#RIPTwitter: The Downfall of a Service

(or: "GNU Social?")

10 Febuary 2016

Last Updated: 29 Febuary, 2016

UPDATE: My views on Quitter have changed since I made this article. Quitter.se recently implemented a feature known as "Sandboxing" which blocks accounts from other nodes known to break the local Terms of Service. I plan to find a new service soon, but for now I am still using Quitter. In addition to this, the owner of quitter.se, @McSox, has been retweeting things showing his political views, bordering SJW. Of course, the individual's political views of the site owner is their own, and it is not in poor taste to have them. However, the actions followed through on his beliefs are objectionable. I do not like these actions, including the "Sandboxing" feature, as well as deleting the accounts of controversial persons such as Todd Kincannon and Robert McCain, both of which were official accounts.

UPDATE 2: I have finally moved to a new node. You can find my new account information in the contact page.

Twitter was developed in 2008. Since then it has become a highly populated website. However, earlier this month, people have begun to stop using it. Why? This is because Twitter announced it would implement algorithms that change the order of your timeline, much like Facebook made. This started the tag #RIPTwitter . This was a long time comming. I am supprised it didn't happen sooner with their open Data Mining, Blocking of Tor, Censorship, Smeer campaigns, and hiring Anita Sarkeesian to their Anti-Free Speech coalition "Twitter Trust and Safety Council".

However, this has led to something arguably bad. Somehow, they found GNU Social, a Free/libre alternative to Twitter. The same day as #RIPTwitter, Quitter, a series of GNU Social implementations, have been affected by the massive influx.

Now, as a member of the FSF, it is a goal to get people to switch to similar, non-privacy harming services. This is the goal of the FSF itself. However, I still am hung up on the fact that so many people who are so unaware of what they are even using. They are using this software without the slightest knowledge of what it means to use it.

I myself have called this a new Eternal September however, I have a duty with the FSF to accept it if it is. This is the goal, of course: Bring others to the Free/Libre services. This is just one step closer to the vision we all share. Since the majority have gone to the Quitter/GNU Social sites, I imagine that only a small fraction will go from there. They'll learn about Free/libre Software and therefore the FSF goal will be fufiled. Still, the rest will remain normies just using the service because Twitter removed their convienence.

Convienence has been an issue before with the FSF. For example, the FSF was proud that they got people to stop using E-Book readers with DRM. As it later turned out, it was only due to them not being convinent to the end-user. Later, Amazon made a new E-Book reader and they all flocked to that. The Free/libre software made by the FSF has also been turned off by the majority because Free/libre software is usually at a slight inconvience to what they are used to themselves, such as Windows utilities.

So, does the convienence aspect mean much? Maybe. What is true now, at least, is that Reddit-tier normies are entering this free service. Some will see the ability and beauty of Free Software, some will stay the same, and some will leave again. What do you do in the mean time? If you keep your space from these Reddit-tier normies, maybe the service won't be like Eternal September. When the original Eternal September happened on Usenet in 1993, people couldn't avoid them. That's not how the service worked. You can ignore them now.

These philistine users did cause some dramatic changes, though. For example, the sysadmins of all Quitter sites now have a mutually agreed upon Terms of Service. Quitter.se made a point to say that this isn't about "Freedom of Speech" and instead making a new platform. Quitter.se also resorted to using the word Shitposting, and giving alternative Shitposting platforms you can migrate to. The most obvious issue with the ToS is the vagueness of this statment:

"On this instance, users who harass others will be removed. We also take a strong stance against e.g. racism, sexism, ableism, homo- and transphobia. Such expressions make the site unsafe for other users, and in practice limit their freedom of speech."

I am on the barn with these recent actions. While the ToS for Quitter is SJW-tier, it matches the professional sites. My only direct problem with it is that it is vague.

Another thing I do have a problem with them using the site-wide notice that uses the term term "Conservative" as a slur. Quitter is run by Europeans, so that might contribute to their use of the word negatively. The sitewide notice was:

Please read our Terms of Use. Registrations are now temporarily closed. Shitposters and conservatives might like shitposter.club, gnutan.xyz or freezepeach.xyz.

So, is GNU Social a new Eternal September? I don't think so, and I take back my claims on it. The influx has died down anyway. A majority of it was also not Normie posting, but spam by people having fun fucking with a new service. Both have stopped at time of writing. Has Quitter gone SJW? No actions have been made to enforce their new ToS yet, so it is too early to tell. Is it a new place for Reddit-tier normies? Yes, but you can easily ignore them. I will continue to use Quitter.se and I will not change until I see any real problems with it. Quitter is and continues to be a good GNU Social node that I like to use. The normies will not know what they're using, but it fufils the goal (and perhaps responsibility) of the FSF to get people off of non-free software, even in a Web Interface. Too many Free services have turned into a Secret Treehouse Club, so to speak. We need to welcome these users. Don't become ##Linux on Freenode or #/g/punk on Rizon. Just embrace this influx, because it is good for society as a whole. Do the sensable thing and ignore who you don't like.