polotek ,
@polotek@social.polotek.net avatar

The CEO of Post News DMed me on twitter a while back. My impression is that part of his job was trying to convince prolific posters to come over and hopefully bring some part of their audience with them.

I politely declined. I noped out of Post News once I understood that Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway were involved. I don't want anything to do with a community shaped by those two. (It's okay if you like them. We don't need to talk about it.)

polotek OP ,
@polotek@social.polotek.net avatar

I was on Twitter for almost 15 years. Not quite an original, but damn close. I've canvased a bunch of the upstarts trying to fill the gap now that Twitter is slowly imploding. Post News, Spoutible, Hive, a long tail of other stuff. They all made various mistakes. But that's not it. You can survive a lot of mistakes when building a social network.

polotek OP ,
@polotek@social.polotek.net avatar

The unforgivable thing for a new social platform is when you try to tell your users what you're were gonna be. You can't tell us how to use it. You can't tell us we're doing it wrong. We tell you.

We make you successful by deciding to choose your platform to post whatever we feel like. If enough of us choose to do that, maybe you can be successful. But I guarantee it won't look like what you thought when you started. And the worst thing you can do is try too hard to control things.

polotek OP ,
@polotek@social.polotek.net avatar

Anyway, the CEO of Post was trying to find common ground. I told him I didn't think I was the kind of person he wanted on his platform. I said I believe our views are incompatible. He pressed me to explain to him why. So I did. And he blocked me.

I knew then that they didn't have what it takes. 😂

RufusJCooter ,
@RufusJCooter@mstdn.social avatar

@polotek Ah, yes, the ol' "Thin-Skinned Social Media CEO"

Maybe it's just me, but that seems like a pretty bad match of personality trait to career choice - yet, surprisingly common!

reconbot ,
@reconbot@toot.cafe avatar

@polotek Lololol I love it

brianstorms ,
@brianstorms@mastodon.social avatar


Every time I logged into Post I looked around, scrolled a bit, scratched my head, then posted a post along the lines of, “um ok I am here on Post, I still don’t get it, I’ll check back in a while to see if it’s finally starting to make sense.” Couple months later, another “um ok I am back here on Post, I still don’t get it, I’ll check back in a while to see if it’s finally starting to make sense.” Over and over, every couple months, crickets.

CEO blocking is pretty bad, geez.

gretared ,
@gretared@sfba.social avatar

@polotek “I invite you to hang out in my club but if you answer questions I ask I kick you out.”

evan ,
@evan@cosocial.ca avatar

@polotek whoa. You told him, the people on the network make the network what it is, and he blocked you for it?!?

polotek OP ,
@polotek@social.polotek.net avatar

Think about it though. Everybody likes to say "we just want people to connect and communicate". But in reality, every last one of these people actually started a social network because they have very strong opinions about what people should post online. Massive egos in every single instance. I mean I assume that's the only reason you would choose to do something like this.

polotek OP ,
@polotek@social.polotek.net avatar

It's true though! That dude started by assuring me that he wanted to mix it up with different view points, as long as it was "civil".

Some time later... "No, not like that."

polotek OP ,
@polotek@social.polotek.net avatar

To be clear, no it wasn't just about what I said in this thread. I had much more choice words for him about why I found our views incompatible. I told him about my view of Swisher and Galloway. I think I even pointed him to run-ins that I had with them on Twitter (don't remember exactly).

The short version is that I told him, very politely and "civilly" mind you, exactly why I personally found his chosen partners to be trash.

polotek OP ,
@polotek@social.polotek.net avatar

To be fair, I think that's a fine reason to block me in a general sense. If those are his people, he should stand for them. But he reached out to me. And the context was specifically about how he would love to see my voice added to Post News. He got an up close demonstration of what my voice is like, and he decided to rethink his initial assessment.

It's not the first time this has happened, and it probably won't be the last.

polotek OP ,
@polotek@social.polotek.net avatar

What I mean is that I'm like this all the time folks. I have strong values, and I don't like to mince words. I'm not everybody's cup of tea.

polotek OP ,
@polotek@social.polotek.net avatar

I will happily forward any complaints to the Administrator.

fox ,
@fox@front-end.social avatar

@polotek I really appreciate you and your integrity. Happy I can follow you on here. Thank you for sharing over the years, I’ve learned a lot from you.

timbray ,
@timbray@cosocial.ca avatar

@polotek I was kinda interested in their micropayments-for-paywalled-articles thing, but unfortunately I'm also convince that the days of privately owned centralized social networks are just over.

polotek OP ,
@polotek@social.polotek.net avatar

@timbray that's probably true, and probably for the best. The pendulum may swing again at some point, but it'll be a while.

raven667 ,
@raven667@hachyderm.io avatar

@polotek @timbray It may be true that large centralized social networks are dead but they are so big now that unlike say the era of MySpace there are enough users who won't suddenly quit that they can be influencial and sustain themselves for a long long time on the fumes of their early success.

Like a Lovecraftian horror the dead social network still lies dreaming and those dreams are still capable of inducing madness

RegGuy ,
@RegGuy@mastodon.world avatar

@polotek On Spoutible I made an unforgivable post that flew in the face of the direction of the site, thus becoming persona non grata. I left of my own volition, to their credit they didn't oust me.

dec23k ,
@dec23k@mastodon.ie avatar

@RegGuy @polotek
I signed up on Spoutible, refused to give them my phone number, and was therefore unable to post.
Even though they promised to keep everyone's phone numbers safe, they all got leaked.

RegGuy ,
@RegGuy@mastodon.world avatar

@dec23k @polotek

Yeah they won't release it, but others will. Those are daily occurrences now.

dec23k ,
@dec23k@mastodon.ie avatar

@RegGuy @polotek
It was one of the worst leaks ever. They left the door wide open on a 3rd party API; it wasn't even a breach.

They claimed that they emailed all their users about the leak.
I use unique email addresses for signups. My Spoutible one is listed in @haveibeenpwned but I got no email from Spoutible. According to some posts that I dug up at the time, everyone who didn't give a phone number got no email from Spoutible, and that's OK because we're not fully verified users.

RegGuy ,
@RegGuy@mastodon.world avatar

@dec23k @polotek @haveibeenpwned I never heard of that leak. I was a supporter before it launched, was a premiere user and it went a direction I was uncomfortable with and said something. The community came down hard on me. Lost a bunch of connections, got blocked, deleted all my posts and left.

dec23k ,
@dec23k@mastodon.ie avatar

@RegGuy @polotek @haveibeenpwned
The leak happened early in February 2024:

I signed up pretty much everywhere, after Space Karen bought Twitter. Most of my Twitter mutuals decided to move to Mastodon, but some chose Spoutible, probably based on respect for the good work that was done on BotSentinel. However there is a sense of "circling the wagons" evident in the overall Spoutible community, and the founder has doxxed people who don't agree with him.

RegGuy ,
@RegGuy@mastodon.world avatar

@dec23k @polotek @haveibeenpwned They claim they delete all your data when you delete your account, so hopefully I didn't get hacked. I used a throwaway email. I don't recall having to give my phone number though. Perhaps first in got away with just email.

polotek OP ,
@polotek@social.polotek.net avatar

@RegGuy @dec23k @haveibeenpwned the Spoutible guy was definitely untrustworthy. The signs were there, but it was hard to pinpoint. I don't think we did enough to warn people away. It didn't help that he's Black and draped himself in strident DEI language.

RegGuy ,
@RegGuy@mastodon.world avatar

@polotek @dec23k @haveibeenpwned It felt like a safe place, as a Latino I thought I'd also fit in, man was I wrong.

kissane ,
@kissane@mas.to avatar

@polotek what did you say to that man 😭

polotek OP ,
@polotek@social.polotek.net avatar
mwl ,
@mwl@io.mwl.io avatar


This isn't just for social networks.

You create something. You fling it into the world. People gonna do what they gonna do with it.

You might make a better left-handed monkey wrench, but people might decide it's the perfect wine bottle opener and give it as a gift. No way to know. You accept that or fail.

Heck, IIRC OnlyFans didn't start out with its current clientele in mind!

Amazing how many folks in tech don't understand this.

KatM ,
@KatM@mastodon.social avatar

@polotek All true.

poswald ,
@poswald@mastodon.social avatar

@polotek that’s kind of the difference between a community and a social network. You can set community standards but a social network has to work for all communities… even ones that think you are lame and mock you. Post always struck me as a journalist community (which could be an interesting thing!) more than a social network.

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