Author: ugrnm <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu Jan 30 18:59:19 +0100
thesis 3 draft but too long
1 file changed, 27 insertions(+), 10 deletions(-)
diff --git a/transmediale-2020-7-theses/index.html b/transmediale-2020-7-theses/index.html
@@ -137,23 +137,40 @@ because of that fediverse could grow from a network of a few thousands FLOSS ner
## Fediverse as a site for online agonistic pluralism?
-fedi exists as locally defined communities that can talk to each other, but also define itself in relation to the other not just through its own memetic language but alos through difference.
+Once again, the Fediverse exists as a collection of communities that not only can talk to each other, but use social media communication to define themselves in relation to the others.
-Could relate/provide a case of agonism
+Sounds great on paper, now try to make sense of how collective identity, ideology, and conflicts can be understood when you have 4.3 millions accounts spread over more than 5000 servers.
+We need some help.
-the question of political consensus reflected in the design of protocols and clients
+And some help can potentially be found in the political theory of aganism, and more particularly how agonism can be a useful tool to navigate through this giant mess.
-politics more explicit than implicit
-neutrality is difficult
-can agonism overcome antagonism?
+And the type of agonism that we're particularly interested in here, is the one articulated by Chantal Mouffe.
-explain instance blocking, explain gab,
+In Mouffe's view, political consensus is impossible and radical negativity cannot be avoided in a system where diversity is limited only to similar competing groups within the same hegemonic order.
-this tension is visible in the way instance blocking is dealt with
+And, yes indeed this is precisely what is going on right now on commercial social media.
-leading to situation where Fedi could instead become a very fragmented antagonistic environment of people forging alliances with specific other instances/communities, a sort of pillarisation of social media
+Now, the bet made by agonism is that by creating a system in which a pluralism of hegemonies is permitted, it is possible to move from an understanding of the other as an enemy, to the other as a political adversary. But for this to happen, different ideologies must be able to materialise via different channels and platforms.
+In such a situation we move from political consensus to conflictual consensus.
+Easier said than done.
+Specially in a system that allows fine grained moderation of content and allow the blocking of individual accounts, groups, servers. Basically allowing to completely taylor and lock down your social media experience to only engage with like-minded peers.
+Very concretely, last year when Gab, the neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and the alt-right social network moved from its own isolated alt-tech platform to the Fediverse, it was able to forge new alliances with like-minded communities and in some way with the Fediverse being to some extent a safe space for many minorities it was also giving the trolls the biggest playground they may have ever dreamed of.
+This situation is a direct test case to discuss the neutrality of Fediverse code, the network itself, and the protocols it used.
+And how to respond to this arrival, not only at the technological level, but
+also the social and cultural level. For instance, since then, holding a position of neutrality, whether driven by ambivalence, by unspoken support, by hypocrisy, by the desire to troll, by lack of interest, but also by honest faith into
+apolitical technology, or by an agonistic desire to confront and engage with all parts of the Fediverse, has been very difficult to maintain and justify.
+Instead of reaching a state of agonistic pluralism, it could be that the
+Fediverse would at best create a form of bastard agonism where instances would form large agonistic-without-agonism aggregations only amongst both ideologically and technically compatible communities and software, with only a minority of them being able and willing to bridge between with radically opposed systems.
+Regardless of how this will be evolving, if the Fediverse is telling us anything, it is that the net and its infrastructure have never been more politicised than today.