cc is a user on You can follow them or interact with them if you have an account anywhere in the fediverse. If you don't, you can sign up here.

Twitter has users. Mainstream (Silicon Valley) tech and drug dealers are the only two groups to use that term to describe people. And they're both obsessed with manufacturing addiction and exploiting those people. Calling people users is a form of othering.

Let's do better.

Mastodon doesn't have users. Mastodon has people. Call them members if you must. But not users.

Twitter, Facebook, and Google have users. We have people.

CC @Gargron

@aral @gargron Words, words, words. People are so focused on coming up with new words every day, rather than taking real actions to effect change in the world.
I don't give a shit what you call me, it's your actions that matter.

@cc @Gargron Can we care about both? :) One reflects upon the other and vice-versa. While I agree that formalism is a scourge, what I call you matters as it reflects on whether I respect you or not, whether I dehumanise you or not.

I agree that words alone do not matter. I agree that actions matter. I feel, however, that words do matter also and that they affect actions, whether to incite them, legitimise them, temper/prevent them, etc.

cc @cc

@aral @gargron So I guess all Im saying is that more emphasis should be placed on the meaning and the context of what someone is saying, rather than the words alone, because everyone will have different connotations for those specific words, but the context is usually more clear.
You usually can tell if someone is intentionally trying to be an asshole, versus someone who means no harm, but simply uses a poor choice of phrasing.

@cc @aral @Gargron But history shows that by choosing words, we choose connotations, and over time bad connotations can be exploited. Trying to minimize it I see as a good thing and worth the effort. Just my 2 cents.

@crecca @gargron @aral Words are just symbols on a screen until we imbue them with meaning. It is up to us to choose what meaning we give them.

@crecca @aral @gargron There are different degrees of offensive words. One should not assume that all offensive words are equally known to all people.
This is particularly important for new-ish terms that have only been recently coined. It takes a while for language to spread, so perhaps a grace period is warranted.
You can be less lenient with older terms that have been well publicised and *most* people should be expected to know.