The Fediverse Isn't Safe Anymoremastodon fediverse harassment cw
Content warnings: mentions of transphobia, harassment, doxxing and suicide. Reader’s discretion is advised.
It happened again. More trans people have been harassed and doxxed on the fediverse, forcing them to leave social media entirely to keep themselves safe.
I’m not here to rehash the same things people have said in other blog posts and talk in depth about how harassers are so rampant and toxic on the fediverse, they have said it far better than I could have (see the below links). I can only comment on my own personal feelings on the matter, having been a target of this culture that has metastasized to the point where I can’t even go two days without someone getting bullied to tears.
- Mastodon is crumbling, by design – Ben Lubar
- Margaret Owen’s Twitter thread on tactics used by abusers
- Thoughts On: Mastodon and How it Really is Crumbling, Actually, Take it Seriously – Mint
- Mastodon really Is crumbling – and it will only get worse – Elizafox
- Mastodon is [redacted] and its all ur fault!11 – Eris
I’m tired of this. I’m tired of seeing people get hurt, seeing people get driven away, seeing people driven to take their own lives from this behavior. It’s not just Monads, or Elekk, or some other site you might have stirring around in vague memory, it’s a systemic issue. Moderators can’t anticipate all of the harassment campaigns resulting from them not knowing about an instance that could be dangerous to their community. They don’t know that one of their users could be the next target just for associating with someone that a harasser has a personal quarrel with.
They cry racism, or fascism, or accuse someone of being associated with 4chan, and justify this slander with gaslighting and lies so ridiculous that defending them is impossible and would just give them more ammunition. They will target your friend circle’s overlap with theirs, the people on your periphery who aren’t even remotely involved with it, and convince them that you’re the type of evil person that you dedicate your life to avoid becoming. They will turn your friends away, they will isolate you until you’re painfully alone, they do everything in their power to make it so that you will never be able to talk to anyone online again, to get a job in your field again, to exist in public with your name and face again. You will defend yourself, but sound painfully similar to actual alt-right white supremacists, even going so far as to having moments where you will doubt your own ideas when you’re so stressed that you can’t objectively identify that you and everyone around you is being manipulated for their self-satisfaction.
There’s too many of these kinds of harassers on the fediverse to silence them all. They will always be painfully close to your friends, their instances will still be around others you interact with even if yours blocks them. They will keep your profile open in a tab and scrutinize you. They will see who unfollows them when this happens and target them too, no matter if they have no idea what’s going on. My little hope to save this platform from becoming another 4chan or kiwifarms is nearly gone.
I’ve got nothing to lose posting something like this, I’ll be harassed again because someone will remember I still exist after everything from the incident with monorail has become a distant memory. They will find me, they will pursue me until I’ve either completely rebranded with no ties to my original self, been bullied off the face of the internet, or I die. It’s not safe for me to even be here. I’m very close to leaving forever, but I haven’t made my decision yet.
This behavior needed to be stopped months ago when Snouts fell apart. All that happened is the problem grew to the point where it can’t be contained anymore. There is little left to justify staying on the fediverse to outweigh the risk of myself or my loved ones getting hurt more than they already have been.