Wil Wheaton Leaves Mastodon

I’m done with social media. Maybe I just don’t fit into whatever the social media world is. I mean, the people who are all over the various Mastodon instances made it really clear that I wasn’t welcome there (with a handful of notable, joyful, exceptions, mostly related to my first baby steps into painting), and it seems as if I was just unwelcome because … I’m me? I guess?

Folks are saying that community management is the solution. That if you have good tools in place, this sort of thing is avoidable. To that, I say: unless your community management system can scale to 7 billion users, it’ll never work. Technology can’t solve the problem; you’d have to change human behavior, and that’s not gonna happen.

An open-door policy means anyone can come in, and they will, and they’ll bring their hate and negativity and bigotry with them. Unless you control who gets in (either directly through moderation or indirectly through obfuscation or inserting on-boarding costs like fees or requiring certain technological know-how), the masses will show up. Some of them will bring their tiki torches.

This isn’t a solvable problem, at least not from a technological standpoint. It’s a problem inherent in who we are. People will always find a reason to dislike each other.

I think we should all follow Wil’s lead. Stop using social media. Delete our accounts. “Walk hand in hand into extinction. One last midnight. Brothers and sisters opting out of a raw deal.”

Or, at the very least, find some communities that are private or that present barriers to entry that trolls won’t or can’t cross. And then, when you’ve found a nice place to hang out, at least try to treat people decently.