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Some Indian Twitter users are leaving for Mastodon (bbc.com)
130 points by johnx123-up 11 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 102 comments





I recently signed up on Twitter with a new account for a new project I'm working on. Like a few posts here (on HN) have highlighted, my account was disabled for security reasons (official work email, not a single tweet, email verified) and the only way to unlock is by adding my number.

I've been opening tickets for a week but they're all automatically closed. This gets me thinking, does it even matter if a SaaS product has a twitter handle for marketing and support?


Twitter reopened my service’s account after two months when I refused to hand over my mobile number.

Pretty much every single service immediately bans me upon account creation if I don’t hand over my mobile number. Instagram banned me for “violating terms of service” before I had even chosen a username - before I had posted even a single thing. Makes me wonder if signing up for a service was in their list of violations itself? I mean, c’mon. It’s pretty much a ploy to gather mobile numbers under the garb of security or spam.


The same happened with my Microsoft account (no work/enterprise account). It was locked, allegedly violating terms and services. I did absolutely nothing with this account. Besides maybe using a gmail account to register, I don't really understand the reason for the block and no details were provided of course.

Since then I tried to delete the account, but on any attempts to do so MS tries to get my phone number, which I don't want to provide. Their support is completely inexistent, because you would need to log in of course.

I would like to send them a cease and desists letter against blocking account deletion attempts. I am not sure, but I believe their conduct to be illegal in the EU where I am located. Probably would just cost me money, but they would deserve it.


Yep, I've had that happen with a private outlook.com account last month. I literally just created the account and used it just once, to register for an Azure certification exam. I sent no e-mails from that account, I just checked it twice or thrice for incoming exam information emails, until suddenly I could not log in because of ToS violations. Stay classy, Microsoft!

It would be nice if they were up-front about it, asking for e-mail and phone upon creation, instead of intentionally misleading users an e-mail is all they need.

Twotter asked for my phone for “security” then started texting things like it was someone’s birthday so I quickly removed it.

Never again twattrr


It's legitimately to stop spam. Captchas can be gamed or purchased. IPv6 makes banning IPs futile. Getting a SIM card is the only thing that bots cannot do.

The only other alternative to stop spam is micropayments (at a similar cost to a SIM card). I would actually like to see that as an option instead of providing my mobile number--preferably using Bitcoin because my credit card number is even more confidential than my phone number.


It's legitimately to stop spam.

That might be what it originally started out as, but by now many platforms seem to think of it as just more personal data they can monetize [0] [1].

[0] https://techcrunch.com/2019/10/08/twitter-admits-it-used-two...

[1] https://www.engadget.com/2018/09/28/facebook-two-factor-phon...


If you really want to orchestrate some sort of spam attack with bots. You can just purchase a hundred numbers on twilio or bandwidth and just automate the who OTP process with Puppeteer. If it’s important enough.

You’re right about it being a lot more annoying though.


Twillio and Google Voice numbers do not work for phone verification on Twitter/Facebook/Google properties. VoIP phone numbers are sold in blocks and well-known to companies who subscribe to those lists (basically all social media). Twilio numbers do work for the scrappier sites though.

The service has to just not allow VoIP numbers like Twilio. A handful are already like that. Like Craigslist as last example I came across.

> IPv6 makes banning IPs futile.

For wired connections, isn't banning the customer-sized subnet about the same in terms of effectiveness ?


It's annoying, but what other accessible solutions are there to avoid mass creation of "fake" accounts?

I get it, it's super easy to create Twitter bots and spread disinformation, etc. However, that's a problem with social media that we're discovering now (after a decade and a half or so) and the companies need to think about it, not just implement a solution that compromises user privacy because they have leverage.

These cos. copyright all user created information. So they want to make money from it and want credit for good content. However, want to reduce liabilities that arise from content created by malicious actors. Can't have the cake and eat it too.


Previously users were just anonymous with all consequences that entailed. But even today I don't really think the spreading of disinformation is a large problem and users just do that themselves often enough. Information you get today is probably still more accurate compared to times where every info was distributed through news papers.

You’re right in a way. However, newspapers have to have all stakeholders in on it: politicians, big businesses (aka advertisers), readers (trust factor) and their own reputation (journalists, etc).

With bots, you can really be a nuisance with a little bit of effort.


Micropayments. $5 bucks to create an account, non-refundable (Bitcoin accepted). Or you can provide your phone number, your choice.

$5 is not micro. 5¢ is.

Then let these companies guarantee that its one-time request and it will not be used for pushing anything else.

Just like FB promised phone numbers were only going to be used for 2FA?

https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2019/03/05/facebook-critici...


What guarantee could they possibly offer which we would believe? Of course they will exploit any information they can convince us to hand over.

What is a "fake" account? One without a real name? The extra ones, when a person decides to create more than one?

Spam accounts.

Anyone working on Instagram should read this. I’d created an Instagram account to try it out. I posted a few posts (like infographics, I wasn’t going to give real photos to Facebook) and didn’t continue later. After some months I found I couldn’t login and that my account was disabled for “violating terms”. There was nothing in that account that violated any terms — no spam, no hate speech, no nudity, no spamming others for likes or followers. The only thing that stood out was that I mostly used a web browser to post and sometimes shared a photo to the app instead of giving the app access to all my photos. The account continued to work for quite sometime after I stopped posting and interacting.

I tried to appeal, but it wanted a real photo of me holding some handwritten information. No thanks, I don’t really need an abusive and flakey platform to have my real photo. I abandoned Instagram then. It’s one of the most needlessly aggressive platforms that deactivates accounts for no good reason and bullies people into giving their photo and/or phone number. I hope Instagram dies quickly because of this stupid aggressiveness.

More people should start using decentralized platforms where one may have a better chance of expressing oneself (I’m talking about regular, non-spam speech). All these centralized platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are big time bullies.


Just part of the panopticon, they are forcing you to make it super easy for governments to monitor you. Tracking email addresses and correlating amongst shared names makes for more false negatives, tie it to a phone number and you're doing their work for them.

Here is an old study of effectiveness of phone number verification:

http://static.googleusercontent.com/media/research.google.co...

TL;DR it is effective.

Privacy and preventing misinformation bot armies are not conflicting goals, but unfortunately implementations achieving one hurts the other. Only way to prevent fake accounts is to have some kind of proxy for real identity confirmation. Unfortunately a phone number verification is currently only such global scalable method.

Most likely you used an VPN IP address, privacy plugins or similar for the sign up that were flagged before as the source of problems.


It's not just about privacy -- you're one data breach away from having your phone number leaked to a bunch of shady gangsters who, for bonus points, can also read through the Twitter posts from the account associated with it. Pulling off a social engineering attack by phone is a hell of a lot easier than by email, which a lot of people, including non-technical people, treat somewhat more defensively.

I wouldn't mind sharing my phone number if it were for my protection, but it's not -- it's a risk for me, and they ask me to do it for their platform's protection. More specifically, for the protection of that platform's profits. I honestly don't mind bots, it's advertisers and politicians who do, and they're the ones keeping the whole thing profitable.


As a counterpoint, I'd rather have everyone to have a forced phone number verification to mitigate the negative effects of the social network. We could quarantine privacy sensitive users, with all trolls and bots, to some darknet privacy discussion boards and something like Mastodon.

I'd rather sacrifice the privacy for the general good experience of my Twitter service.


Previous experience with the Internet shows that all this would achieve would be a boom in the Temporary Phone Numbers as a Service (TPNaaS) market, so that trolls, bots and cybercriminals could get validated as easily as my grandma, while getting all those pesky privacy advocates out of the way.

Edit: plus, I'm not sure how that invalidates my concern. The only thing better than a data leak with personal information is a data leak with personal information that's definitely true, up-to-date and complete -- and the only datapoints of dubious values belong to bots, making them easy to cross off your list.


> Temporary Phone Numbers as a Service (TPNaaS) market

It is very limited because phone numbers are gatekeeped by massive telcos. VoIP numbers are sold in blocks and are easily detected by phone verification systems.


There aren’t that many legit (non Voip) numbers. They don’t come cheap en mass. I don’t think a thriving cheap market for them is possible.

But why should we want real identity confirmation? It's a platform where people don't use full sentences because of the limitations of tweets. It's not exactly a place where the information you learn should be taken seriously.

For example, protecting the ability of human users to express political viewpoints

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/04/twitter-bots-were-more-activ...

Not getting harrassed to suicide

https://www.worldofbuzz.com/you-want-to-get-naked-so-bad-huh...


This seems to be default practice now. I also found this to be the case for Outlook accounts. After initial registration they block your account, or in the case of Outlook, disable outgoing email.

>does it even matter if a SaaS product has a twitter handle for marketing and support?

With ActivityPub, the organization behind your SaaS product can be hosting their own organizational instance of Mastodon (or whatever fediverse software they choose to run) and interact directly on the platform, bypassing Twitter.

Effectively this is a lot like hosting your own SMTP services (or paying someone to do that for you!)


It certainly doesn't matter. You can use any account and public search to search for references to your product. You can offer support on uservoice, forums, email. Twitter support is only needed for companies like Comcast that refuse to offer regular support but need to respond to the hurricane of hatred from sub-consensual users. Using needing twitter is a symptom of deeper problems.

Tools like [1] [2] [3] make it easy to mirror your Mastodon posts to Twitter.

This can smooth the transition for your audience that’s not ready to move yet.

[1] https://crossposter.masto.donte.com.br/

[2] https://github.com/renatolond/mastodon-twitter-poster

[3] https://github.com/bitkeks/mastodon-to-twitter


The BBC article itself is biased. Twitter has banned people from all sides. But BBC chose people only from one side.

Example handles from other side: check this tweet (this is a pro govt handle) - https://twitter.com/modifiedvikas/status/1177099258534588416


Most popular banned handle from RW is probably TrueIndology, and undoubtedly the selective reporting has its own agenda as well

If Twitter has banned as many right wing accounts as left leaning ones, why is it that the majority of disgruntled responses to Twitter India's clarification thread are blaming Twitter India's right wing bias ?

https://twitter.com/TwitterIndia/status/1192384055884447744

...or is there a claim somewhere in here that the unhappy right wing accounts just leave twitter for Mastodon without complaining and hence all that anyone, including the BBC, seems to highlight is the left leaning accounts making a noise ? Where are the unhappy right wingers in that thread ?


it is a coordinated trend which was orchestrated by the usual LW handles. This happens every day on twitter, LW or RW, bollywood celebrities or businesses, Baba Ram rahim singh or other godmans, every vested interest generates a coordinated hashtag and trends it.

Also the RW twitter is not given the required exposure by media outlets in India (forget about the Western outlets) when they have their protests as well. This happens with many cases - e.g. Happened after killing of Kamlesh Tiwari. Many people celebrated the murder and were rightly condemned by the RW twitter group but Indian media did not highlight that.


I am not talking about hash tags. Just the replies on that specific thread. Am I now to believe that twitter itself is working with the LW handles to show the replies of LW criticism of twitter while suppressing RW voices?!!

Come on, use Occam's razor.


Do you know GAB? It is a far right wing platform in response to twitter. Much before LW spoke about moving to mastodon, RW started moving to GAB. BTW, GAB is now using mastodon open source software only.

The article talks about the Indian government requesting Twitter to ban accounts in the context of Kashmir:

The report said most of the blocked content was critical of the government's recent move to strip Indian-administered Kashmir of its semi-autonomous status, and were made after requests by the government itself.

I believe that they've missed an important detail here. There was a massive misinformation campaign against India on Twitter in the aftermath of abrogating article 370. Many of these tweets originated from Pakistani handles[1][2]. They have even started impersonating top Indian military officials on Twitter[3]. And it seems that they are not just stopping with Kashmir. The propaganda campaign even covers Rafale and Tamil Nadu[4][5].

I do not condone banning accounts that are critical of the Government. However, propaganda over sensitive topics should be stopped by all means.

1. https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/crpf-j-k-police-kashmi...

2. https://www.poynter.org/fact-checking/2019/a-third-of-mislea...

3. https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/pakistan-s-fake-news-p...

4. https://www.news18.com/news/india/as-rafale-adds-to-firepowe...

5. https://qz.com/india/1727752/pakistan-bots-helped-gobackmodi...


> However, propaganda over sensitive topics should be stopped by all means.

Like disconnecting the internet entirely?


Yes, if necessary. Internet is generally blocked in violence pronce regions. And an Internet blackout is any day better than violence.

True. People blame Whatsapp and Facebook for causing violence but then, when governments can't stop calls for violence being transmitted through these services, can't stop these services, they turn around and blame the governments for shutting down the internet.

So it's ok to be critical of the Government as long as the Government doesn't consider the topic to be sensitive? I.e. as long as the topic is inconsequential you mean?

Let me clarify. It's always okay to be critical of the Government as long as one doesn't engage in spreading fake propaganda and misinformation. The links in my comment point towards a scenario where there was an attempt towards doing that.

Yes, in theory that's a reasonable position.

The rub is: who decides that it's fake propaganda and misinformation? The Government?


Nobody decides it. Truth is truth. Fake is fake.

Exactly! If Twitter banned Russian influencers of US elections, BBC wont be reporting it. BBC's articles are shallow and not "investigative" as it used to be.

This example would seem to directly contradict your statement https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-41766991

"Twitter bans RT and Sputnik ads amid election interference fears"


Your example doesn't picture Twitter in a negative way, what twitter did was the right thing. Blocking accounts owned by another nation trying to influence people in India.

Except that they did actually report it...

https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-45266713

And I'm not sure why you think they wouldn't, because they're British, not American or Russian.


Your example doesn't picture Twitter in a negative way, what twitter did was the right thing. Blocking accounts owned by another nation trying to influence people in India.

I stumbled on Indian Twitter a few months ago, and discovered hate at a level and volume, I’ve seldom encountered in the internet. It’s probably a window into what’s happening on closed forums like WhatsApp, but it is profoundly disturbing. If the hate does progress into real-life violence, social media networks like Twitter and WhatsApp are going to face a grim accounting.

If? No, this is already reality. People in India got lynched because of rumours spread via WhatsApp¹.

1: https://www.cnet.com/news/whatsapp-rumors-reportedly-led-to-...


Clickait headline without much substance

I've looked briefly at Mastadon, but hadn't been motivated to used it.

However, as a Twitter user for the last decade, the platform seems to be decaying. Either no on is really on it much any longer, or they've squelched my account severely.

The fun seemed to depart after late 2016, as though something happened which dismayed The Powers That Be.


Have you tried using a third party Twitter app (eg Tweetbot on Mac & iOS, Fenix on Android)?

I find I get a vastly different experience on those apps to the official site - on the website, tweets from various friends aren't being shown at all, and replies are being re-ordered. It's as if the Twitter site is re-ordering things to maximize "engagement" (ie outrage). The third party apps still show things by chronological order, don't show tweets that others like/heart, making for a much better experience.


i was a HUGE third party user, but nowadays i just prefer using twitter web and twitter for android (specially after twitter finally added latest home page instead of those weird curated timelines).

also, list support is a lot better on the official app (and i use a lot of lists so i don't clutter my main timeline with random stuff).


For people still using Twitter with a web browser on a laptop or desktop, I’d highly recommend tweetdeck.twitter.com. The interface is split into multiple columns and allows one to focus on what’s interesting or relevant. I personally liked it a lot when I used Twitter in the past for sometime.

Twitter's problem is that it won't do anything about users with handles like @magapatriot2130945785 who have turned the site into trash.

It's not that they CAN'T do anything about it, the problem is that they WON'T.


Why do think that users with usernames like that have turned the site into trash? In my experience, Twitteer's problems seem more systematic, and related to their attempts to maximize your time on site, and thus ads viewed.

Have you actually used Twitter since 2016?

Isn't Twitter much more heavily slanted towards left-wing politics? Twitter has pretty much become a haven for that. I really don't see why you would think that the group you mentioned are the ones that ruined Twitter. Incidentally, Reddit seems to be going the same way, but they probably have more niche communities that are isolated from the rest of the site, so it might not become as big of an issue.

Anecdotally, it's not some. They are switching in droves to Mastodon. My local timeline on Mastodon for the past couple days has quite literally only been new users from India.

On the bright side, it will reduce the number of most obnoxious pricks on Twitter. Indian twitter army is one of the worst "communities" on internet.

Over the past couple of days there have been trending hashtags here in India accusing Twitter of caste and religious discrimination. I guess the irony is lost on these conspiracy pushing folks that Twitter censored their other hashtag but allowed this one to trend.

There have also been conspiracy theories that Twitter is purposely not verifying some people because of their caste.

I suspect that may be playing some role in this as well.


Two Twitter one for left and other for Right all issues solved. Civil debate and agree to disagree is anyway lost

The issue I have with Mastodon is that a pod admin can prevent me from following people from other pods they don't like. I understand blocking whole spamming pods, but when they start blocking whole pods because they're too right wing or left wing, one might wonder what's the point of switching from Twitter?

Now, you would say, I could run my own pod, but they could still block me from following anyone on their pods just because of the people I'm following or because they have white lists of pods allowed to follow people. This makes the whole experience even more restricting than twitter and creates insular bubbles of opinions where you are only allowed to follow people you already agree with (boring).

I guess, a truly decentralized solution would be something like a blockchain where they will not be able to prevent anyone from following anyone when using different clients. Haven't seen any working solution yet.


Are you looking to break your bubble, or other people's bubble? Your first paragraph is a complaint about the former and your second paragraph about the latter. I read this as goalpost shifting.

Fundamentally, the freedom-of-speech argument of "everyone must read what I have to say" is a tired one that cannot and will not ever happen: You can't force everyone else to read your post. Not on a blockchain, not on a federated system. Blockchain may mean they have to download your content, but their client filter will always be available to never have to see another person's content even if force-downloaded. Clockwork Orange type solution is the only way to be sure a human puts their eyeballs on specific content.

In general, most admins are not proactively blocking federated single instance users unless reports come in, in which case you probably did something to someone on that instance. Not everyone is there to burst their bubble, but craft it, and depending what they want, you or I might not make the cut. Oh well.

Finally, if an anti-censorship platform where everyone must download one's speech (under certain conditions) is truly what you want, go to FreeNet. Even there, no one is required to read another's content.


> what I have to say

The entire post is about who they are allowed to follow, nothing to do with what they say. It's not about personal bubbles either.

Can download, not must download.


Exactly, I want to be able to follow whoever I want and not have an admin decide for me.

You want a single-user instance, like was mentioned before. No one else decides for you. By default a person spinning up a new single-user instance is free to follow-request anyone (most users have the software auto-accept follow requests).

Once that person begins opening their mouth, is when federated admins begin blacklisting (if required, at their discretion), preventing new follows and undo-ing existing follows. That's how they build, curate, and maintain their communities much like any other BBS, forum, or sub-reddit.

Most people appreciate a baseline standard employed by their admin so they themselves don't have to wade through porn, gore, and hateful content.

Believe me, this debate isn't new, Gab moving to ActivityPub brought the same cries of "we're being censored by admins, let the people decide for themselves". The admins, of course, laughed and said "my community members can leave or create a second account elsewhere on this open platform if they want that content". To no one's surprise, the non-Gab part of the Fediverse did not shrink.

Edit: And I've always explained to folks... advocate for single-user instances if concerned about admin decisions! Then the digital literate group of self-policing admin-users, grows! But then again, understand not everyone is on the internet to have to wade through porn, gore, and hateful content and wants to make that decision for themselves.

Edit2: Admin decisions are also transparent on Mastodon. The instance I am on for example lists decisions here: https://mastodon.technology/about/more


> You want a single-user instance > Once that person begins opening their mouth

That's the issue here, if you can't open your mouth then you might as well stay on twitter.

Also, your mastodon.technology rules clearly state it will not federate with instances it politically disagrees with but it will also not federate with instances that federate with instances it politically disagrees with. Meaning, if your pod X blocks me from following someone from pod Y, forcing me to run my own pod, then I won't be able to follow my friends back on your pod X. Sounds like a broken system to me. If person A consents to person B following them, no admin should be able to block them from doing so or forcing both of them to run their own instance (most people are not tech savvy enough and will have their voice muted, not super fair, specially for disadvantaged people).

I understand that only something like a truly decentralized and distributed system such as a blockchain would allow for something like that.


> Meaning, if your pod X blocks me from following someone from pod Y, forcing me to run my own pod, then I won't be able to follow my friends back on your pod X. Sounds like a broken system to me.

It sounds broken because that's not how it works.

When you spin up your own instance, no existing deny list anywhere on the Fediverse has your instance listed, unless you're buying a previously-used domain (which then has other, bigger problems, than this). So you can follow instance X, Y, Z, A, T, B, C, G, whoever your heart pleases. They aren't actively policing single-user instances, only larger ones, for the double-federation rule. A new clean slate, until you open your mouth and people begin curating their communities again. But this then moves the conversation from a can follow to can listen scenario. The latter of which, my first response to you was pretty thorough.

If I understand it right the only reason you are continuously infatuated with blockchain is because there is a belief that everyone downloading this "centralized" ledger of data equates to everyone having an equally discoverable voice and then an equitable chance of readers viewing a piece of content.

That's simply not true. Whatever client can be used to view this blockchain of "dialogue" can come with preset filters that ensures that, even if the data is downloaded on-chain, no human will ever see it. The chain could be lengthened with spam, burying your messages to the far past, or kilometers worth of up-scrolling. You've got the data on the machine but no eyeballs viewing it. There is no inherent value to content that is never viewed; if you believe otherwise, I have ad space on my blog to sell you!

Same outcome as the Fediverse, but way more wasteful, because there's way more unnecessary bandwidth on the network being used, as data that is never going to be read gets passed around. The protocol could be forked where your censorship-enemies agree up to a certain point on a chain is valid, and then only download the preceding merkle node content they care about, ensuring your previous content never gets propagated in the first place. In addition to the other kinds of blockchain attacks.

This is why I will keep bringing up FreeNet. If you're concerned about censorship and speech on the internet, blockchain is just a tool for a specific kind of problem (and you've yet to convince me this is that kind of problem); FreeNet is a multi-decade old network designed, and with the papers proving, to be robust against censorship attacks at multiple levels (adversarial content, network, node).

The Fediverse is a decentralized way to run communities like BBSs and Forums and SubReddits and PatreonPages that all natively interact with each other as if one data graph, but multiple different applications sharing and modifying that data graph.

Edit:

> That's the issue here, if you can't open your mouth then you might as well stay on twitter.

Is it really though[0]? Why Twitter? To me, that's a really funny suggestion! They have the sole authority to kick you off their entire network. No one can do that on the Fediverse. Rather than make a step towards a beneficial direction you see, you'd rather stick in an ugly quagmire? No offense intended, but after watching after some stubborn kids, this sounds exactly like one of their "I'd rather be stubborn and punish myself than have a middle compromise because I cannot get exactly what I want".

I do mean this sincerely: no matter where you go, I hope you feel safe to speak your mind.

[0] I ask because that means this is a freedom of speech issue, AKA what my first reply was all about. And even more validates my concerns you have some goalpost shifting going on. But the middling responses were trying to convince me it wasn't this issue, but one merely about following (aka receiving, not sending, content).


> Is it really though[0]? Why Twitter?

Because Twitter has a great network effect, everyone's on it and you can follow anyone you want, make new connections, advertise your projects or products, get your voice heard, follow people you like etc.

Nobody is on the fediverse, why would I get there? The only reason I would go there is to get complete freedom of speech, anything else, Twitter already does it and better thanks to network effects. If you are going to censor political speech you don't like just like twitter, then I see no point in switching.

With the blockchain, you could be banned from a client, but the distributed ledger would still allow you to follow people using other clients. Big difference. I agree that I haven't seen any working solution using a blockchain so far, which is what I said in my initial post. Whenever they manage to make a blockchain scale (if at all possible), then it might happen. Forking the ledger anytime there's a user you politically disagree with sounds very expensive not sustainable. Specially if the ledger is the main BTC or ETH, not gonna be effective.


I don't think everyone is on Twitter, and I'll readily admit your tone makes me think you don't care about the people that are on the Fediverse.

> The only reason I would go there is to get complete freedom of speech, anything else, Twitter already does it and better thanks to network effects. If you are going to censor political speech you don't like just like twitter, then I see no point in switching.

Twitter can ban a person from the entire network/product versus no-one can boot a person off the Fediverse. Plus native integration with blogs and music and videos and other forms of content produced from other kinds of apps. Try leaving a facebook comment from a Twitter account, let alone trying to view such a post cross-applications.

> With the blockchain, you could be banned from a client, but the distributed ledger would still allow you to follow people using other clients. Big difference.

You can always spin up a single-user instance that is receive-only to ensure you get the diverse content you want.

Blockchain or Fediverse, replying would still be filtered out (by the popular blockchain client that filters your stuff, or by fediverse blocks on your send-and-receive account).

I'm going to step away from this conversation, I've pretty much said all I can on the matter, and have been talking in circles.


I used to be an ostatus user and enjoyed the concept, can't remember pods being banned at this rate back then, or at all. I care about the fediverse more than you think.

> Try leaving a facebook comment from a Twitter account

That's a feature no one really want, I hated when people mirrored their tweets to facebook for example. Different apps, different crowds, don't mix it.

> You can always spin up a single-user instance that is receive-only to ensure you get the diverse content you want.

Well no, did you read your own mastodon.technology rules? I can get banned from following from one pod if I follow people from another pod it doesn't like. Even if I don't say anything. Even twitter isn't that extreme.


Something to specifically point out about that example of admin decisions lists is that there are 3 categories for an instance block (silence, suspension, block), 2 of those categories still allow instance members to follow (if they so choose) accounts on the silenced or suspended (not yet entirely blocked) instance. The "people" generally often are free to decide for themselves and "over-rule" a hasty block by an admin on a follow-by-follow basis.

I'd say it's more of Twitter India issue than main Twitter. Twitter banned many Pakistani and Indians accounts without any notice who were raising voice against 3 months+ Kashmir lockdown against Modi govt.

pknerd 10 days ago [flagged]

Calm down, dude. You are doing over efforts to defend Modi regime on this forum. They are not going to pay more. And do not cite me Propaganda Indian media here. It does not matter to any other than Sanghis.

We've asked you before to stop doing nationalistic flamewar on HN. If you keep doing it we're going to have to ban you.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


Apologies. I should not have responded to him on this forum in first place.

> Calm down, dude. You are doing over efforts to defend Modi regime on this forum. They are not going to pay more.

Thanks for the concern. But I'm very much calm. You made a factually incorrect post without backing up with any credible links. I'm not defending Modi regime here. It would be great if you could tell me how much do you get paid for peddling anti-Modi Propaganda here?

> And do not cite me Propaganda Indian media here. It does not matter to any other than Sanghis.

Sorry to inform you, but you do not speak for everyone here. Could you point out where did you find Propaganda media in my comment? Maybe it's your background that's forcing you to think whatever doesn't agree with you is Propaganda?


Nationalistic flamewar will get you banned here. Please don't post like this to HN again.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


An article with only anecdotes on a country of 1bn people... BBC is a shadow of it's former glory.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love people moving from Twitter to Mastodon, but this article doesn't have any substance.


Unless you actually delete your Twitter account you're still complicit in Twitter.

Twitter only has clout because of the people who hold accounts there that make it appear like it's more than a glorified internet forum.


I made a parody account of Trump (everyone was doing it, it's passe now) and then I had my main account suspended. I was willing to give us the Trump account, but it turns out there is no way of telling Twitter this and when I asked for a review, they did absolutely nothing.

Turns out, it was one of the best things Twitter every did for me. My life is way better without it. It's not actually sour grapes, after seeing what Twitter is doing and what people are using Twitter for - any good is definitely way outweighed by the bad of the platform.


Headline is trivial/weasely.

Some metrics would be interesting.


For context, some high profile activist / journalist accounts have been suspended of late. There's been a noticeable right-wing leaning enforcement of twitter policies in India.

I think the trigger point was when Jay Shah's account[1] got a blue tick despite being a dormant account with a just 19 followers (at the time of being verified).

Twitter India then issued a statement, which further had the Streisand effect:

https://twitter.com/TwitterIndia/status/1192384055884447744 (heh, just noticed the ratio on that ! :))

[1] https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/with-zero-tweet19-...


It's a bit more complicated than that. Twitter has been also banning right-wing leaning accounts as this comment mentioned.

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21482041

Also, there's the fact that Twitter was summoned by a Parliamentary panel when someone accused them of curbing non-left leaning voices.

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/twitter-india-summoned...


> It's a bit more complicated than that.

I really don't think it is. The replies on that twitter thread I posted there, from a couple of days ago clearly indicates (or at least implies) that the people leaving the platform are most likely the people unhappy with Twitter India's right wing bias.


BBC always there to pick up any anti-India topic. It amazes me every time.

Source: I read the news on daily basis from various sources to avoid bias media.

EDIT: I'm not on any political party side. Actually have voted for NOTA.


What's anti-India about switching to an open platform? If anything, I'd consider it forward thinking on Indians part.

I have my profile in Mastodon and use it. Nothing backward about it. I suspect the timing of it with the recent allegation against the Indian government for suppressing anit-bjp solgan.

I did read the article. How's it anti-India?

I sympathise with Twitter. India is number 1 on the list of countries that request for information on social media users and also in requesting censorship.


> I sympathise with Twitter. India is number 1 on the list of countries that request for information on social media users and also in requesting censorship.

And they have a good reason for that. This is from the article:

The report said most of the blocked content was critical of the government's recent move to strip Indian-administered Kashmir of its semi-autonomous status, and were made after requests by the government itself.

There was a massive misinformation campaign against India on Twitter in the aftermath of abrogating article 370. Many of these tweets originated from Pakistani handles[1][2]. They have even started impersonating top Indian military officials on Twitter[3]. And it seems that they are not just stopping with Kashmir. The propaganda campaign even covers Rafale and Tamil Nadu[4][5].

I agree with you that the article isn't particularly anti-India. However, the article should've provided some more context considering that a lot of BBC readers are from the West.

1. https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/crpf-j-k-police-kashmi...

2. https://www.poynter.org/fact-checking/2019/a-third-of-mislea...

3. https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/pakistan-s-fake-news-p...

4. https://www.news18.com/news/india/as-rafale-adds-to-firepowe...

5. https://qz.com/india/1727752/pakistan-bots-helped-gobackmodi...


I seem to recall that BBC India is considered by Indians as more reliable than local news sources.



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