Gavi's Blog

I got some things to say

I was looking around search engines on potential solutions for better organizing my bookmarks page on my static website and what I saw annoyed the hell out of me. So much of the info I was looking at was so fixated on optimizing SEO and nearly nothing else. I was looking at maybe using iframes for a navbar (probably won't, but who knows) to link the bookmarks amongst each other and was warned about how it impacted SEO negatively. Was warned about making sure that the navbar was in the header. SEO this, SEO that.

Let this blog post serve as a manifesto on how I build my web presence at this point in my life and any new pages on my static website. Screw your SEO, I'm just here to have fun.

If I cease to exist on Google or any other search engines, then good. I'm not monetizing the stuff I build anyway. I am not maximizing views. All of this is for my own enjoyment and anyone else who enjoys it as well. May my website (and blog and whatever else I build) serve as a restful inn away from the nightmare of the rest of the internet.

Tags: #Internet, #Culture, #SEO, #IndieWeb

This post was originally made on my fediverse account (post here), but I later realized it would fit well here having a more permanent place on my blog.

When talking about religion and critiquing Christianity you might catch onto a consistent trend I try to follow where I don’t simply generalize Christians and instead when I refer to bigotry and hateful behavior I will say “conservative christians” or “american conservative christians” or something of that type. I have pretty good reasons for doing this.

Christianity is still a middle eastern religion. And middle eastern Christians exist. They may be pushed aside, but they are still real people that are alive today. Many aspects of the most hateful parts of Christianity that we witness today are distinctly related to colonialist adoption and whitewashing of Christianity. Not all of it, but quite a bit of it.

I recognize and understand the harm and pain that Christianity has been used to cultivate against many, many people throughout history and today as well. I am a gay jewish man, I have lived it and my ancestors have as well. But when it comes to the way that actual Christians who desire to bring kindness to the world behave versus how bigoted conservative Christianity is, it's not an exaggeration to say they might as well be nearly two different religions entirely.

Every religion has their fanatics and their flaws, and I have met and know Christians who recognize the flaws of their fellow Christians and actively commit to fighting up against it.

I don't judge people for expressing their pain due to being harmed by conservative Christian institutions, but when talking about Christianity I think it's worth at least trying to make an effort to recognize the communities that exist that are fighting with us and or experiencing actual oppression as well (like middle eastern Christians)

This also goes without saying that queer Christians exist. Queer religious people exist. They are real and will continue to be real.

I say none of this to invalidate peoples religious trauma, but this is why I personally choose to refer carefully in this way when talking about this stuff when I can.

Tags: #Religion

I used Tiktok nearly religiously ever since the pandemic. Nearly 6 months ago, I finally uninstalled the app.

The platform has serious problems and has had serious issues since its creation. Even long before the app reached the popularity it has today, it was embroiled with horrific lack of moderation and still is. Unfortunately the racist fixation on it being a platform made by a Chinese company completely brushes aside the serious issues it has on its own.

The entire platform is effectively unmoderated. I could go in-depth to just how unsafe kids are there, but I think highlighting the fact that there's been more than one moment of NSFW trends kids have engaged in is evidence enough.

Misinformation proliferates on the platform in such an intense way I see no other platform reach. It doesn't help that kids will actually use Tiktok as a search engine and get results within the app. There are entire news accounts dedicated to pushing blatant propaganda as well that goes completely unquestioned. It's like clickbait taken to its final form.

Another aspect of Tiktok which was the reason I finally deleted the app, the antisemitism. People on Tiktok take antisemitism to a near violent degree. Whenever a post made by a Jew goes viral and the video mentions Jewish culture, the comments are a cesspool. Being on Jewish on Tiktok feels extremely unsafe. There was a point briefly before last October where some Jewish creators were somewhat celebrated. After last October though, the Jewish creators people were briefly fawning over became targets of intense harassment due to dissatisfaction to them failing their perceived obligation as Jews in the public eye to speak about Israel & Palestine. There is no moderation on blatant antisemitism, and at times it's almost like the algorithm encourages it.

It honestly won't hurt my feelings that much if the app is removed from app stores. In its current state, it's extremely harmful in so many ways (even in quite a few that weren't mentioned above) but it's unfortunate that most of the push to get it removed isn't based on any of the legitimate issues above but rather pretty blatant racism instead.

Articles and links highlighting these topics well: How TikTok’s # MyJewishHeritage plan went horribly awry – Forward How Jewish Tiktokers are Trying to Reclaim an Antisemitic Trend – Forward How fast does TikTok send users down the antisemitic rabbit hole? – Forward This video by Youtuber D'Angelo Wallace from four years ago highlights one of their biggest controversies that no one seems to talk about

Tags: #Tiktok, #Culture

Content Warning: This blog post contains discussion of CSAM & harassment on the Fediverse (as well as other nastiness)