@ainmosni Still not remotely the same. Making call-and-response jokes, or asking someone to make a statement about their abuser "best friend", etc. are not comparable to death threats, or to being blocked by half of Twitter by "mistake" for simply existing, or to being constantly invalidated by aggressively clueless randoms. If Wil had *started* with the apology instead of half-heartedly ending with it, maybe people could forgive him.

@trwnh From what I read, he has never targeted trans people and when he realised what was happening, he tried to fix it. Of course, his mistake did damage and that damage shouldn't be downplayed, but people should be allowed to make mistakes and learn from them, it's what makes us human. If social media will just be people mobbing each other for mistakes, maybe we should just give it all up.

The only question I have of you is, do you think he was acting in bad faith?

@ainmosni Well... it certainly seemed that way to a lot of people. His first real post after joining .cloud was to link to a Twitter thread that disingenuously argued that Mastodon was bad for marginalized people. And a few times he advocated for counter.social, an openly xenophobic silo. He was also evasive when people at first asked him if he was going to make a statement about Hardwick. Couple all this with his history on Twitter, and... people had little reason to trust him.

@ainmosni I think ultimately, with a significant portion of Mastodon being built by trans, queer, and other marginalized folk, many of whom were blocked by Wil on Twitter for no good reason? I don't see how that would have ever gone over well,unless he apologized immediately (and he's too unaware). Many of us came here to avoid all that. However, several people also came over very recently, and haven't healed fully; these are the people who took the most affront to his presence.

@trwnh So instead of taking the higher ground, and showing that you can be better, the moment you have the majority you adopt the same tactics as were used on you before? That just feels wrong... Just because the group that's dealing out the toxicity changes doesn't make it less toxic.

Look, I understand that people got hurt by his mistake. I'm not trying to justify that, but I was really hoping that, as a community, we could be above the mob mentality that made the other side so unpleasant.

@ainmosni FWIW, 2 weeks is not enough time to unlearn a whole decade of toxicity from the birdsite. And I'd still say it's not really the "same" -- it's a highly asymmetric experience, you know? The people here asking Wil to clarify his stance on abusers and trans women are but hundreds, maybe. It's just that Wil has never really had to deal with them earnestly, on account of them being blocked on Twitter. The "high ground" would be to avoid him, but if you're confrontational...


@ainmosni @trwnh I don't think they were saying it's okay or acceptable. More like...it was inevitable, given the circumstances and timing? We should all try to learn from it and do better moving forward.

Personally, I still don't know what to make of Wil. He's probably not a bad guy, but if someone knows something I don't, please tell me. Either way, I don't think messaging @ him was right; if you have concerns about someone's presence, talk about it and tell your mods.


@Lexi @ainmosni "Aggressively clueless" is how I'd describe him, I guess? In the way that most liberals are, perhaps well-meaning, perhaps not. Fact of the matter is that trans people are mostly tired of dealing with bullshit. Someone like Wil is only slightly more welcome than Graham Linehan (who, incidentally, was suspended here already) or Blair White (may she never join).


@trwnh @ainmosni Wow, Graham Linehan was? Bullet dodged there...

Yeah, 'aggressively clueless' seems right. I don't think he has any real bad intent, but he doesn't exactly handle himself well. Even his apologies and goodbye speeches come off as a little passive aggressive to some people. I can't say if that feeling is justified or not; like you said, it might just be that people are still raw from the Twitter experience. I know I am, though it's in a different, less confrontational way.


@trwnh @Lexi "In the way that most liberals are" please keep your US based political stereotypes out of this...

On a more serious note, if people make mistakes out of ignorance, friendly educating them helps a lot more than piling onto them.

I understand that being persecuted makes one careful but agressively attacking anyone that makes mistakes doesn't help anyone and creates more animosity than needed.


@trwnh @Lexi That said, fuck anyone who would purposely damage the dignity of another human being for their gender, sexuality, or colour.

@ainmosni @Lexi On that note, I think I really will attempt to head off to sleep for a few hours. If you'd like to continue this, it'll have to be much later. Cheers!

Wilw, mild politics 

@ainmosni @Lexi I'm not exactly disagreeing with you, but the "reach out and try to educate" thing didn't work so well the first time, so most people's patience has run thin. Wil, for the most part, is "in too deep". Not to get *too* political, either, but his general attitude is reflective of the privileged role that capital has given him and other liberals (general, not US-centric sense). The initial bar for "harassment" is much lower.

Wilw, mild politics 

@trwnh @Lexi Yeah I can understand not wanting to spend time educating people, but wouldn't the best way to be to just mute him and move on? Again, assuming he's not purposely trying to harm minorities.

Also, liberal means something very different on this side of the pond, liberals are... well more like your republicans.

Wilw, mild politics 

@ainmosni @Lexi I meant liberal in that Will is a US liberal ;) And yes, as I said earlier, muting him was the first thing most of us veteran masto users did immediately :thinkhappy:

Wilw, mild politics 

@ainmosni @trwnh @Lexi problem is on bird site he'd rather thoughtlessly managed to cause material harm to a lot of trans people and never really took steps to remedy this, and people were concerned about his clout here providing opportunities to do that kind of thing again

Wilw, mild politics 

@hieronymus_burp @ainmosni @trwnh I think people are quick to think "that's in the past and he apologized," but for many people affected, it still has lasting consequences. Leaving the list doesn't undo the blocking. And it wasn't just an inconvenience--it affected people's businesses and their ability to network and get jobs in some cases.

I can understand why some people have trouble forgiving him. He's not even that great at apologizing.

Wilw, mild politics 

@Lexi @ainmosni @trwnh yeah i hadn't really understood the full impact until recently but tehre were a lot of trans indie game devs who use twitter for promoting their games who were effectively blackballed as a direct consequence of the dude not bothering to keep on top of his shit

Wilw, mild politics 

@Lexi @ainmosni @trwnh I am curious if these educational replies to "you should take time to educate people" will actually have an impact


@ainmosni @trwnh Oh, I agree: harassment should never be the answer. Even in cases where the person might arguably deserve it, it's just not a good path to take.

That said, it's important to listen to the complaints of minorities, because we don't have the energy to make a fuss about someone without a reason. I've seen posts from trans people who say Wil's presence made them feel less safe here because of the company he supposedly keeps, seeing him like the tip of a nasty iceberg.


@ainmosni @trwnh I really can't say if those fears are 'founded', but I at least believe that they're real feelings belonging to people who have been through a lot. In that case, blocking may not have seemed like an option, because people _can_ turn a place bad behind your back.

Of course, one can voice their concerns to the community without engaging the person directly. That's what I'd do. But like I said, I'm also broken from Twitter and would rather not engage with problem people, so...


@Lexi @trwnh For me, as someone who plays life on "easy mode", I understand. The problem is that it's very easy to give in to mob mentality. Yes, minorities should be listened to and taken seriously, we just also have to take care that we don't blindly believe things just because they came from someone in a minority. As transphobic gay people show, there's assholes everywhere, even belonging minorities.

There's a reason why offline, the words "innocent until proven guilty" are so important.


@Lexi @trwnh Add to that, that I really hate how social media, collectively, seems to have no capacity of forgiveness. The outrage always wins from the apology, no matter how sincere. We all make mistakes, it's part of the human experience, and we should be allowed to make them and be forgiven for them.


@ainmosni @trwnh Totally. I can't even form a real conclusive opinion on Wil because I don't feel like I have all the info, and I probably never will.

As for forgiveness, well... Maybe you're right. And maybe we need to do better, collectively. I'm willing to try! So long as the person doesn't do one of those weird non-apologies ("We're sorry what we said hurt your feelings," etc.).


@Lexi @trwnh Yeah, the thing is, individuals are capable of forgiveness. I've just not seen it happen on social media scale. The outrage always seems to win in numbers. The birdsite and the book of faces thrive on that.


@ainmosni @trwnh That is sad, and it's probably not something we can ever really fix. There might be some things that could be done to mitigate it, though; even if it only helped a little, that would still be worth doing.


@ainmosni @trwnh @Lexi this advice kind of assumes no one had tried talking to wheaton before this

@trwnh I vaguely remember that thread, and I didn't see him sharing it as doing so in bad faith. No idea about counter.social, or him linking to it. I still think that this went in a way that most of us tried to get rid of by moving away from the birdsite.

@ainmosni Fair. I can't say anyone was really acting in bad faith, but I do think a lot of people were reflexively defensive, Wil included.

It was interesting to see the difference in response by account age. I've been here for two years and I was also blocked by wilw, but my first response was to mute him and move on. Similar with many of my older peeps. The thing is that the newer people (Wil included) have only been here for 2 weeks at *most* (since August 16th).

@ainmosni @trwnh yes, he has acted in bad faith for at least a decade. google his comments about hillary clinton, for instance. he's outright misogynistic, while at the same time pretending he's not. he's the worst kind of duplicitous, entitled white guy. good riddance.

wilw, us politics 

@walruslifestyle @ainmosni you know what, i'm really not interested in in paying any attention to hillary clinton, let alone anything else about the us political theatre -- but in good faith, i did search his comments on clinton and found only "a disappointing democrat", "deeply flawed", "lacks political courage", "a warmonger", "too close to wall street" -- all things that are frankly uncontroversial, and i would in fact say he is not going far enough with his analysis.

wilw, us politics 

@walruslifestyle @ainmosni suffice to say, "supporting bernie sanders in the 2016 primaries" is not on my list of wheaton gripes. my issues are in the abusers he associates with, knowingly or unknowingly; and also in the lack of awareness of how his behavior harms marginalized communities while he himself is less receptive of even gentle criticism

wilw, us politics 

@trwnh @ainmosni sorry, he's made deeply misogynistic comments about her, especially in 2008. my comment wasn't meant to be about us politics, which I should have clarified, but rather about his willingness to publicly make sexist comments about someone he doesn't like

wilw, us politics 

@walruslifestyle ok i admit i have no idea about anything he said in 2008 because nothing was coming up when i searched

@ainmosni @aral : who is this person? Why was he harrassed? Is there any background?

@ainmosni a techie should offer to run his own. Instance for him, or have a celebs instance for people likely to draw fire... (Offer, but not for free obvs). @mastohost

@pperrin well Masto.host is open, anyone can contact me with any specific requests they have. I am not fully aware of what happen and from reading that post probably he could have a different experience if he ran his own instance. And, probably not and he would still feel like social media is not for him. So, if I am contacted, I will gladly provide my services. @ainmosni

@mastohost @ainmosni He didn't actually leave, his host said it was too much trouble. He said

"I respect and support that person’s decision, because it’s a private server and it’s run with their time, energy, attention, and (presumably) money"

Which makes me think he might be happy to pay for his own personal managed instance (managed tech and spam/abuse etc management!) if he knew such a option was available.

Don't ask; don't get!

@pperrin @ainmosni @mastohost
Alternatively mastodon could get the technical features needed to deal with irrelevant signaling, so that the people doing it can grow out of that bad habit.

@RLetot @ainmosni @mastohost It has the features, all that is needed is an understanding of them so they can be used effectively.

You can't expect every user to be a techi expert - I remember when SQL was sold as the end of database developers because users could write their own queries :))

@pperrin @ainmosni @mastohost
I meant features to help admins and moderators deal with abusive signaling. Some things that makes that practice costly to the abuser and trains him not to abuse it.

@RLetot @ainmosni @mastohost Smallish instances would solve most problems - an instance that keeps generating abuse needs to sort out its members or get muted or even blocked. New instances could initially also be muted unless/until a dozen people on trusted instances vouch for them... the instance admin has this kind of stuff in his (male or female) power already.

Train users? there will always be jerks, I vote to just deal with them.

@pperrin @ainmosni @mastohost
In this scenario, the problem lies with the signalers, not the signalee. Isolate him on an instance for him alone, he still will be signaled by hordes of bullies. The problem lies with them, not their target.

@RLetot @ainmosni @mastohost His instance admin wasn't prepared to handle the work - the solution is in his hands (if he wants it) get an instance with staff to handle the work (once staffed up he could get his mates on it too).

Do you still think he opens his own fan mail?...

@pperrin @ainmosni @mastohost
you're thinking about this particular case, and tayloring your "solution" accordingly. I'm thinking of the more general case: nobody should have to move or pay because a bunch of lunatics decided to make him a target. Any mean to make this more manageable or to get such behaviour under control is a step in the right direction.

@RLetot @ainmosni @mastohost No mastodon already has the solution for these who can be bothered to apply it, the solution is already in your hands - it is the essence of its design.

I think some people actually dislike mastodon, and would really prefer
twitter to have a monopoly, but with them in charge instead of jack!


The difficulty I have with this is Wil's position against Alex Jones' continued use of Twitter (I don't agree with Jones either) and then being surprised when Wil is banned.

The cure for bad speech is more speech, not silence. The world is large enough for both an Alex Jones and a Wil Wheaton.

@williamlweaver @ainmosni I think it’s perfectly fine to have a desire for free speech and agree that some people and ideas are not welcome on a particular platform. I don’t think anyone should host Jones. The problem with moderation and policing stuff is consistency. If birdsite barred nobody the conversation would be very different.


@realmattseymour @ainmosni

Agreed. With 2018 technology, I think Jones should host himself, which is what I think he is doing with his websites and streams.

If anything, the Twitter controversy has increased his audience...

@ainmosni I do think he needs to make a proper statement on the Chris Hardwick issue. I see no evidence hes anti-trans, but much of the anger was about that. I hope he recognizes is and addresses it.

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