Missing the Marginalised Megaphone

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Title: Missing the Marginalised Megaphone
Creator: touretticflower
Date(s): December 17, 2018
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External Links: Missing the Marginalised Megaphone; archive link with comments
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Missing the Marginalised Megaphone is a 2018 essay by touretticflower at Pillowfort.

Some Topics Discussed

  • discourse about discourse
  • Pillowfort, Tumblr
  • controlling the message, and reblogging
  • bugs and features
  • the ability or inability to recreate toxic fandom discourse on Pillowfort

Essay

A big part of tumblr's appeal was the way it allowed marginalised voices to be boosted so far throughout the site. It allowed us to witness intra-community discussions we would not otherwise have been able to without intruding or derailing.

I've been on tumblr for eight years and I still rely on it to gain insight into my own and others' experiences of oppression that you won't find any public resources or articles discussing, at least not from a genuine perspective and not from the wide range of perspectives we need.

That kind of info and communication is possible due to how interconnected each little corner of tumblr has become through its multi-faceted ways of following content that interests you, of which an important aspect was the ability to reblog with comment and to do so multiple times.

This is the main reason I'm having trouble with the decision to not allow reblog comment chains at all. I understand that posts were hi-jacked and toxic groups were allowed to run rampant on tumblr, but it's rash to blame those consequences on the feature concept itself instead of on the site runners who refused to refine the site's safety measures. It's like letting an amateur ride a horse through a downtown metropolis instead of on a track with an instructor, you know?

I think it would be a real shame to eschew reblog chains altogether. Facebook and twitter each have limited versions of the reblog with comment feature available but I'm sure everyone here would agree that these single-shot comments have not expanded their worldview or cultural exposure to even a tenth of the degree tumblr did.

Communications is my field and honestly, I'm not saying there's no better way to accomplish the effects I've described, but I am saying that so far we haven't acknowledged the real loss that comes with straight up disallowing reblog comment chains. And I don't think we will be able to come up with a solution that salvages that loss and fosters community building in the same way unless we are willing to acknowledge how current solutions are stifling not only to would-be toxic members, but also to our most marginalised voices and communities.

All of which I bring up because I like the concept of pillowfort and I want it to be all it can be in the long term. But to illustrate my point, I can't find a single community of any kind on here for people of colour and that's always a big way to measure where we're at with accessibility.

(I am obv not PoC but I do organising irl and inclusivity/accessibility are focal points.)

Some Comments

[i-once-was-a-tortoise]: This is absolutely one problem I have with Pillowfort so far. It sells itself on basically being Tumblr but more functional, but has deliberately removed a lot of features that made Tumblr my preferred social media site. I can understand in the cases where they can't do something due to technical difficulty, seeing how it's a pretty small team, but things like this just feel like a weird way of solving what I really didn't even think was a huge problem.

[Sonnrain]:

When I first heard about PF, it was made very clear to me that it was not supposed to be like tumblr but more like something new with some tumblr-like and some LJ-like elements.

[shinso]:

Aren't reblogs with commentary the most Tumblr feature there is though? Like I've been bumbling around DW the past few days and I really feel that reblogs with commentary provide a lower spoons levels of instant feedback unique to Tumblr. Like sure, comments are "safer" but think about the YT comments section for a second.

Plus: If everyone we're to agree on one particular criticism, they couldn't reblog that criticism of the post, even if the OP liked it enough to want to reblog it themselves. It would become this whole process of editing the post and crediting the commenter, rather than a couple clicks. Reblogs could potentially have just as much control over them as the comments through deletion, retaining the very PF-esque elements the site owners sought to foster.

[Zita]:

The problem with that is something we saw on tumblr a lot: OP corrects and reblogs their post, but by the time they do it's out the door with a couple hundred or thousand notes and the uncorrected version continues to run rampant, possibly for years, because people don't bother to open it and check the notes before reblogging.

At the point where there's an incorrect post you want to talk about in front of your followers where the OP has stuck to their guns on being wrong, you might as well make your own post on the topic for your followers to potentially reblog.

[Sparrowlicious]:

Actually, the setup here reminds me more of livejournal with a touch of tumblr. Livejournal didn't have the thing where you could view all posts of a certain tag on the entire website. Pillowfort does this. Tumblr doesn't have communities like Liverjournal does, but Pillowfort has a similar concept. Tbh, this site marries tumblr and pillowfort together. I think if you've been on both sites you'll probably get that feeling too <3

[Sollux]:

I completely agree with you! I think the comment threads are really nice on here for less valuable input or random commentary on something but being able to reblog something and add on your own experiences or stories has always done great things for starting conversations and shedding light on things for people who haven't had those same experiences.

[Foervraengd]: I definitely agree! I am pretty sure they mentioned in a post about making a good workaround to this, I dont remember if it was a suggestion post (site loads so slow rn for me so I cant rly go back and check) or something that staff have on their to-do list.

I'm pretty sure that once this website can accept more members, and especially when it's fully public for everyone, that we will see more communities spring up focused on topics such as marginalized groups.

Another big thing that reblog comments allowed was to debunk posts that would spread false information. I feel like this is really something we should take into consideration, during these times of online propaganda and fearmongering. Especially if Pifo grows to become way bigger and reaches millions of users.

[scatterthewords]:

That's actually one of the arguments against reblogs with additions. Instead of fifty of the same misinformed version of the post floating around with fifty unique and potentially contradictory corrections floating around, these things can happen:

1) people won't reblog the post they disagree with, therefore getting it less attention. They'll either leave a comment or ignore it entirely. Or even better, they'll make their own post referencing the mistaken post, and share that instead.

2) if it was a genuine misunderstanding or mistake, after enough people reeducated the OP, they have the power to either edit it to include correct information or delete the post entirely and stop having to watch their previous mistakes circulate on their dash over and over.

3) people will stop getting piled on for thinking something different or having a different perspective on things that don't actually have a right or wrong, just a most commonly accepted attitude.

[Minerva]:

I'm going to have to disagree, but hopefully you can hear me out here:

PF allows you to blog into and out of vast communities with next-to-no bars on joining them. Once that community is posted to, any post by any person can be seen by the thousands of people within that community. Like you, who I do not follow, turning up in my feed.

Now, witness our discussion. We're able to hold lengthy discourse with minimum abuse. Which you address in your post, but I'm going to re-address again.

That's the huge issue with tumblr's method: abuse.

All it takes is one abusive dildong you didn't happen to have blocked to reblog your post, attach their shitty and abusive opinion to your post, and run away making a mockery of it into eternity to their dozens, hundreds, or thousands of followers. There's really no way to reclaim a post that's taken that route. It's gone. Zippidy doo da. Your recourse is trying to block all the shitlords and muting the associated notifications as best you can. But that thread is gone, forever being besieged by alt right people, nazis or whoever else, and slamming that furthermore directly into the notifications of anyone who had the misfortune of commenting above you.

This is simple. If they reblog a post, all their followers see is whatever topic you're talking on. Now, you can add threaded discourse, still openly, beneath in comments, which just go to the OPs feed, not to everybody that had the misfortune of commenting before you, with the ability to string more topical comment chains and notifications.

Initially several people I saw complained about the feature you're talking about -- but it's not a bug, it's not a lack of feature, it's a platform decision, because the ability to just attach your opinion behind everybody else's and basically *reblog over them* and erase their point in direct argumentation leads to extremely toxic human behaviors; most of the people I've seen complaining about the absence of the feature turned around later and realized the blessing in it.

We can still hold discourse, still speak our piece and still be heard abroad this way, but are subject to far less vitriolic abuse by people being contrary or aggressive for the sake of it. I know you addressed this in your post, but you're saying "refine the site's safety measures." ... how?

Like, how, without actually censoring people's opinions, which seems to be the meat of the concern in this post.

I've already held more constructive conversations in PF over the course of the last week, via the comments, than I have in months on tumblr. I've experienced no dampened communications, and in fact people with social anxiety are like "oh gosh I have to engage more", because this fosters more communication and human engagement, not less.

It's easy to *want* to staple your opinion to everything, and hope yours goes more viral than the next person but like you acknowledged - that leads to toxic behavior. You acknowledge there's no better way to do it than "refining the site's safety measures," but what are the options? Making your post only rebloggable-attachment to mutuals? That doesn't do much to raise visibility how you hope. Censorship? That also defeats the point. But antis, racists, xenophobes or whatever can't just kidnap somebody's point and turn it into a wanky nightmare this way. Want your own opinion to lead a discussion? Make a point. Throw it in a community. There you go.

I hope PF *does* stand by this decision to be honest.

I respect where you're coming from, but I definitely have to personally disagree.

[Zita]:

Agreed.

I think a lot of what people want can be accomplished by making their own posts linking to comment threads or responding to another post?

A lot of people miss things about how tumblr works and many features are going to be implemented in future, but this was definitely a deliberate and considered decision. PF was in development long before the events that led up to the tumblr purge and I always got the impression that the reason for it was overall dissatisfaction with the reblog structure of tumblr in addition to its bad policies/lack of enforcement.

[Minerva]:

Yup. 99% of Tumblr features lacking are on a dev list because this was a WIP that wasn't expecting Tumblr to spontaneously eat itself. Comparing the lack of those features to a distinct design choice is kind of wild. They're not comparable or related.

Of the many features Tumblr has that PF doesn't yet, this is like, the one oddball one that's intentional and prefunctory design. I don't even want to get into the nightmare of the same post reblogging end after end after end to the same community smacking a community over and over with fractal comment additions either. In design, the concept simply doesn't work. Whereas the community function elevates voices far more efficiently than reblogging to be honest, as reblogging is still based on the reach of your followers' rings, whereas you can post to an entire community without fail here, and then even cross-blog that to other communities to extend discussion across vast amounts of groups.

If marginalization is the concern, I'm kind of confused, PF's interface compensates for that far, far better than tumblr does.

[Minerva]:

Prefunctory wasn't the word I was looking for - what the fuck autocorrect. I don't even remember what the word was. It was "intentional" as the idea, I'm not sure what the original autocorrect is. It's the exact opposite of prefunctory. Very meaningful.

[Zita]:

Haha, it happens!

Man though I sure cannot wait for comment editing.

[CloudedOtter]:

Initially several people I saw complained about the feature you're talking about -- but it's not a bug, it's not a lack of feature, it's a platform decision, because the ability to just attach your opinion behind everybody else's and basically *reblog over them* and erase their point in direct argumentation leads to extremely toxic human behaviors; most of the people I've seen complaining about the absence of the feature turned around later and realized the blessing in it. Thank you for saying this. The way conversation worked on Tumblr honestly made me severely anxious. I felt a lot more like everyone was shouting over each other more than talking to each other, and it felt like I couldn't say anything without accounting for the possibility of someone then shouting over me and having that go viral.

And this is all speaking as someone who's marginalized in many ways. Often, the people who I felt shouted over by most actually weren't the alt right, who are fucking horrible but at least obviously and broadly recognizable as such. On the contrary, the people who gave me the most heartache were other marginalized people with exclusionary attitudes - LGBT+ folk who excluded aro/ace folks, trans folks who excluded neurodivergent trans folks, mentally ill folks who excluded mentally ill folks who couldn't afford formal diagnosis, you name it. It was a constant paranoia, to know that I could put myself into writing a highly personal post about my experiences in hopes that someone out there perhaps might see it and feel less alone... only for someone else to come along and turn it into a platform for their own prejudices.

I don't mind disagreement or discussion! I try to be as open as I can, even to people who believe things that hurt me. I think so many of us are just hurt and afraid and lashing out because we don't know what else we can do. But I think reblog chains, for all their potential for amazing meme and thoughtful commentary, feel a lot more like shouting matches than discussions. And I'm definitely not alone in this.

I think if reblog chains do get implemented, there needs to be some sort of compromise. An option to disable them on your posts, for instance. But to be honest, I don't think PF needs to go Tumblr's way. As someone else said on another post, all the commentary and such is still there, it's just a click away.

[Minerva]:

That happens too, CloudedOtter. Also Whataboutism runs rampant. Like circles where LGBT posts get kidnapped by POC posts or the other way around in a pissing match of who's more marginalized and with the implication or even accusation that one group's problems are more/less important than the other. It really undermines discussion.

Also CloudedOtter, I'd like to add a few points in agreement to "yelling over people"

By-and-large, my tumblr was for fandom. I made a few side blogs for other things but it stayed small. But I'm also from one of the most toxic fandoms on the internet. I recognize that. I understand that.

Tumblr's methodology led to only more and more extreme points of view being normalized within the fandom to the point it *did* start hitting up major real world issues on the regular, as if it's just something to expect. And the reblog chains just led deeper and deeper into rabbit holes, only to rebirth into the main stream thought of a given "lane".

Small, reasonable accounts were completely drowned out by people with several thousand followers, with their opinions utterly voided, rotting or at best heckled away in reblog chains until they considered it better to close shop because they couldn't drop the target on their back despite best blocking maneuvers or whatever else. Content creators deleted entire galleries from this kind of vitriol even before the tumblr meltdown.

Wars raged endlessly. Different groups couldn't go a day without opening fire on each other. Hell, I even did it because it had reached such capital wanky capacity it was almost unavoidable if you *were* a big blogger, and it was better for my mhi to just heckle off the hate itself than let them think they were getting to me and earn any kind of victory that encouraged the behavior further.

That said, the same fandom is here now. The same fandom wings are here now. Yet, like fucking magic, none of these shots have been fired. I check communities not even my own on occasion just to see if there's a pending tire fire waiting to ignite over here. But no, nothing, because of how people can both widely broadcast once they learn to make use of the platform's strengths while still tailoring their feeds and engagements to people similarly. And because they can't just reblog and shit all over somebody else's posts and get their friends in line to do it. Magically, everybody behaves, and is posting good content, and talking with people about things they like and WANT to discuss instead of dragging what they "hate."

There was so much lowkey racism and misogyny and homophobia in my main fandom's tumblr that people couldn't tell their head from their ass anymore and were all arguing like WELL YOUR POINT IS BIPHOBIC NO YOURS IS CISPRIVILEGED NO U in an eternal, unbreakable chain of Everything Everywhere Is Problematic To Everybody. And yet here... there's... harmony?

I can only imagine how bad it gets in communities and blogs designed explicitly to discuss societal issues if it got that bad in *fandom.* I can't emphasize enough how much I support the way PF encourages discourse here, because even encountering other opinions, people generally treat each other like human beings when they can't just shitreblog a post and lead it down the wanky tunnels to tartarus.

[touretticflower (OP)]:

I think your focus is on the wrong thing in my post, because the point isn't to have the specific feature of reblog comment chaining necessarily but to acknowledge that, to date, no other social media has successfully provided a feature that achieves the same community fostering and both intra- and inter-community discussion, visibility, and understanding as tumblr's reblog feature.

My concern is that this is not more of a concern for folks, because I tend to see the same conclusive attitude in every post/comment that supports the lack of reblog-chaining: folks quickly brush aside the poster's concern with the perceived benefits of PF's decision and don't seem to give any thought to what it's missing in order for PF to be a truly accessible and inclusive social media platform.

You say it's not a bug or lack of feature but tbh PF was conceptualised as a remedy and response to the needs of tumblr users specifically, so I think comparing tumblr to PF vice versa is an extremely relevant conversation to have. There are good reasons tumblr thrived in userbase numbers, and that's because it met specific needs that its userbase has and that other social media platforms don't. What I've brought up is one of them.

The conversation cannot end with accepting PF's decision outright just because it resolves a big problem Tumblr had. It should not end with any of us simply "standing by" their decision or straight up rejecting it. That doesn't help PF grow, it doesn't help them reflect on how they're measuring up to their stated values, and it only serves to make the most marginalised users acceptable losses. There is definitely more than one kind of solution to Tumblr's abuse problem.

I appreciate that your tumblr experiences were different than mine but I can tell you that my decision to post this has nothing to do with wanting to staple my opinion to someone's post: it comes from experience with having wonderfully enlightening discussions and finding amazing communities that I otherwise would not have even known to seek out.

And I realise that pillowfort has some measures with which to make the multi-overlapping of posting happen, and that's a great start, and I'm happy the PF team is working hard to continue building the site. But my point is that it's got important flaws, and I suggest their focus for direction needs to include looking at how Tumblr's features allowed marginalised communities specifically to flourish and deconstruct that from both a communications perspective and a programming perspective.

Because tbh my point is that the communities that are already flourishing on PF right now are not the people I'm seeking to improve the site for.

[guinevak]: it seems deeply weird to me to attribute tumblr's success to one particular feature. Also to say that people are "brushing aside" your concerns when you are, in turn, brushing aside the concerns that they have with the tumblr model. Minerva's not wrong that "refining safety measures" is extremely vague.

I feel like it would be more productive and illuminating to, for example, procure signup keys for the people you feel are not being represented, and let them figure out what they need from pillowfort.

[Minerva]:

No, now is where I put my foot down and get blunt, because I will not have passive-aggressive accusations of me dismissing anybody floating around as the main chunk of a conversational post without me putting equal weight into my counter-standing.

You express concern for visibility. That concern is addressed in the community function. That is how we are having this conversation. You express the need to be able to communicate and hold discourse -- while we hold discourse. PF addresses these features and concerns, it just addresses them *differently.* If you like tumblr, that's fine, but this isn't tumblr. The functions, visibility and methods are there, they're just delivered differently.

PF is marketed as "similar to" tumblr. However, some of the very first posts on this platform, that reblog and circulate on occasion, are also declaring, immediately, the differences between the two and how to not expect them to operate identically. They also detail that on their site to some extent. There's no illusion of them marketing it as being identical to tumblr.

If you genuinely respect that I have different experiences on tumblr, I would request you reflect on why there are people voicing why there was a problem with tumblr's function. The current community/reblog/crosspost function elevates voices, we are clearly able to hold ample discourse in replies or we wouldn't be talking here, and it does deal with a toxic problem many of us *have* encountered on tumblr.

Let's look at tumblr's operation if this were on tumblr.

You make your post. I reblog and attach my opinion. Suddenly, my several thousand tumblr followers are all heckling the original opinion the further it deviates from the original source. On the other hand, you reblog me and attach your argument; do you have as many followers or as large of a ring as me? Or will it stagnate? And furthermore, will your followers even check the trashheap of unthreaded notes to find other opinions to weight into the discussion, or will they reblog it on your branch?

That branched conversation still just leads to echo chambers. Because people just reblog from the points they agree/actively argue with and everything carries away. Nothing new is really heard or shared. Confirmation bias strikes, for better or worse.

PF's function is a design, not a flaw. It is not tumblr.

The original concerns were marginalization, visibility and conversation, but clearly you found a way to attain all three as a fairly new user.

[Xaotician]:

Thank you for all your commentary; it sums up what I've been feeling about the needling to add reblog additions but was just too exhausted by it all to say. The Tumblr method has only made me feel more disconnected and alienated from the people I'd otherwise be identifying with over the years. The current system of PF feels like actually sitting down to talk to people, rather than standing on them with a megaphone.

I shudder to think how much worse it would've been if I'd been using Tumblr at a vulnerable or formative time in my life. And yeah, there's a lot of mob rule tied up in it.

[Shinso]: ...

We have reblogs with tags. Surely it can't be much more complicated to extrapolate from that. And it's not even a "right now" thing, if it takes time, isn't a priority, whatever. I don't think that's what OP was talking about, but rather the dismissal of the benefits, that's all.

I'm seeing a lot of "I don't want to see the same post multiple times" sentiment and I don't really get it. That's how lots of people learned and had complex relationships with a post and the posts themselves become viral. I don't see how it's a bad thing, especially with how slow my dash currently is despite how many people I follow and how many communities I've joined. Maybe there could be an automatic mute feature as a paid service where redundancy is turned into a line of text with a link to the post rather than stifle conversation just because it puts more posts on someone's dash. Like, that's not a problem I think is actually a problem? At least not for me.

Plus, since PF is different I don't think we can just assume it will turn out the way that Tumblr did. Reblogs with commentary may provide a very different role since there's a functional comment system without a character limit.

There are ways to curate content for personal feeds rather than force every user to curate content that way. I just think it would be better with more options, not less.

[ArcanePursuit]:

I think you may be over estimating how many people will hold a conversation through reblogs, when there is an actual alternative specifically for conversations, which there wasn't on tumblr. I'm still concerned about the fact that the type of joke text post that only happened because of the reblog feature wont exist any more. I don't know anything about coding, but i don't see how it would be that much more difficult t to delete everything associated with a post with added on content. I think having the option would be the best option still, since then the op could decide how they personally feel about reblogs with responses on it, especially if they could edit their post and force stop it if it does get to much like you suggested it might.

Also @scatterthewords thanks, I had tried that and it was just taking me back to the top of the page, but in a different window, but i tried it again and it worked this time¯\_(ツ)_/¯. It would be nice it made the comment that was linked to more obvious, but that might just be me lol

[DoktorGirlfiend]:

...

I admit the lack of reblog-chaining (threading? commentary?) trips me up from time to time, but more in a "Oh, right, it's different here" sort of way that honestly just ends up motivating me to either leave a comment or make my own post, depending on which is more appropriate. And sometimes Tumblr's system did lead to positive things. I had one post - a sort of flash-fiction bit of writing - that ending up getting heavy circulation and developed into several threads of folks adding to and extrapolating on the basic premise in fun, friendly, creative ways. No one was trying to take over or talk over anyone; it was a easy-going and collaborative. Everyone had a great time, and I was always happy to see new additions.

But then I had one or two other posts of a similar type that didn't get nearly the traffic where several people reblogging kept comparing my writing to another, extremely popular writer/blogger's in a way that stripped away my presence from my own words. ("This is just like {REDACTED}'s fics!" "Look, {REDACTED}! It's your [CHARACTER I WAS WRITING ABOUT].") Some were also tagging the other writer in their reblogs to bring it to their attention, which left me paranoid and dreading what would happen if the writer saw it because I'd seen so many posts be reblogged by popular bloggers/writers whose influence completed eclipsed the OP's words and intentions. I was deeply upset at the idea of my little story being overshadowed by a more popular writer's contribution and of having to get constant notifications praising said contribution on my post. Of my story becoming theirs.

Even when there's genuinely no abuse occurring or malicious intent, Tumblr's reblog system allowed for users' original content to be (even unintentionally) hijacked and overshadowed. I really appreciate the level of control PF allows creators to have over their own content, and the backlash to this concept I've seen since the Kickstarter really speaks to how Tumblr has influenced its users to feel proprietary and entitled to other people's work. There was often something so inherently competitive and kind of aggressive (whether passively or actively so) about reblog conversations, as if everyone was trying to one-up or "well, actually" each other about the most inane topics. Whereas conversations in the comments here feel so much more... conversational. Like people are actually just talking to each other.

[Swirlything]:

I agree, while I love the comment system the lack of reblog-with-additions brings up the danger that people will comment INSTEAD of reblogging in some cases, and thus the original post will not be visible to new people.

At the moment if you want to share something with your followers AND add to the discussion you have to reblog the post and make your own, separate post with your addition. That's enough extra effort that people with less time or energy might not bother. Or you could just make your own post without reblogging... but that leads to the risk of rampant reposting and copy-pasting of content which may or may not link back to the original post.

Either way, the original content will only be seen by the original poster's followers...

[Minerva]:

That's what communities are for, Swirlything.

[Maracuya]:

As someone who has been on Livejournal and Tumblr both, I must say that the communication on LJ was actually better than on Tumblr. If you've got communities and you contribute actively, there are more in-depth discussions, and they've got more of a focus. Plus communication tends to be more respectful. To me, that's more important. I can only agree with what @Minerva and @CloudedOtter have said.

[flannelshirtandjeans]:

I actually prefer what Pillowfort's got going on right now, and to me it always felt like a deliberate choice. Discussion to me at least is infinitely easier to follow in nested comment threads than in a thousand fragmented discussions in the notes of a tumblr post? And at least for me, it's easier to participate in conversations by just commenting like this than through reblogs, and you don't have to worry about spamming your followers with a dozen reblogs of the same post to do that, and I think that's great. Idk for me this feature (or lack thereof) has actually been more encouraging of participating than the ability to comment via reblogs ever did. :'D it doesn't work like that for everyone I'm sure but like. -shrug-

[scatterthewords]:

I disagree heavily that the comments haven't expanded my worldview. I follow a number of people who start in-depth discussions, and I love following those comment threads down. I frequently read the comment threads on posts like this to get different perspectives. Combined with the tag "reblogged and commented," and hitching posts that people make, I've learned a whole lot more from this site that 50 iterations of the same post with different reblog addition chains, or a whole host of "lol," "same," or other incredibly inane additions that make up the MAJORITY of Tumblr additions.

As far as finding a POC community, have you checked the Pillowfort Community classifieds? If I was on desktop I could link you; perhaps someone else can oblige.

[spiralingintocontrol]:

I can really see both sides of this, to be honest. I think Pillowfort getting big is going to be a very interesting experiment that will tell us what effects this set of features has on discourse.

Reblogging with commentary encouraged people to misinterpret each other, dogpile on people you disagree with, and amplified the voices of people you don't like -- I was always annoyed by how often people I followed would reblog terrible opinions to agree with them.

But that sort of shit also _got people talking,_ which has a lot of value.

[DoktorGirlfriend]:

I REALLY WANT THAT FEATURE BECAUSE SO MANY PEOPLE ARE HAVING GOOD THOUGHTS HERE AND DESERVE SOME CUTE LITTLE HEARTS.

It's a little unreal! Back during the Kickstarter - when I really became aware of Pillowfort and what it was going for - post notes and asks on the PF tumblr were full of folks being absolutely scandalized by the idea of other people having control over their own content. The ability to edit a post and have this reflected in all reblogs, or to delete a post and take all reblogs with it. The lack of reblog commentary. It was like they were almost frightened by it. Some tried to frame it as a moral or abuse concern ("What if they edit their post to say something gross and now that's on my blog because I reblogged it?" "What if they're wrong about something important and I can't tell them?"), but the language used made it clear the real concern was their own lack of control over someone else's content.

And some were completely upfront about that. A complaint I saw was "This looks like it's really prioritizing OPs over anyone else."

And ya know what, YES. IT IS. It's prioritizing original content creators. This is a platform for creation and conversation. And there's nothing stopping anyone from being an OP themselves. I like having to try and build a presence based on my own words and not my ability to parasitize someone else's.

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