Social Media is broken, let's do better!

Thanks for clarifying.

Ands yes, moderators are chronically underpaid, though if they are doing moderation for profitable businesses they tend to do better. And a lot of moderating is part-time work, with not a great hourly rate, so it attracts stay-at-home mothers, people still living with their parents and others who don’t or can’t work full time. Many of these folks are very good at the work. Many are not.

Hey @JollyOrc,
nice to read you.
This is an interesting project you’re pushing here.
I was reading about the federation abilities of Darcy, and the comparison with other federated platforms such as Mastodon.
Will Darcy be a part of the Fediverse and able to federate with Pixelfed, Mastodon, etc, based on AcrivityPub?

Second question, did you reach out SwitchingSocial?
They’re doing a good job at referencing all social networks options :slight_smile:

right now, we are aiming to use ActivityPub, so Darcy instances will be able to federate with all instances that use the same protocol.

There is one caveat though: In order to keep the safety promise, federation might be cut with instances that don’t manage to self-moderate with the same (transparent and not too onerous) standards. This is especially important for instances that are aimed at minors for example.

As soon as we are actually live, we will for sure reach out to SwitchingSocial, but it’s too early for that right now.

Has Likes

Well, I guess it’s only the choice of moderators isn’t it?
I mean, are you creating a tool, or a space?

both - we provide the tool, but we will also use the tool ourselves to create a space with it.

Has Likes

I just signed up to the platform. Honestly, I am surprised by all the potential that is concentrated here. And I have to say this platform is well hidden. Anyway, @JollyOrc I love your idea. I didn’t follow most of the thread, but I am very very impressed by your initiative. I hope it will be far well into the future. Is it already in some testing phase?

Has Likes

we’re still developing, and are also looking for proper financing - doing things right requires a bit more than just gumption and good intentions :slight_smile:

Has Likes

@SemelAri welcome!

Thanks… and yes, we are not very good at communicating what we do. The good thing is, Edgeryders is not based on selling eyeballs, so being bad at self-promotion does not kill us – though it’s still bad.

Has Likes

Hello @SemelAri! Great to have you here!

you already make some very good points about the communication, maybe you could help by adding your thoughts about how you found us, perceive the platform and what motivates you here:

If you are interested in @JollyOrc projects check out his glossary

and/or come to the community call he is featured in on Tuesday the 6th:

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Otherwise, we are very curious to learn more about you and what you are up to in general. Maybe you could write a little bit about the projects and questions you are involved with in our “My Story” section :slight_smile:

Has Likes

It’s nice and noble what he is building, but there are too many flaws in his system which I pointed out. Like how can you make the distinction between good and bad if every human being has another perception of these values?

Has Likes

Thoughts @JollyOrc? :slight_smile:

The baseline that is enforced on the top-down level is actually simple: The law.

On the top-down level, that is the standard that is enforced. On the bottom-up level, every community and local group can define their own standards, as long as they don’t violate the law. And end users will be empowered to curate their own experience, tailored to their needs and values.

Yes, I acknowledge that there are variants in global law - what is allowed in Germany might not be allowed in China and vice versa. But there are baselines that are universally acknowledged. Right now, we focus on what is accepted and baseline in Europe and will worry about China later…

Has Likes

Thanks for sharing this!

Just for my understanding, how do you approach how visible conversations are?

Tom Coates once summed up some mechanics I found interesting like this:

“(…) it’s about the fundamental mechanics of the protocol and then a lot is just based on putting the filtering and abuse prevention in the clients.(…) For example, if you can’t see people more than two steps from you, then the incentive for them to be unpleasant or harassing diminishes a lot, and if there’s an assymetry between the two sides too, that can help. It depends on the physics basically, how far can your voice carry”

I found this metaphor pretty helpful to think about these things. What’s your approach?

Has Likes

yes, that works - up to a point. Because sometimes people actively want to get into a conversation with people that are completely unknown to them, but only connected through a shared interest in something. Think striking up a conversation with a stranger in a bar, or while standing in queue somewhere.

This board for example: The only connection I have to basically everyone here, is that they are here too. Thankfully, all’y’all are nice people, but what would my options be if you weren’t? I’d probably have to count on the hosts here to make things friendly.

Generally, we need to recognize that there are different scopes of communication, different spaces with different needs and constraints. As soon as an internet space is open in the sense of “everyone can register and participate”, you are essentially dealing with the potential global public.

All it needs is a well-worded link in a high-traffic place directing new people to any given space to fill it up with a new audience - which might be friendly or hostile, come with its own agenda, might have an interest and understanding of the place, or just wants to complain… Any new social platform should keep this possibility in mind.

Has Likes

Further evidence of brokenness:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-08-13/facebook-paid-hundreds-of-contractors-to-transcribe-users-audio

Has Likes

I am actually a bit angry over how these things are reported. If there is any online, server based voice recognition service at the scale of millions of end users, of course there are going to be humans who check on samples to see if the product works as intended. And of course the bit that says so is hidden in the ToS somewhere, because if you put it front and center, no one is going to use it.

Also: Yes, it feels creepy, but in the end, the actual consequences of this privacy invasion are close to zero - the people who hear the recordings usually aren’t in a position to do anything with them.

That said: Yes, the big tech companies could have handled this better. Don’t allow remote work for this stuff for example, better communication and so on.

But what the reporting should always do is to tell people that checking these recordings is more or less mandatory to make the service better or even possible in the first place, and that people should know that whenever something translates voice to text in an online device, there should be the expectation that someone will eventually listen in to more or less anonymized tidbits of your voice.

Good point. Journalists often look for ‘blood in the water’ and if they can’t find much, then maybe ratchet things up a bit to increase the controversy.

And FB has to operate at a scale beyond what many of us can probably even imagine. So naturally whatever they do, good or bad, is going to look big to anyone who looks. And Amazon does the same thing with Alexa.

But there is a bit of a story here though for the reason you point out: they don’t disclose.

The “break things” ethos unfortunately allows a lot of room to justify unethical behavior. And this is exactly why they get so much scrutiny. The company leadership misrepresents what they do, even, in the case of Zuckerberg testifying to Congress, while under oath. Those sharks will never leave his tail after that.

Has Likes

Facebook got fined 5 billion dollars by the US Govt last month. The EU is about to announce its findings on FB’s alleged violations of the GDPR regarding sharing WhatsApp data with FB without user consent…

These are huge fines, but they seem to not make a real difference. Europe needs a bigger strategy than leveling big fines. It seems like only a migration of people somewhere else will cause them to change. i imagine that most FB users are not that concerned about it actually.

I dream of antitrust policy based on access to market: “if you don’t break your company up, we will no longer allow you to operate on our 500 million rich people market”. The EU is almost there, with pretty strong decisions imposed on non-European companies by commissioners like Monti and Vestager.

Has Likes

I do think denying access to market is the only way to enforce monopolistic behavior. But does breaking up big tech companies solve the problem? So for example you would break Instagram and WhatsApp away from Facebook?

Has Likes