Quitting MW/Reddit/FB/Social Media


i might have to get that paperback




I’m a bit late to the conversation on this (had no time over the last day+), but I want to comment on Twitter, and how I see it as a somewhat different entity than the other social media platforms being discussed.

I see it more as a tool than as a place to spend time or even as a place to communicate. I used to look down on it, but realized too much of a window and perspective on to marginalized communities was present on it to be ignored, so I joined. It has been invaluable. Utterly invaluable, as a political tool, and as a door in to socio-political, philosophical, and critical/theoretical avenues I might have missed. That it serves as an announcement platform for musical or mountain/climbing related stuff for me is ancillary.

It’s also become a useful activist tool.

An example: some of you might be aware of the @slpng_giants campaign to defund Breitbart of ad revenue via advertisers who were not aware they were advertising on it via AdSource, AdWords, Google, etc.

Kellogg’s was the famous start, but hundreds of companies have pulled their advertising as a result. I myself have gotten Vintage King to blacklist Breitbart, some other companies probably not known here, and, as of yesterday, Blue Shield California. Hundreds more people are making the small efforts required to get it to work, and it’s having an effect.

So there’s that, in favor of Twitter.

FB is mostly a sad, degenerating place of horror.

But I persist.

Mostly for the friends’ pictures of kids.


I have tamed Facebook somewhat. I have a list of friends and family whose posts I never want to miss. Lists are not algorithmically filtered, they show every post from every person on the list in chronological order. I’ve intentionally limited my list only to humans (I even named it “Humans”) and do not include any Pages. If someone is bothering me, I can remove them from the list. They can always be re-added later. No “unfriending” drama. I also block specific sources, and anybody that doesn’t know how to behave with respect. I’ve been posting enough about the harm that fake news and memes do that it seems to have influenced my friends.

That being said, the more you tame Facebook, you start to realize, the less that little red dot lights up. And the less active you are, the more silly the whole enterprise appears. I guess I mainly stay there for Messenger these days. And the occasional “Call you representative” type of political post. And a few friends share interesting think pieces about science or art or literature or music.


[quote=“jasonw22, post:103, topic:5618”]
…The less active you are, the more silly the whole enterprise appears.

I maintain an active presence here but reach this tipping point with nearly every other site/forum/platform

which brings me back to this thread


That thread is an excellent conversation about self. It is only recently that earnestness became a quality that I valued in my online self…I am not known for enthusiasm or humility in the real world, but good online communities bring that out in you, a desire to be better and to help when you can. Reminds me of a quote from one of my favourite books by Vonnegut:

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.


Just chipping in (belatedly) to say that I think this is a valuable thread and I’m glad it wasn’t deleted.

In terms of the discussion around MW: as others have said, I view it as an extremely valuable source of expertise, enthusiasm and geeky discussion, while simultaneously feeling uncomfortable with many of the prevailing social and political attitudes there. All my conversations have been perfectly pleasant, but you don’t have to dig very far to discover the kind of faintly locker-room-like atmosphere people are alluding to here.

Those kinds of spaces have every right to exist, of course, but I think it would be in MW’s long-term interest to consider how its prevailing attitudes on issues of language, representation and inclusivity might come across to others. I don’t think people should be afraid of voicing those concerns, whether here or on MW itself.


Do they? I mean, I’m not advocating for censorship. But is it OK in a moral sense (not a legal sense, we do have the 1st amendment) to create spaces that simply aren’t safe for large numbers of (most?) people?


Difficult question - I think it is good in a moral sense that those places have a right to exist as the alternative is as you suggest “not advocating censorship, but…”.

And while it is always right to point on things that are questionable like the subtextual and sometimes open sexism on MW, making clear that you are not content, I think there still are much bigger problems on the internet to fight against.

Because on the other side there actually are spaces that may have no right to exist as their main goal is to be malevolent.

In my opinion one of the main reasons that it is so civilized, nice and easy here is that lines is pretty small and pretty ambitious. Reading some of the above posts, and from my own experience as someone who does not understand a lot of the tech stuff discussed here there is a barrier to overcome. I think this will change a little bit though.


Interesting point. I think if you’re approaching the question solely as a moral one, then you’re going to get a different answer from everyone you ask.

Personally, I haven’t seen anything on MW which strays into abuse, incitement, or any other areas where I feel that restrictions on speech become justifiable for the protection of others. I’ve seen plenty of people being puerile, sexist (in the abstract, rather than targeted at anyone) and generally ignorant, but I don’t think it’s morally right (or actually terribly productive in the long run) to try and change those behaviours by simply prohibiting the spaces in which people currently exhibit them.

I guess the grey area, though, is that taking this kind of low-level stuff cumulatively, it may end up playing a part in normalising harmful attitudes and placing people at risk. I’m not really sure what the answer to that is, but my personal inclination is generally to aim for open communication wherever possible, even with people whose views I find unjustifiable, and use the argument that certain views shouldn’t be given space only as a last resort.


Feminists and people of color refer to these as micro-aggressions. Great idea to call them out in a respectful and polite manner for those who may be unaware of the impact of their behavior. But when it becomes likely that doing so will only escalate the situation, you have to consider whether people really are so unaware, or that harm is unintentional. There isn’t always a bright line between “oops” and “abuse” but for those who are vulnerable, many cannot afford to take the risk to find where that less-than-bright line actually exists in a particular instance.


I’ve only been visiting MW for roughly a month and only posted a few times. So far, I’ve had positive experience there.

And then there’s this wonderful thread: https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=172838


I don’t advocate the restriction of anyone’s right to say what they like, but there’s an inherent, built-in sexism here that can’t be ignored.

Again: the website is named Muff Wiggler. How many women (or anyone with a vagina) have knee-jerk avoided participating in it purely for that reason? I’m going to guess a lot, my partner included.

If the website were called Asshole Diddler, would we all be cool with it? Would we still deal with someone shouting “What’s yer problem, you puritan? It’s obviously a reference to this cool LFO, not about butts or molestation. Get over it, you SJW blah blah blah blah” every time you brought up that it was kinda problematic?


Right, agree with all of that. By accepting that objectionable or even potentially harmful opinions have a right to be expressed, that doesn’t mean that I think they’re exempt from criticism, or that the people most at risk from them should be expected to take on more risk in order to challenge them. That’s part of the reason why I think it’s crucial for the people already within MW (and other communities like it) to be far more open to collective self-criticism than they currently are.

I guess it depends what you mean by “is it okay?” for these spaces to exist. I don’t think we should ever be relaxed about the expression of harmful views, or be slow to criticise communities whose managers / moderators / leaders take a hands-off approach to them. At the same time, I think focusing on whether or not these spaces deserve to exist treats the symptom rather than the cause: close a forum and the views of the people using it don’t vanish; they usually just re-emerge somewhere more isolated and less amenable to outside scrutiny or open debate, with a stronger sense of victimhood, making the process of discussing (and hopefully changing) those views even harder.

I realise that being part of spaces in which people feel comfortable voicing harmful things feels like a capitulation, but I genuinely think that engaging critically with the way in which these spaces operate (assuming, as per the above, that doing so doesn’t incur additional risk) is better than seeking to shut them down.

In terms of places where there’s a level of animosity which makes that engagement impossible; yes, if we were talking about 4chan then I’d take a different view. But I don’t think anyone’s claiming that MW is at that level, are they? Certainly nothing I’ve seen on MW suggests that people are beyond the bounds of meaningful debate, but then maybe I’ve been lucky.


Is anyone actually arguing with you on this? Of course the name is sexist, and of course people on MW will argue because they’re on the forum itself and don’t think they’re personally sexist. I feel like you’re sort of preaching to the converted here, though, and the discussion has become more about the content of the site as opposed to the name. I’ve listened to a couple of interviews with Muffwiggler (the actual guy) and I feel like his responses to any questions about it are sort of mealymouthed, or at least along the lines of “yeah, haha, get over it. [It’s just a name] (https://youtu.be/LpirW1Vbz1o?t=51s).”

Having said all of that, as a newish member of lines, it’s literally the only music technology-related forum I’ve ever visited where discussions such as this one begin with the acceptance that these kind of issues exist instead of saying straight away that a) diversity doesn’t matter or b) that there’s no difference in the opportunities afforded to women who want to be a part of these communities. It is an absolutely refreshing place because of that (among a few other things too!).


Hm, I am not a native english speaker and at first I thought it is just a name as Muff Potter, maybe with some reference to fiddling around with knobs and connectors. I looked it up on some point when I joined and found it has to do with either something technical or something to warm your hands in when iceskating wich confirmed me in my first impression.

It took quite a time until I learned that it seems to have a sexual connotation, which I did not full grab by now. After looking it up again muff could be a (quite cute) word for pubic hair (?) and a wiggler seems to be a worm or someone who shakes things around.

Anyway it seems to be pubertal and a bit stupid in a typical boys style. I see that it is often annoying for women when men can’t stop to make out sexual references in nearly everything and that it can be frightening too. We should not do that very much.

On the other hand, sex is great fun and an as lively as vivid activity, yet we often feel shame about it so we make jokes with it. As long as those jokes are not bound to violence, objectification or degradation of others because of their way of life, sex or gender I think it’s fine in the sense of that’s how we are (people in general I mean).

I tried to look it up to understand the point but I did not fully get it - why would asshole diddler be offensive (apart from being awkwardly stupid, yet a bit anal )?

I think this is not just a tactical question. It is about if we want to shape other people as we want them to be or if we want to let them freely develop themselves. We have to bear them then and encounter them with openness, which sometimes is hard. In my experience the hard part is mostly connected to meeting parts of ourselves in them wich we cannot accept.

Apart from that I think discussing if MW should be closed for a better world goes a bit over the top. Even if the world might be a better place with less masturbation emoticons and jokes about bees and flowers.

I tried to add something to this to express my liking but I think there is nothing to add:


Not sure if this has been posted previously but its worth reading the background on why it is called Muff Wiggler. https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=488

adds a lot of background, and I think the pertinent sentence is

> I’ve never suggested that my silly little place on the Internet become any portal for synth info, or anything else for that matter. It was really just a dumb joke that took on its own organic growth.

I can sympathise that the owner never intended it to get as ubiquitous as it is…

the weird thing about social media, is that no one decides for it be ubiquitous, it either hits the wave or doesnt… Muff and Facebook were there at the right time, and thus we are stuck with using them… the best bet is to be fearless in calling out any behaviour on the internet you find to be unacceptable, on any forum/website. even lines :hushed:


Sure, but it’s possible to rename a site / community.


This one for example :wink:


That’s a very interesting point. I was actually just musing over a similar idea as I was reading through this discussion. I’ve always been more in favor of politely challenging in order to better understand someone in a disagreement, but what should the approach be when the other side is hurting out of intentionality? Should they be shut down or do we bite our lip and continue to attempt at a mutual understanding as to why such harm is a bad thing? I know what sounds ideal, but the sea of bold and mostly faceless online users tends to complicate social situations past idealism.


I can’t say what everyone should do. I only know that my reaction is to avoid places that harbor abusers.