The facts I know about:
- Wil Wheaton (of Star Trek and The Big Bang Theory fame) signed up on mastodon.cloud.
- His account has been massively reported to the instance admin.
- Someone on the mastodon.cloud moderation team acted on those reports and banned him from this instance.
- He published a blog post about it.
Now I'm not going to link the blog post because I don't care much for his side of the story, and at this point it is irrelevant. From what I've read he's been reported because many people didn't feel safe with him around the #Fediverse
for not publicly disavowing his friend Chris Hardwick over harassment allegations and being generally shitty towards transgender people.
This often begs the question if #Mastodon
should be for everyone. To my understanding it was initially created to alleviate Twitter's shortcomings, like central governance, leniency towards celebrities, and general inaction or outright ostracism towards marginalized groups. @Gargron
himself deplored the ban, saying it was "absolutely not the right kind of community atmosphere."
, but isn't welcoming everyone going to reproduce the same systemic inequalities as in other public networks?
He also reminded mastodon.social users that "Dogpiling and harassment are off-limits no matter how justified you think you are. The rules are for everyone."
, in reply to which people were quick to remind him that the same rules were seemingly enforced differently depending on the profile of the victim. Again, there's a difficult question: should queer people be held to a higher standard in a space that was purposefully designed for them?
I personally don't think so. Mastodon is the only public social network I know where queer pressure can drive a famous white man off it. And it turns out that in spaces where marginalized people hold any power, they can be as shitty as white cis dudes in most other spaces. While this can seem disheartening, it also means that shittiness isn't correlated with any inherent feature of the individual, only their relative position in the power hierarchy of the space they're in. Mob rule still prevails, it just isn't the mob we're used to in this case. To borrow the words of walruslifestyle
funny how certain kinds of people (...) say "mob rule" without examining whether it was, instead, a large group of people who (a) are usually disempowered; (b) have a legitimate issue they are mobilizing to bring forward; and (c) choose to do so in a way that doesn't conform to privileged notions of civility
To close this, I'd like to point out that most of what happened could have been prevented by Wil Wheaton setting up his own instance, which he most certainly have the means to do, a fact that Matthew Graybosch usefully reminded me
. In the end, Wheaton chose to trust mastodon.cloud administration team like he chose to trust the #Twitter's
administration team before leaving.