Why are places like this RevLeft and RevForum dying?

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petey
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Dec 30 2017 15:42

will the pm function still work?
i have one or two to answer, maybe get about it right now sad

DevastateTheAvenues
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Dec 30 2017 16:43
jef costello wrote:
I think it will be it from me too, but I disagree with the faddism charge, although there do seem to be a fair few leninists, probably waiting for the central committee to approve using Facebook.

Just a few reasons not to use Facebook for everything.
https://libcom.org/news/few-reasons-not-organise-facebook-30122017

There seems to be a belief that facebook is somehow neutral (a massive misconception) and that we can fight back (we can but often lose because facebook has far more in common with the right wing than us and because building a better world is more complex that dog whistle racist memes) and that we can rebuild, every time a facebook page is shut there are a lot of people who won't notice, or won't look for its replacement. We lost loads of corrrespondents when libcom was hacked and it was a massive shame. I didn't think at the time to switch people to email, or at least get an email address and that was an error. Not forgetting that we were on a friendly organising site, not an at best ambivalent one that will happily sell our information to anyone. If they will allow advertisers to specifically target depressed and emotionally vulnerable teenagers (or rather pitch the idea to them) then why not lefties?

Another point on why Facebook isn't neutral ground: https://theintercept.com/2017/12/30/facebook-says-it-is-deleting-accounts-at-the-direction-of-the-u-s-and-israeli-governments/

radicalgraffiti
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Dec 30 2017 16:45
DevastateTheAvenues wrote:
jef costello wrote:
I think it will be it from me too, but I disagree with the faddism charge, although there do seem to be a fair few leninists, probably waiting for the central committee to approve using Facebook.

Just a few reasons not to use Facebook for everything.
https://libcom.org/news/few-reasons-not-organise-facebook-30122017

There seems to be a belief that facebook is somehow neutral (a massive misconception) and that we can fight back (we can but often lose because facebook has far more in common with the right wing than us and because building a better world is more complex that dog whistle racist memes) and that we can rebuild, every time a facebook page is shut there are a lot of people who won't notice, or won't look for its replacement. We lost loads of corrrespondents when libcom was hacked and it was a massive shame. I didn't think at the time to switch people to email, or at least get an email address and that was an error. Not forgetting that we were on a friendly organising site, not an at best ambivalent one that will happily sell our information to anyone. If they will allow advertisers to specifically target depressed and emotionally vulnerable teenagers (or rather pitch the idea to them) then why not lefties?

Another point on why Facebook isn't neutral ground: https://theintercept.com/2017/12/30/facebook-says-it-is-deleting-accounts-at-the-direction-of-the-u-s-and-israeli-governments/

i dont think anyone thinks facebook is neutral, its just where people are

DevastateTheAvenues
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Dec 30 2017 16:51
radicalgraffiti wrote:
i dont think anyone thinks facebook is neutral, its just where people are

Oh yeah, I don't disagree, just adding some more info to jef costello's point. That where people are is so slanted against left and anarchist organizing should be a big argument for keeping our own spaces, though, so that we can bring people from where they are to where we are, away from where Facebook can control the conversation.

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jef costello
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Dec 30 2017 16:52
Agent not available wrote:
I kind of miss the times when newbies would regularly log in and ask the questions one would ask when first getting into radical politics. Nowadays, it seems like no one is interested.

I rmember when I was starting out there were lots of discussions, perhaps it's because people just don't come here first any more. I sometimes wonder if we only get new posters when something blows up on twitter and people set up accounts. It does show that people value sources, at least to the extent of attacking them.

rg: perhaps neutral is the wrong way, but people see it as a fact, like a street being a place where you walk, and that is dangerous because we need to think beyond it and unlike a street, or even a shop or even a military base we cannot really occupy or subvert it.

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Serge Forward
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Dec 30 2017 18:16

Never bought the "it's where people are" argument about Facebook etc. In the 1980s, Militant used to say we should all join the Labour Party because that's where "the masses" were.

satawal
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Dec 30 2017 20:00

Yes, and its goodbye from me too then.

Thanks again to both the admins and forum contributors. Your work over the years has been very helpful both re political projects I have been involved in and for me personally.

Re the personal, for some years a while back I had a pretty depressing period of estrangement from anarchist circles IRL due to work and domestic pressures. These forums made me feel somewhat still connected, and that was important for me at the time re my happiness and sanity, and it allowed me to maintain (an admittedly precarious) self-vision as an anarchist, and that was a definite bridge to my present reengagement IRL.Thank you all.

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Uncreative
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Dec 30 2017 21:03
Serge Forward wrote:
Never bought the "it's where people are" argument about Facebook etc. In the 1980s, Militant used to say we should all join the Labour Party because that's where "the masses" were.

Saying Facebook is where "people are" is more like saying we should leaflet at city centres rather than empty fields in the countryside because thats "where people are". Its a comment on the availability of an audience, unlike the line from Militant - no one is "at" the labour party.

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Serge Forward
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Dec 30 2017 21:43

No problem with groups having a Facebook profile, but any more than that is futile. There seems to be a correlation between the increase in social media use and the decrease in meaningful political activity... unless social media is your political activity, and I'd bet it is for more than a few. Put it this way, a fight for control of the streets might be worthwhile; a fight for more likes or friends on social media is not.

radicalgraffiti
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Dec 30 2017 21:46

fairly sure the labour party never had 2 billion active members

https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/27/facebook-2-billion-users/

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darren p
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Dec 30 2017 21:55
Serge Forward wrote:
No problem with groups having a Facebook profile, but any more than that is futile. There seems to be a correlation between the increase in social media use and the decrease in meaningful political activity... unless social media is your political activity, and I'd bet it is for more than a few. Put it this way, a fight for control of the streets might be worthwhile; a fight for more likes or friends on social media is not.

These days if you want to organise any kind of successful public event you pretty much *have* to promote it through social media and Facebook. That's where people get their information and, with targeting, that is where you are most easily going to find people that might be receptive.

Mike Harman
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Dec 30 2017 23:21
petey wrote:
will the pm function still work?
i have one or two to answer, maybe get about it right now :(

If it doesn't we'll try to make sure there's some kind of replacement. Also in general there'll be plenty of warning before any of this happens - lots and lots of work involved on updating the site in general still to be done.

radicalgraffiti
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Dec 31 2017 00:02

me: i'm going to the pub, my friends are there

Serge Forward: this is like when militant told people to join the labour party because thats where the people are

me: ???

radicalgraffiti
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Dec 31 2017 00:05
DevastateTheAvenues wrote:
radicalgraffiti wrote:
i dont think anyone thinks facebook is neutral, its just where people are

Oh yeah, I don't disagree, just adding some more info to jef costello's point. That where people are is so slanted against left and anarchist organizing should be a big argument for keeping our own spaces, though, so that we can bring people from where they are to where we are, away from where Facebook can control the conversation.

yes agree, one reason i am interested in mastodon is it makes it possible for us to run our own social media, although its more like twitter than facebook

Spikymike
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Joined: 6-01-07
Dec 31 2017 16:44

Well I know the future belongs to the youth but I fear too many changes that pass as 'modernisation' to this website may see a number of us 'oldies' disappear into the mist of time no more to make our valuable contributions based on our experience. Like so many other things it is the case that we older pro-revolutionaries are as likely to be victims of social isolation as the rest of our kind, but then maybe it's just the time of year and a bad cold that's bringing me down! Too ill even to sink my sorrows in the pub.

Spikymike
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Jan 2 2018 14:29

Getting rid of all the old Forums would it seems sideline a number of the otherwise useful discussions based on linked longer articles in other journals and blogs that sometimes get posted here but don't reappear in the admins controlled selection of material on Facebook. Less registered user input more admin control perhaps?

Spikymike
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Jan 2 2018 15:36

See separate item on Feedback Forum.

Mike Harman
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Jan 2 2018 22:20
SpikeyMike wrote:
linked longer articles in other journals and blogs that sometimes get posted here

If they're interesting and not in a publication that's going to hunt us down for copyright, why not post to the library and discuss underneath?

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klas batalo
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Jan 6 2018 01:09

libcom killing the forums is idiotic its the only reason I come to stay up to date with latest updates on current events and analysis like rebellions and things. I mean the library is super great resource. but the thing that brings me and I bet a lot of other regulars here is the feed of forum posts. but idk you all know your site better than us.

probably should start a libcom based reddit if you do nix them

Wayne
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Jan 10 2018 17:23

I am by nature nostalgic and would be very sad to see the libcom forums close. I posted quite a bit in enrager Web 2.0 days (often in a way that, now online communication has developed and behaviour has become related to real world activity and etiquette, is pretty embarrassing). But I've no idea how much work goes into sustaining forums that - purely due to how people use the Internet - are not used anything like they were 10 or 15 years ago.

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Steven.
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Jan 10 2018 22:46

Just to say, as mentioned in the other thread the plan is not to close the forums as such. Just get rid of the forum structure (like news, UK, blah blah blah) which most people don't really use (most people use the tracker) and which don't really make much sense (as forum topics overlap).

Nor is the plan to delete stuff. It is to simplify the site by combining forum threads into a single section called Discussions, which people can navigate using the tracker, or a Discussions-only tracker.

We did discuss potentially closing the forums to new posts, especially as historically we have got more shit from people about the forums than the whole rest of the site put together, primarily because of stuff posted there by users, often which we may not have even agreed with. But because it is on our site we get held responsible (in a way which people do not do with sites like Twitter or Facebook, where people acknowledge that individual users are largely responsible for their own behaviour)

that said, we haven't come into much criticism in that regard for a while, and as people have pointed out there is a space for Discussions, for example for new people who have questions which they would like answering, or for discussion of current events which we don't yet have a news article about.

But anyway appreciate people's comments here, and people's feedback generally!

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klas batalo
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Jan 11 2018 02:26

ah that's a relief

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Tarwater
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Jan 11 2018 06:28

Seeing as I don't use twitter, reddit or any social media, I wonder if anyone could speak more in depth as to the quality of discussion on any of these forums. When I have dipped a toe in they've seemed poor but I don't have enough experience to say for certain.

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Vlad The Inhaler
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Jan 11 2018 08:14
Tarwater wrote:
Seeing as I don't use twitter, reddit or any social media, I wonder if anyone could speak more in depth as to the quality of discussion on any of these forums. When I have dipped a toe in they've seemed poor but I don't have enough experience to say for certain.

Agreed. I did experiment with reddit a couple of weeks ago but it just isn't the same. Twitter and Facebook have always been absolutely useless as centres of discussion.

radicalgraffiti
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Jan 11 2018 14:14
Tarwater wrote:
Seeing as I don't use twitter, reddit or any social media, I wonder if anyone could speak more in depth as to the quality of discussion on any of these forums. When I have dipped a toe in they've seemed poor but I don't have enough experience to say for certain.

it depends who you follow and on facebook what groups you are members of

Spikymike
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Jan 11 2018 14:20

That's right but there are problems with so many often 'self-contained' separate facebook groups some ostensibly with the same objective or purpose. That doesn't apply to the libcom Facebook which the admins seem to solely! control but then discussion doesn't seem great there either if I'm not mistaken?

Mike Harman
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Jan 11 2018 14:30

Our Facebook is a page rather than a group, a group would directly compete with the forums here.

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Shorty
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Jan 11 2018 16:05

Have had a similar experience with Reddit as well, both the anarchist and the communist subreddits really are "a mixed bag" *ahem*. Still really like LateStageCapitalism though.

Would be great if there was a libcom subreddit but I guess that would also compete with the forums here.

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klas batalo
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Jan 19 2018 21:46

the thing about here is there's a very long term user base that are versed in libcom basics to help deal with all the newbies... these other spaces are way more open to just 101 discussions etc.

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Agent of the In...
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Jan 21 2018 16:33

A few months ago, I saw Russell Brand on his YouTube channel, in a conversation with David Harvey, equate anarcho-syndicalism with Gandhi's vision of village socialism. Unsurprisingly, Harvey saw nothing wrong with that definition and the conversation moved on. And I didn't expect much more from the two of them, since neither of them identifies with anarchism.

But I have come across that kind of mistake in defining anarcho-syndicalism in an anarchist subreddit thread, where it was basically reduced to a 'model' or type of future, post-capitalist society. And to my surprise, I didn't come across anyone disagreeing with that at all. It seemed to be some kind of shared 'consensus'. Now you can argue that 100% of everyone posting there are newbies, but I still find it incredible that in a 101 discussion such as that, no one stopped and say, "hmm, that doesn't sound right".

Like how does that even happen? Especially when there's so many resources available online for learning about these things.