In our youth, when idealism reigns and cynicism takes a backseat, we tend to embrace the game of moral categories—the game of 'good versus evil'—with relative ease. The trouble with this game arises when we attempt to apply these categories within a divisive framework, that is, a framework that is meant to be applicable to politics.
An example of this is the race to swear that never, ever, under any circumstances, will the administrator of an instance in the Fediverse federate with the Evil Threads, the product of EVIL, that is, Meta.
I have already written about the fact that just because it has an "ActivityPub interface" doesn't mean it can federate (due to the protocol's ambiguity), and even if it could, the statement "it can federate" doesn't imply it wants to, let alone that it will.
But the real problem is that a political game based on moral categories has been imposed upon it.
If you have an instance on the Fediverse, you've probably been using one of the 5/6 software options that are actually capable of federating well. So, congratulations, you're just another small dot in the grand scheme. Even if you've crafted a truly antifascist moderation policy, entirely pro-LGBTQWERTYUIOPÜASDFGHJKLÖÄYXCVBNM*-°^~—kudos to you! You're merely one of the 2/3000 instances with the same policy. And not even the cool background of your instance will make a difference.
But then, if you're a bunch of know-it-alls accustomed to proving that you're better than everyone else, how will you distinguish yourselves? How can you proclaim to the rest of the world that your instance is superior to others? How does one shop for an SUV in the Fediverse?
The most childish, or perhaps adolescent, solution is to claim that you are the righteous ones, the soldiers of goodness, and by joining your instance, one enlists in the forces of GOOD.
But at this point, you'll be banging your head against a solid concrete pillar: first and foremost, GOODNESS is inflated. Every damn group on the planet, including Satanists, is trying to prove the same thing: "we are the good guys."
I'll confess the truth to you: if there were even a single group, be it the Spectre, willing to declare themselves as evil, the villains, the Department of Maliciousness, anything that produces no benefit whatsoever, I would enlist myself tomorrow.
Unfortunately, not even the most hardcore Satanists admit to being on the side of evil. They come up with pathetic opportunisms like "freedom," "free will," and other bullshit that all seem to convey the same message: they accuse us of being evil, but in reality, we are the good ones. No one says, "Okay, we're the bad guys. We love ingrown toenails and wish you all hemorrhoids. We are wicked, despicable, do nothing good or useful, represent nothing positive, and work for evil, for the worst, and even for carbonara with pineapple
But no, since everyone claims to be the good guys, or at least beneficial and positive, and they all have a righteous battle to fight, everyone has their own idea of what is good, and if you don't see it, you're wrong or evil.
So, even though we've had our fill of good guys since the Triassic period, everyone is trying to be the good ones. And if you can imagine having a sort of Istanbul bazaar filled with good guys shouting about their goodness, you'll understand one thing: those who have "the instance of the good guys" find themselves in immense company and even greater competition.
But there are shortcuts.
For instance, if you say someone is the embodiment of evil and claim to hate them, then you can say, "We are their enemies, and since we fight against evil, then we must be the good guys by default."
Since no one has ever proven that moral categories enjoy transitive or aggregative properties, the whole thing doesn't work: Hitler and Stalin were enemies, but stating that Hitler was evil doesn't help us believe that Stalin was good. (Although, I would personally order a massacre if my country had ten million Clemente Mastellas. And so would you.)
However, they delude themselves into thinking that if A is the good, then the enemy of A must be the evil.
So, they say: hey, META is EVIL, and since we solemnly swear not to federate with META (EVIL), then we must necessarily be "the GOOD." CERTIFIED good
By solemnly swearing never to federate with Threads, the implicit message is "we are the GOOD guys." But why? What makes you different? The answer is "I hate META."
And I already know what you'll reply if I ask, "Why do you hate META?" None of the answers have ever convinced me. For several reasons.
- "Because they spy on us." If you , stingy, stinky pieces of shit hadn't demanded that internet companies be nonprofit organizations offering free services, maybe social networks wouldn't have to pretend to be free only to find business models based on data. Now you'd be paying a subscription fee to Facebook, and in order to protect their customers' data and prevent them from being stolen, Facebook would have to safeguard it.
- "Because they don't share my pure ideals." Neither do you, since you have to search for an enemy and work through comparison to prove you're the good guys. What the hell are we even talking about?
- "Because Facebook does it for profit: the devil's dung, etc." Give me the address of your employer so that I can inform them that you disdain profit and are committed to working for free. I'm sure you'd be more than willing to work for profit.
- "Because they are a threat to democracy." The only ones who are a threat to democracy are obviously the voters, not the social network. The social network doesn't vote. It can spread bullshit, sure: apparently, we had never heard any bullshit before Facebook came along. Zuckerberg clearly invented it. We've never seen a deceitful mass media before. Really. Did you know that communists eat babies?
- "Because they have too much power." Of course, not as much as a cop who beats you to death in a police station, not as much as an exploitative employer who pays you peanuts, not as much as a damn landlord who raises your rent, not as much as an anti-abortion doctor who becomes a conscientious objector in a hospital—no, not as much power as any other power you face every day without a peep. And do you know why Facebook is evil? Because if you say you hate Facebook, nothing happens to you. If you say you hate your slave-driving boss, you get fired. If you say you hate the fascist cop, bad things happen to you. The same goes for fighting against any other excessive power. Except for META. At most, they respond by profiling you as "pain in the ass." If you want to present yourselves as people who fight against abuses of power, well, you're not very credible.
- Because they don't do anything about hate. Ah, yes. I haven't heard the epic stories of how you've curbed hate. Can you enlighten me?
- "Because they force people to go to them, even if they don't want to." Not like when you changed your computer just because "it was too slow," purely coincidentally, even though it worked exactly the same as when you bought it. And not like when you change clothes because they're no longer fashionable. Not like those times when you switch iPhones with a new model that's identical to the old one, to the point where Apple will eventually be sued for plagiarism....by Apple. No, no. THEY do it.
I could go on, but what you seem to forget is that proving someone is evil is as difficult and elusive as proving someone is good. Especially because you want to prove someone is evil only to then prove BY COMPARISON that you are the good ones. The problem is that, in doing so, after struggling and probably failing to prove someone is the EVIL, you then find yourself in the even more difficult situation of comparing yourselves to them.
Honestly, let me tell you something. I'm so damn tired of the "goodness," especially its sycophants, that I would have a Facebook account if I were truly convinced it is THE EVIL. And if Elon Musk were in turn "THE EVIL," rather than an overrated idiot who's rich because he's overrated and overrated because he's rich, I would even emjoy a Twitter account.
You see, if tomorrow all four billion social media users in the world moved to the Fediverse, you would need about 4000 times more servers than you have today. And your ridiculous connections, even domestic ones, your dime-a-dozen instances, or those on Amazon's "free tier," would not be enough.
And you would find yourselves faced with a choice: pay two or three euros per month, or the instance would be forced to display advertisements. LIKE META. Ops.
Those two or three euros that you would never pay, not even for WhatsApp or Telegram.
To be the good ones, you have done far too much harm.