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My Opinion on Kev and FOSStodon

“Yeah, it really wasn’t tactful what he said. I can understand where he’s coming from but to say those things indicates a lack of self-awareness. As an instance admin you’re responsible for encouraging and enforcing a place where people feel secure in their self-expression. If an instance admin paints a picture that is not open to expressions of being offended then that paints the whole instance as not friendly.

“That being said, I don’t agree with @Blakely@radical.town when he says that @Kev@fosstodon.org is a free speech extremist[.] I’m surprised though, that this little comment resulted in literal instance blocks. Maybe this is my privilege speaking but many aren’t waiting for Kev to plead his case and I think that’s too reactionary.”

There’s a few issues at play here. I think the biggest issue is that Kev should have more sophisticated of views. I think he - and you, to a lesser extent - are unaware of how much shit you get away with just because you’re white dudes. As I highlighted in our recent conversation about aggression and violence, y’all privileged folk been able to maintain “grade-school” levels of thinking on concepts that a lot of less privileged folk have had no choice but with which to reckon.

What I mean by that being the biggest issue is that there are a lot of people who bite their tongue when it’s some no-name techbro saying silly things about “snowflakes,” but now here the admin of one of the techbro-iest instances is saying it. It’s too much to take.

That’s why people are mad. Why won’t they wait to hear his case?

It’s important to understand the full consequences of a juvenile attitude. Imagine you were talking to a second-grader, and they started talking about the Easter Bunny as a real person. You would know that before you could start talking to them about the relationship between god and man as written about by Nietzsche, you’d have to talk to them about the Easter Bunny. You, with your greater knowledge of the concepts, know the steps that the juvenile viewpoint would need to go through in order to be, y’know, well-developed and coherent.

Those of us with less-juvenile-than-Kev’s perspectives already know what case he’ll plead, because we’ve not only heard it a thousand times, but there’s even academic essays saying what it will be; it’s that predictable. It’s part logic, part statistics: if these are the views he states publicly, you can infer he holds these beliefs privately, and thus will argue it this way, and no one wants to take the time to explain to some privileged shitheel something he could read up on for free online. Actually - that’s not true. Some people do; look at his mentions. But a lot will just be tired: this is rote, and we know, giving him room to argue his point does more harm than good.

That’s why people won’t hear his case. Why are they moving to ostracize him?

Do you know what happens when marginalized populations don’t know the unspoken rules of white society? I don’t need to list examples; you do.

Now a white person is saying “I refuse to respect the rules of marginalized society,” and they’re hitting him with everything they have… which is limited to “strongly worded criticism and disassociation.” Oh… no? People have a right not to talk to people they don’t like. They don’t even have to DISLIKE them, they can just… not actively like them. Second: look at the effect words like his have. You now have a few dozen people who are going “yea! I can say mean words to people! It’s their fault I’m an asshole!” That’s paraphrased, but essentially what is happening on his profile.

There’s another viewpoint I want to represent, which is techbros who are less conservative expressing anger at Kev for representing these opinions as admin of FOSStodon, which, like it or not, makes him a representative of FOSS as a concept.

Here’s a sanitized version of the message I sent to my instance administrator, in response to them saying they may suspend Kev’s instance:

“I… think I would support it. I definitely support curating out meh not just BAD views, and have no problem with you (the instance admin) doing some (or even a lot) of it for me. I don’t know how one would actually do the math, but I think given the surplus of info on the web, curating out noise makes room for good posts more than it risks throwing out good posts with the noise. Like, yes, getting rid of an instance WILL mean that SOME good posts get missed. But it’s about ratios, not absolutes: I can only read so many posts; are the instances NOT blocked of a higher good post ratio than the ones being blocked. That’s honestly all that matters, as clinical as it sounds.”

Kev is sharing shitty juvenile views, pretending they’re unpopular because sOcIeTy instead of because they’re shitty, and then using that unpopularity as a shield. And they aren’t even unpopular opinions they’re the opinion held by almost all of our society he’s just mad people are, in their own spaces, not acquiescing to them.

No one owes him that.

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