[edited to include additional video clarifying that I am NOT talking about bias here.]
I’ve been largely observing the self-immolation of the birdsite with bemusement. I typically only post links to it at all anymore, especially since the most toxic elements have been actively recruited to come back and hate speech spiked there.
I watched the bans and removal of posts, somewhat surprised that I’d not gotten any notifications of removals yet (or notification of my "archive" of my prior posts to that site being ready). I kept my auto-poster running simply to do my part to ensure it did not just become an echo chamber for bigots and hate.
I presumed that since I’d received no notifications that meant that my account was being left alone.
How foolish of me.
I’ve talked about post removal for no appreciable reason before in terms of other social media sites. Back in 2018, when Google+ temporarily suspended me for reasons that I still don’t know, I wrote this:
If you don’t personally own your website and data, you don’t have a website or data. Quite simply, you cannot rely on someone else for you to have a website, platform, or social media presence.
I don’t think I’ve ever been quite… this right before.
I saw the latest news reports that the birdsite was finding links to supposed "competitors" — including sites that simply listed everywhere you could find a person — and removing them..
Sure, that IGN article has a clarification that this policy has been just as suddenly reversed as it was implemented. Except I’ve already logged back into the birdsite, and confirmed something — my profile was altered without my knowledge, approval, or notification to me that it was changed.
The change is documented on the Internet Archive, or the screenshots below. Despite the birdsite claiming the policy has been changed back, the text of my profile was not reinstated.
To me, this means that literally nothing on the birdsite can be trusted.
I know other people who have been on the birdsite as long as I have — since 2008. I originally used that site with a phone with a T9 keyboard. Even if you didn’t know me personally, that multi-decade history meant that someone could tell that the same entity was behind that account.
There is a degree of credibility that comes with that kind of history. A kind of credibility that, regardless of what you think of my reliability as a source of ideas or information, you could at least trust that what was posted to that account accurately reflected what I intended to post.
That assumption is no longer true in any way about any information on the birdsite.
Yes, having my account suspended from G+ was annoying and frustrating. The opaque removal of years-old Instagram posts with no appeal process was also annoying and frustrating.
Having things I wrote altered without my knowledge or permission is terrifying.
Having links that I intentionally posted being altered or removed without my knowledge or permission is terrifying.
That is a line you cannot un-cross.
Think what you want about certain CEOs and their politics. Agree with me or not. That does not particularly bother me.
Now I cannot even trust that what I read on that site at all has any resemblance to what was posted.
On any — I repeat any — account on the birdsite.
It would be more reliable if it was written on the wall of a bathroom stall.
I have updated my post about how to get selected posts from the birdsite to recommend to avoid doing so. Get your information directly from the source by using RSS whenever possible, because the birdsite has actively demonstrated that it will not just remove things that the current management disagrees with… but will silently change what was posted, and — as of this writing — not change it back.
This does not just go for individuals.
News organizations, academics, and the like should immediately and permanently consider anything on the birdsite as less reputable and reliable than anything posted to an archived Geocities website with flashing text from 1999.
For those wanting to follow me on Mastodon — my instance is largely a private one, hosted by me — I’m https://faithcollapsing.com/users/StevenSaus[@StevenSaus@faithcollapsing.com](https://faithcollapsing.com/users/StevenSaus "@StevenSaus@faithcollapsing.com").