For as much as I hate Facebook, after a few years away from it I do really wish community events were organized off of there. I can't find them easily. So much radical community is gatekept behind facebook, instagram, and google forms.

Email lists are gone, txt trees vanished, community radio station announcements of public events are silent, telephone poles are void of flyers, and the physical organizing spaces seem to be slipping away. 😕

The other forms of comms can be really effective. Writing a txt alert system and setting it up costs $20 and about 2 hours. I should know as I wrote a lot of the code for those during OWS times.

There is even an implementation to do this for encrypted signal alerts that is only a couple dollars a month.

@polymerwitch Which service do you trust most for the encrypted Signal alerts? Trying to implement this ourselves directly but would be nice to be able to fall back to doing it the same way as we would with Twilio.

@polymerwitch It’s really sad and frustrating, and it’s also very self-selecting. A given group is less likely to get participation or input from people who care about privacy or opsec, for example. 😭

This has been one of my chief complaints about Democratic Socialists of America: they unnecessarily make daily use of resources for which they should be providing alternatives. They are feeding the beasts they should be destroying.

@polymerwitch It’s a huge problem. I refuse to use FB, so I miss hearing about many events.

I have thought about starting a Mobilizon instance to help deal with this. But even after getting it set up, there would be work to do - promotion and all that. Perhaps if I find others in my region who are interested…

@KolokokoBird I think things like this need to start with a community. Once the community is formed, then non-tech people really need to do a better job of accepting proposals from tech people instead of dismissing them due to the fact they can just use corporate platforms and have more control siloed with them. Tech people (including me) need to do a better job of bringing understandable proposals to community groups that fit the needs of the group instead of being the "Next Cool Thing ™️ "

@polymerwitch @KolokokoBird yes, @agaric is trying to build the #indieweb approach of 'post on your own site first, syndicate elsewhere' into #drutopia, and we have a client looking to build a big aggregate 'green events' calendar so maybe we'll be able to make some progress on this for events. If it's possible at all to push events to a Facebook (page or group) from a website, happy to help maintain a style service for that.

Thoughts welcome here or here: !

@polymerwitch Oof, YES. So much stuff is organized through FB. I haven't had an account since 2015 and it can be so hard to find radical community elsewhere.

I figuratively beat a few event organisers at work with the shitty end of a stick for using Facebook to organise and broadcast events about climate change. I wasn't prepared to accept their lazy approach and lousy choice of unethical platform.
I haven't seen any announcements about events with a FB link since (it's been several months) though I don't know if they were embarrassed into rethinking, or simply stopped posting in places they knew I'd be watching, like a judgemental Gollum!

@polymerwitch Very true. For that matter, so many local organizations tend to atrophy away until a Facebook group is almost their whole existence.

Having been off Facebook for years, nowadays I get most of my event/protest info off telephone poles. There is still a lot of flyering in my area

@polymerwitch almost everything in my area has switched to Instagram, and it continues to frustrate me that I have to keep an account there for this single purpose.

@polymerwitch aside from having a few people on mine that i have no other consistent way to contact, it drives me up a wall knowing that if i deleted my FB I'd have basically no way to contact local groups, local businesses, basically everything local here is done through Facebook

@polymerwitch I couldn't figure out how to install Mobilizon, but I thought the idea of local events server sounded neat. Just not sure how you'd get people to use it.

@Magess The community has to exist first, then tech needs to be added to serve that community's needs.

Facebook allows for a sort of artificial community to be formed out of their algorithm, but for those things I think boots on the ground grassroots spreading of event info is preferable to Facebook.

@polymerwitch one thing I loved about college is how many flyers there were. Flyers are awesome in walkable communities. Plus there was no shared social space for students, except the physical classroom spaces.

@polymerwitch I only read about this recently, so I don’t know much about it, but it sounds promising.

@polymerwitch i live in toronto and i assure you not a single telephone pole is free from flyers lol

@dexiheart @polymerwitch that's Toronto. organising in Ottawa is still a dead end. it's always the same people doing the same fucky shit, everything falls apart, wash, rinse, repeat. demos that could be a bit more radical are first cleared with cops cause people really believe that they have to do that, when they have a legal right to not do that.

@polymerwitch @crashglasshouses it’s kind of hard to build a community when there is standing military crawling everywhere and laws that shut most businesses down at like 9PM 🥴

@crashglasshouses @polymerwitch imo i have spent one week quarterly in ottawa over the span of 6 years and it very much felt that way to me

@dexiheart @polymerwitch i have lived here for 42 years, and i can tell you it's not. there are all three levels of cops here, plus the NCC, but they have their jurisdictions, so you'll only deal with OPS unless you decide to go on a murder spree or something, and they're pretty clueless. you kind of have to know which nights to go out if you want things open after 9pm. Sunday and Thursday seem to be popular for some weird reason.

@dexiheart @polymerwitch organising isn't difficult because there are cops or because stores close at 9pm. it's because once you get to know the people who organise a lot of events in this city, you'll start to find out there's a mountain of ugly dirt they're hiding about who they've fucked over and harmed.

@polymerwitch I feel like independent services got cannibalised too. It's a shame.

@polymerwitch Ooof, I feel this. The single thing keeping me most tethered to Facebook right now is my community Buy Nothing group, which is wonderfully active and a great radical resource.

The great walling-off of the internet really bums me out.


I am drawn like a moth to bulletin boards in all public spaces. When something interests me I take a photo of it with my smartphone and engage even if chances are slim. When there's a little paper tag I can take that has contact info I do so.

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