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meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

Well, apparently it's time to talk about QOTO again. Sigh. They've now started a "cancel culture"-themed disinformation campaign under the name of "United Federation of Instances" (gitlab.com/ufoi/constitution/-).

Their claim, once you poke through all the lofty wording, is essentially that defederation is "out of control" and that's proven by them getting defederated from other instances over the behaviour of a single user that they banned.

Just one problem: that is complete bullshit. They were defederated for many reasons (some receipts attached) that had nothing to do with that users, and everything to do with their moderation policies or rather lack thereof.

A couple of weeks ago, they mass-mailed instances asking them to unblock their instance, with the same sob story. They claim that they did this by the book, "only manually contacting instances with published contact information".

The reality is that their e-mails clearly weren't appreciated by many instance admins (who had blocked them for very good reason), and that they also clearly hadn't looked at the block *reasons* on the instances which blocked them.

They were told all of this, repeatedly, by many different people (including me), through multiple different platforms. Yet they continue to claim in their UFI "proposal" that it was just about that one user, and everything was by the book.

No mention of any of these issues whatsoever. No mention of how they were effectively harassing instance admins who very clearly wanted nothing to do with them. Not even so much as a private apology.

Their "proposal" also includes some very problematic wording that I can only read as politically conservative norms of moderation (and I hopefully don't need to explain why that is bad). Again, receipts attached.

This whole thing reminds me a lot of the Libre Monde misinformation in the Matrix community. That document was likewise very formally written, and managed to convince a lot of people of things that were somewhere between misrepresented and outright false. Several years later, it continues to make the rounds, despite having been debunked over and over again.

We should be extremely careful that something similar doesn't happen here. They seem to be taking a similar "make it look official" approach to spreading misinformation, and there are entirely too many people who will happily believe anything that looks official...

If you didn't have qoto.org blocked yet, this would probably also be a good moment to consider that.

And the rest of the contributor list may also be worth a look: gitlab.com/ufoi/constitution/- - I don't know whether the non-QOTO folks just bought into misinformation or are deliberately spreading it themselves, but either way something probably needs to be done about that.

And let's all keep an eye on where this goes, please, so that it doesn't become a long-term source of harassment.

:boost_requested:

meta, FediBlock (additional receipts) :boost_requested:​ 

So I've been told that the QOTO admin is also planning to sue Eugen over their removal from joinmastodon.org (presumably over the toot about the reason for their removal specifically). I do not have further context to confirm the details here, but here is the receipt.

re: meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@joepie91 "unpopular opinions voiced respectfully" has got to be a dogwhistle at this point, i've seen that exact wording in entirely too many places for it to be a coincidence

appreciate the full writeup, i had stopped paying attention after calling him a buffoon

re: meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@starfall I haven't been able to determine whether it's malice or just your usual centrist ignorance, but they did not see a fundamental problem with "the trans debate" and frankly that's enough for me to draw a conclusion here about their views on speech.

meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@joepie91 I elect to ignore the UFI. :P

meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@joepie91 that’s pretty whacky. I’d never heard of qoto before, but this definitely deserves a block.

meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@joepie91 My first interaction with this guy was this email… lists.ffdn.org/wws/arc/mastodo

re: meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@RGrunblatt "Jeffrey doesn't mock pronouns in his bio, it's just a joke."

Wow.

meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@RGrunblatt @joepie91 oh god... Those emails are a ride. And not a fun park ride.

meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@RGrunblatt @joepie91 interesting how in this post it's "being an ally to the LGBT community" not "our LGBT community on our server" like in the blog post. 🤔
Sus if you ask me

meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@joepie91

That Thor guy with his, "Don't get your yucky human feelings all over my pristine tech" is really... something. :oof:

meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@xenophora @joepie91 I'm glad that others pushed back on it, and I didn't have to on that particular point.

These people think that you cannot have an opinion on tech unless you have the privilege of writing code directly for it. Never mind the fact that no one would use that code and it would have no value if the rest of us didn't use it.

meta, FediBlock, long, added ccontex 

@joepie91 for some context for onlookers, Freemo alleges that the original account(s) posting Nazi & racist material on Qoto that caused many places to ban it were sock puppets attempting to stir up trouble.

That may or may not be true; I'll leave it to you to determine. I'm my opinion, however, it has become irrelevant: his recent response, including the use of a KF developed blocklist search tool and the slandering of Gargron demonstrate that he's not a trustworthy actor.

See his own words (archived)

re: meta, FediBlock, long, added ccontex 

@erincandescent Right, that's the "single user" I was referring to. And indeed this is not the actual reason why they're fediblocked at all, as has been explained to them over and over.

I can therefore only read his claim as one in bad faith - he has had every opportunity to understand the *actual* reason for the blocks, and taken none of them, instead choosing to perpetuate his own narrative.

re: meta, FediBlock, long, added ccontex 

@erincandescent Or in other words, this is basically the equivalent of those guys we all know who are shitty to people in a chat for months, eventually get banned, and then claim "I've been banned for saying one word and that's unfair!" after it being repeatedly explained to them that their pattern of behaviour was the problem.

re: meta, FediBlock, long, added ccontex 

@joepie91 (somehow I forgot a bunch of what you put in the first part of your when I got to the end/started replying. I apologise)

I think we're completely in agreement here.

The original reasons do have some subtlety to them - and contain elements of "he said, she said" which requires piecing together & trusting the people telling it.

Here he is disingenuously to Gargon's reasons for removing him from the JoinMastodon list. Here is him telling you - in his own words - who he truly is.

meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@joepie91 i want to remind everyone that the dutch flag in username is a red flag to begin with, Dutch political culture & discourse is poisoned by toxic centrism (source: i am dutch)

re: meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@bram Oh yes, absolutely. I'm also Dutch, so I'm very familiar with that issue... :/

re: meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@joepie91 slootweg gave that away ye haha 😅

re: meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested: 

@joepie91 @bram
en tractoren? 🚜

re: meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@joepie91 I've added note of this to our QOTO page: mew.toot.cat/mw/Qoto.org

re: meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@woozle I don't think it materially changes anything but I think they claim it stands for "question others to teach ourselves". Which just smacks of Bill O'Reilly when he's "just asking questions".

re: meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@BalooUriza @woozle it's also a retcon. Look at their original site on archive.org sometime and it started as "Question Others, Teach Others" which has a very different tone.

re: meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@mike I don't think it strikes a different tone. Strikes kind of the same shitbag know it all tone to me.

re: meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@BalooUriza the original comes across much more arrogant to me. I don't believe they've changed their attitude, just that they're trying to be more "marketable" or something. Their 2018 web site seems a lot more honest about how they truly are and they're trying to edit it now to back their ridiculous claims about being victims.

I blocked them 4+ years ago and all I've seen since is evidence that I made the right call.

meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@joepie91 So they want to create a council that governs all of the fediverse and have central control? Well. They have lost their minds. My whole stick with having a single user instance is so I can go ahead and block any instance I don't want to have in my feeds. I stopped eving showing my blocklist so I don't have to deal with butthurt Admins anymore.

re: meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@ailnoth I think it's a bit more nuanced than that - they don't seem to be vying for direct central control exactly, but rather running an influence campaign to discourage defederation.

Those motivations seem credible - from a freeze peach perspective, defederation is a thing to avoid, and to convince others not to do.

meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@joepie91 One potential downside to running an instance: Having to become an expert on the "scene," who's being disingenuous, who's actually acting in good faith but making an inadvertent hash of it, and who's straight up trying to play everyone for suckers.

QOTO was one of my first blocks and I don't see them leaving the blocklist any time soon, though.

re: meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@joepie91 i assume you have seen the thread on r/mastodon. there is definitely dogpiling going on

re: meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@untitaker @joepie91 what dogpiling is going on?

re: meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@f0x @joepie91 downvoting "rings". jeffrey probably just posted it to his followers

re: meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@joepie91 i hope that something public will eventually be compiled off of the fediverse, like on a wiki of some sort. the evidence being on mastodon itself makes it hard to search for

re: meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@untitaker mew.toot.cat/mw/Qoto.org does seem to exist, at least, but it's not complete

re: meta, FediBlock 

@joepie91 this shit is just the "Fediverse-Friendly Moderation Covenant" all over again isn't it

re: meta, FediBlock 

@kescher Wasn't familiar with that one but yeah, that looks to be about the size of it

meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@joepie91@social.pixie.town That's a whole lot of work and effort they're putting in just to create a convenient blocklist of instances that explicitly support hate speech...

re: meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@ada I suspect the play is to try and make defederation appear socially unacceptable, to a broader public which doesn't quite understand yet why it's a thing on here.

re: meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@ada (That is, we're not the target demographic, the 'clueless centrists' are)

re: meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@joepie91@social.pixie.town That may be the plan, but their first rule is explicit allowance of hate speech. That isn't going to give them much social traction

re: meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@ada Thing is, that's obvious *to us*. But the whole "hate is banned, but critical questions are okay" is unfortunately a very effective dogwhistle to draw in naive centrists, who don't (want to) see the intentions behind "just asking questions" and such harassment tactics.

It could absolutely gain traction, when framed as the "reasonable compromise" approach. It very frequently does work in other contexts :/

re: meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@joepie91@social.pixie.town But hate isn't banned. It's explicitly allowed as the very first rule. They aren't attempting to obfuscate it behind "just asking questions", they aren't attempting to explain it or validate it.

It's simply"Hate is fine as long as it's civil" as the opener.

What I expect to see is future drafts to tone that down, so that we get to the point you're talking about, where the tolerance of hate isn't phrased that way, but is instead obfuscated behind obtuse phrasing

re: meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@ada Wait, are we looking at the same document? This is what I'm seeing:

"The following acts are strictly forbidden on all instances within the UFI: 1. Hate-based racism, sexism, and other hateful speech, but generally unpopular opinions voiced respectfully will be fine."

re: meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@joepie91@social.pixie.town Ah, early morning misread from me before the coffee kicked in.

I was remember rule 1 as "Hate-based racism, sexism, and other hateful speech and generally unpopular opinions voiced respectfully will be fine"

Mea culpa

re: meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@ada Ah yeah, I can see how that might happen :)

meta, FediBlock (additional receipts) :boost_requested:​ 

re: meta, FediBlock (additional receipts) 

@joepie91 good chance... in Germany especially? :blobCat_corrupted_joy:​ I think I will drop an email to this guy

meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@joepie91 First, what’s wrong with their Sixth rule? Second, the rest seems terrible. I have an account there and I guess I might have to remove it.

re: meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@Liberonscien Specifically calling out nudity/sexuality as requiring a CW *but nothing else* is a tell-tale sign of puritan politics, and it's the root of an awful lot of oppressive shit

re: meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@joepie91 So if it also included violence then it would’ve been less sus or what?

re: meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@Liberonscien Among other things, yes. From the highly cherrypicked rule, it is obvious that the intent here is "promoting certain social norms", and not the "giving people control over what they see" that people normally ask for CWs for. Then the rule would've been much broader.

re: meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@joepie91 Fair enough.

meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@joepie91 qoto must understand that if people don't want to interact with them they must respect that.

I don't have to hear you if i don't want to.

meta, FediBlock, long :boost_requested:​ 

@joepie91 I dunno, they could only get 20 people to sign on, half of which are qoto users, and none of which (AFAICT) are server admins?

Smells like failure to me. Not that we should ignore it, but we can limit our stress levels.

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