The strum and drang of the conversation of Meta joining the Fediverse continue at it’s wild and intense pace: See this: netwars.pelicancrossing.net/2023/06/3…
And to me, for the most part, that is a good thing, this is a big deal and we as a fediverse family should suss it out. We have had big turns in the road before - and we sussed it out over time. We will again when the next bigtech go adopts ActivtyPub.
But the recent intense and “almost religious overtones” to the debate, and even worse, the death threats and vitriol from a fringe - I think call for three additional traits from us from each camp, all of which may be in short supply when the emotional temperature rises and the amygdala part of our brains frequently assumes control.
But think it’s time for all of the Fediverse to do the whole “look to the better angels” thing and get one notch better at internal conflict resolution at how we grapple with this.
Background: I’ve previously stated that I believe the division of thought from the two camps of “Fediblock First” and the “Watch Like a Hawk with the Finger over the Block Button” groups come in part from this: From two different cultures that migrated to the Fediverse in separate timeframes with different contexts. www.timothychambers.net/2023/06/2…
Given that, I think these three traits (if we can pull them off) would be of great help during the next few weeks and months:
➡️ Humility: All sides should admit we don’t know far more than we do know right now.
As people see this potential change in the Fediverse, it is crucial to approach this time with humility. I think I see what will happen, I firmly believe that we have all the tools we need to moderate and protect our users now - without the need for a Fediblock first strike. I am deeply confident that we can manage the new users and protect our own without becoming overwhelmed. I also strongly believe that a premptive-ban on Meta is shortsighted and self-defeating. See here: www.timothychambers.net/2023/06/2…
But I admit: I could be wrong. Really wrong.
Others predicting the worst outcomes from Meta joining the Fediverse may be correct, but THEY also may be wrong.
Things will likely be very fluid, and mercurial once they join, and everyone should be willing to say, “Reality gets a vote,” and readdress their positions as new data comes in.
By setting aside our egos and embracing a humble mindset, we can create an environment where diverse perspectives are valued and respected. And it will be easier for us all to pivot once things really do occur and we all see what we are dealing with in terms of our new “Threads” neighbors.
➡️ Empathy: By actively listening to one another and seeking to understand each other’s concerns, we can build bridges of empathy that promote constructive dialogue rather than divisive arguments. I’m all for constructive, reasoned arguments. But empathy should be the base under them all.
The Venn Diagram of the ethos, values, and priorities of “Team Fediblock First” and “Team Watch Like A Hawk” has approximately 99 percent overlap. By and large: one camp isn’t dead set on crippling the Fediverse – and the other isn’t bound and determined to blindly trust Meta and allow great harm to come to our people - with marginalized communities likely to bear the worst.
Overall: Both I believe want to protect our people as a first priority, and both I believe want the benefits they found at the Fediverse to be safely available to the widest number of people possible. The fringe who don’t - on both sides - are just that, a sliver of a sliver.
Let’s not demonize each other and let’s see where each other shares the other side’s values. 99 percent overlap in my view.
➡️ Community: we need to treat this like one albeit multi-cultural - community.
Some think: Maybe there are just two schisms now “an open Fediverse and a gated one,” some say. Others are saying “two camps” exist and that the time has passed that the who can unite priorities: https://heat-shield.space/mastodon_two_camps.html
There will be a tiny maximalist set of users that both defed out Meta and then defed out anyone else who doesn’t. That sub-group was likely virtually out the door anyway.
The rest of us will figure this out. We did before at big turns in the road like when Gab tried to infiltrate when Twitter got bought sending six million folks into our shores when new corporate actors like Medium, Flipboard, and others joined in and proved themselves to be allies.
This isn’t our first time at this, and there will be more decisions like this after Meta, too.