Frankie Saxx
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There's a lot of customer culture attitude in Mastodon-the-community, where people treat Gargron and other devs, the instance admins, moderators, etc. like service workers. It's a spoiled, entitled attitude, where "the customer is always right" and it's okay to be abusive or demeaning to people providing a service when they don't give you what you want.

The fediverse isn't a corporate model. When you're rude or demeaning to someone here, you're being abusive to volunteers building a playground

@frankiesaxx I've only been here a week - any particular reason the admins don't summarily boot rude people out of their instances…?

@jackdeeth
Some do. (Those people often move to another instance, and sometimes start carrying a grudge.)

@frankiesaxx a lot of this seems directly caused by gargamel positioning himself as a sole authority regarding what is accepted into the project and especially the myth of „flagship instance”. Your part of the fediverse puts lots of importance on huge, popular instances too so it's not too surprising that twatter refugees would assume it's a yet another silo network.

@roka
I think some of that is true - people coming from Twitter talk at Eugen the same way they talk at Jack.

I think it's maybe also reflective of wider cultural attitudes though. Like just my observation is there's a lot less initiative in community projects (on and offline). People seem to be getting used to having things organized and managed for them, and they just show up. Maybe that carries over into free software projects as well?

@frankiesaxx there's nothing wrong with BDFL approach to a project - good, strong management can be better than a purely democratic approach. Problem is, the lead developer must be competent for this to work, and in case of an interoperable network shouldn't be acting hostile (or at best passive-aggressively) towards other software forming larger whole.

Both of these don't apply to gargron.

@roka
I definitely think Mastodon could play nicer with other projects and there is legitimate criticism of Eugen's communication with other projects especially, and understandable frustration on that point.

At the same time, I've seen abuse leveled at Eugen from Mastodon users who want something justified as "I don't know how to code, don't want to learn, can't (or don't want to) pay someone to do it, so Eugen should do it like I want!" (for free obviously)

@roka
I've also noticed some of this leaking over as those same users get frustrated trying to make Gargron their code bitch and start trying other projects with their demands.

@frankiesaxx hehe, the fabled forkoff? It was hilarious to watch but it probably helped that GNU/Smug is _widely_ blocked by the more radical Mastodon instances - fallout visible from here was minimal.

@roka
Fork off I think wants to actually fork Mastodon but maybe it's some of the same people. I saw Kaniini take some shit the other day, from someone previously active in telling ppl how to Mastodon so...

@roka @frankiesaxx Not sure I agree. He is the main developer and creator of the software. There is nothing wrong in he having the final say on stuff. He are very active and discusses issues a lot. He has changed opinion after input from users.

That it is FOSS do not mean you can order people around.

I have never seen anyone think m.social to be a silo. Gargron even closed registrations to force users to other networks. People did of course complain on this.

@shellkr
And some people were mad he didn't suggest other servers. But can you imagine the drama now if he did like when I joined, and suggested a couple servers by name on the registration page?

Then people complain when he closes registration. In some situations he kinda can't win.

@roka

@frankiesaxx I have ranted on this as well, you are completely right on here. There is no customer. Only participants.

@frankiesaxx

> the customer is always right

That shit needs to die as soon as possible.
The customer has certain rights, that's for sure: they parted with some fraction of their resources and need compensation and then some.
But "always right"? Hell no.
As a "former-but-present" tech support guy, I assure you that some customers are dumb as fuck, ignorant as fuck, rude as fuck for no real reason, and they intend to stay that way, causing infinite frustration, sometimes for the whole operation. Such nutcases just can't be "always right". They are only right as the still clock is sometimes right.

@frankiesaxx Its amazing how well this maps to user facing Free Software in general.

@alatiera
Yeah it's a shitty attitude definitely not exclusive to Mastodon.

Building on this: This also extends to people posting their annoyance at lacking features into the anonymous void, or worse: mention the devs.

This is not how it works – going onto GitHub (or in case of apps, whereever they are hosted) filing an issue or upvoting an existing one, and helping out with triaging while you are there, if you have five spare minutes – that's how it is done.

@rixx
Haha what you mean sceaming my demands into the void in an increasingly abusive way isn't actually the best way to get them noticed? ;)

@rixx
But seriously I think also people have to learn how to deal better with hearing "no" even when they do use the right channels.

@frankiesaxx Definitely. I'm just annoyed at people choosing passive criticism over participatory criticism. And, yes, I ask all of those I see if they have opened/voted for issues already.

@rixx
Hehe "what's the ticket number?"

Seriously though it's a huge problem with people just saying stuff and then expecting it to happen. Charitably, maybe most people are just unaware how many people make random requests and demands through a variety of channels, and that it's just not possible to keep track of handling them all that way. Less charitably, I've also dealt with people who think they're too important to use the systems that are set up to handle requests & issues.

@frankiesaxx One of the hardest parts of all this, is that a lot of the people moving to Mastodon et al are non-technical people who felt socially vulnerable on birdsite.

They're helpless to change anything about how Mastodon or any instances work, but feel very invested in the network protecting them from abuse, harrassment, etc.

People in that situation behave a lot like children, because children are legitimately needy and relatively helpless: they seek help by being loud and insistent.

@frankiesaxx It's not really OK to treat service workers like shit either. Not that I think you meant that...

@bremner
No it is definitely not okay to treat service workers (or *anyone*) badly. Unfortunately it's a thing a lot of people do, especially in the customer - service dynamic. :/

@frankiesaxx mostly agree. small note: gargron has made this his job and he gets money to do it, so he's not a volunteer

@sireebob Whether or not he gargron gets paid now for developing open software that's free for everyone is irrelevant. Service workers get paid too, and neither they nor Gargron, nor any mods or admins who take donations, are paid to take abuse.

@frankiesaxx Volunteer's building a playground are also accountable for the safety of the children who play there. Unless they want it to be a playground dominated by bullies and pedophiles on the hunt for targets. In which case, cool analogy.

@MissMacSee @frankiesaxx The thing is the "customer attitude" puts the salt of truth in the wounds: The mainstream will stick to the silos if they don't find the fediverse to be better.

The question is how to handle this. Many in the diaspora* community for example want to stay the way it is; they don't want an Eternal September.

But others are in it to "free the internet". So what do "we" want, and how to achieve it?

@mep1911 @frankiesaxx What do you mean "we"?

"We" are having materially different experiences in all of those spheres, so much so that I am no better off on masto than I am on Twitter.

How do you address the general ignorance about that in a way that prevents the current slide of masto into FOSS Chapo Trap House.

@MissMacSee @frankiesaxx yeah i put "we" in quotes because it opens too many other cans of worms 😩 😜

@mep1911 @frankiesaxx

Yeah? Those cans of worms you want to keep closed are the ones I want open.

I feel confident that if you start there, you'll find the answer to the questions you posed.

@mep1911 @frankiesaxx Yeah, I know. I didnt say they were easy, I just know where they're likely to be found, namely where you dont want to look. I also know when you tell me you dont want to look at those "cans of worms" its more than likely because *you* ironically want easy answers.

Ask yourself why you're so afraid of the cans of worms that make up "We". Unpack that and you'll find your direction.

@MissMacSee @frankiesaxx I'm not "afraid", that' might be your projection. I solely intended to not deviate too much from the original topic.

@mep1911
I think there's room for everyone. Objectively, not everyone want the same thing out of a platform, and one of the strengths of a federated model is that it allows people to make choices in how their digital space operates.

It's not like a physical space, there's really low cost to letting people have their space to create silos or anarchist thunderdomes if that's they want. The problem comes when some people want to dictate to everyone.

@MissMacSee

@frankiesaxx @mep1911

"I think there's room for everyone" is provably false, and I'm not talking about Wil Wheaton and his enablers.

You can drop me from this conversation now.

@frankiesaxx agree in principle, but i took your OP to be more about the problem of getting people to join and stay in the federated model (or a p2p model, which i'd prefer) in the first place.

their friends and family are not there, many features they expect and love are not there, maybe they even *want* such a platform to be more more "moderated" and "civil", hence they're complaining.

actually, the silent majority doesn't complain and just leaves.

@frankiesaxx and they don't have a background in foss culture after all, so they don't know how to constructively contribute and communicate properly.

and it seems obviously quite impossible for foss/decentralized projects to compete with facebook on development resources, so it's really difficult.

my hypothesis is a decentralized model will have to offer something really new that everybody wants and the old world can't provide due to some technological reasons.
(like what bitcoin does 🤣 )

@frankiesaxx
I guess on their defense, maybe they just aren't use to the model that Mastodon provides? But I whole-heartly agree that it is totally disrespectful. Things should change in time.. 🤞

@frankiesaxx I dunno, I agree with this mostly, but also a lot of people just don't come from walks of life where github is an obvious thing. Is there a good guide for non-techies to get involved on github?

Also to be the devil's advocate, if developers don't feel priveleged to have a community bring to life the code they are creating despite a minority of those people rudely demanding things than they should do something else (I say that in the most loving way possible).

@frankiesaxx but also, being a jerk to devs isn't ok, and I totally don't support it for all the reasons you said

@Alonealastalovedalongthe It doesn't matter how much perceived privilege someone else has, they're still a human being, and being abused and demeaned and treated like garbage takes an emotional toll. Putting up with rudeness and abuse should not be the price for *anyone* in FOSS projects or communities. I don't actually know why this is such a controversial position to people lol

@frankiesaxx Fair enough, I was more speaking to "why don't the devs make this feature I want ughh" and less "the devs are trash and I hate them for being terrible people"

@Alonealastalovedalongthe Understood : ) -- I think there's a huge difference between "I wish the software would do this thing arggh" and personal attacks and abuse when they don't implement it to the user's spec or implement something as user doesn't like, though. And I think most people (devs and users both) understand the difference. I hope.

@frankiesaxx I do think we are speaking to a tension in open source software though, where devs pursue development on their own terms and users advocate for issues that matter to them. How these two things meet is bound to get messy from time to time. It would be really cool if someone wrote a guide for getting involved in mastodon development in ways that a relatively inexperienced programmer could productively. Maybe it already exists?

@Alonealastalovedalongthe I honestly don't know if there is one.

My specific post was prompted by seeing it in Mastodon (in both Mastodon-part-of-the-fediverse and Mastodon-the-project) but I don't think it's unique to Mastodon, or even FOSS. My comparison was with service workers because it's an attitude I see in wider culture too.

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fediverse meta, devs-users relationships Show more

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