There are a few subreddits I check out from time to time because Lemmy doesn’t have the volume of users required to keep those niche conversations active.

Wow, what a pain! There’s so much hostility and byzantine rules. It’s just not worth it.

  • AwkwardLookMonkeyPuppet
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    43 months ago

    Hexbear and Lemmygrad got bans from me almost immediately (after a couple of days) because it was obvious that all of their content is extremist. Lemmy.ml has a pretty good mix, but their memes community specifically has a ton of propaganda. I haven’t noticed any of their other communities being reliably propaganda. I actually started out on Lemmy.ml. I heard they are leftist and I was like “oh, I’m a leftist too. I’ll go there”. But then after being there for a while I was like “uh… Maybe I’m not quite the leftist I thought I was”.

    • @[email protected]
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      53 months ago

      I would actually prefer to be exposed to multiple POVs wherever possible, if it were delivered in a respectful manner. Likewise I enjoy learning more about various religions, and cultures, and all manner of things. However, I must draw the line against trolling behaviors. So for me, it is not just that they contain “content that I may not agree with”, but that they outright encourage behaviors that have driven me and so many others away.

      I got my start on Kbin.social, before it repeatedly kept going down for a week at a stretch, multiple times, and they had already defederated from those places, so fortunately I got to be exposed to the friendlier side of the Fediverse first, so I knew what was possible. But then after switching to try a couple of Lemmy instances, I gave serious thought to leaving the Fediverse entirely. There is so much else that I could do with my time, you know!? Read books, watch videos (like Hank & John Greene’s Crash Course series on YouTube), go outside and touch grass - I don’t need to be arguing with the emotional equivalent of toddlers online, acting as the recipient for their emo-venting aka vomiting all over me rather than having true conversations aka “communication”.

      That said, I might understand what you mean about the memes - if they violate the community rules then they are being disrespectful to the recipients who would have to spend time reading them, rather than enjoyable content. And if there is enough spamming of such, it inches closer to “trolling” behaviors, as in the same kind even if not quite degree. Though oftentimes people from that server also engage in actual trolling as well, in the form of responses that do not care about how the recipient would like to receive.

      Anyway, I left Reddit over that shit, and I would leave the Fediverse too if it came down to it, though fortunately it works to just block those 2-3 places and the rest becomes a MUCH better place to play around in!:-)

      • AwkwardLookMonkeyPuppet
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        3 months ago

        I think it goes beyond trolling, I think it is astroturfing. A lot of it seems too on the nose to just be some rando cranking out messages on his phone. But like you said, the rest of the fediverse is pretty okay.

        I also like being exposed to alternative viewpoints, but it’s hard to find viewpoints online that aren’t extremist these days. Everything is so tribalistic that ideologies seem to become parodies of themselves.

        I miss the authentic conversations that used to be common on forums, then Facebook, then early Reddit. You don’t find them very often on any of the remaining sites. But we’re kind of having one here, so I guess it still happens, just not as often.

        • @[email protected]
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          23 months ago

          Astroturfing: Maybe… but also, we don’t need to ascribe to malice what is explainable with just flat, sheer stupidity. Though it could be that too.

          Between the two though, the latter is far more damaging imho. That gets perfectly illustrated in every zombie movie ever where the giant horde of zombies lies outside awaiting to devour everyone inside of a safe space, and inevitably someone who is just literally that dumb tells themselves “but surely they won’t eat my face off!?”, and proceeds to open the door, which promptly gets everyone inside killed, often while they are literally sleeping & thus absolutely defenseless, b/c they trusted the guards to protect them and thus let down their guard to rest.

          The “other”, the “enemy”, can only do so much to harm us. It is when the call comes from inside the house that the real danger begins. Like, if you wanted to destroy something large - a nation, a religion, a movement - the best way is not to go at it with a gun, but to join it instead, and subvert it from the inside. Look at e.g. Google that “helped” the development of Android, or how people are releasing genetically-modified mosquitos to help combat malaria. So if e.g. Russia wanted to bring down e.g. the USA, it could… oh, I dunno, let’s say send over Fox News, then wait a few decades for that bomb to go off. It would be quite effective. Not only would it disable American interference in Russia’s agenda - e.g. as it conquers other nations such as Ukraine but also does many other activities e.g. in the Middle East - but that process could at best even convert your former foe into an actual, full-on ally. Even on purely theoretical grounds, what could possibly be more beneficial for your side than to not merely deny resources to your enemy but to actively increase your own capabilities? There are a LOT of advantages to having a friend, perhaps second only to e.g. doubling your own power (and even that only from the perspective that people such as Putin seem to ascribe to, whereas many people who think differently would actively prefer the opposite as in the former over the latter).

          Russia is known for funding the extremes on both sides of hot-button issues. By making every movement into a grotesque version of itself, they foment division, and regardless of what those particular issues are (abortion, LBGTQIA+ rights, guns, who even cares), that division is the real point. For example, although this one is just me guessing, who came up with that name to “defund the police”?!? Democrats were talking about increasing funding, and listening to the very people who know the most about the situation - the police officers themselves - who unequivocally state that they feel unprepared to go in and handle the “mental health” types of scenarios. That is by far what gets the majority of police killed - like as you turn to arrest the husband that was beating the wife & kids, suddenly the wife is stabbing you from behind to defend him, even when she was the one who made the call in the first place. That shit is traumatic AF, and those officers that survive such a scenario most often quit. So how did the liberal movement to help police suddenly get twisted into sounding & even doing the polar opposite of that? And using statistics that are the exact opposite of true - e.g. Trump gained support among police by going around telling them the “feels like” statement that >90% of murders are due to interracial crime… except the true statistic is <9% iirc (specifically white-black at the time was I believe 3-6%).

          For the anti-vax scenario, and this one I’m not guessing on b/c we’ve literally traced this propaganda back to Russian troll farms, they similarly warped the agenda not from “the vaccine is new and relatively untested, b/c of the unprecedented speed with which it was developed” but all the way over to “the vaccine is dangerous and if you truly cared about people you should even prevent them from taking it even if they desperately want it for themselves (e.g. by violently destroying the batches)”. How is that about “their” rights to not take a potentially “dangerous” substance, when they are actively preventing others from making that choice for themselves?

          So anyway, yeah, even liberal propaganda can be as bad as conservative - even if Republican politicians are acting far more dangerously than Democrat ones i.e. obstructionism. I can never find this quote anymore, but at one point around the time when the pandemic status was being officially ended in the USA (despite how the WHO says that it is still on-going), someone (I thought it was the FDA Director, or something along those lines?) said that “the greatest killer in the USA today is stupidity”. Heart attacks from the way people eat, car crashes from the way we drive, soon we can perhaps add planes falling from the sky, obviously all the easily-preventable diseases where people barge into hospitals (sometimes, heart-breakingly, waving actual guns at the staff) demanding cures for despite having passed all the possibilities for such in the past by refusing to prevent it even knowing that no cure for it exists once the condition is entered into, and ofc we will soon need to start adding the effects of climate change e.g. heat exhaustion, and ofc already we can add senior abuse aka “excess deaths” during the pandemic that somehow “wasn’t real”.

          Anyway, I kinda went off the deep end there didn’t I? :-P At the end, all we can do is our best, as we try to move forward.

          Oh, and yeah, I used to try to have these kinds of conversations, but long before I left Reddit I had already long ceased that. There is only so much complaining at “walls of werds” you can hear before you realize that what you are offering is not being received, thus obviously the only friendly thing to do was to stop. I too would have GREAT discussions even on Facebook - I don’t know if I ever convinced anyone of anything, but even so it was wonderful to hear from e.g. a conservative who was an actual social worker and so who had the potential to inform me better than my more theoretical analysis of a subject (although my point in turn there was that stats do not lie, as in a few counter-examples do not mean that a trend in the opposite direction does not exist). Those kinds of discussions in full friendliness and mutual respect, regardless of the outcome, are part of the spice of life for me, and may I just say “fuck Reddit” once again for having spoiled them by enshittifying their platform, e.g. by turning away (and in some cases actively booting) the mods - which started to happen long before Rexit by continually ignoring the mods asks to allow even already-existing moderation tools, b/c it was not in line with their profit model:-(.

          So, you can respond to any or all or none of this, in any timeframe, but in any case I do hope it was somewhat interesting:-).

          • AwkwardLookMonkeyPuppet
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            3 months ago

            Heh, yes you did go off the deep end a little. I agree with everything you said.

            We do have an impact, even though we don’t often hear about it. I was fortunate enough that someone actually messaged me back in 2016 and thanked me “for opening their eyes about trump”. That was really satisfying, because up until that point I felt like I was just shouting into a void. But people are listening, even when they don’t take the time to tell you they are. Of course for every one person that is actually affected, 30 of them aren’t. But reaching even one person is better than not reaching any.

            You’re right about leftist messaging being targeted by propaganda too. Some of it is from Russia, but a lot of it is from the right-wing. They take a message and twist it to the extreme so that it turns off people who would have otherwise supported it. What’s most frustrating is that a lot of gullible people actually agree with the extreme version, and now you have people supporting what was an intentionally ridiculous idea. I’ve even seen my friends fall for this.

            I think what makes discussion so difficult online now is the sheer volume of it, and the expansiveness of subjects to be discussed. It becomes overwhelming and then people just completely tune out, which of course was the troll farm’s purpose all along.

            • @[email protected]
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              33 months ago

              Omg I agree with all of that so hard, as well.

              The purpose of the conspiracy theories being less “here, believe this one thing” and more “somewhere, somehow, there is corruption in the government” (uh… duh?), and then promising to go in and fix it, which I guess gets taken at face value b/c the person “looks like” the message recipient, in some manners that count?

              But also, Trump never did “win”, so much as Clinton “lost”. And then later Biden did not “win” so much as Trump “lost”. Before that, Romney lost, before that McCain, and on and on it goes. So all the conservatives have to do to make Trump palatable - that guy who “Christians” like despite how he barges into little girls dressing rooms while they are changing, and talks about grabbing women by the actual irl genitals - is to make Biden seem worse.

              Which both Biden, by virtue of doing things in a boring manner, and the news media, by chasing after what bleeds & therefore leads, are cooperating along with to make happen. I dunno, I really hope they can pull it together in the next several months - the clock is ticking, and this time the literal planet Earth may be on the line (not only WWIII, but also climate change seems to have suddenly jumped towards us by something like ~100 years quicker than we expected - btw I entirely made that number up, but that Arctic temperature spike of 38.9°C/70°F in a single day does lend such a “feels like” statement some credibility doesn’t it!?).

              Meanwhile, people are gullible as hell - but since we know that, why aren’t we doing anything about it? Then again, I’m not smart enough to know what things might possibly work in that regard:-D.

              • AwkwardLookMonkeyPuppet
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                23 months ago

                Meanwhile, people are gullible as hell - but since we know that, why aren’t we doing anything about it?

                Or using it for good? The Democrats have been consistently out-maneuvered for years now because the Republicans know how to manipulate the public. So why aren’t the Democrats running “trump is a socialist” campaigns? Why aren’t they showing clips of everything he’s ever said that supports socialism, showing how much government support his businesses get, and that sort of stuff? Perhaps they feel like they’re taking the high road, but the high road is washing out in a storm and fascism is growing. I think they’re partially inept. They want good things, but consistently fail to deliver on them and then blame the Republicans for their failures. It makes me think of this old Simpson s episode:

                • @[email protected]
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                  23 months ago

                  Another aspect: Republicans’ methods may (MAY!?!?:-P) be deplorable, but they manage to actually deliver. Not governance - unless you count how they went in to sabotage it in the first place, in which case mission fucking accomplished there - but e.g. they promised tax cuts on the wealthy anti-abortion laws, and say what you will about that (and much should indeed be said!), but they got it done. It took decades of efforts, but they DID IT.

                  Meanwhile, Biden declared that the pandemic was over. The WHO disagrees, but he was so extremely over-eager to work in a “win” that he resorted to that falsehood. We expect that from a Republican, but when a Democrat does it, the base eats its own.

                  Republicans also manage to protect the rights of gun owners. Mind you, perhaps they shouldn’t, but they do. Have Democrats protected the rights of workers even a tenth as well as Republicans protect their guns? Mind you, I can’t really answer that, bc minimum wage is up enormously compared to what it was, accomplished over the course of the last decade. And unemployment is down too. And gas prices are lower. But the wealthy are even richer than they’ve ever been, and inflation is up, as are home prices, and medical care too. Overall it feels like a downwards move, but also upwards too - one step forward, two steps back?

                  And while Republicans are to blame for much of it, the old codgers in Congress can barely spell the word “internet”, much less comprehend how that interrelates with home prices. Government is SLOW (AF), and corporations are running circles around it, basically doing whatever they please, and leaving the future CEO to pick up the check.

                  I recall sci-fi where governments might still exist, but taking a back seat to corporations that have sucked all the real power out of the world, leaving none left over for the peasants. More and more we see this lived out every day irl - e.g. who in the USA will stand up to Apple, or Google, or Facebook (yeah they have different names now and I don’t even care:-D)? Yet Democrats do nothing at all about it.

                  Conservatives have a much easier sell - all they have to deliver is “nothing functions anymore”, and they get the credit. But it’s not just 10% that want that - it’s like 42-49% of the nation, and due to the Electoral College system, they can win with that. Maybe Democrats backed themselves into a corner, but that’s the game that needs to be played, I suppose. And it would help ever so much if those extremely old and extremely wealthy people would bother to learn stuff about their base, so as to stay in power rather than hand it over to the side that wants to burn it all to the ground.

                  • AwkwardLookMonkeyPuppet
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                    3 months ago

                    Democrats aren’t backed into a corner. All they need is a strong stand for workers rights, issues facing the middle class, and they’d win a ton of supporters. But that would put them at odds with the almighty corporations that line their campaign coffers, so they will not. Instead they focus on identity politics, and other polarizing issues to keep them at odds with the conservatives. To me it often seems that they’re the good cops in the Good Cop/Bad Cop routine, and ultimately they want the same thing as the Republicans, to retain their own power at all costs, and hopefully get rich doing it. If not, why haven’t they reversed Trump’s corporate tax cut? Why haven’t they proposed legislation to codify abortion rights? Whether they could get it passed or not is a whole other conversation, but they haven’t even presented anything. They’ve just let the Republicans get all sorts of changes pushed through and then shrugged their shoulders and said “identity matters”. Yeah no shit, but that’s not going to fix America. This is where I usually run up against protest from serious Democrats because they believe in their party, and I’m definitely losing faith. Maybe I’m seeing what truly is, or maybe I’m falling victim to all of that propaganda we talked about. Anyways, like you said, it’s definitely starting to feel like one of those sci-fi dystopias where the corpos run the country, and wield the government against their enemies like a weapon. I still believe in the United States, and I don’t think we’re cooked yet, but we have a lot of work in front of us.

          • Uranium3006
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            13 months ago

            Defund the police was never a Democrat thing, and it’s the watered down version of Abolish the police. The left in America is extraparlimentary so while we may vote Democrat they don’t really represent us

            • @[email protected]
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              13 months ago

              That is so true - we lost our democracy long ago, having been replaced by a plutocracy, and now people like Elon Musk want to enshrine that even more directly.

              The oddest part, in my mind, is that the founding fathers warned us about exactly this, saying that it was the greatest threat to the fledgling nation - so it is not like this took us by surprise. They said that when there are no barriers to citizenship, the masses who can be most easily swayed will get swept up by the wealthy who have the ability to buy their votes.

              But we still fell into this trap regardless, having been warned, their/our eyes watching it happen the whole time, but apparently unable - or rather unwilling - to do anything about it. Just like Trump’s legal troubles: the system is set up to protect people like him, so now it works to his benefit yet despite everyone seeing how broken it is, nothing can - or rather will - be done about the situation.

              It would be so nice to have real choices to pick from. Conservatives deserve that, liberals deserve that, the 80% of people who are in the middle deserve that… but we will not merely be handed that, we would have to make it happen (except we cannot, or rather - once more - will not).

    • @Noel_Skum
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      13 months ago

      “Centre-left” or “left of centre” are viable political position that may better describe your views. They tend to be a bit more “individualistic” (possibly the wrong choice of word) than full-fat socialism can be.

      • AwkwardLookMonkeyPuppet
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        13 months ago

        Did you go through my history or something? I don’t disagree with your observation, I’m just wondering how you arrived at it.

        • @Noel_Skum
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          23 months ago

          I’m not stalking you… honest ;-) “Left, right and centre” have always existed on a spectrum. Like you (I think) I’m left wing compared to an ultra nationalist, for example, but compared to a “tankie” I’m… whatever insult they want to throw my way. The key thing is “left” in itself is also a kind of spectrum; there’s an enormous difference between Stalin’s collectivisation of Soviet agriculture versus free school meals for all. You’ve met some socialists or communists etc and you seem to have realised/decided they’re a bit too left for you. Therefore it seemed reasonable to guess you were a little bit left as opposed to being full-on red flag waving left. This rant is just trying to say that there’s an entire sliding scale of left (and right) and it’s not about being 100% anything. Slightly or a bit left of middle seemed about where you might be.