:: Life Of Dave ::

mastodon and race

I started down this path with my last post, but unsurprisingly missed some of the nuances of open source social media like mastodon requiring technical expertise to establish, and the time to waste doing that. This interview does a good job of touching on that, in a piece titled 'The Whiteness of Mastodon'

Mastodon is a very white space. It draws upon some of the values and some of the interests of indie web producers, of the DIY tech community, wherein there’s this sense of rugged individualism. The open source nature means that you can make your own stuff, and this motivates some of the kinds of responses that Mastodonians will make to users who say that there are certain features that aren’t available, that there are certain content guidelines and moderation policies that tend to act as social norms on Mastodon itself. The argument would be, make your own instance. Now, as I have said on Mastodon, and less so on Twitter, the argument that you can make your own instance ignores particular resource costs of doing so.
Putting aside the monetary cost of starting up and maintaining one’s own instance– which again, if you’re a marginalized subject and you are living in a white supremacist society, this is an additional financial burden on yourself. We need to think about the moderation and personal costs of running your own instance. So an instance of color, for example, would have to have a robust moderation team to merely catch the racists. So this moderation team, be it members of color or other folks, would have to subject themselves to racist violence over and over and over again to filter out the racists and protect their community. You would essentially need, and I’m going to put this in scare quotes, “a warrior caste” to police the boundaries of your instance so that your community is not subject to the worst kinds of racist abuse.