World Why Twitter's rival Mastodon was trending in India - It comes amid criticism of what some say is Twitter's "highly inconsistent" stand on hate speech

Ahriman

Vivere Militare Est.
kiwifarms.net

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Some of India's most influential Twitter users are looking to move to little-known network Mastodon amid an outcry over Twitter moderation methods.

Mastodon's apparent trend-surge was prompted by Twitter suspending a leading Indian Supreme Court lawyer's account twice.

Users have told the BBC they believe Twitter has a "highly inconsistent stand" on issues such as hate speech.

In contrast, they argue Mastodon's anti-abuse systems are far more robust.

The smaller social network's name was soon trending on Twitter in India as users announced their new accounts.

However, exactly how many have actually set up an account - and how many will abandon Twitter altogether in favour of the rival platform - remains to be seen.

So, why were people angry with Twitter?

The anger began to build against the social network - which is said to have more than 30 million users in India alone - after lawyer Sanjay Hegde had his account suspended twice.

The first time was because he had retweeted a 1936 photograph of Nazi Germany in which a German national, August Landmesser, refused to perform the Nazi salute, which Twitter said violated its rules on "hateful imagery".

"After a massive outcry, Twitter restored my account but without the photo," Mr Hegde told the BBC's Krutika Pathi.

Soon after, Twitter took action against his account again, emailing him a notice to take down a tweet from 2017, in which he retweeted a poem that protested against the hanging of two revolutionaries.

He had added the title of the poem - Hang Him - in his tweet, which he believes "triggered some automated bots on Twitter's backend".

The two incidents sparked a larger discussion on how Twitter moderates its content in India, with many saying that the platform tolerates rhetoric against minorities.

Twitter has denied these charges. It put out a statement saying it does not moderate its content based on "ideological or political" viewpoints.

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But regular Twitter users, as well as technology experts, say the platform has a blemished history when it comes to moderating content in India.

Nikhil Pahwa, the editor of internet watchdog Medianama, told the BBC that Twitter "hasn't done enough to address hate speech".

A recent report from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) found that Twitter removed nearly a million tweets and blocked around 100 accounts in India as part of their "country withheld" policy.

The report said most of the blocked content was critical of the government's recent move to strip Indian-administered Kashmir of its semi-autonomous status, and were made after requests by the government itself.

"With Twitter, the problem is mounting - there is a growing sense that the platform is closing down or suppressing voices that are critical of the government, so there is a lot of concern over that," said Nilanjana Roy, an author who recently signed up for a Mastodon account.

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The platform has also come under attack from Dalit (formerly untouchables) activists and writers, who say that Twitter routinely suspends their accounts while allowing problematic trends - #BoycottAllMuslims was a top trend last month - to continue.

"The bias against marginalised groups - Dalits, women, religious minorities - on Twitter is very blatant," says activist Kavitha Krishnan, who added that she has complained to the platform previously but had never received any response.

Others have also pointed to the lack of action the company has taken when it comes to women on Twitter, who regularly face death and rape threats.

"It's not fun being a woman on Twitter and watching the abuses go by - you feel as though you are exposed to an industry that is continually polluted," Ms Roy said.

"What this incident has also shown is that there is a search for something that is beyond Twitter - it might be Mastodon or it might be something else that we haven't even seen yet."

What exactly is Mastodon?

Mastodon is an open source network, where users can post, comment, follow other users and publish images and videos like on a conventional platform.

But what is most significant is that it is decentralised and open-source - this means that there is no single entity running the network.

Instead, users create and run their own servers. This means the social network then is made up of many servers - each of which has its own rules. This also allows users to choose servers that they think conform with the policies they agree with.

Mastodon was first released in October 2016 and the network claims to have more than 2.2 million users. Twitter has more than 300 million users.

While many have hailed Mastodon as a great alternative to Twitter, some have pointed out that its not as easy to use, which means its unlikely that Mastodon is going to take over - even in the long term.

Others have dismissed the movement to leave Twitter as "a temporary fad" which is unlikely to make a lasting mark.

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We laugh now, but this could snowball into something much larger later on.
 

Alec Benson Leary

Creator of Asperchu
Christorical Figure
kiwifarms.net
Twitter is absolutely caving to the demands of oppressive governments wherever it operates. There's no way they wouldn't. They want those markets too much and they have no incentive not to. They're only on the "right side of history" in the US and other liberal democracies where they don't actually fear Trump or the leadership nearly as much as they theatrically say they do. Anywhere where the government will actually move against them, they shut that shit down real fast. It's no surprise to me that Twitter is playing ball with the Indian administration's attitude on the Kashmir situation.

These companies shouldn't be trying to police any behavior because there's no way to win. If they had left it alone and just let people say whatever they want, they wouldn't have an infrastructure of "benevolent" oppression that would now be exploited by dictatorial governments because silicon valley has no balls. But no, they thought there was good money in virtue signaling.
 

It's HK-47

Meatbag's Bounty of Bodies
Supervisor
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Can we just move Pajeet to a separate Internet altogether?

Those bastards shit up any site they get on in large numbers.
For most intents and purposes they almost are on a separate internet, or in the very least they're incredibly sequestered. Almost every person in India who accesses the internet only does it through Facebook, which is why there's more people in India using Facebook than even the United States. That's one of the primary reasons--apart from the fact that India basically has no sexual education whatsoever, due to ridiculously misinformed religious and cultural beliefs--that you see so many bobs and vagene posts on Facebook. A lot of Indians think that Facebook is the internet.

At one point Zuckerberg was even trying to make a deal with the country that would have effectively given all of them free internet access, but exclusively through Facebook with no ability to wander out into the open internet. Surprisingly, they actually told him to fuck off.
 

Kacho

Crow suddenly attacked!
kiwifarms.net
That's one of the primary reasons--apart from the fact that India basically has no sexual education whatsoever, due to ridiculously misinformed religious and cultural beliefs--that you see so many bobs and vagene posts on Facebook.
There are tons of Indian immigrants in my area. Not that long ago I met one at a party and had a fairly substantial conversation with him and he ended up telling me he didn't masturbate until he was an adult and didn't have sex until he was put into an arranged marriage at 25. If anyone ever wondered why they're so hard up.

But how will Pajeet get white women lewds?
The pajeets of the world must unite to seize the bobs and vagene.
 

HeyYou

seriousposter
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Twitter users were the ones who wanted all Nazi content kicked off, why are they mad now that Nazi photographs are then very obviously flagged? This isn't about allowing hate speech, if anything it's about being too harsh on hate speech. These fuckers should see some of the shit on Mastadon, they'd have a heart attack.
 

Remove Goat

Wendy_Carter's #1 fan and potential rapist
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
As a matter of fact, our Mastodon just had it's first banned user this morning.

@CrunkLord420 is our hero, he despises anime and his fellow men. He'll shield us from the pajeet men and fight back the anime menace. Be sure to thank him with dickpics! :semperfidelis:
 

CrunkLord420

not a financial adviser
Supervisor
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
This article is awful.
  • The network is called the "fediverse"
  • Mastodon is a server implementation of the relevant protocols (mainly ActivityPub)
  • They mention no actual fediverse instances in the article, with one image referencing mastodon.social
  • mastodon.social is a hugbox instance that was created because twitter does not have strict enough moderation policy
    • This is a fundamental misunderstanding of the fediverse. The fediverse has far more potential to host un-moderated content as demonstrated by groups like KiwiFarms.cc, FreeSpeechExtremist.com and Gab.
  • They don't mention any India-specific instances, like inditoot.com (which does federate with KF, and I've spoken to their admin before).
As a matter of fact, our Mastodon just had it's first banned user this morning.

@CrunkLord420 is our hero, he despises anime and his fellow men. He'll shield us from the pajeet men and fight back the anime menace. Be sure to thank him with dickpics! :semperfidelis:
It's a Pleroma instance, Mastodon is legitimately bad software.
 
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pwnest injun

An Honest Man is Always in Trouble
kiwifarms.net
This article is awful.
  • The network is called the "fediverse"
  • Mastodon is a server implementation of the relevant protocols (mainly ActivityPub)
  • They mention no actual fediverse instances in the article, with one image referencing mastodon.social
  • mastodon.social is a hugbox instance that was created because twitter does not have strict enough moderation policy
    • This is a fundamental misunderstanding of the fediverse. The fediverse has far more potential to host un-moderated content as demonstrated by groups like KiwiFarms.cc, FreeSpeechExtremist.com and Gab.
  • They don't mention any India-specific instances, like inditoot.com (which does federate with KF, and I've spoken to their admin before).

It's a Pleroma instance, Mastodon is legitimately bad software.
If the reporter actually got the story right, the editors would probably tell them to dumb it down and push more brands.
 

Coffee Anon

kiwifarms.net
Even though the article is complete garbage, I think it is becoming more and more clear that the solution to moderation issues for online platforms is allowing everything and putting the onus on the user or federated instance to manage their own blockings.

Ideally, every user would have their own instance and would create their own filters or choose filters they more or less agree with and apply them. It's simply impossible to please everybody and as social media and content delivery companies are forced to choose sides, this solution will become more and more obvious.

The only ones who could possibly see it as a bad thing are those who wish to control what others see, think, and say. This includes governments, activists, and corporations, as well as many of the exceptional people discussed on this forum.
 
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