An excerpt from AttentionConversation 3 of 3
Nilas Yeah, don’t post Are.na on 4Chan.
Matt Yeah, can’t everything turn into 4Chan? What stops Are.na from turning into 4Chan? Just goodwill?
Nilas There is some intention, but then there are parts that don’t work, and it could become like a virus or whatever and affect the whole thing. I feel like if like 4Chan community started interacting with Are.na, it could be devastating.
Dan It always starts with good intentions. All these projects, including Facebook, all start with good intentions. But yeah—is there anything structural in Are.na that makes it deeper or slower? I mean some things. It’s hard to imagine those things stopping a 4Chan community.
Daniel All my references are Korean, but there's this social media platform called Around that was popular a couple years back. I think it's still around but they haven't updated the app in over a year so I'm guessing it's on its way out. It was marketed as this anonymous, wholesome, supportive platform where people could post onto this singular feed with likes and comments and tags. It was an attempt to strip the social media platform down to its positive intentions, and wildly positivie intentions the app had. The craziest thing was that this actually worked. The anonymous community moderated itself. I was on the platform for a while and I never saw a negative post, comment, tag, etc. It became this large, often sappy, utopian online support group that gave you full anonymity. My friends and I all thought this really shouldn't/couldn't have worked, but it did. I think even the developers were surprised (The description on the app's download page says: "There are no names on Around. So it's full of honest stories and real information. But somehow, it's unbelievably warm.") Around acheived its wholesome community goals, but I feel like people were waiting for imminent destruction, for someone to wreak havoc, either to watch the utopian platform crumble, or to put up a fight against it. This never really happened, and I think it might be why the platform lost its popularity. The community moderated itself so well it almost felt censored, dystopian. I wonder if we've come to expect destructive tendencies in the social platforms we as users build because that's human. Around was pretty 'quiet' on all fronts, despite its growing user count. Maybe we've been conditioned to gravitate towards louder rooms? Because real crowds and communities are loud?