The Online Abuse Playbook

"There’s a well-defined pattern to how marginalized people are attacked online. If we can understand it, we can help stop each other from participating."


Every single admin or persons with a high-volume account needs to read this.

I read this article when it came out, and saw it get played out on Twitter, practically to the letter.

Abuse, social media, conflicts 

Abuse, social media, conflicts 

Abuse, social media, conflicts 

Abuse, social media, conflicts 

Abuse, social media, conflicts 

Abuse, social media, conflicts 

Abuse, social media, conflicts 

@shoutcacophony Basically it boils down to gathering enough toxic people and letting a real asshole become their leader. Then it becomes an organized lynch mob. Mix this with hyperbole, false testimonies and you got yourself an army of flying monkeys. So the solution is to have moderators chastise and reprimand toxic behavior, with near zero tolerance to abuse, I guess? 🤔 Hence - IMO - why the distributed Fedi model is so much better than Twitter: a smaller - 1/2

@shoutcacophony users/mod ratio. In a way, this resembles small tribes: smaller communities, and shunning is much more effective. - 2/2

@shoutcacophony @dajbelshaw @shoutcacophony This is from 2016. What would be more relevant today is follow-up. Has this model been verified? Has our knowledge of this model been used to prevent abuse? Has someone developed mechanisms that rely on this model?

@shoutcacophony I could wish they didn't skirt the edges of victim blaming when it comes to 'not de-escalating' but structurally this seems spot on. Good reference to have; thank you.

Twitter? It played out like that on mastodon. Using the very same methods that are in place to prevent abuse to actually abuse and force out a user.

@ami spoken like someone who didn't even read the article, and who is leveraging what it's criticizing. bye

@shoutcacophony I can point out the exact point in time when I was forced into step 11 (where I was forced to call in reinforcements), both on Twitter a year ago and here on the Fediverse half a month ago.

The Fediverse has quite a ways to go, well beyond just blocking Gab/Kiwifarms. This community is safer than Twitter, but it's far from actually being safe because it's still allowing for a lot of the same mistakes to be made.

Wow. I've seen this pattern happen So Many Time on here.
And even with marginalized communities that "just so happen" to be predominantly white 🤔😒

@gattogateaux *nods* virtually every large-scale community that is political-facing in an active way (and most many that aren't, at least seemingly) does it, some with more attempts at good faith than others.

anil's approach can be taken as tone policing people who are under attack a bit, but he also does a good job at differentiating how the ways that social justice-focused communities, and white-centric communities, especially right wing ones, fall into (or exploit) what he's taking about

Oh. Now I see what you mean about the "tone policing" interpretation.

It's just really heartbreaking to see these explotating patterns come from communities (queer, disabled, leftist, etc) that I had faith in.
I'm white so I've been trying to pay more attention and believe PoCs (especially Black people) when they express being the target of hate.
Non BIPoC communities tend to weaponize "victimization" and pretend that they are the ones acting in "good faith" while we actually ignore our own bigotry.

It's all part of keeping "people who deny their social capital" in check. Which I also didnt fully realize till I read the article.

@shoutcacophony for a good example of step 8 (which led to a few fortunately fringe attempts at 9), see 30-50 hogs guy and how quickly people started to accuse him of racist dog whistles

@carcinopithecus i question this sort of selective cherry picking of examples, but feel free to humor me while i point out rule 12 as well as this, at the very top of the article:

"These steps that enable abuse are followed both by deliberately malicious groups as well ostensibly well-intentioned people who don’t realize their actions could lead to unintended consequences"

and this article as well

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