Twitter removes policy against deadnaming transgender people | MPR News:

Twitter has quietly removed a policy against the “targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals,” raising concerns that the Elon Musk-owned platform is becoming less safe for marginalized groups.

Twitter enacted the policy against deadnaming, or using a transgender person’s name before they transitioned, as well as purposefully using the wrong gender for someone as a form of harassment, in 2018.

On Monday, Twitter also said it will only put warning labels on some tweets that are “potentially” in violation of its rules against hateful conduct. Previously, the tweets were removed.

It was in this policy update that Twitter appears to have deleted the line against deadnaming from its rules.

Mastodon Ownership ·

A group calling itself “Mask Group” has purchased three of the largest mastodon instances.

I don’t know if it’s better or worse… The brand seems to be a conglomerate of web3/NFT/crypto hucksters who are very excited by every digital MLM scheme around, and want to use every social media method they can to reach new people. If you’re allergic to BS buzzword salad, a visit to their site at might actually kill you.

I don’t believe a group like that can be a long-term steward, but I don’t know that anyone can be really. I would really like to see a simple composable package that sets up an activepub compatible server and matrix (or even XMPP) compatible server, with proper certs, in a way that anyone can setup federated social and chat on their domain for small communities in a way that we really do leverage the decentralized federated services for anyone.

A Rebuttal to Scaling Mastodon is Impossible ·

Armin Ronacher wrote that Scaling Mastodon is Impossible

I’d like to offer a rebuttal. As someone who’s been doing professional web development since 1995, with most of that time being spent in Rails jobs, or doing Rails work on the sidelines, I think i have a pretty good perspective on the situation. For those who don’t know, Mastodon is written in Ruby on Rails.

A great read on how ActivePub solves the problems of social networks in smart ways, some of which aren’t really being used as best practices yet but have potential.

Daring Fireball: Facebook Is Working on a Twitter Competitor Codenamed ‘P92’ That Will Be Interoperable With Mastodon:

No sarcasm intended: I love this idea. Federate with Mastodon via ActivityPub and let people do it using their existing Instagram IDs. Keep it clean and simple and destroy what’s left of Twitter.

I agree – I love this idea. I just hope it holds out longer than facebook messenger federating with XMPP, which I think was the last time I remember a Meta platform interoperating with open protocols.

Daring Fireball: Phony Stark Picks on the Wrong Guy, Attempting (and of Course Botching) an HR Exit Interview Live on Twitter:

If you’ve been staying away from Twitter, you’re smarter than me, but you might have missed this saga, and it is, I promise you, worth your attention.

  1. I like Phony Stark as a nickname for the Austin Powers villian who owns Tesla and Twitter.
  2. The facts said owner threw out in the public twitter stream in this conversation may well put him in a LOT of hot water.

Facebook, Google Give Police Data to Prosecute Abortion Seekers:

As abortion bans across the nation are implemented and enforced, law enforcement is turning to social-media platforms to build cases to prosecute women seeking abortions or abortion-inducing medication — and online platforms like Google and Facebook are helping. 

Through data collected by online pharmacies, social media posts, and user data requests from law enforcement for message and search logs, cases for prosecution can be built against women for seeking abortion — and it has been happening since before Roe was overturned.

The Case For Shunning – by A.R. Moxon – The Reframe:

There has to come a point when we finally insist to take the evidence before us and to draw moral conclusions—because unless we do, we won’t ever be able to address the problems before us. If we don’t make moral judgments about speech, we’ll find ourselves on a treadmill of discourse, always running but never getting anywhere, endlessly compelled to apply an indestructible skepticism to the evidence, and an indestructible credulity to specious conjecture and lies.

It’s time for us to understand people for what they insist on being. To understand that participation with the popularized genocidal urges gripping our country is an unacceptable moral failing, as is support for the politicians and pundits who are pursing it, as is membership in the political party around which it is organized and energized. To understand that unforgivable moral failings deserve not our ears, but our backs.

Believe people when they tell us who they are – If we did that sooner, Scott Adams finally saying the quiet part out loud wouldn’t really be a surprise.

Mastodon: A New Hope for Social Networking – TidBITS:

Cast your mind back to the first time you experienced joy and wonder on the Internet. Do you worry you’ll never be able to capture that sense again? If so, it’s worth wading gently into the world of Mastodon microblogging to see if it offers something fresh and delightful. It might remind you—as it does me, at least for now—of the days when you didn’t view online interactions with some level of dread.

jwz: What the Jan. 6 probe found out about social media, but didn’t report:

Congressional investigators found evidence that tech platforms — especially Twitter — failed to heed their own employees’ warnings about violent rhetoric on their platforms and bent their rules to avoid penalizing conservatives, particularly then-president Trump, out of fear of reprisals. […]

“The sum of this is that alt-tech, fringe, and mainstream platforms were exploited in tandem by right-wing activists to bring American democracy to the brink of ruin,” the staffers wrote in their memo. “These platforms enabled the mobilization of extremists on smaller sites and whipped up conservative grievance on larger, more mainstream ones.” […]

That focus on Trump meant the report missed an opportunity to hold social media companies accountable for their actions, or lack thereof, even though the platforms had been the subject of intense scrutiny since Trump’s first presidential campaign in 2016, the people familiar with the matter said.

Confronting that evidence would have forced the committee to examine how conservative commentators helped amplify the Trump messaging that ultimately contributed to the Capitol attack, the people said — a course that some committee members considered both politically risky and inviting opposition from some of the world’s most powerful tech companies, two of the people said. […]

The Washington Post has previously reported that Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the committee’s co-chair, drove efforts to keep the report focused on Trump. But interviews since the report’s release indicate that Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat whose Northern California district includes Silicon Valley, also resisted efforts to bring more focus in the report onto social media companies.

jwz: Facebook fires worker who refused to do ‘negative testing’:

The practice, known as “negative testing,” allows tech companies to “surreptitiously” run down someone’s mobile juice in the name of testing features […]

“I said to the manager, ‘This can harm somebody,’ and she said by harming a few we can help the greater masses,” said Hayward, 33, who claims in a Manhattan Federal Court lawsuit that he was fired in November for refusing to participate in negative testing. […]

“Any data scientist worth his or her salt will know, ‘Don’t hurt people,'” he told The Post.

Killing someone’s cellphone battery puts people at risk, especially “in circumstances where they need to communicate with others, including but not limited to police or other rescue workers,” according to the litigation filed against Facebook.