@gretchenmcc some non-linguist discussion of it here: https://social.coop/web/statuses/100520680223381019
@gretchenmcc I’ve actually never heard birdworld! When I joined in April(?) 2017, I used “the birdcage” because that’s what it felt like to me to be there (and to try to escape from it) but as the user base expanded, I dropped it because I didn’t know if people would understand what I meant by it.
@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.
@shel @maloki @gretchenmcc it went through several iterations (hellbird/birdhell to birdsite during beta in 2016) back when. The first few settlers were people used to Twitter harassment enabled by full text search, and they developed the cant as a preventative measure (despite the fact that Mastodon doesn't have full text indexing built in). I think "birdworld" is a newer formation.
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 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.
@Modern_Industrial @gretchenmcc I thought its popularity was mainly a way for people to discuss the Birdsite and yet bypass “Twitter” as a common filtered regex. That and a bit of a pejorative taboo usage, puh puh. There is possibly a whole discourse to be had around the deployment of euphemisms to negotiate technological language barriers in this way. Probably a dissertation or two for them as want it.
Nah. They're grown and can make their own decisions. It's not like I neglected to inform them. They do as they wish and they know about the fediverse.
OTOH, friend's kids who also grew up knowing me do NOT use FB. Perhaps it's my kids form of rebellion to use it? :-) could be much worse!
Also, my daughter inlaw jumped on masto when I introduced her to it and loved it -- but she's also japanese and chose such a home instance as well.
@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”.