How the biggest decentralized social network is dealing with its Nazi problem - 2019-07-12

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F0.png How the biggest decentralized social network is dealing with its Nazi problem July 12, 2019, Adi Robertson, The Verge

Over the past few years, Mastodon has become the model for a friendlier kind of social network, promising to keep out the hateful or ugly content that proliferates on larger and more centralized networks. Journalists hailed it as "Twitter without Nazis" and for years, it's generally lived up to that promise. But last week, the social network Gab migrated to Mastodon — and Mastodon's admins have been forced to deal with the internet's Nazi problem head-on.

The response has been messy. Many prominent Mastodon servers already moderate against racism, so Gab has faced a wave of individual blocks from individual servers. But going further has proven controversial, exposing profound questions within the community. Before the migration, one user requested that Mastodon add a hard-coded ban of Gab's servers, so all instances would automatically cut it off. It was an extreme measure, but one they argued was warranted. "Gab has inspired mass shooters and murders," they wrote. "You do not understand the type of threat they represent."

Mastodon founder Eugen "Gargron" Rochko, meanwhile, believes a scorched-Earth campaign against Gab's fork of Mastodon isn't practical. "You have to understand it's not actually possible to do anything platform-wide because it's decentralized," he tells The Verge. "I don't have the control."

Wikipedia cite:
{{cite news | first = Adi | last = Robertson | title = How the biggest decentralized social network is dealing with its Nazi problem | url = https://www.theverge.com/2019/7/12/20691957/mastodon-decentralized-social-network-gab-migration-fediverse-app-blocking | work = The Verge | date = July 12, 2019 | accessdate = December 19, 2022 }}