Safe online spaces for radical youth: let's brainstorm because there is a genuine need

Submitted by OldHippieChick in Age_and_Ageism

I wanted to continue the discussion that began in f/meta to deal with an immediate crisis, in light of the fact that current events caused me to personally rethink my entire existence and other raddlers might or might not feel feelings too right about now.

There is a genuine need for some sort of a kid-centric "Raddle Jr." and I never denied that. Those of you who know noordinaryspider on IRC are well aware of the fact that Raddle-friendly noordinaryspider has some personal investment in this issue so I thought this was an appropriate place to start a thread for supporters to brainstorm in a polite, objective, rational, non-inflammatory manner that lurkers would be comfortable reading.

Or else I'm just being a pompous, pretentious, self-satisfied jerk and you can feel free to call me out on it so I can change. ;)


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autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

I see often younger people being talked down to in one way or the other by older people, this is true of the left generally as well as all the various leftie online communities.

The problem is, how do you go about making these spaces? how do you get young people to join a space once it's been started, how do you ensure that older people don't just join and continue to derail it? We couldnt' ask peopel to prove their age in any way without endagering their privacy, while good faith goes a long way, any onine group like that is an easy target for trolls and wreckers. It's also true that young people don't like being in groups called Jr or for kids as young people rightfully feel they have the same right to participate the the real discussion as anyone else.

In my opinion when it comes to actual safe spaces, i think the best way to do that would be groups that form organically out of networks of friends, using peer-to-peer software, while yes we could create a forum or subgroup that was intented for and focused on youth issues, it would not be a safe space in any meaningful sense of the term.


OldHippieChick OP wrote

How could a parent support the formation of such a group or make it easier for a younger (say 12 or 13 year old or whatever you personally think the younger range should be) person to find these spaces?

More importantly, what do you see parents and other relevant adults (teachers, teachers' aides, aunties, nice neighbour ladies etc.) doing that would be counterproductive towards radical youth organizing effectively at a young age?

Do you see some of the same issues with "red diaper babies" (second-generation and beyond radicals) talking down to people from mainstream backgrounds who are finding their own way?

Are these questions helpful at all or just stupid and intrusive?


autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

with red diaper babies, i've always found them annoying, most of them that i've met have had terrible politics imo. But yes, people need to be given the freedom to develope their own politics, room to grow and make mistakes, the freedom to seek out people they have common interests with, grow together or separate as their perspective changes. We can't impose the correct line on people, even if we try, to can only work to influence people through cooperation and open discussion.


autonomous_hippopotamus wrote

I think probably the best way to go about it would be to introduce younger people to certain privacy-oriented peer-to-peer software that's easy to use. If parents make an effort to introduce kids to software that allows for secure chat, private rooms, filesharing etc. then the kids will find plenty of uses for it.

With Retroshare, as an example, you can create different circles of friends, you can have a "Family* circle and then another circle that is is young anarchists, and then you coudl have another general political group that is all ages where more knowledgeable people can share educational material. I think the important thing is to allow kids the space to build their own exclusive groups where they are in control So this setup allows older folks, family etc. to interact with the younger people, while everyone's privacy is protected. Retroshare has an entire suite that includes chat, filesharing, email, forums and other features.

Another way could be setting up an instance of Mastodon that is invite only oriented towards young people, where the server collectively managed by some kind of parents association that allows participation from the younger users.

So there are many options, but I think working on a peer to peer levle like that is a lot safer than relying on some kind of third party server that is open to the public, because these become easy targets for predators.


Pop wrote

personally I'd be happy for kids to make their own raddle

the idea that we need to create it for them seems troublesome

I could understand assisting kids to make one if they asked for help

but assuming that they want or need us seems to be a mistake]

i dunno


mofongo wrote

I don't think there is a way for it to work as a online only space. Maybe as a private website with a parent/teenager focus. Or just an extension from IRL activities.

That way children can have a bit of liberty and parents a bit of control.


ziq wrote (edited )

Can you demonstrate that this need exists somehow? It's hard enough to get the rest of the radleft population to care about this site, without getting another site that caters to what would amount to maybe 5% of the audience raddle has off the ground. Would they even want to be sandboxed into their own little ecosystem?

I guess what I'm asking is, would they be content sitting at the kiddie table with a handful of their peers when there's nothing physically stopping them from crashing the (still very underpopulated) party in the room next door?

I still have the domain if that helps. But I'm not sure a site for 13-15 year old radical leftists is going to work for several reasons that come to mind.


OldHippieChick OP wrote

I know that I don't personally have the resources to create it because I've already tried and failed so many times.

I'm already "out" about not being completely done with parenting minors so I think I feel okay saying that I'm 99 44/100% sure that I am not personally responsible for the problems on Raddle nor do I feel any need to defend my parenting here but I'm openly scared half to death about the logistics of how to get this digital native safely on the other side of adolescence.

It feels to me right now as if he's going to outgrow his gaming community or get too political and get himself banned eventually unless I get him killed first by overreacting to what some teen only intended as an innocent prank.

"Just lie" was the solution everyone on his community offered when Matrix changed their TOS but that is not acceptable to me and I am the parent so I control physical access to the ethernet cables and the router and eventually someone found a limited Matrix server on Disroot that didn't have an age policy.

No offense intended, but if you have been honest with me about your afk circumstances and how many minor kids you are currently raising, I would have to say that this isn't your problem and I will delete this thread myself if you feel that it is inappropriate for the over sixteen space that you are already busting your butt to maintain.

IMNSHO, it might also be appropriate for Useless Thoughts but I haven't even stepped up to moderate age and aging, as little traffic as it gets and as disproportionate a share of benefits I slurp up, so I don't get to criticize the people who are doing the work to keep Raddle going.

tl/dr: never mind; just thinking out loud....


ziq wrote (edited )

No offense intended, but if you have been honest with me about your afk circumstances and how many minor kids you are currently raising

I think you might have me confused with someone else, I'm not raising any kids. I didn't take any offense. Just trying to better understand your idea to see if I could help. There's nothing inappropriate about your thoughts.

If you were criticizing anyone, I couldn't tell.


OldHippieChick OP wrote

Nah, I didn't think you were raising any kids. I'm not confused. I just suck at communicating.

The only person I'm criticizing is myself.