This article about the recent arrival on Mastodon of many Twitter users from #India is by far more complete than many others I've seen these days: https://qz.com/india/1746734/angry-twitter-india-users-are-migrating-to-mastodon-in-thousands/
But unsurprisingly it ends with a common doubt about Mastodon being a platform filled with echo chambers.
Well, being an italian that in the last days interacted with so many people from India and having learned from many new things about indian society from them it sounds fun 😄
On Mastodon you can find and interact with a huge amount of different communities: LGBT communities based in UK, vegans from the States, german metalheads, Solarpunks, some algerian guys, italian anarchists, french hackers, anime-fans from all around, indian muslims, south american activists...
It's a kind of variety that is rarely encountered on commercial social media.
Anyway the risk of creating an echo chamber on Mastodon exists: if you are on an Instance run by a community that refuses any interaction with everyone that doesn't share your views you can easily isolate yourself.
But that also happens in real life if you refuse to hear anything but yourself!
That's up to the maturity of a community to be more or less open to the others!
You cannot force somebody to hear you: it never works.
At the opposite on comnercial social media your echo-chamber is created not by you but by algorythms that decide what you must see and what not, who you may follow and what is the topic you should care today.
Which of the two approaches is more human?
@Ca_Gi For me from India I have never had the need to hear just one side of the argument. What becomes tiring is the kneejerk abuse that comes from both sides. I have zero interest in Indian party politics so I get called all the names depending on the discussion. From my name I am told I am a rabid missionary out to convert brown babies even if I tell them I would never baptize my kids into a church of abusing sodomizing scumbags. What is hard to get is any form of connection. There is no FoE
@Ca_Gi There is no FoE in India. My wife cannot be invited to any University in Delhi because they are too afraid. If she speaks at any gathering immediately before and after the police interrogate all. The abuse of Indian twitter reflects the lack of FoE in India. India has become an echo chamber in terms of mass media and ordinary people one that dare not challenge its current government. To do so labels you at best an anti-national urban naxalite pakistani the other stuff is just crude
@Ca_Gi But I have met plenty of BJP supporters and people who admire Mr Modi. If they are family men and aren't rude and few are face to face I got no problem chatting with them
@DesCoutinho It's always the best thing to talk with people and share point of views also if very different. But there cannot be any discussion if one of the two parts doesn't recognize any legitimacy to the other. That's the basis.
Apart that I cannot say anything about what you told me about yourself: I still lack enough knowledge about the situation to fully understand 😔
@Ca_Gi I do not believe or maybe its I hope that the vast majority of Indians have become ultra-nationalist populist fascists who want a Hindustan for Hindi speaking Hindus alone. I do not believe that fear will be the last word here. But Mr Modi like Mr Trump or Erdogan or that phillipines chap reflect a trend in humanity. Some do not want a fusion of horizons. But their india will become smaller and smaller which is what they seek to prevent.
@DesCoutinho I can relate with what happened in Italy during fascism: you may not know but in Italy there are also minorities, especially near the political borders. During fascism those minorities were culturally oppressed: their monuments, traditions and also languages were neglected so deeply that still today there are still problems about it.
Also, in those times (and still today) many italians adopted that view about a nationalistic uniformity of the population.
@Ca_Gi Most Modi/BJP/RSS supporters are shocked and dismayed with the comparisons usually they are made with Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. They believe they are just redressing the unfair bullying they experience as Hindus and want a rebalancing. Not sure why they feel so threatened exactly but they do and things like the Kashmir coup and the reclaiming of Ayodhya are milestones on their way.
@Ca_Gi But yeah if someone starts an argument that Muslims need to be wiped off the face not only of India but the world then I could no more engage in mutual respectful dialogue than with someone who wanted to launch a space mission using cow farts so that they could mine the moon for its cheeses. Some views are just plain wrong and they need to be corrected.
@Ca_Gi The former for sure. Although an algorithm connects me to people with similar interests. Makes it a bit easier I guess.
@Ca_Gi However without algorithms, I can see a whole range of topics and opinions that algorithms could mask/hide.
@wabbster True, but at the same time it emphasizes so much your given interests to reduce the possibility to encounter something different from them.
The point is that on an algorythm-based platform, the platform itself has more power on you that the opposite.
@wabbster (I answered before reading your second toot 😅)
@Ca_Gi probably, echo chambers are not as bad as filter bubbles (that is how I would call the echo chambers created by algorithms). they both leverage on the same psychological drive but filter bubbles are artificially created to exploit us
@caycepollard You can say that everyone lives in his own echo chamber and depending by his culture and open mindness that chamber can be very small or extremely large and with time and experience could also grow or shrink.
Instead filter bubbles are a sort of computer-driven echo chambers regulated by commercial platforms that will always put company's interest before people's interest.
An algorithm that hides certain posts from your TL or shadowbans users without informing anybody surely doesn't contribute to your knowledge.
@Ca_Gi The echo chamber in Mastodon can create itself even if the admins don't block any instance. If all the people on the instance share roughly the same insterests, then the federated timeline contains only content of people with similar interest, as the users only follow people in which they're interested and with whom they share their opinions.
@nex True. But that depends on the culture, interests and curiosity of the users and is not intentionally created by the platform.
That happens also in real life.
@Ca_Gi Hi I'm a dalit female artist Activist from India
@Priyadarshini Hi. Welcome on Mastodon!
@Ca_Gi thanke. What's the story behind your scuba diving avarar
@Ca_Gi even if there are so many communities and people here. I still believe political stances of most people here tilt towards one side. It kind of creates a loop/echo of similar stuff.
i believe that because
1. Type of people who use Mastodon either found it because of their community ( which are mostly minorities )
2. Most people browse toots from their own instances. So they don't get mixup/popular stuff as seen on other platforms
@trueleo Well, but this depends on the maturity and interests of the single person/communities exactly how in real life.
The more openminded and curious a person is, the more connections will create and bring inside his community.
Instead, on commercial social platforms, the echo is artificially decided by algorithms run by commercial purpose.
Isn't this thread between us an example of interaction between distant people open to discussion? 😉
@Ca_Gi i agree on that but that's exactly what I was trying to point out .. what happens when too many open minded people gather on platform ( it still get biased .. but bias here is not defined by an algorithm but type of people )..
People who aren't open minded will feel weirded out a little. Mastodon maybe open but it is not home like for everyone. It's not like we are restricting any kind of person on platform but culture and accumulation of certain type makes it biased.
@trueleo How you pointed out, most people interact mainly on his own Instance. But having access to a different, federated one, creates a kind of 'surfing' between what people on my Instance say and what other people from other Instances say. It's like talking at home but then go out to talk with others.
There are too different communities to generate a federated TL with a single point of view.
The only thing that can exclude somebody from being federated is disrespecting others.
I can see things on the federated TL which I don't appreciate, but until it's legit content that is respectful to others it's ok and also something that can help me to navigate in different points of view.
@Ca_Gi And again we shouldn't strive for equity in this manner because line for equity is blurry
@trueleo This is the only right barrier to apply. 😉