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KatamariChaos @KatamariChaos

While some folks can be a bit screamy in their virtue-signalling, I am increasingly impressed with the number of people I see on Mastodon/Ostatus having open-minded, non-confrontational, logical, and even courteous-if-not-friendly discussions from divergent places on various social and political spectrums.

That's just plain fucking inspiring.

Apr 09, 2017, 17:41 ยท Web ยท 17 ยท 28

@KatamariChaos mind if i ask what "virtue-signalling" is? im, not trying to say it does or doesnt happen, just, havent heard of it

@hoodie @KatamariChaos virtue-signalling has a lot of negative connotations b/c it's become associated with alt-right types but it's broadly: "performatively shouting something, not because you agree with on a personal level, but because it makes you seem like you have the moral high ground"

@hoodie @KatamariChaos np! i don't like using it b/c of the negative connotations but it's useful to understand what it is, i think

@oceangrunge @hoodie I tend to use it in a slightly more technical way (formal definition in sociology/anthropology), something like:

"Engaging in speech or behavior for the sake of signalling membership in a group, or loyalty to an approved set of beliefs, rather than for the sake of that speech or behavior primarily."

Examples include wearing white at a Catholic wedding to signal virginity, denouncing outgroup members so the ingroup sees/hears, etc.

@hoodie @oceangrunge I've found that social media seems to increase the tendency toward excessive or even aggressive virtue-signalling. I'm not sure why.

Perception of no consequences? Feeling of always being watched by your ingroup-of-choice? Feeling threatened by exposure to opposing views? Fear of guilt-by-association if observed engaging with the "wrong" people/ideas? Something else?

Anyway, I'm always happy when people spend time and energy engaging instead.

@KatamariChaos @hoodie My theory is corporate branding of social media incentivising ppl to label themselves/others leading to a hyper-partisan environment, but it's just a gut feeling and i don't have the time/expertise to do legwork to try and prove/disprove that.

@oceangrunge @hoodie I think that's as good a hypothesis to throw on the pile as any!

@KatamariChaos @hoodie @oceangrunge I dislike the term "virtue signaling" because of its alt-right assocations, btu also because it implies that people are not sincere about their beliefs, which is a gigantic assumption.

@chrisgrace @hoodie @oceangrunge I'm not sure it implyies insincerity, only putting the display ahead of other concerns.

I really don't get how it has alt-right connotations. The term was coined, IIRC, to describe tribal behaviors and behaviors of people in religious communities. I see virtue signaling in degrees from "well, okay, tune it out" to "this person is not engaging because they are too worried about their image" everywhere.

@KatamariChaos @chrisgrace @hoodie it got appropriated by a lot of big-R Rational Atheist types who used it to hate on anyone online who had a sincere feeling

@oceangrunge @chrisgrace @hoodie If I stop using a word every time I hear a stupid person use it, won't I run out of words?

@KatamariChaos @oceangrunge @chrisgrace i would appreciate being untagged from any further discussion, but since it is on topic, i would remind that use of a word like "stupid" is ableist. by.e

@KatamariChaos @oceangrunge Dunno, but you may want to be fully aware of a word and its associations when you use it. For example, even if I knew someone who was an incredible advocate for civil rights, I would never now call them a social justice warrior. Because that's a term primarily used by assholes now.

@chrisgrace @oceangrunge I watch associations to some degree, but it's impossible to account for completely because it's a big world with LOTS of people broadcasting nearly all the time. At some point, I think we have to hold judgement until we have enough content to judge it with a little wiggle room for imperfect delivery.

N.B. The amount that I guard my language in formal publication is VERY different than quick social media chatter.

@KatamariChaos @oceangrunge Totally fair... just informing you that "virtue signaling" has picked up a heavy connotation at this point in regular usage. It's up there with "cuck", "snowflake", and "SJW".

@chrisgrace @oceangrunge "cuck" is just rude, "snowflake" and "SJW" are overused, but sometimes appropriate criticisms...

I see "virtue signaling" very differently because it's a serious anthropology/sociology/social psych term that only entered colloquial use recently... if one means the precise discipline meaning of it, I'm not sure how else to be clear?

@KatamariChaos @oceangrunge the words "social justice warrior" also have a precise neutral meaning that has been corrupted. Keep using whatever words you want... I'm just saying in the general online conversation, "virtue signaling" is a marker that you're coming from an alt-right perspective. If you're not, you're creating extra work for yourself to clarify. If you're happy to do that extra work, no worries!

@KatamariChaos I fear that Twitter was just like that, at first. Then something happened, I don't know what. And so now I'm hoping that federation will be able to prevent this, whatever it is.