Welp, Gab just committed suicide (or just went full niche)

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Suaidan
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Welp, Gab just committed suicide (or just went full niche)

Post by Suaidan »

In shock. This is a big mistake. Let the Balkanization of the Internet begin anew.
https://gab.com/a/posts/112004950980825693

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Re: Welp, Gab just committed suicide (or just went full niche)

Post by eish »

Suaidan wrote: Wed 28 February 2024 1:28 pm

This is a big mistake. Let the Balkanization of the Internet begin anew.

 

It may or may not be a mistake for Gab but I think it is good for us in general. The internet should be Balkanised. It is precisely because of the centralisation of all activity in a handful of sites (Facebook, Reddit, Wikipedia, Twitter, etc.) that we have the problems we have:

- Easy censorship because control is central.
- Poor search results because pagerank etc. rely on hyperlinked references, which only WP out of these sites uses effectively. (Massive boost to WP and a few similar sites, while niche sites with the actual information are starved of reference links except when a WP editor happens to like them.)
- Information which should be organised into articles and easily searchable blogs goes into ephemeral social media posts, never to be seen again.
- Thought police having a standing agreement with site operators instead of needing to get a warrant for any specific website over a particular case.
- Deplatforming and unpersoning of even the mildest conservatives.
- The dumb opinions of a few editors being the "official" facts.

Detractors of Gab have made a number of decent arguments, not that it concerns me that much. Certainly better than Twitter. To me the only compelling argument for using it over similar sites is the pornography ban (which they only implemented after being deplatformed over uncontrolled pornography, but still). Nevertheless, there are other Mastodon instances which ban degeneracy. It is also important that unlike Gab, those sites did not break completely from the Fediverse. NCD bans pornography and looks okay, even if I have no desire to create an account. https://nicecrew.tv/w/wz5Bn4Xy7kMVh8FKLF8zpN (The linked video explains the dark fediverse, i.e. the part not under ADL censorship. The speaker throws in a few naughty words.)

If Gab gains from this, I view that as a nett positive given that Gab is part of the broader alternative media sphere. If Gab is destroyed by this, at least part of the userbase should go back to forums or to the Fediverse--which would be an improvement over Gab. Win-win.

If this café were not already based on a database restore from an older forum and had to start clean, a Fediverse instance might have been the best way to do it. It might still be a good idea to eventually have an Orthodox instance since that interoperability spreads the message to users on other instances.
 
Of course free social media retains the same problem that the web has always had: "If you are not the customer, you are the product."

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Re: Welp, Gab just committed suicide (or just went full niche)

Post by Suaidan »

eish wrote: Sun 17 March 2024 1:27 pm

It may or may not be a mistake for Gab but I think it is good for us in general. The internet should be Balkanised. It is precisely because of the centralisation of all activity in a handful of sites (Facebook, Reddit, Wikipedia, Twitter, etc.) that we have the problems we have:

  • Easy censorship because control is central.
  • Poor search results because pagerank etc. rely on hyperlinked references, which only WP out of these sites uses effectively. (Massive boost to WP and a few similar sites, while niche sites with the actual information are starved of reference links except when a WP editor happens to like them.)
  • Information which should be organised into articles and easily searchable blogs goes into ephemeral social media posts, never to be seen again.
  • Thought police having a standing agreement with site operators instead of needing to get a warrant for any specific website over a particular case.
  • Deplatforming and unpersoning of even the mildest conservatives.
  • The dumb opinions of a few editors being the "official" facts.
    Detractors of Gab have made a number of decent arguments, not that it concerns me that much. Certainly better than Twitter. To me the only compelling argument for using it over similar sites is the pornography ban (which they only implemented after being deplatformed over uncontrolled pornography, but still). Nevertheless, there are other Mastodon instances which ban degeneracy. It is also important that unlike Gab, those sites did not break completely from the Fediverse. NCD bans pornography and looks okay, even if I have no desire to create an account. https://nicecrew.tv/w/wz5Bn4Xy7kMVh8FKLF8zpN (The linked video explains the dark fediverse, i.e. the part not under ADL censorship. The speaker throws in a few naughty words.)
    If Gab gains from this, I view that as a nett positive given that Gab is part of the broader alternative media sphere. If Gab is destroyed by this, at least part of the userbase should go back to forums or to the Fediverse--which would be an improvement over Gab. Win-win.
    If this café were not already based on a database restore from an older forum and had to start clean, a Fediverse instance might have been the best way to do it. It might still be a good idea to eventually have an Orthodox instance since that interoperability spreads the message to users on other instances.

Of course free social media retains the same problem that the web has always had: "If you are not the customer, you are the product."

 

Can of worms opened. 

There are unfortunately only two extremes this path takes, and we're semi-on the road to one of them, but this would send us into the far-deep end of the other. Allow me a moment to explain. Right now, there are two extreme directions we can take this: full centralization of sources or full decentralization of sources. If you've followed my discussion with Larry Sanger on the subject he is clearly invested in the "full decentralization" side and I respect that.

However, at present that's not realistic for us for a bunch of reasons, not the least of which is the situation in which we find ourselves now. As it currently stands, virtually all the data I have access to, minus the Odysee videos (which is to some degree decentralized), are at the mercy of private parties. (FB, Twitter, Gab groups, Blogger, YT and Discord are examples.) But then again, we are also private parties (NFTU, the Cafe, gocwiki when it was active) which means that for the "low price" of hosting, maintenance, etc, we can maintain some sort of web presence. (And technically, at least in the case of the Cafe, True Orthodox are contractually bound to run our own servers.) 

The flip side of decentralization is that all it takes to smash up the whole thing are some committed satanists who are good at writing scripts. Unfortunately, there are quite a few of those. Certainly Gab's foray into the Fediverse and the absolute catastrophe it caused taught us some bitter lessons: even if it's decentralized, there are still methods that can be used to "deplatform" people on decentralized systems, which is why Andrew Torba abandoned the Fediverse altogether. Which then gets into of course the question of censorship and "who runs the thing" ad nauseum. 

Faced with "being in the middle" in the midst of a whole bunch of unappealing options (which at both extremes places us either at the mercy of private parties who can be and sometimes have been hostile towards True Orthodoxy and True Orthodox people-- or at the level of niche where we are relatively tech-savvy, largely antifragile, and invisible, relegated to something just outside the dark web, like say Kiwi Farms) it would seem at least the current path forward for encyclopedic development falls along two lines:

1) we create and maintain a TO wiki ourselves, and have fuller control over the content or
2) we basically become active users on another decentralized project, such as Citizendium, where we relinquish total control

Now, (1) was precisely what gocwiki was. Unfortunately, after a few years, almost nobody used it. And some of that was likely due to jurisdictional bias. It's relatively recent that True Orthodox even speak of themselves as a collective on the Internet. Obviously over the years, the previous fracturing and "there can be only one" mentality has demonstrated itself to be relatively unsustainable to create, well, anything. Unfortunately, while interjurisdictional "competition" may be mellowed out in terms of real human contact, "on the Internet" one can expect little support for the endeavors taken outside "your own people" (Most inter-True Orthodox discussion, fellowship, etc. isn't taking place here; it's taking place precisely on hostile centralized sources like FB, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) And this is unfortunate, but it's a reality we deal with. So our collective resources are still all over the place, and minimizes our collective witness.

Unfortunately, I haven't got a solution to that. Bringing back the Cafe has been part of it, but there's still a mess going on that needs to be straightened out, and until it is, I feel like we're going to be stuck with a mixed bag of solutions, none of which will be completely satisfactory.  I have an idea to bring back a TO wiki. But we deal with the building blocks we're dealt.

The good news is that this is actually a new database cloned off the old one, so we do have access to many modern database tools, including OAuth. But I'm just trying to get a mailing list together, and that will be my project for Lent.

Fr Joseph Suaidan (Suaiden, same guy)

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Re: Welp, Gab just committed suicide (or just went full niche)

Post by Krzysztophoros »

It's hard to really say that this is a mistake. Is it really a mistake to keep burning through money that you can't afford to spend, if you're not making the revenue to continue burning it? It would be great if we lived in a world where server costs for large services were negligible, but that's unfortunately not the case. 

As far as providing a collective witness, having points of centralization is not the same thing as relying on a central platform. Having some go-to places for True Orthodox content that isn't reliant on world power infrastructure would be a good thing, while having enough presence on them as an evangelism front, makes sense. It just requires the legwork to set up those places, and perhaps form some good ol' fashioned webrings to link between multiple independent sites. Aggregating the content of multiple sites into a central place should also be technically possible but would require more technical expertise.

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Re: Welp, Gab just committed suicide (or just went full niche)

Post by Suaidan »

Krzysztophoros wrote: Sun 17 March 2024 4:27 pm

It's hard to really say that this is a mistake. Is it really a mistake to keep burning through money that you can't afford to spend, if you're not making the revenue to continue burning it? It would be great if we lived in a world where server costs for large services were negligible, but that's unfortunately not the case. 

As far as providing a collective witness, having points of centralization is not the same thing as relying on a central platform. Having some go-to places for True Orthodox content that isn't reliant on world power infrastructure would be a good thing, while having enough presence on them as an evangelism front, makes sense. It just requires the legwork to set up those places, and perhaps form some good ol' fashioned webrings to link between multiple independent sites. Aggregating the content of multiple sites into a central place should also be technically possible but would require more technical expertise.

 

Well, in Gab's case the owner is actually making more money off the AI project (enough to cover costs apparently) and basically is punishing the "freeloaders," (his word, not mine) so some of it might just be personal frustration.

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Re: Welp, Gab just committed suicide (or just went full niche)

Post by eish »

Suaidan wrote: Sun 17 March 2024 4:14 pm

...

 

Father, I'm not advocating that the Church stop using centralised, controlled platforms for apologetics. That would literally be preaching to the choir. It doesn't matter if we have a forum or a fedi node or a mailing list, someone still must spread the Gospel on each of those. What I would  like is for the audience to spread out onto the open web where they are less controllable.

In fact we should still be on projects like Citizendium. Just look at their article on the Eastern Orthodox Church:

 The Eastern Orthodox Church refers to those Christians who are in communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople established during the Byzantine Empire (the eastern Roman Empire), which was originally united with the western European (Roman Catholic) Church.[1] It includes churches which date their foundation to the period of the Roman Empire in Antioch, Jerusalem, Constantinople, and Alexandria, and churches that hold they were established directly from these bodies, including those of Armenia, Georgia,Russia and Ethiopia. The topic is limited to those bodies who accept the canons of all of the original Seven Ecumenical Councils from 324 AD to 787 AD, and includes an account of those who have in the past accepted, but do not currently accept, these canons. It does not include those churches known as Monophysitic churches that employ the term 'orthodox' as part of their names. The Monophysite Churches embrace the belief that Jesus the Christ had only a divine nature and did not also have a human nature.

Obviously that is grossly inaccurate and needs to be rewritten. It is simply copied from EP propaganda and conservative sources by someone who presumably does not know better, nor that he was conflating views which do not agree. The problem is the same one that we have with gocwiki, or any other common source: Every insider wants to write from his own viewpoint of what is true, which is confusing and argumentative to outsiders. (Plus edit wars.) Every outsider thinks he's being neutral throwing together things from different sources, but does not understand the nuances and so creates a contradictory mess. Someone needs to put is ego in his pocket and write down what the claims are rather than what HIS claim is. This is in addition to GOC wiki, if we get it back.

As for vandalism, that is a real problem and will continue to be a problem so long as the web exists. There is at least some safety in numbers, given that while Church sites are bound to be targeted eventually there are plenty of other targets attracting the wrath of satanists. (And the more decentralised the web, the more the targets.) In this world there will be persecutions, so I guess having one's site hacked hurts less than having one's face hacked.

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