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Racism, Fascism, and other Human Problems on Mastodon

I am continually fascinated by the amount of users from the Twitter Diaspora who are decrying the lack of robust fixes for socialogical issues within the Fediverse at large, but specifically within the Mastodon social media realm.

It is not any surprise to those of us that have studied human behavior or history that bigots and other practicers of vile “-isms” are to be found on the fediverse as every where else.

And while everyone has a right to a freedom of expression, it can and should be limited in cases where those expressions are vile and harmful.

There is an onus that belongs to the instance owners to police their users and provide a moral if not inclusive environment.

However, the fediverse, if representative of any high ideals, is the embodiement of individualism and voluntaryism.

From the first, it is essential that users of the fediverse be responsible for curating their own content. This is built into the tools available to us in most of the software stack.

With no algorithm to pump content in front of your eyes, the user is responsible for scavenging, sharing, discovering, and seeking out the environment they want to build and consume.

Likewise, the tools available allow us to remove, block, mute, hide, and otherwise carve and dissect the world around us into whatever version we prefer.

While a moral person would strive to limit the expression of hateful, dangerous, or untruthful content, the responsibility falls to the individual and the collective, not an overarching authority to solve issues of human depravity.

In both instances, the onus is on the user, the individual to build the world they want.

Building on this responsibility to decide what to consume brings with it a natural voluntaryism.

The tools put forth a doctrine of voluntaryism that allows users to build worlds together, consuming the content they desire, limiting, silencing, and removing content they don’t.

Never in computer history have so many people had the power to search out, consume, or limit consumption of the data they choose without commercial influence.

Despite all the failings of the fediverse, there is no greater power, organization, or authority to appeal to.

The tools force the responsibility of moderation, to the lowest level. Going as far as to allow single-user instances to build whatever version of reality you choose to enjoy.

The author can be found on Mastodon at

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