was passionate about went completely unhinged (it turns out the mod’s account was likely purchased by a PR firm with malicious intent to astroturf) and there was nothing that could be done about it except plead with the site admins. The admins did absolutely nothing about it, of course.
Lemmy is such a joke that solves none of the problems that Reddit fundamentally has as a social media platform. Like, if every Reddit user packed their bags today and moved to Lemmy, it would solve absolutely nothing. Seeing such a barebones shell version of Reddit (in the form of Lemmy) with none of the community there is actually unsettling and eye opening to the antiquated design Reddit is as a platform.
So it’s been 8 years since I’ve wanted to build an alternative to Reddit but I have nothing to show for it. Turns out what I wanted to build would be a massive undertaking far, far beyond my scope. Ideas are a dime a dozen. Execution is everything. If anyone around here knows how to build it by all means take a stab at it. I should maybe make a write-up or a whitepaper of the dream I have in hopes someone else could build it, but in the meantime I’ll give an elevator pitch that’s a bit too long to be an actual elevator pitch.
The human mind itself is a network, and this network demands quality connection with other human minds. Not just any connection will do. Embrace bubbles. Stop demonizing them. A forced melting pot of irrecoverably opposed ideologies leaves people spiteful and agitated. The most beautiful and interesting species of life evolve in isolation on remote islands. How do you accomplish this on the internet, where any one person can connect to any other person at any time? Personal databases. You start by fingerprinting yourself. Your interests. Your ideals. You do it in a way that’s enjoyable. A little bit of time commitment every day. When you like a video on YouTube, that like gets recorded to your own database which you own and control. You can like videos on any platform, not just YouTube. Same when you dislike a comment on any website. I call this activity “digital gardening”, where you grow the stuff you like and weed out the stuff you don’t. Then, in a decentralized manner, you match make your personal database fingerprint with others around the world and you discover people adjacent to you. You’ll never find someone exactly like you, and that’s a good thing. But you also won’t have to interact with people you constantly have ill wishes towards. It’s in our human nature to make connections like this. These sorts of people are called “friends”. Real friends.
BTW I do think it would be fun to have a slider you can adjust where you can find “islands” of people diametrically opposed to you. But with how this platform I envision works, they wouldn’t be able to see you comment unless people in that community have adjusted their slider as well. You’re completely free to visit communities outside your bubble for as long as you can stomach. Do this when you’re bored. Maybe you’ll learn something. But you can leave anytime and go back to the comfort of home.
You’ll never find someone exactly like you, and that’s a good thing. But you also won’t have to interact with people you constantly have ill wishes towards. It’s in our human nature to make connections like this. These sorts of people are called “friends”. Real friends.
I know I’m not going to find people who are 100% like me and I’m alright with that but when their opinions in question is sort ones that is against my identity or similar, I can’t help but to get cautious and question if I want to really talk or interact with them. I don’t expect it to be a dream island, but more a safe space for people like me and not feel judged for my identity but rather my personality at best if that makes any sense
You kinda stumbled onto my dream social media platform I wish I could build. When you create an account, it could start with a very short questionnaire of social litmus tests (e.g. “Agree or disagree: Abortion should generally be illegal in most or all cases”) and that alone should weed out most of the people you do not want to interact with. When you have a social media platform of say, 2 billion people, and you eliminate half of them from your life, you really aren’t missing anything of value. In fact you can probably get on with your life better and be a more productive contributor. It would be interesting to see the sorts of “digital constitutions” online communities organically build and freely subscribe to.
All this “island” talk just makes me think of Google+’s circles lol
The problem with Google+ was you had to manually manage your circles and decide which friends go where. It was kinda… sociopathic? Like, who does that? The process needed to be more organic. There was also something about Google+ that just felt… hollow. It felt like exactly what it was. A multi-billion dollar corporation trying to own our social interactions.
I dont think it is particularly useful to insta-block from your profile all people that have a certain opinion about a specific topic, because i dont think thats what conforms an identity or a way of being. I am not my opinions on political stuff (i change them through time), and many people i disagree on those topics have interesting things to say that i wanna hear about different topics.
For example this forum, we are united by a general interest on tech or privacy, which is not particular of a certain political side, but a transversal interest.
I think a dream social media platform promotes healthy conversations, and yes, to mute topics or people you dont wanna hear about. Opinions for the most part are okay, its fun to try them out.
The algorithm wouldn’t inta-block people on minor differences. It would exclude them from your bubble based on fundamental irreconcilable differences that you and other users have. Again, imagine a global digital social ecosystem with 2 billion users. Filtering out one billion users from the mix still leaves you with another billion. If we go by Dunbar’s number, you can keep filtering down until you get to <200 users but imagine these 150 people or so you know in cyberspace being the most genuine and meaningful relationships of your life.
The reason exclude interactions among two diametrically opposed factions is because they cannot possibly be constructive or productive, at least not in an anonymous online environment. NASA is not going to hire someone who believes the earth is flat. That is fine. Let the flat earthers create their own space agency within their own bubble. Maybe that’s the best way for them to figure things out and wise up or to otherwise continue on in their own misery. Maybe one day they’ll get bored and step outside their bubble by adjusting the toggle on their own terms and come to the realization that they were wrong once they’re willing to listen to the other side rather than having relentless flamewars that only seem to somehow re-enforce their beliefs.
If you don’t mind a more radical left leaning space https://raddle.me has a large anarchist base and the terms of service are pretty against any kind of bigotry or discrimination. It’s centralised though but it seems to be picking up after the reddit API fiasco.
I don’t foresee a single platform doing everything Reddit does, at that quality. For discussions, go look for forums (like this one). If you just want news, an RSS feed would work.
Yeah, i get the idea. But it seems quite mechanistic about what makes a good and meaningful relationship.
You are presupposing people who hold two diametrically opposed ideas at a certain moment are part of factions and that they can’t coexist, let alone even be friends.
Tribalistic ideologues can be like that i guess, and by any means yeah, filter them out. But i dont think that is an accurate description of how most people act, nor a healthy bias to hold, unless you really wanna promote that mindset.
I dont think this results in genuine or meaningful relationships necessarily, unless they lead a very specific way of life that you wanna pursue together (like religious people for instance).
You are also treating ignorance as if it was wickedness or sin. An uninformed opinion at a certain moment doesn’t entail a refusal towards improving, and you are not accounting for the scenario where you are wrong and at the same time isolating from others with the right opinion (as you see it).
My view on finding people online is much less discriminatory. And I’m sure you have your reasons. But you surely love some people in your life that you disagree with, or at some point did
I take it you’ve never been a part of a community that has been sabotaged before. Haven’t you noticed how every community seems to go to $h!t when it gets too big? Communities that grow large enough become subjected to greed, politics, and appealing to the lowest common denominator. These are important social problems that can’t just be ignored. They need to be solved, otherwise we’ll just keep repeating history.
I apologize for not explaining well enough how the platform I’d like to build would work. It’s not just filtering based on ideology. It also finds users for you who have similar interests, it recommends things to you one degree outside your bubble, you can control how large or small your bubble is. It filters out the noise. Also the data you put into the algorithm is time sensitive. Content you liked/disliked in the last 10 weeks holds more bias in the discovery of like-minded users and new content than the content you liked 10 years ago does. You can also take a deep dive at anytime and have it recommend something random but popular, like StumbleUpon did.
Embrace the bubble. Humans are by their very nature tribal animals. Stop trying to fight it!
I feel your general take on communities, have witnessed it. And yeah, bubbles and tribalism are fun in many contexts (for instance, i love it in sports).
I thought your take on social media was just filtering people out on the basis of certain opinions and then those that pass the filter are what constitutes the pool of people you will interact on the whole platform from then on, not that it was a filter for groups you build inside of it. I get that.
In my mind, you were closing yourself off from thousands of worthwile people forever just for something that may not define them in the slightest.
Moderation belongs to the individual user for their own experience, i really agree with that. And your take is really in that vein, similar to the fediverse.
But yeah, i’m kinda fighting the bubble as of now (specially on politics and petty stuff). I’ve done many 180s on what is considered as “important” opinions, and it didn’t cost me or changed me much as a friend. The boundary was imperceptible, so why bother to isolate.
I havent blocked anyone on social media unless its spam or an annoying bot. I am pretty serious on my stance
I’m not so lucky and most people that usually disagree with me usually get passive arrgasive and extermly toxic, Twitter is a prime example for that. It can be the smallest thing such as liking a music artist and Twitter is bad for enabling trolls and purposely do rage-bait tweets/reply even before Elon’s takeover.
That’s why I barely use Twitter, I got burntout from that so I do have my right to don’t want to go near those sort of people. Why even try to listen to them when they won’t do the same and just bullied you? I have some bit of trauma from Twitter and I just don’t want to go through it again.
That being said, I do read up on news and articles what’s going on so I don’t want to be trapped in a bubble but not too exposed enough to get harassed which sadly, that’s the internet for you.
I mean yeah, twitter is not a great place, i get toxic and passive agressive exchanges pretty frequently, i just stop responding or sometimes i just dont respond to that part and try to follow the conversation regardless (sometimes it works), depends how much patient im feeling.
Havent been harassed nor anything like that, which i wouldnt want to tolerate by any means. So maybe i’m lucky.
But in general i feel like if i start blocking people its a slippery slope. I start with people i have one rude exchange with, then someone that simply annoys me even if they didnt do anything, then people i just simply dont like too much… not good for the mind. And you are dealing with millions of people anyways. I dont wanna bother with that, too much energy.
Of course craft your experience how you want it, you dont have to tolerate anything.