@gretchenmcc some non-linguist discussion of it here: https://social.coop/web/statuses/100520680223381019
@gretchenmcc I've seen people on Twitter also call it the "blue bird site" in a derisive way—but anecdotally, not prior to Mastodon's break-out last year
@gretchenmcc People use it because the original word is triggering for some people. "birbsite" or "birb" are also common.
@gretchenmcc Quite possibly for the same reasons people say "orange website" to refer to one particular forum, whatever those reasons happen to be.
@gretchenmcc we've been waiting for an internet linguist! Though I can't offer much history; this place was already talking funny by the time I arrived.
@gretchenmcc I've also seen birbsite
@gretchenmcc Perhaps I'm the only one calling it 'twatter'.
@gretchenmcc I first saw birdworld a few days ago.
From when I joined in March-ish 2017, I remember mostly birbsite/birdsite. I always saw it as a way to be cute and not take Twitter too serious, and that's how I still use "birbsite". Verbally taking twitter from its pedestal, but not really derogatory. More like "we're fluffy elephant place, they're birbsite, nothing out of the ordinary".
I've never used the word hellbird, but it's been around for a while I think, probably already in use when I joined?
@gretchenmcc I took it as taboo avoidance that aligned with the content-warning culture on Mastodon, plus an acknowledgement that many new joiners in 2017 spent a lot of time comparing Masto and Birdsite. Therefore any mention of Twitter was skunked, so calling it birdsite seemed a way to acknowledge the unpleasant subject we knew everyone would rather avoid.
@gretchenmcc no, but can I interest you in some observations of emoji usage?
@DialMforMara yes please!
Early on, 🍍was a symbol of welcome to new users, but I’ve been seeing less of that recently.
Cybre.space has a bit of a thing for replacing letters with emoji of that letter, especially se it didn’t show up; I’m doing this on a mediocre iOS app)
But the most interesting usages are of instance-specific custom emoji. More on that in a moment.
Apologies for the length of that moment. Custom emoji mean that, if someone identifies a need for a gesture or gesture variant (like ), they can just ask their admin to make one. My most used emoji is a custom one, , that I think conveys the connotations of tea better than 🍵.
Pinging @chr who makes a lot of custom emoji. Also gonna mention the neologism "emojos," which is a peeve of mine
@gretchenmcc of note people call mastodon "fluffy elephant website"
@gretchenmcc Superstition. If we say the name here, it will be cursed in the same way.
@gretchenmcc also 'birbsite' as a secondary obfuscation/meme reference
@gretchenmcc I've often wondered if there was a relationship between Portlandia's "put a bird on it" and "the other" bird. (BA in Lx, but not a practicing Lx'er).
@gretchenmcc i recall it being because a lot of early adopters were specifically trying to escape twitter. the euphemism was always a little tongue in cheek - birdsite, birbsite, hellbird, hellsite, etc. i felt like that specific slang was a naturally evolving social cohesion thing, we all agreed twitter sucked
@gretchenmcc Joined first half of 2017 - always saw it as "birdsite".
My assumption was a combo of two things:
1) a community sensitive to triggering content (and given the number of Twitter refugees on Mastodon, an assumption that a direct mention could be triggering)
2) a general propensity for silliness and playfulness.
@gretchenmcc I read 'facebag' today too.
@gretchenmcc I’ve seen people saying variations on “birdsite” for years on twitter (i imagine before Mastodon started). Before that I saw “this website”, “this hellsite”, “twitter dot com”. I suspect there was overlap with people who would refer to hacker news as “(the) orange website”.
@gretchenmcc It’s essentially the Hastur/Voldemort performative taboo, only for a website full of awful stuff, which thus must not be named.
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