• @Thorny_Insight@lemm.ee
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      61 month ago

      Negativity get’s more engagement on Lemmy aswell. The vast majority of content on the front page is about the world being on fire.

    • @stoy@lemmy.zip
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      31 month ago

      This is too simple, groups of people radicalizing themselves is a very well known phenomenom, it has existed since humans started forming groups.

      A good example are the terrorist groups during the cold war, Baader-Meinhof, Japanese Red Army and similar.

      The groups may start as a group to work towards a new political system through peaceful means, then someone starts an informal competition about who is the “best” and more “pure” member, starting to subtly put other member’s down for not doing as much as they are.

      Then it becomes a feedback loop, and soon you have a group that condems their own initial goals as counter revolutionary, and constantly moving the goalposts.

      The algorithm itself doesn’t introduce this behaviour, but turbo chargers it by making people self radicalize mich faster by showing them an endless stream of people telling them how to be even “better” and even more “pure”.

    • toiletobserver
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      51 month ago

      Yes, but social media promotes things toxic people say because it generates revenue. They are part of the problem.

      • lemmyng
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        31 month ago

        Lemmy and Mastodon are social media as well, and they are not profit driven. Non-social media like newspapers and cable TV also spread toxic content.

        In the end, you got the causality reversed. Media (both social and non-social) gravitates towards what drives the most engagement. Negative/toxic content drives the most engagement because that content elicits a strong emotional response in the consumer.

        Media amplifies the problem, but ultimately the problem is people. Toxic content is going to stick around until people stop giving it attention, and unfortunately in all of the history of humanity we have yet to figure out how.

  • @ConstipatedWatson@lemmy.world
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    121 month ago

    The internet is fine, it’s social media and the people using it that are toxic (aided by algorithms pushing people to give their own worst for all sorts of reasons)

  • Devi
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    101 month ago

    I feel like that’s the same as saying people are toxic or socialisation is toxic. Yes, toxicity can exist online, it can also exist in the supermarket, at school, in a field miles away from anywhere. It’s just a facet of being with other humans.

  • @Carrolade@lemmy.world
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    91 month ago

    There is one feature of the internet that inherently encourages toxicity, and that’s the barrier anonymity grants between online actions and real life consequences.

    In real life if you walk up to someone and start talking shit, you can experience consequences from that. Online, you can do something very similar and seldom suffer anything. This allows the internet to be used to vent bottled-up emotions that are otherwise difficult or problematic to express. It also gives young’uns a chance to fuck around without really getting in trouble for it, which can be somewhat intoxicating at that age.

    These two factors contribute to an enhanced toxicity that would not be commonly seen just walking around some town somewhere. Most towns anyway. That said, it similarly depends on where you are online. Communities, both online and irl, are unique in their environments and cultures, so one should not expect standardized behavior beyond the very basics when going from place to place.

    • lemmyng
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      21 month ago

      There are plenty of real life scenarios that both equate and predate your example, and which don’t rely on anonymity. Lynch mobs in the US, rape gangs in southeast Asian countries, Hitler rallies, heck even bully groups among children. The size of the group does not have to be big to allow toxic behavior, as long as you have a catalyst (such as someone getting away with something) that engenders a feeling of safety from consequences and in- and outgroups. The Internet is just another medium for this behavior, anonymous or not. What is different is that the internet is the first medium that actively records it.

      • @Carrolade@lemmy.world
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        21 month ago

        Correct. I was not arguing that anonymity is required for bad things to happen. Only that it can encourage certain behaviors. Think of it in terms of percentage.

  • slazer2au
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    81 month ago

    You get out of algorithms what you put into them.

    My Facebook feed is full of web comics and memes. My twatter feed is full of information security because that is what I follow.

    If someone is posting crap you don’t like unfollow/unfriend them. Nothing says you have to have them on your feed.

    • @Thorny_Insight@lemm.ee
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      1 month ago

      This is the only way. Ruthlessly blocking everything you’re not interested about seeing.

      By blocklist on Lemmy is 1200+ users and communities long and even though I still see plenty of toxicity the difference is still noticeable. The only issue with it is that it’s quite blunt tool. An user might be making inflammatory comments only on threads about a certain topic and then get blocked for it but then I’m not seeing any of their other content either which rarely is all toxic.

      • @MrVilliam@lemmy.world
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        11 month ago

        You’re doing the right thing for your mental health, I think. The only reason I don’t do the same thing is that I want to be aware of how prevalent the toxicity is. It’s pretty easy to wave off fringe stuff as being insignificant only to find that you were in a bubble and that fringe shit has grown really big. And it gets to grow bigger without somebody there to challenge it.

        10% of people believe that the moon landing was fake, the earth is flat, and covid vaccines contained tracking microchips. 10% isn’t the majority or anything, but it’s significantly higher than I would’ve thought. With the habitual defunding of education, increased misinformation and disinformation in media, reduction of in-person interactions with strangers due to online shopping and streaming, and encouragement by algorithms that show people only what they want to see, we’re driving people deeper into echo chambers. We’re forgetting how to respectfully disagree and discuss thoughtfully. We’re backsliding societally to solving problems with our fists. As much as I think Nazis deserve to get punched in the mouth, I think proper discussions would prevent them from becoming Nazis in the first place.

        Fascism is on the rise globally, and part of it is because fascists can find fascists and radicalize people into fascism more easily than ever, and part of it is because it’s easier to ignore fascism than it is to publicly challenge it. Even outside of fascist moderators who will ban those who challenge the ideas in the first place (my ban from r/conservative was a badge of honor when I was on reddit).

        I’m glad you’ve found a way to keep it as a palatable experience. I still have some fight in me, but I’ll probably need to filter some of this garbage out soon.

        • @Thorny_Insight@lemm.ee
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          31 month ago

          The only reason I don’t do the same thing is that I want to be aware of how prevalent the toxicity is.

          I’m not sure I entirely agree with the logic here. I did a similar thing years ago by pretty much stopping paying attention to the news. You’d think that would lead to me not being aware of what’s going on in the world but turns out one does not simply just turn off the news. When something actually newsworthy happens I’ll hear about it just the same way as everyone else. It’s effectively impossible to avoid even if you try to. The only kind of news I more or less totally insulated myself from is celebrity gossip and other similar entirely meaningless trash.

          Also I don’t block people to create an echo chamber for myself. More often than not it’s not what people say that get them blocked, it’s how they say it. I’m more than willing to engage an actual nazi on a debate as long as they’re approaching it in a good faith even to some extent. It’s people that are just throwing shit that I’m trying to get rid of. I’m basically just trying to improve the signal-to-noise ratio but the noise will only get quieter but never dissapear completely.

          • @MrVilliam@lemmy.world
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            11 month ago

            Gotcha, yeah that’s the best of both worlds then.

            I didn’t mean that you will be in an echo chamber so much as that they will be in an echo chamber because if everybody ignores them then they have nobody left to challenge them. There are a ton of lurkers reading but never or rarely posting or commenting, so I’m mostly challenging bad faith arguments for their benefit. Without challenge, somebody casually reading might just accept that bad faith argument as fact or at least valid. Idk how effective it is, but I’m doing what I can to reduce the radical right wing incel neckbeard population. 🤷‍♂️

    • @VanHalbgottOP
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      41 month ago

      Yep, that’s why I switched too.

  • @friend_of_satan@lemmy.world
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    61 month ago

    Not me. I think popular implementations of social media are, but they don’t need to be.

    Also the internet is definitely not toxic because it’s basically a set of protocols that can be used for innumerable things that aren’t social at all. For example: the experience of using ftp to transfer a file has never been toxic.

  • snownyte
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    61 month ago

    The internet itself by and large, will not be toxic. Do you just open your browser one day and you’re faced with toxicity? No, you’re not. You have the options as to where to go, what to watch, what or who to interact with. It has always been this way and will continue to be this way.

    It’s always been the people’s choice to decide to be assholes to each other at a given. For their own amusement. For their own self-serving sense of purpose. For whatever reason that they feel they need to do it. I don’t think social media began with the intent to get as out of control as it is right now. They all started as honest ideas with one thing in mind - connect people with people.

    And they’ve succeeded. To regard social media as just toxic, is to imply that toxicity never existed online before they became more of a thing. Toxicity has long existed before them. They were in the chat rooms we frequented. They were on the messengers because of us allowing them to be on them. They were on the forums when allowed to register.

    Problematic people has always been around and unfortunately, will continue to be around. It’s just the volume of them has amplified ever since they realized the day that they can take advantage of what anonymity, little of big, that they have and practically get away with even making people kill themselves until cyber bullying laws were a thing because I’m pretty sure that has happened in the past as well.

  • Resol van Lemmy
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    429 days ago

    The internet by itself is not toxic.

    The people that use the internet are toxic.

    The people that use the internet have made the internet toxic.

    The internet got a reputation for being toxic.

    Your average person doesn’t even wanna bother anymore.

    And I’m a person who always stands out from the crowd. Because I hate toxic.

  • @xkforce@lemmy.world
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    41 month ago

    If you thought it was, you need to ask yourself why you are here because Lemmy and Reddit are both forms of social media.

    • @VanHalbgottOP
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      11 month ago

      I’m on Lemmy because I wanted to switch from Reddit after being scorned by the people there.

      Before that, I posted regularly just fine even though people were rude and disrespectful.

  • @Thorny_Insight@lemm.ee
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    31 month ago

    It’s not inherently toxic but I’d argue the experience is a net-negative. Social media rewards all the bad and inflammatory behaviour that makes it so. The incentives are not aligned with being nice to each other.

    One of the culprits in my mind are visible like counts. The ability to up- and downvote messages is a good one but the scores shouldn’t be visible to anyone. Comments like “ACAB” or “eat the rich” bring zero value into the discussion but rather are just meant to fish likes from your own team and annoy the opposition. I doubt that removing that feature now would no longer solve the issue but it’s one of the main things that trained us to act that way.

    Personally I’m hoping for more powerful tools for curating our feeds. It’s probably going to have to be AI based as I can’t imagine how else you’d do that but on top of just simple word and domain filters (which even lemmy doesn’t have) we need smart filters aswell that you could enable which filters out topics you don’t like seeing. Kind of like with enough people using adblockers it would discourage ads-based bussines models and incentivices companies to come up with alternatives. With enough people using similar blockers for toxic content the people creating would quickly realize they’re shouting into the void.