Overcoming problems with centralized platforms

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crusty
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Post Post #0  (ISO)  » Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:32 pm

So you piss off someone on [Twitter / Facebook / Tumblr] and see all your content removed.

Different options present themselves:
[A] Find a new centralized platform that maybe won't ban you for X content
[B] Host your own platform so that you can't be banned
[C] Join a decentralized network that won't ban you

I honestly think that given these three choices, [A] is the worst. There are problems inherent in relying on "platforms" and these problems become more obvious and glaring as Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook remain in the mainstream. There are good reasons to rely on a central platform:
- you don't need to worry about "hosting" (hardware, bandwidth, software administration)
- generally cost $0 to join / use
- they're designed to be easy to join
- offensive content and spam are handled by moderators
- most hosts offer fairly liberal policies
- your friends are probably already on them

However there is a major problem:
- you have very little say on what "rights" you are entitled to, as a user
- you are at the mercy of external factors to freely use the platform
- what is considered "offensive" is not under your jurisdiction (control comes from top-down)
- your information is generally logged surreptitiously and sold to bad actors
- your access to the platform may be terminated without warning
- if the platform is faulty, you are at the mercy of external factors to see improvement

So now let's look at option [B]:
- You have complete control over what information is shared
- You have complete control over how the information is presented
- You have complete control over who else can access the service

However that comes with its own problems:
- You need to learn some amount of webserver skills, security skills, web design skills
- It's not free: you need to pay out of pocket to run the website
- It's lonely: due to an essential userbase of 1 you will need to struggle to receive feedback

Option [B] is good for people who have time and who produce content that can stand on its own two legs, but obviously presents a skill barrier, and the limited outreach seems to go against the point of sharing content at all online. So now let's look at option [C]:

- you don't need to worry about "Hosting" unless you want to host, in which case the skill barrier remains low
- generally $0 to join / use
- designed to be easy to join
- most hosts offer fairly liberal policies
- if your server admin is crappy, you can just pack up shop and jump to a different server
- your information is not being stored and sold to shady entities
- if you host your own:
-- you have complete control over what information you can post
-- you cannot have your account terminated by any third party

And the pitfalls:
- your friends are probably not already on them
- you will not be shielded from "offensive" content or spam and must manually block / remove it
- shitty admins can still terminate your account out of the blue
- if you host a node, you still need to pay money and learn a bit of basic server stuff

As news of the controversial "no porn" rule on Tumblr makes its rounds across the internet, a lot of people are rightfully concerned. But I don't think they're mad for the right reasons -- people are really concerned about their lack of control over their content and network and are concerned that a central authority can interfere in their communication, and depending on central authorities of any sort will not solve the essential nature of this problem. The essential nature of the internet is to be free and open, but the popularity of corporate "walled garden" solutions blinds us to this simple truth.

Now is the time for decentralized networks and self-hosted platforms to raise their head and reshape the web. Hardware, bandwidth, and electricity costs are at an all-time low. Ditch Twitter, use Mastodon! Ditch Netflix, use PirateBay! Ditch Discord, use IRC! Ditch Messenger, use Signal / Tox! The future will be p2p and it will be FREE (as in freedom). Now that you feel the weight of your chains, instead of despairing, stand up and cast them off! Demand nothing less than autonomy!

if anyone wants any help liberating themselves from Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, et al, know that there is no reason to lose hope. I will be happy to help anyone learn the skills they need to reclaim digital autonomy.

xyzzy
rocks fall, everyone dies
 
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Post Post #1  (ISO)  » Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:06 pm

my fallback plan in case tumblr introduced a "no porn" rule has always been to start just posting erotic ASCII art in private threads on mafiascum.net. now that they've actually done it, my work begins in earnest.

Oso
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Post Post #2  (ISO)  » Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:38 am

In post 0, crusty wrote:use IRC


This. I like IRC, always have
My Uncle always use'ta say, 'You can't get no blood from a turnip.' .... He'd say the same thing about gettin' it from a stone, too.
-
I never said nothin' back to him. You don't want mess with no freak that's searchin' around that hard for blood.

McMenno
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Post Post #3  (ISO)  » Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:42 am

In post 1, xyzzy wrote:my fallback plan in case tumblr introduced a "no porn" rule has always been to start just posting erotic ASCII art in private threads on mafiascum.net. now that they've actually done it, my work begins in earnest.

wow, they actually did this... wouldn't want my tender eyes to be hurt by seeing female-presenting nipples
Show

Oso
Goon
 
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Joined: November 28, 2008
Location: Northern California
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Post Post #4  (ISO)  » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:41 am

My Uncle always use'ta say, 'You can't get no blood from a turnip.' .... He'd say the same thing about gettin' it from a stone, too.
-
I never said nothin' back to him. You don't want mess with no freak that's searchin' around that hard for blood.


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