Of sexbots and trolls: The competition heats up

Mark Weinstein, the founder of MeWe, recently posted this message (I added the boldface):

All social media companies and others are in a constant battle with the bots, trolls, and scammers/spammers that have way too much time on their hands as disruptive critters. Of course now that we’ve become popular, they are doing this on MeWe too. In light of our remarkable and rapid growth, we think the competition recently underhandedly funded a sexbot attack.

You may have noticed this little invasion – in a chat, a group, or a contact invitation. We’ve got it under control and are purging the little buggers. It is a good exercise for MeWe’s engineers as we’ve developed new spam/sexbot attack tools rapidly and deployed them. If you ever encounter any of these misfits, simply ignore them, or block and report the little cretins.

As the admin of the HTC group on MeWe, I had gotten three requests from “ladies” to join. Looking at the profile pics, I decided not to respond. One “lady,” a certain Diana Di, was very persistent.

When I read Mark W.'s message, I finally understood what was happening.

This is a good question to ask members: Have you ever received this kind of request?

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I manage the Humane Tech Community account on Mastodon, part of the Fediverse.

I told you how I liked the decentralized Fediverse, where many individually managed (and moderated!), federated servers interoperate together to form a much larger social network. The network is organic, messy and the culture feels anarchistic. All cultures, opinions, sexual orientations are allowed, and it is very inclusive in that sense. It feels like the internet in its early days, before large corporations took over.

This also means, naturally, that pornographic material is spreading on this network. So how does the Fediverse deal with that?

Well, first of all: It is allowed. There is full freedom of information and freedom of speech at play here.

But if you are not looking for sex pictures and such, the fediverse offers an advantage over centralized platforms (like currently MeWe still is… though they have future plans to decentralize), and that is that moderation is federated/decentralized as well. The Fediverse consists of 1,000’s of servers (instances), each with their own moderators and moderation policies. When you are not interested in porn, you just join an instance that does not allow it, e.g. - if interested in technology - join mastodon.technology. Or start your own instance and do your own moderation.

TL;DR: The Fediverse makes human moderation manageable :slight_smile:

When I posted on this topic, I was wondering if other members had been targeted by sexbots and, if so, what their experiences were.

I have a close friend who was addicted to sex and porn sites and have fictionalized his experience in a novella.

I don’t feel that most porn (as opposed to material produced by lovers for each other) is compatible with humane tech as it degrades and exploits both the user and the used. Basic human rights–such as the right to own one’s person without manipulation by someone else–are violated in the production and consumption of porn.