TOTW: No No-Platform

Last week, after Crimethinc, IGD, Enough is Enough and others were banned from Fedbook, our friend Ziq gave us food for thought with this post on raddle:

We can't keep expecting platforms owned by far-right billionaires to stay honest. Anarchists are the biggest threat to any capitalist, so of course they're going to shut us down at every opportunity.

[There are many important anarchist projects, each serving a different purpose], but they can't continue to exist in a vacuum while the social media behemoths are busy closing ranks to ensure all our efforts are stifled...

[raddle has] always encouraged anarchists to use our platform to grow their own platforms. But it's not a one-way street. There needs to be a concerted effort between all the aforementioned anarchist venues to amplify each other's voices. Cross promotion is the only thing that will keep us all alive and kicking...

If you were to promote other anarchist sites/venues/projects/whatever, how would you do it? Would it look like Facebook and Twitter, Cabal and Plemora, banner drop and billboard, or something completely different? What are the pros and cons of each?

Who would you promote? Who would you not? Let's not just have a list of names; let's hear why you chose this one over that one, why anews was on top of your list, and why you'd never in a thousand years amplify [you name it].

Does amplifying voices mean banding together, like Ziq suggests, or does it mean going it alone, but louder?

Who already does promotion the way you'd like it to be done? Who does it in a way that you can't stand?

Is it as important as Ziq says to cross promote each other's voices? If you think it is, how would you like to see it play out in the days ahead? If not, what are other ways of keeping us all alive and kicking?

There are 39 Comments

I always hated Facebook and didn't like anarchists using it, but I think the model of using it until you get kicked off, and then kicking up a fuss about it to discredit the platform, is basically right. I think anarchists should probably keep doing that on all of these platforms as long as we can.

But yeah, we should probably band together to promote an alternative platform in hopes of getting a lot of people to start using it. Often we're early adopters, or at least—canaries in the coal mine.

As for what that platform should be, I'm not a tech person. I'd love to hear others' proposals.

I think every minute on Facebook is death and live in hope that anarchists will soon desert it. I'm not convinced Twitter or Mastodon et al are much better.

The shallow materialistic hedonists well outnumber the intelligent people, sometimes there are some good giveaways in the barter sell swap market section, or one can chance upon an interesting social group in ones region. I use it like a tool and don't get into the ego status exchanging and benefit from the relationship, but then, I'm such a cool individualist, I can only enjoy this life cos its a day by day trip, the sun rises and its another day I survived, whoopee, sooo damn autonomous even under welfare, yeeehaaa, life is so good even in mass extinction event!

If anarchists ran around town shouting through one of those (acoustic megaphone in pic) instead of posting online, what would happen?

How can this discussion be had in a way that is relevant to the ongoing revolt in U.S.A. and the conflicts that have been characterized as rising over fascism and civil war? Are anarchists prepared with anything that resembles a backup plan if overt censorship and even more overt propaganda against anarchists in the Internet becomes the norm in U.S.A. as it is in many countries? Linking to each other presupposes that anarchist presence will be allowed and tolerated, or at least inevitable on the Internet. A safe bet for now, but I guess only worry about bad things when they happen.
And what is the focus of this broadcasting and communication? General interest? Entertainment? Distraction from the world falling apart as we tweet?

I really don't think we, if I may use the plural, have a backup. Most anarchists are totally wedded to the internet. Many of them/us have never laid eyes on a printed anarchist publication. Some live in the same town as an anarchist bookshop, but prefer the internet. I'm starting to think that if we ever are forced offline, it might not be such a bad thing after all.

"if we ever are forced offline, it might not be such a bad thing after all."

here here !!!

of more relevance to me in the ongoing c-19 crisis. the internet has proved surprisingly useful these last few months. even a luddite like myself has to admit that was it not for the various online forums i frequent it would have been a very lonely time for me. perhaps the same effect could have been had with a telephone and an address book. perhaps i should have been braver and left the house more. perhaps the internet made it worse, but it didn't seem like that. it seemed like a great help in a time of great need.

re. other anarchist projects:
i've been enjoying OAK JOURNAL. they have a few podcasts (radio shows?) uploaded that kept me company.

Too bad Indymedia's mostly dead. But if Anews and other sites don't have backup servers, I don't know where their brains are. Some groups in Canada should stop circle-jerking and co-host them, so it gets more complex for 3-letter agencies to shut them down. And do it NOW. Because it's just a matter of time before this whole online network gets shut down by Trump's mafia.

Utter hypocrisy. Ziq uses various sock puppets to aggressively troll and gang up on users on his own site in order to foster a group-think mentality. He even admitted to it:
If you're not sufficiently "woke" you will get attacked, threatened and banned by the overzealous admins and they are constantly scrutinizing posts to ban people for saying "ableist" words like dumb or stupid.
The basic concept of Raddle was good but unfortunately it is run by toxic people that give anarchism a bad name.
Don't use raddle and don't support it.


After that ziq deleted the post and went back to doing the same thing: many of the sock puppets he used including some of the ones mentioned in that post are still being used (also as mods for forums pertaining to groups and ideologies he doesn't even support or belong to) and he "returned" to being admin (the user "leftous" who become temporary admin was also ziq). Ignore the warning signs if you really want to but anybody that was on that site from early on will tell you the same: Ziq is an extremely manipulative and opportunistic person and his site is exactly the worst place to promote for users looking for a social platform against censorship, ideological purges and no-platforming.

Okay. That's interesting. I did see some insane moderating and gang-up going on in that site... But what evidence you got of such devious, manipulative sock-puppeting by Ziq?

Perhaps you could spill a few beans instead of just throwing... claims?

"After that ziq deleted the post and went back to doing the same thing"


"many of the sock puppets he used including some of the ones mentioned in that post are still being used"

Lie, I just checked all of them and the only one that still posts on occasions is "Defasher" but it hasn't been used maliciously.

"(also as mods for forums pertaining to groups and ideologies he doesn't even support or belong to)"

Complete lie. The couple of accounts that aren't deleted aren't modding any forums.

"The user "leftous" who become temporary admin was also ziq"

Now I know you're full of shit. Leftous HATED ziq and constantly attacked them both on raddle and reddit, and even tried to get the users to abandon the site forever. What's your evidence?

"the worst place to promote for users looking for a social platform against censorship, ideological purges and no-platforming."

The only people ziq got into fights with using alts were tankies and transhumanists who were saying some really fucked up things and banning anarchists for saying the Holodomor was bad. ziq apologised to them in that post for some reason and they then spent a whole year ddosing and spamming the site in response, as well as repeatedly doxing ziq. So ziq took back the apology (deleted it and publicly explained why) and stopped trying to be inclusive to tankies. None of us who use the site miss the tankies or their drama.

I have a lot of problems with ziq and their primmie politics, but the things you're saying are deliberate lies so I felt the need to speak up.

It really proved that apologizing to tankies is a horrible idea since they then spent a year ddosing the site, filling it with 1000s of bots and doxing ziq.

I like raddle. It does what it says: gives an alternative to Reddit*. If you got banned then what can I say? Just make a new account and be more careful next time. You don't even need an email address to register, same as anews.

* the /anarchism and /debateanarchism subs on there are still okay. I imagine they'll be banned soon.

Why would somebody that gets banned for a stupid reason even want to use the site after seeing how it's controlled such an unsavory little clique of cyber-bullies? If you like it there fine but it's bullshit to say that being able to avoid a ban by making a new account (which raddle does not officially allow) is some kind of saving grace. The point is that Ziq is in no position to promote his site as an anti-no-platforming site because his history of trolling and heavy handed banning shows exactly the opposite.

"The point is that Ziq is in no position to promote his site as an anti-no-platforming site"

Where is Ziq doing that? What does asking for an anarchist media alliance have to do with no platforming people who use slurs?

If you want to use slurs, obviously raddle is not the place for it, they don't try to pretend otherwise: It's right in the terms of service.

I don't think we need to "promote" anarchist social media. I've used discord in the past and can't get into it when theres a large number of people on it, like larger than usual social groups. 20? sure yeah I can do that. The one I'm thinking of doesn't exist anymore, but a lot of us are friends irl and hit each other up when we're traveling through where others live. Theres something lost when the groups get too large. Even my twitter circle is tiny and I try not to interact with too many people outside it bc it just doesnt draw me like getting to know someone does.

Lots of small groups, even on the big platform. I dont think they banned like small circles of friends sharing memes, just people trying to reach big crowds of people who probably arent worth reaching anyways.

I agree. I think promotion is a mistake, in fact the opposite should be the aim. No one has to know where you and your friends chat or meet up or what they're up to. People can come on an invitation basis, if someone can vouch for them. Something like riseup.

Enough is enough and some other banned counter info sites have been falling back on old internet tech and creating pages of RSS feeds. North Shore has this for Canada sites. There's an events listing site for stuff in Montreal and those survived in some other places from back before fb killed it all. Changing habits is hard, but once people get used to visiting a couple of news sites, if those sites have habits of linking between each other it can do a lot to bridge the content-finding function of social media.

Having more and better counter info sites is a part of this.

tl;dr the problem is web 2.0

Agreed, RSS is great, linking is great, back to the old ways, let's do it!

I think there are situations where no platforming self-proclaimed anarchists makes sense, like when they're promoting authoritarian politics (anarcho-tankies, pedos, racists). Those kinds of people will only harm anarchy if we amplify their voices, and push good people away in favor of shit people.

That said, I do think we are all overly reliant on corporate social media to disseminate our news, organising and propaganda. They can easily pull the rug out from under us and it's becoming increasingly likely now that both Biden and Trump are publicly saying anarchists need prison.

Anarchistnews and Raddle are both very good platforms for giving oxygen to other anarchist projects. No is going to check 30 different anarchist sites everyday, it all needs to all be assembled in a couple of places so it's easily accessible and has an added social element.

At a minimum, all the news sites should have Anarchistnews and Raddle accounts where they share all their articles. But ideally, they'd go further than that and also promote Raddle and Anarchistnews and all the other sites on their own sites. An anarchist media network could conceivably replace our reliance on Twitter, Reddit and Facebook and give people a real alternative to the surveillance theatre.

> Those kinds of people will only harm anarchy if we amplify their voices, and push good people away in favor of shit people

who decides who's a good person and who isn't? i'm guessing: YOU

Sure, why not me? I'm perfectly capable of rejecting a pedophile or a racist when I see one. I don't need a committee to tell me a duck is a duck.

I suppose you've wielded this power from an early age against your mom's numerous lovers heh? :)

especially one that doesn't immediately and constantly eat its own children.
just want to remind us all that the more significant (and isolated) anarchists get (and i am pro both significant and isolated anarchists), the easier it is for our enemies to target us specifically. having only one or two significant anarchists sites makes it more likely that those sites will be taken down by any of a number of options, cointelpro-style or otherwise.
decentralized infrastructure and clarity about whether we're guerrillas or some other form of fighting force... both good things.

I'm a fan of Diaspora, as far as social media goes. I know I follow Anarchist News there, I'd love to see more Anarchists on that platform. I like it because it is simple and organized in a similar way to facebook but without the algorithms and ads.

who else do you follow on there? i've heard good things about that platform

I recommend The Anarchist Library as an anarchist site. I'm pretty much a neo-ludd, yet having access to all those texts and being able to contribute is something special. Anyone I give half a shit about I recommend to go to The Anarchist Library and just have a search. I fucking love The Anarchist Library.

I have high regard for Anarchist News too. They also welcome contributions and it aggregates information without seeming at all biased. I'm sure I'll never understand the cold shoulder and poor reading they get; thank fuck!

Soooo, I've been off faceache for years now, and twatter for around two years or soooo. Even though I'd cultivated a very good ad blindness, I don't miss, regardless of algorithms and overt turds on the brain, the shitshows and distractions at all. Still, I recently created an account in the Fediverse (that seems an unfortunate term). Despite immediately feeling the hunger pangs of physical dissociation, I did glean an interesting reading recommendation from what was looking to become another mere frozen moment of my own beaufonted egoist jizz. Anyway, after finding the recommended text on an academic website, I decided to upload it to The Anarchist Library; which seems as good an ethical resolution as there could have been here.

As for banding together... If there were ever a more innately disparate bunch of bedfellows willing to try their luck and test their dreams it is anarchists. The stories, terrain and ecology are different for every one of us and I'd be happy if no one just shit on the other's endeavors for lack of an ability to communicate a care, a critique, or ask a question.

And with that, promotion feels such a cold loaded word to use. How about sharing? I fancy a cuddle.

to me it seems just like an "independent", "autonomous", "anonymous" version of MasochistBook and Celebritter.

I wouldn't call it independent, autonomous, or anonymous.

i tend to see print books as a better source of get to see SO MUCH OF ONE PERSON'S THOUGHT, you can then hopelessly wonder or draw your own conclusions, you can also time travel, whereas most things social media related just seem to be a type of validation scheme. People never seem to tell you or know what they really think about something, which is often the case with print books as well...


So my two cents are that we need a healthy online ecosystem of social platforms.

I know Mastodon isn't for everyone, but I think it provides a nice balanced between decentralisation and accessiblity. But even then, depending on how 'accessible' you're determined to be, you may need to still extend hyphae into the big data-crunching, big tech social malaise. But the attitude should be one of drawing people away, rather than parasitising yourself to the platform's whims.

If Mastodon isn't your flavour, then I can strongly recommend Secure Scuttlebutt; it is in fact so decentralised that you host your feed on your computer. It is a 'slow' network, that focusses on deep connection with a small group of people rather than farming a huge group of contacts you barely speak to.

I do think cross promotion is pretty important, and I would like to see more people going back to RSS again.

I wrote a post a while back on my blog loosely themed around "biodiversity", the health of the internet being part of that. I would love to see people re-popularising the format of RSS.

I think the biggest disservice to the online experience being performed is the curation of content through the three or four discovery platforms most people use in the modern day; Facebook, Google, Twitter, YouTube (there are others, but the point is that the internet is no longer a place of holistic, chaotic discovery.)

I would love to see a return to popularity of RSS, feed readers, and tiny little niche comunities. Though similarly, I should probably hang out on raddle more.

Shit, is it time to attempt bringing back the web-ring?

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