artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
[personal profile] siderea wrote a post on the strike she'd like to see women hold and I find I agree, wholeheartedly.

I have not, on Twitter or elsewhere, had to deal with serious online abuse. I'm not entirely sure why this is, but I suspect it is at least partly because I don't tend to speak out about any one subject strongly, and partly because I censor myself.

This is wrong. I shouldn't have to self-censor to avoid playing block-a-mole with trolls; I shouldn't have to make my words private if I don't want to deal with shitposters.

This structure privileges people who are not reliant on social media for support: people who can just walk away, who can say "it's only the internet". It privileges people who are popular enough that, intentionally or not, they command vast armies of sockpuppets. It privileges people who have the time and energy and wherewithal to wade through the noise. It makes speaking out more costly -- too costly. The post I'm linking to says, "The cost of speaking one's mind, if one is a free thinker, becomes astronomical in managing strife and hostility. One's feed may simply be flooded – back in the days of email, we called this a "mail bomb" – to unusablility." I can well recall similar incidents on IRC.

It doesn't have to be like this, and Dreamwidth is one example of another way to structure social media. No, it isn't as easy to read or interact with on a smartphone, and that's a pain. No, it doesn't allow the short sound-bites of Twitter, or the viral possibilities of an RT. But neither of those things are inherent to the structure of the platform, and there are mitigating conveniences (proper comment threading springs to mind). Dreamwidth could, theoretically, implement a quick re-post function for public posts and sort out a smartphone client, and those things would both make it different, but they wouldn't make it less safe.

So, as [personal profile] siderea suggests, I am burning my words. I'm going on strike from social media platforms where I am not allowed to control my own space.

I only found out about this earlier today, so I'm doing 24 hours: 13.00 GMT Wednesday to 13.00 GMT Thursday.

But then, I'm planning on doing this again next Wednesday. I'll tweet on Tuesday, and again on Thursday, but Wednesdays are off-limits. I'll do it next Wednesday, and every Wednesday, until Twitter is safe again, or until I find something better.

Join me?

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artsyhonker: a girl with glasses and purple shoulder-length hair (Default)
artsyhonker

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