Diversity on Micro.bog

This is partially in reply to Jonathan LaCour’s tagmoji suggestion and about the issue in general, since I’ve seen other people talk about it in the typically shallow way so many of us seem only capable of doing so.

Whilst it is important to avoid making it easy for people to be abused on Micro.blog, I think “improve diversity” is a rather shallow demand made with perhaps good intention but very little thought. We need to look deeper, at how our chosen web platforms work and the things we can do to substantially move away from a monoculture without falling into tokenism and other such behaviour.

First, before all else, Micro.blog needs to have a robust set of moderation tools. When even super priveleged white tech dudes are talking about how they have noticed a lack of moderation tools as compared to Twitter, then you know there is a fundamental flaw that needs to be addressed. I’m not joking here; a lot of people compliment Micro.blog with comments like “it reminds me of the early days of Twitter/Tumblr!” and guess what, it was in those early days those platforms utterly failed to prepare for the inevitable decline into savagery employed by hateful people.

We are in the early days of Micro.blog; now is when we decide the hard work of future-proofing against problems we see elsewhere is not just worth it but one of our top priorities. The platform already has issues having been founded in the white tech monoculture of the US and other white Western countries, against which Jean has already worked with manual curation of the community but it is also up to us, the community itself, to push things forward; we have the freedom of non-VC demands but also the constraints of fewer resources and so must dig in and help where possible.

Let’s talk about different things, different people, different cultures, speak with people who aren’t already a part of our lives, and never be afraid to read criticism without becoming defensive and deciding that “the world is too sensitive” or some other nonsense.

Since a part of Micro.blog’s built-in monoculture is being so Apple-heavy, let’s take their marketing seriously and actually think differently.

Simon Woods @simonwoods


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