Frankenbeans πŸ–– is a user on You can follow them or interact with them if you have an account anywhere in the fediverse. If you don't, you can sign up here.
Frankenbeans πŸ–– @Frankenbeans

A month ago, everyone: "Yay, the freedom of decentralized social media where communities can form around their own values and according to their own internal rules."

Today, everyone: "What we need is a central code of conduct by which everyone must conform or risk punishment imposed by people outside their community."

New boss, same as the old boss.

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@Frankenbeans the discussion I've seen is more nuanced--or could at least be applied in a more nuanced fashion--than that summary seems to suggest. I see room for growth and improvement.

@jason Maybe. I just don't buy that the remedy is a central code of conduct enforced by a self-appointed council of behavior monitors. Octodon has a very clear code of conduct by which this instance will permit internal behavior and who it will federate with. There is no need for instance mods to get together to issue rulings on who is welcome and who is shunned.

@Frankenbeans if instances can have their own rules, what’s the problem with some instances sharing a common set of rules?

@jason Because that ceases to be a matter of purely internal affairs. It also punishes people who belong to an instance judged problematic who have done nothing wrong by blocking their association with other instances.


> Because that ceases to be a matter of purely internal affairs.

I’m not really clear on what this means or why it’s a problem.

> It also punishes people who belong to an instance judged problematic who have done nothing wrong by blocking their association with other instances.

This happens already and has nothing to do with whether or not instances join together in their codes of conduct. Plus, I can still follow whoever I want on a banned instance.

@jason If I'm an instance moderator, I have every right to pick who can belong and who can federate. If I join a council that issues edicts on the internal behavior of other instances, I am no longer setting rules for my own users. I am setting rules for moderators of other instances by threatening a boycott of federation, which in Mastodon world is the same as a boycott of trade.

@Frankenbeans that makes sense. I can see how that would be problematic.

I guess the talk I’ve seen wouldn’t necessarily lead to that conclusion, though it is a possible outcome. I’ve seen talk of agreeing on a CoC and working together when a β€œbad” instance persists in acting poorly, which doesn’t have lead to what you mentioned above.

Bottom line for me: why can’t people who want a safe space to interact have one? That seems to be the heart of it, and I hate that it seems impossible.

@Frankenbeans What we need to do is start learning when to use "mute" and "block" instead of arguing. Don't like what you see? Mute it. Problem solved. ☺

@TheRealMe Yes. This reminds me of all the old people on Facebook who complain when I swear.

@xj9 @jsavalle It's oppressive to everyone. If I toot something the White Council finds offensive, then my instance moderator is under pressure to bounce me or risk shunning. That's crap.

@Frankenbeans @xj9 @jsavalle people fear decentralized system and will do everything to fight it.
It's viceral the good thing is you can alsways fork the project and they will become just an other twitter. In the end the power of conversation lays in the community not the technology- it's still just a minority who want to control the #mastodon federation - not the majority and the moment their control goes against the common good - which it will - ppl will go

@Frankenbeans Fuck that. Rule by our frankenstein of stitched together administration chats tempered with anarchy.

@Frankenbeans and its all because some people can't behave like civilised adults.

@DickyPye That's why god created the block button, and why individual Instance mods can create their own rules about internal conduct and who they'll federate with.

@Frankenbeans Yup, forming a "whitelist council" will kill the momentum of the Mastodon project and hurt single instances of people who want decentralized social media. πŸ€“

@james Decentralized social media and "whitelist councils" that issue conduct-based edicts are incompatible.

@james @Frankenbeans A whitelist council is the worst idea I have heard - has it really been suggested by someone?

@gargron @james People have been bandying about that and other things the last few days.

@Frankenbeans @gargron @james First time I saw it floated, it followed on the suggestion that there be a common blocklist to which admins vote by bot to add instances, and when votes reach a threshold, instances whould be added to a shared blocklist.

@Gargron @Frankenbeans @james until the 18th century this was handled by the church…

@Frankenbeans One would say that people are so used to living hidden behind a higher entity with full power that they feel the need to create one so as not to have to assume the responsibilities of freedom and free will. People should understand they are allowed to have an opinion different than the others, even if it's not written in a golden book.


And if they don't like the admin of their instance, they have the possibility to move to another one, or to create their own !

@Frankenbeans Really underscores what a difficult problem balancing harassment against freedom of expression at a large scale is.

@Frankenbeans They just want to be the ones to define the central code of conduct.

@Frankenbeans I don't think that's a fair framing of the discussion. If instances want a shared CoC because it's been unfortunately made clear that one is needed to their members or admins, that's a decision they're free to make *because decentralization allows them to make that choice themselves*

There's no boss - new or old - just people making decisions for themselves and their communities.

@Frankenbeans Yeah. I seriously don't get it. Block people/instances you don't like. I thought that was the entire point. We aren't all the same. We're not all gonna agree. We're gonna federate. Whole dumpster fires can be blocked off or not. But we don't have to all live in the same dumpster fire.

@paco Yes, at some point users have a responsibility for what shows up in their feed. That doesn't excuse harassment and/or people making shitty, inappropriate comments. And, if you witness that happening as an individual, you have an obligation to step in on the victim's behalf. But, policing that doesn't rate setting up a self-appointed council of behavior police to issue edicts about who is okay and who isn't.

@Frankenbeans these are two sides of the same coin. they are functionally the same thing, just expressed very very differently.

@Frankenbeans This is every discussion about trolls in USENET ever, 30 years ago. Welcome to a decentralized, autonomous server operator world. It's like this, by design - unbannable people, people getting more accounts, people that annoy you. The only thing that works is filtering at the reader end, killfiling, collaborative killfiling. Everything else - nope. Getting people off the network - nope, especially when they operate their own servers or networks.

@Isotopp The remedy today is that individual network mods enforce their own rules and individual users get used to blocking people they don't like.

@Isotopp @Frankenbeans @LogicalDash You also have admins with the ability to ban whole instances at the server level when the instance is abusive. (And abusive can be real or perceived)
This also means some of those instances can be really siloed.


"You who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by"

@Frankenbeans An instance is like a country with its own borders and its own sovereignty. It is quite natural some kind of diplomacy is needed. Never heard of a whitelist council before but sounds like a really bad idea. What is needed is a "official" place for admins to talk. A sort of UN so to say.

@shellkr Or, since, one instance can't invade and conquer another instance, just everyone stick to their own rules.

@Frankenbeans There are more ways than one to fight a war... diplomacy is a way to be ahead of them. Diplomacy doesn't mean you have to adhere to demands. Just that you listen to them. You don't have to invade to win a war.. you merely have to make it unpleasant enough for people to leave. Talking about issues as adults is a much better strategy.

@shellkr I think that's overthinking this whole social media thing. I think the whole UN analogy supposes that some people are natural authorities on how people are to behave when it's really just a push for conformity.

@Frankenbeans The UN was a result after the WW2 and was supposed to help keep the peace. Where countries could come with their concerns. Yes, it is a bit overthinking but also a very telling example how the world works. Conformity is not inherently bad. It is neutral. Having people talk about issues reduces calamity. Calamity is a bad.

@Frankenbeans A country(s) is a network of people in a similar fashion Mastodon (or any social media) is a network of people. The group psychology doesn't divert namely...

@frankenbeans I doubt that you could get all instances to agree on a code of conduct or a method of enforcement of the code.