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Author Topic: Do people read what's written on personal websites?  (Read 682 times)
devils
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« on: May 26, 2023 @559.29 »

So, this question has been on my mind for a couple of weeks now. Every once in a while, especially on Neocities, I see people link to websites that, while competent, include some questionable/controversial stances very out in the open, even though the person linking to them seemingly disagree with all of them.

It makes me wonder how many people actually read or look through the content in websites. I mean, I once even saw someone link to a link directory that included actually illegal sexual content. Another instance included a personal website that supported the war in Ukraine, along with actual nazi talking points.

It really weirds me out how someone can say «here are some cool websites» and not explore them thoroughly. This especially seems to be an issue in Neocities, where a lot of people link to others based on how pretty their sites are. What do you think?
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« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2023 @566.04 »

I usually try to crawl around a website before linking it. That being said, some sites are big and some stuff may not be out in the open, so in that case I concede I very well can miss something.

However half of what I have so far linked on my page is downright chaotic and half of it is explicitly in line with my core views, so I'd hope I'm not missing anything.

I think it also stands to be said that personal websites, unless they are abandoned, are ever changing. And sometimes you just link something you liked and then don't visit again for some time. People may not even be aware that something controversial had been posted.

But also yeah "this looks cool visually!" is definitely an approach that exists, I think.
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devils
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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2023 @572.42 »

I think it also stands to be said that personal websites, unless they are abandoned, are ever changing. And sometimes you just link something you liked and then don't visit again for some time. People may not even be aware that something controversial had been posted.

Oh, this is a very good point, actually! It's the reason why I don't immediately distrust every long-running site with lots of buttons that happen to include questionable additions (except the one linking to illegal stuff, that one was just out in the open from before the moment the webmaster included it).

I feel like «this looks cool visually, I'm going to link it» is a left-over mindset from social media in a way. It's no secret lots of social media users repost articles based on their title alone, so it's no wonder something similar happens when moving into a personal site for the first time.
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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2023 @583.24 »

I kinda thought of that since there are some sites I've seen linked many times that was made by some TERFy types or whatever like hmm, do the linkers know. Anyways, I do browse the websites before linking. I don't have many links anyways (for now at least).
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« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2023 @589.77 »

I should look through all of the sites I’ve linked now! :ohdear:
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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2023 @707.96 »

I do~ Not every single page on every site but I take a good look around to see if they are not promoting or doing anything I disagree with, of course the content can change with time but one can only do so much.

If you have a dni lists on your site it's your obligation to curate what you link to, not the contrary. I think most people are just unaware of any malicious content or simply don't care tho.

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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2023 @734.35 »

yeah like. I mean obviously if it's not right out in the open it's not necessarily fair to immediately blame someone, but like.

look neocities is obviously not anything like twitter or tumblr, but a big reason why I left those sites is because I received a lot targeted harassment or saw people sharing the words of bigots who were given a platform by people who didn't look into their views, didn't care, or who secretly agreed with them, and giving platforms to bigots is not just an online thing either. it's dangerous and in the worst case it gets people hurt or killed.

and while I'm not necessarily afraid of being harassed anymore, I do have a certain gut-reaction of like. worry. and I think people from marginalized groups who have seen the damage that platforming these people does have the right to feel that worry. that maybe the person who linked to that site DOES share those views. that maybe they shouldn't have felt so safe and comfortable in that space after all.

and to be clear, I do think people should be approached in good faith about these things and not immediately deemed a bigot or a danger to others, I'm just offering a perspective as to why I think it is important to at least look into people a little bit more than just a cursory glance to their web page.
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« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2023 @741.69 »

i take a look around and try to get a feel of who the person behind the website is before linking, but as others have said, websites can be added to constantly. it's especially hard when there's a breadth of wonderful content and there's a blog under construction for a while, and then they end up posting a bunch of offensive opinions in their blog that doesn't end up getting seen by anyone who links to them unless they visit frequently.

and visiting frequently to check the content of every site isn't really feasible for a lot of folks, especially depending on how many links you have. in my opinion, there has to be a level of personal responsibility here of, once you see content that you find offensive, clicking off the site and/or putting that site on your personal block list. it doesn't mean that anyone who links to them shares those views; they might be linking to them for a variety of reasons, not cosigning their personal views. this is kind of the nature of everyone having their own space on the web.
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« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2023 @906.57 »

Definitely an interesting and difficult topic! I personally would wanna know if someone I link has something I should look into. It doesn't have to be something definitively categorized or a direct accusation, instead I would like something like "Hey, I know you follow/link <person> but you might wanna look into what they're saying here".

The others here made great points already. I try to not follow or link that many people so I can more or less keep up with their stuff more closely, that's kinda why I follow or link them in the first place. The feed and activity is usually slow enough for me due to the small number so that I don't miss out on much; of course they could delete the post or Neocities could simply not post the update (like it does for me sometimes..). I've always been someone to keep my follow lists very small (like 10-30 people) no matter what platform and regularly check stuff out again and unfollow if needed. I know I am in the minority there though, since I think most people follow anything they like and basically never unfollow, amassing a huge list of content they like or used to like.

And I really enjoy checking out the sites thoroughly not necessarily for some "problematic stuff check", but also to get to know the person better, get inspired, and finding enjoyment  and connection in the descriptions of their hobbies or even their most mundane day. And I wanna know how their sites develop and how they change and how they're doing mood-wise, so I do keep tabs on people and check up on them weekly or biweekly. Some more than others. I think people could be a little creeped out about how much I remember, notice or know because I really read all their stuff, and even their archives :grin:. Sometimes I even check up on people I don't actually follow with my account, because I see they are inactive for unusually long in shared spaces. But of course, stuff can slip through the cracks.

Something I think is difficult to define but maybe has to be spelled out for each person to be sure of their own boundaries is maybe what is exactly controversial in a harmless way/agree to disagree, and what is unacceptable. I don't have to align fully with the people I follow and I think I don't follow anyone that gets overtly political on their blogs anyway, but of course there is a line that can be crossed. And of course, there are the especially important topics that are dear to my heart that I cannot compromise on. I wanna say that, because I don't really align with some of the more puritanical seeming ideas that have sprung up on some places of the internet where people are asked to unfollow anyone they don't align with a 100%, or like "I had a fight with that person so now all of you have 24h to unfollow them or you're getting softblocked".

Like for example.. I can deal with someone being considered "cringe" or maybe a little bit dismissive or eccentric. I can deal with people being and describing genders or sexualities I don't relate to or care for that are controversial, or use pronouns I find odd. You can use slurs for yourself on your website, I don't mind. I can deal with us having generally the same goal but wildly different ideas how to get there. But: I obviously would not tolerate stuff like racism. And because of dating a trans woman, transphobia isn't only something I can't tolerate, but something dear to my heart that hits me differently.

I think the best remedy is open discussion. Sending that person a well-intended, casual mail about discovering that someone they follow posted x and if they know, or even just asking them what they think about the problematic topic. They may be thankful you pointed it out and they'll stop associating, or you find out they agree. Or they see it like many people see controversial artists - separating the art from the artist, the website from the person, the craft and code from the view. I'm sure some see it that way and think the shitty views are not ruining the skill that is expressed. I personally do not care for skill when it comes from an awful person, though.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2023 @909.44 by shevek » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2023 @477.03 »

I don't read every single website. I don't even have the time and energy for that. If I link a website (e.g. taking their button) I do so only after I actually like and care about a site. And that includes reading what's actually on it. If a site is super big and detailed I of course don't and can't read every inch of it. But I look at a bunch of stuff.

Sites also change and new content gets added. I know I add tons of stuff all day as well.
If there's problematic content going on, chances are high people aren't aware or it got added after they took a look.
Personally, I don't revisit personal websites that often. Only once in a while...
But yea, If I link I do it with care and not just to collect a graphic and move on. what's the point
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devils
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« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2023 @629.53 »

Everyone here seems to read what's written in websites, which in retrospect I should have expected since this is a community that's at least partially related to Web revival. It certainly warms my heart to see people care about the people behind the websites!

Much like other people here, I don't do a «problematic opinions check» every time I browse a website. I go in with an open mind unless I have a reason not to do so (which has never actually happened IIRC).

However, much like @pinkvampyr said, I too tend to have a certain gut reaction when I see people link to websites run by people with views I find to be horrid. Perhaps it's because I'm part of marginalized demographics.

While I don't automatically assume every person linking to such a site is a bigot or something, I definitely raise an eyebrow and think «Does this person actually care about what's on a website?». In a way, I find it to be almost insulting that someone who claims to care about Web revivalism doesn't take the time to appreciate what makes personal websites so cool in the first place.
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