Follow

facebook mention, conspiracy theories 

Earnest question seeking honest answers:

Are there conspiracy theories floating about among Mastodon instances? And if so, are they doing to the degree that they clearly are on Facebook?

boosts appreciated

· · Web · 9 · 8 · 2

facebook mention, conspiracy theories 

@robertwgehl There have got to be conspiracy theories floating around here — that's practically inevitable when you get enough people communicating over time. But the problem on FB is that way that its algorithms supercharge viral spread and the way the company postured as moderating it all while in fact knowingly letting the problems metastasize.

facebook mention, conspiracy theories 

@robertwgehl We have blocked several far-right instances where such conspiracy notions are common. That is common on this side of the cordon sanitaire.

And I have seen a PeerTube instance filled to the brim with Corona conspiracies.

People can post nonsense, all we can do is limit the damage it does to society by not helping spreading it. Facebook does the opposite because dangerous nonsense creates engagement and ad views.

facebook mention, conspiracy theories 

@VictorVenema @robertwgehl

yeah, the middle option is closest to my view, except I'm not in a position to say it's "miniscule". It works very differently. Any is bad, and too much. How much is hard to say with filtering & blocking and separate domains.

facebook mention, conspiracy theories 

@deejoe For me it is minuscule.

Someone else could be drowning in misinformation. Maybe even worse than Facebook because it is not mixed with messages of normal family members.

So I did not know what to answer. It depends. @robertwgehl

facebook mention, conspiracy theories 

@VictorVenema @deejoe @robertwgehl

I wouldn't class it as "miniscule", but neither as bad as Facebook, although the "rugged individualism" found on some parts of the tech subcultures means some folk do still try and spread them (most of these conspiracies seem to stem from pure anger that the Covid 19 response has given a lot of power to various governments/authorities worldwide, and build on existing anger/mistrust against government systems)

facebook mention, conspiracy theories 

@robertwgehl I am also sure there are conspiracy theories being spread by every form of communication, but without the site choosing what you see based on what makes you excited or suggesting "people who like A like B" it is back to the old "chain email" model. Maybe WhatsApp would be a parallel to explore?

facebook mention, conspiracy theories 

@robertwgehl it really depends on where you are. there are corners absolutely as bad as facebook if not worse, but also a lot of corners that don't federate with them nor seem to have it as bad.

i do think that the way of thinking that gives conspiracy theories a way to spread is not rare here, but it can be about different things.

facebook mention, conspiracy theories 

@robertwgehl There are some astoundingly shitty instances full of Facebook-quality people. Every so often one walks into my field of view and I instance-block their whole hive, often sites have already blocked them.

If you stick to the nicer instances and don't read Federated much, you won't see them too often.

facebook mention, conspiracy theories 

@robertwgehl it's as bad or worse in content, tho luckily nicer instances can block that shit out. Numbers or percentage wise, I'd have said lower but 2019-2020 mixed up the demographics here.

I say even worse because there is a limit on fb et al, however permissive, but with fedi anybody with a vm somewhere or an rpi gets to federate. It's one of the worst design decisions really to not allow selective federation. Techbroism at it's finest.

re: facebook mention, conspiracy theories 

@robertwgehl - however they are more clustered, mostly. There are some instances with a more liberal policy about who can join them and what they can post, and even when I disagree with them, and many of the conspiracy theories have gaping holes in them, I feel freedom of speech is important.
I personally would like to much more knowledge of, and use of, Federated Social Media in the mainstream.

re: facebook mention, conspiracy theories 

@robertwgehl From this account I am posting as a Debian developer, with an allegiance to the concept of Free Software. Similarly a scholar.social implies a connection to the academic community, but I would like people who are members of an organisation to be able to participate in social media with addresses like @joe.biden@democrats.org, for posts as a member of the Democratic party, or @president@whitehouse.gov, for official posts.
Sign in to participate in the conversation
Scholar Social

Scholar Social is a microblogging platform for researchers, grad students, librarians, archivists, undergrads, academically inclined high schoolers, educators of all levels, journal editors, research assistants, professors, administrators—anyone involved in academia who is willing to engage with others respectfully.