Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Meanwhile at journa.host on Mastadon, The Journalists....

....appear to have descended into a Fyre Festival/Hunger Games/Lord of The Flies enclosed lab experiment.

From the New York Times, November 21/22:

....And some of the relative calm Mr. Davidson sees may also be a function of journa.host’s narrow user base. It’s a server just for journalists — or more accurately, the people the administrators of journa.host deem to be journalists. That has led to accusations (on Twitter, where else?) that the server is an attempt by the moderators to “gatekeep their peers.”

In response, Mr. Weiss said that being denied entry to journa.host doesn’t currently prevent access to journa.host content, which users of many other Mastodon servers can see.
Regardless, any attempt to turn journa.host into a walled garden, free from the issues of Twitter, is probably doomed to fail: The conflicts that have at times inflamed Twitter have already caused problems for Mr. Davidson and his team.

On Nov. 18, the journalist Mike Pesca, who hosts the popular news podcast “The Gist,” posted a link to a Times story about health concerns associated with the puberty-blocking drugs sometimes prescribed to transgender youths, writing, “This seemed like careful, thorough reporting.”

In response, Parker Molloy, a journalist who writes the Substack newsletter “The Present Age,” accused Mr. Pesca of anti-trans bigotry, and then posted angrily at Mr. Davidson for not removing the post.

“@adamdavidson’s decision not to take action on anti-trans content isn’t inspiring confidence and I totally understand why other places are doing instance-level blocking,” she wrote on journa.host. (Instance-level blocking refers to the ability, on Mastodon, for one server to block content from another.)

Zach Everson, one of the journa.host administrators, responded that he agreed with Ms. Molloy, then added, “Banning someone for posting a link to an NYT article sets a precedent that we really need to work through.”

On Saturday, journa.host suspended Mr. Pesca, who was informed via a text message from Mr. Davidson, a longtime friend. (The two are currently writing an exchange of letters hosted on Substack, about the nature of cancel culture.) According to Mr. Pesca, Mr. Davidson told him he had been suspended for referring to Ms. Molloy as an “activist,” which was dismissive. The suspension “seemed arbitrary and ad hoc,” Mr. Pesca said in an interview; Ms. Molloy didn’t respond to a message seeking comment.

“We want to be a place for passionate engaged discussion,” said Mr. Davidson, who recused himself from the decision because of his relationship with Mr. Pesca. “But we don’t want to be a place where people insult each other.”

Also on Saturday, Ms. Molloy appeared on a different Mastodon server, and announced that she, too, had been suspended from journa.host for her posts....


And from Vox's culture columnist, Aja Romano:


And from Heidi Moore:


We have quite a few posts from Ms. Moore's days at the Wall Street Journal including 2008's:

Lehman Brothers: Deal Journal warrior goddess Heidi Moore is live-blogging the call. (LEH)
That's MarketBeat's David Gaffen's description of Heidi, here's the link.