raincoat OP said ()

I can see more free speech sites moving to an invite system in the future as a defense against bots, feds, shills etc.

It was encouraging to see from this link you posted that they acknowledge the futility of shutting down sites and are having to come up with new tactics.


These communities simply migrate to new or dormant chans – all implement the same HTML structure and are very easy to replicate

One such tactic would aim at gradually making these boards less interesting for their users. One way to achieve this would be to regularly post content that looks genuine (using the right language, imagery, etc.) yet is meaningless – this would dilute the message of these boards and make their threads uninteresting, thereby reducing their attractiveness and sense of community.

Recent developments in artificial intelligence enabling researchers to generate credible extremist sentences make such a tactic cheap and easy to implement”

I had suspected that this was going on a lot but it was still interesting to see it officially described as a solution to the futility of shutting down forums. Agree that the intelligence of the current user base is a plus, especially since AI generated posts are a major tactic that they are now using to suppress communities. Bot accounts can blend in on some sites but would eventually stick out on a forum that has more in depth discussions.

Not a fan of the site but Kiwifarms seems pretty good for free speech. Might want to add that one to your list.

I think ramble could go under the radar, or at least be low priority for leftist groups for a long time if posts about race and jews continue to be a relatively small percentage of the content. With a broad user base that will be the case naturally without anyone self censoring.


raincoat OP said ()

I think the ramble.pw domain is really memorable. The “pw” makes me think of password, which fits since a lot of the discussion here is security related. OTR can stand for a lot of things. I’m guessing you might be thinking of “off the record” but others might see a url like otr.cx as just a series of randomly picked letters and not be able to remember it.

IMO it doesn’t make sense to make code open source and then get mad when people use it. Maybe she would feel better about it if you put something like “built with postmill” at the bottom of the page and put a link to the postmill repo. I don’t know why she’s mad though. Maybe after the community has grown more, some users who have a lot of experience with PHP can take a thorough look at the project and make the judgment call about whether it would be easier to continue with the postmill code or make something from scratch.

I think it’s good to have plenty of tech and privacy content. A lot of crazy tech related things are going to happen in the coming years. I think CBDC is the most urgent danger but there are also advances in AI, robots, gene editing, brain chips etc. that could be used in harmful ways by people in power so it will be important for there to be private censorship free spaces where people who are knowledgeable about technology can talk about these things.

If the site does evolve into something more broad, people can still follow the tech forums though. I think one disadvantage if it is too technology focused is that the site could miss out on some really interesting users. For example, a historian could come across the site or be invited to it and then after seeing the front page full of computer and privacy related links, feel like it isn’t the right site for them. I think some of the most interesting conversations happen when people from different fields and backgrounds come together to talk. For example, in response to some news article someone posts about the war in Ukraine, a historian, an economist, and a veteran discuss it in the comments. That’s probably going to be more interesting than replies from a few security researchers and Linux nerds. Another example, a programmer makes a post talking about a stock trading bot that he wrote. He might appreciate input from someone who works in finance or trading.


raincoat OP said ()

I get it. It’s really easy for tasks, errands etc. to pile up during times like that. Sometimes you have to block out almost everything except the most important and urgent tasks (and maybe hire or get help for some tasks). Don’t worry too much about how the site is doing. The functionality is good. I think most people report bugs so you are aware of them, not to put pressure. And feature requests are just ideas. The site has a lot of potential even with no new features. Guessing it might just need around 15 or 20 more users to really start taking off. An invite system could outsource the work of promoting the site, but it makes sense to postpone any coding and new users coming to the site until you’re less busy. Invite-only could reduce the regular bad actors but probably not the ones who emit a mysterious light.


raincoat OP said ()

I can only think of one person off the top of my head, but for me it would be easy to find more since I have a reddit account where I save interesting posts. If you go on other forums, you could just keep the idea in the back of your mind when reading and if there's someone who's really knowledgeable about a subject or has interesting ideas or research, you could invite them or make a note of their username to invite later. Like I said, it doesn't have to be a strict Mensa thing. The main caution is to avoid inviting NPCs from either the left or the right.