When people praise the lack of #viral content on Mastodon (or the #fediverse in general), it’s seems to be mostly white tech folks, happy for our clever bubbles to be left alone.
But for people who desperately need to be seen and heard, going viral on Twitter is one of the only ways for their stories to get told. #BlackLivesMatter, oppression in the middle east, genocides in Rwanda and South Asia, the #metoo movement – these movements couldn’t be ignored because they grew fast and visibly, making it hard for them to be ignored, dismissed, or covered up.
The Fediverse as it exists right now would see these movements isolated, defederated, gated by content warnings, and probably DDOS’d by bad actors running malicious instances. (“Mal-odons”?)
I guess right now I don’t want to see posts and think pieces about how “content can’t go viral” on the Fediverse (whether or not it’s true) is only a net-positive. For all its faults Twitter has been a positive force for social change and visibility in millions of people’s lives.
We must learn from it and ask how — if we are going to make a case for the Fediverse as an alternative to Twitter — we can be better while not throwing those of us in the most need back to the wolves.
Soon we are headed out to California for 5 days just to get out of Arizona for a bit. But this is not “vacation”, this is “move the quarantine temporarily to another state”. We realized this morning that planning family #travel is more complicated now, with way less mental energy available to plan.
What used to be pretty standard “get us out of the house for 5 days” activities now feel like huge tasks which we have to accomplish with our brains 94% occupied by #covid19, #blacklivesmatter, #racism, and other current events. Just the idea of cleaning house (for the pet-sitter) feels insurmountable.
To my shame, it took until the events surrounding George Floyd’s murder for me to really begin attempting to educate myself on “the rest of the story” of America’s history of institutionalized racism and violence. I’m trying to focus on 3 things:
LEARN the facts, outside of what was in my history education (“we win war for independence, we win ww2, happily ever after” - at least that’s what I generally walked away with)
LISTEN to black writers and voices about their American experience
Focus my own small voice on speaking to my fellow white Americans on our complicity in these atrocities and the system they’ve perpetuated.