Unpopular opinion: By blocking Gab, you’re helping Nazis. You’re creating a safe space for them where they are among each other, not having to face contrary opinions and being able to radicalize themselves without intervention or it being noticed and acted upon by others.

I’m German and we had and have plenty of Nazis to deal with. Isolating them from society didn’t help, it only made it worse and meant we didn’t notice how much they radicalized themselves until they started killing politicians

I know ignoring and blocking Nazis is easy. I thought about this problem before when I noticed some of my Facebook friends, who were always very pleasant in real life, suddenly started posting Nazi shit. I thought about just unfriending them. That would have been easy. But instead I talked to them, pointed out flaws in their logic, and indeed sometimes changed their mind by that. It almost always made their opinions less radical and thus stopped them from radicalizing further.

I know it’s hard and needs a lot of energy. But if you convince just one Nazi that they’re wrong, isn’t that worth it?

Of course, it also requires you to talk to them calmly. It involves listening to opinions that make you cringe. But after that, you can point out why their ideas are flawed and force them to actually think about them. And in my experience they’ll listen because you listened too.

You won’t get that by just blocking and insulting them, that will only push them to radicalize more

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I would just point out that it is difference between people behind the screen and people you know and trust in real life.

@selea I don’t think the distinction is screen or not - it’s how well you know a person. Of course it’s always easier the better you know a person.

@js Patient, persistent, respectful disagreement is the only way to change the mind of someone who is in the process of radicalizing, especially if they're someone you already have a connection with.

Looking at that IRC log Ginny shared, I think @kaniini and someone else went a long way toward pulling DashEquals back toward sanity.

Spending time talking to people on the margins is not appeasement. But Gab as an institution is another matter.

@js Even if not blocking Gab gives you a chance to try to talk sense into some of the people there, it also gives Gab more reach, legitimacy, and power. You might be better off creating an account there and DMing people rather than federating with them. Then you can just use their local or federated timeline to find likely candidates for deradicalization.

@freakazoid @js do I want to look at this IRC log? I have her and her instance blocked bc I find them exhausting, but I heard about the log and am somewhat curious.

Youre forgetting that a large userbase has one primary goal, and that is to harass people they dont like. So, opening your users to mass harassment just to maybe convert a few people is not a good idea.

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