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.
@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.
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.
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 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 :)