100s Of Years From Now People Will Sit Around Campfires Telling Tales Of How Wil Wheaton Got Chased Off Of Twitter By Nazis But Then Ended Up Being Kicked Off Of Mastodon



The Verge:

For social media users who are sick of Twitter, open-source platform Mastodon offers a familiar refuge. Its use of local communities, or “instances” that are connected through federation, allowed users to carve out smaller, and hopefully safer, spaces. When Twitter drove entire communities off its platform, Mastodon gave them a new online home. But a recent flare-up around actor Wil Wheaton has sparked concerns about how effective the platform truly is at acting against dog-piling and online mobs.

Wheaton deactivated his Twitter account earlier this month, citing the company’s decision to keep Alex Jones on its platform. He moved over to Mastodon, one of the only platforms to present itself as a viable, direct rival to Twitter. However, Wheaton says his time on Mastodon was hardly any better. In a lengthy blog post published earlier this week, he describes the community as treating him “with more cruelty, vitriol, hatred, and contempt” that those on Twitter.

The details around Wheaton’s suspension and subsequent decision to quit social media altogether are messy. Wheaton was already unpopular with some members of the LGBT community for his use of a Twitter blocklist that blacklisted many trans users along with harassers and trolls. Additionally, many have been critical of what they see as a failure to distance himself from friend Chris Hardwick following serious abuse allegations. As detailed by one Medium user, Amber Enderton, Wheaton’s past behavior has led some to feel uncomfortable or unsafe in his presence. The clear tipping point for Wheaton on Mastodon, though, was a “bofa” prank. (This is a pretty typical internet prank in which one user baits another to ask what the nonsense word “bofa” means, so the original poster can respond with “bofa deez nuts.” It’s sort of like the updog joke.) According to Wheaton, however, the prank wasn’t his only issue.