<me> why is this space so fucking toxic sometimes though
<@rhiaro> because the social web is made by antisocial people


@cwebber @rhiaro I have a slightly different view that explains the toxic behavior in a more predictive way....

Social media rewards extreme and generally anti-social behavior. It rewards toxic activity. People get Likes and Boosts. They get "points" and the subsequent hormonal rewards for acting in ways that hurt and alienate. It's absolutely unhealthy. I think it's slowly starting to change, but it's very slow.

@emacsen @cwebber @rhiaro I've long thought we'd be better off if we had less information about boosts and stars. We would have less ability to measure and gamify and optimize. Instead, we could just talk to each other, inefficient as that might be.

@jamesvasile @emacsen @rhiaro A more web of trust'y fediverse might actually be more intimate in that way: less of an aim for "global" popularity; the only faves/shares you can see are the ones from the people you actually know

@cwebber @emacsen @rhiaro Maybe, but I think the immaturity of the current ecosystem is forcing people to talk to strangers right now (because their friends aren't all here) and that has some interesting effects too.

I mean, one thing we should definitely stop doing is displaying follower counts. Surely that's super toxic.

@emacsen @cwebber @rhiaro That does apply on Twitter, where it can be difficult to keep the antisocial stuff out, but here in the fediverse if I see toxic stuff I just block it and then they can go argue between themselves outside of my timeline.

The dopamine hits stuff is only partly true. It's also that there are genuine disagreements and irreconcilable differences, and if you jam a lot of people into one space where they can't avoid each other then fights are bound to break out.

@bob @cwebber @rhiaro @emacsen

"Genuine disagreements" should not imply "fights" but long civil dialogues trying to understand each other perspectives.

I wonder if this is why "algorithm" driven timeline orders ruin things. Rather than allowing a social culture to decide when too much "viral" activity is past a cultural threshold (ie, discounting people with "too many" followers or reposts, or activity that suggests they're only in it for the numbers), it mixes the numbers in a black box and promotes those it thinks are important. Which means the struggle to be heard becomes a resentment that can't be resolved, and poisons the community.

@cwebber @rhiaro

@emacsen @cwebber @rhiaro

I have also noticed that when communities shift from cooperative scorekeeping (here's how you're doing among your friends and people like you in a score that means nothing outside of your context) to competitive scorekeeping (here's your WORLD RANKING), things fall apart and turn nasty. Possibly because of the same sense of lack of control. See also, Overwatch year 1 vs esports Overwatch, and many of Alfie Kohn's speeches about competition.

@cwebber @rhiaro the social web is made up of *people*. Who else would it be for, robots or insects? 😉 A healthy social web will imho represent all kinds of people from society.

@jaywink @cwebber @rhiaro Well the whole Spritely thing is sort-of-kind-of a place where bots and people can interact.

And TBH these bots might be less toxic than the people we interact with. :)

@jaywink But whom does it represent more? Who is writing the algorithms, the protocols, the user experience?

@jaywink @rhiaro We're talking more about the people who build the social web than the people who use it :)

@cwebber @rhiaro Ah well, in that case. My experience is that the people who build the social web are as hostile as other project maintainers - which is to say more hostile than average in normal population. There is something about being an excellent productive developer and being arrogant that seems to correlate :(

Not sure it's related to the social web though. One can be social and still be hostile or arrogant. Just bad kind of social :)

@cwebber That's one of the reasons I appreciate the #indieweb's focus on in-person events!
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