affinity groups

Trolls keep outsmarting anti-harassment tools. Will Twitter’s new system actually work?

  • Mic asked Leslie Miley, a former engineer at Twitter who started the product safety and security team that handled abuse, if Twitter is capable of handling the complex mechanisms of creative and dedicated abusers.
  • The answer: It’s complicated but possible. Miley said that trolls can use code words and misspelled words, but that the tooling Twitter had in 2015 would be able to handle those.
  • “If you start using ‘bob’ as a code word for some racist term, then it gets really difficult,” Miley said. “You can try to do a signal-to-noise ratio” so if accounts are flagged that are part of “affinity groups known for abusive behavior or racist views, the tooling is really easily modified to handle that.”
  • If these algorithms don’t prove effective, however, there’s still plenty of room for improvement. Read more

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Greek Gold Roundel with Bees, 7th Century BC

The goldwork technique seen here is called granulation, in which the goldsmith uses minute spheres of gold to create texture and pattern. This method was adopted by the Greeks from the Eastern Mediterranean in the 8th and 7th century BC. This piece has affinities with a group of objects from the island of Rhodes dating to 650-600 BC.

Make contingency plans in anticipation of police escalation. You can be at a rally and everything is okay, then police approach and get in riot lines. Have plans in case of a)riot lines b) snatch and grab teams c) dispersal orders d) kettle e) tear gas is deployed f)flash bang grenades are deployed g) rubber bullets are shot h) sound cannon.

The police do not ever need to be provoked. But we can try to be prepared. Make “contingency plans” with your affinity group/ crew. Have a meet up spot, what to do in case of arrest, who are your priority unarrestables (everyone) how are you going to get out? What to do if a driver is arrested? You can even intentionalize roles, create a communication system, have a buddy system and make sure someone is watching the police at all times.

This is so when police escalate we can stay organized, especially if you do not want to disperse. Preparedness can decrease panic, running and keep yall a little more safe. Fuck the police.“


The Beatles at Cow Palace, 19th August 1964 - the first concert of the Beatles first US tour. 

“On tour that year, it was crazy. Not within the band. In the band we were normal, and the rest of the world was crazy.”
[George, Anthology]

Within the first few seconds of the first song, ‘Twist and Shout,’ a radio journalist was trampled and a young girl’s leg was broken as some of the 17,300 fans rushed the stage; the sold-out concert was held up for five minutes to restore order. And thanks to an offhand comment by George Harrison about the group’s affinity for jelly beans, The Beatles were pelted with flying jelly beans throughout their 33-minute, 12-song set. The band left the Cow Palace by a decoy ambulance, their limousine immovable as it was swarmed by rabid fans!
[From the auction catalogue description for this set of photos, sold in 2012]

Source: RR Auctions, photographer unknown.

daily reminder that communism isn’t going to materialize in the minds of rural working class people without us doing something about it and complaining about how “white people elected trump” is more smug, ineffective liberal whining that serves no purpose beyond making you feel better about yourself. it’s virtually the same thing as radicals/liberals blaming the poor whites in rural uk for brexit. there’s a trend here, and we’re failing to see it, blinded by our own smugness.

if u wanna not see a global fascist movement take over the us/uk/europe/the world in your lifetime maybe do something beyond sitting in your metropolitan center laughing over memes on tumblr with your middle class college friends and get ur hands dirty and engage with people who know 0 about communism, social justice, etc

like, college/academia and various sub-cultures (punk, metal, regional cultural destinations like Portland, etc.) should not be the only avenues for which we recruit people into radical spaces. go make an affinity group in your dead ass town in the south/rust belt. put your theory into practice and teach people the value of solidarity, mutual aid, etc. these people won’t take communism seriously until you divorce the cold-war rhetoric from the reality. starting up food not bombs in your liberal arts college town full of upper middle class liberals isn’t going to get us very far (not that feeding people who are vulnerable is a bad thing).

like look at how various institutions in these parts of the country have become successful. look at the power of the evangelical christian church and how they provide a sense of hope and community for people who are constantly beat down. a lot of these people have *nothing* besides that sense of hope that the church gives them.

we’ve seen the power of “the silent majority” and while their views are often times disgusting and an affront to what we believe, i think the subtext of these movements is something that can be directed towards revolutionary ends. after all, these people are victims of capitalism and fascism is often seen as a “third position” to capitalism and socialism. many fascists are anti-capitalist but have swallowed cold war anti-communist rhetoric wholesale.

i think in order for the left to succeed, we need to overcome two major hurdles:

  • we need to make our theory less confusing and more accessible (breaking news: academia isn’t appealing to a lot of people and neither is theory that’s barely comprehensible. people have more important things going on in their lives, like putting food on their table and caring for their kids/families, than to try and figure out wtf derrida was saying)
  • we need to actually put our theory into practice (at least the stuff we can immediately, like we don’t need a full-scale revolution to practice mutual aid and democratic decision-making, etc.) and use it to HELP people who actually need it. think black panthers pre-COINTELPRO. because as we’ve seen the political elites of BOTH parties have left the working classes out in the cold to starve, they’re scared and irrational, so fascism is a logical leap for these people.

anyways im just kinda rambling because ive come on this hell website for a few hours today to see more posts being passed around trying to weaponize social justice in the least productive and most smug way possible and im sort of left scratching my head, like yea, if you want to be petty enough “white people” elected trump with record low voter turnout, record highs of distrust of these candidates, etc. this picture is much the same as what went down with the brexit vote and im sure has been replayed elsewhere globally that im failing to mention here. point is, fascism doesn’t exist in a vacuum and radical leftism won’t get taught unless someone teaches it outside of a metropolitan center or in a liberal arts college lecture hall. let’s be less like smug and ineffective liberals and let’s organize and do something to harness this vaguely proto-revolutionary energy for more revolutionary ends

I mean I’d say that with any org when people ask me what to do: go there once to check it out, and if you have mixed feelings don’t go (if you have options) or go again before you make any commitments.  Yes, there is a tremendous immediacy to what’s going on right now, but there are so many ‘revolutionary’ orgs that are basically just reading groups, so many mutual aid groups that just serve the punk/activist scene, so many activist groups that don’t do anything, that if you have a choice between groups I wouldn’t recommend committing yourself to something that’s going to take a lot of your time an emotional energy for nothing other than the self-aggrandizement of some affinity group leaders


Mobile Justice CA

Cops have been known to snatch phones away from copwatchers recording their abuses to delete the evidence; this app automatically streams your footage to the ACLU, so the video isn’t lost completely even if the cops take your phone.


Five-O allows users to submit incident reports describing interactions with police in their area, generating scores for local departments and individual officers in your area. The idea is an admirable one – it provides a forum for users to discuss the worst cops in their neighborhood, and identify patterns in local policing.

I’m Getting Arrested

With a single tap of the screen, users can send a pre-written MMS text and your location to a list of contacts of your choosing announcing that you are being arrested and any other information you might want to send. It’s ideal for use amongst affinity groups at high-risk protests and riots.


This app was designed to allow your friends to virtually ‘walk you home at night’ by tracking your trip via GPS. They’ll be notified when you get home (or if you suddenly go off-course, get pushed, etc), and in the meantime buttons onscreen allow you to instantly call the police or mark an area as ‘suspicious’ if you feel nervous.

Police Scanner

If you find it helpful to listen in on a department’s radio chatter, this app can give you access to a remarkable array of police bands.


Anarchy in L.A. part 2

one of my education textbooks is talking about fandoms

because it’s explaining how teachers need to get with the times technologically since students are quite familiar with using the Internet for things like fostering “social relationships between users as members of ‘affinity groups’ associated with a particular topic, brand, music, film, TV program, etc." 

this is why sometimes I read my textbooks and just laugh because 

affinity groups

Anarchist Cookbook Recipe #1: Affinity Groups

Ingredients: 1) A circle of friends. 2) Trust. 3) Consensus. 4) Secrecy. 5) A Good Idea. 6) Plans for different scenarios. 7) Structures for responding for unexpected scenarios. 8) Courage. 9) Action. 10) Subsequent discussion. 

An affinity group is a circle of friends who, knowing each other’s strengths, weaknesses, and backgrounds, and having already established a common language and healthy internal dynamics, set out to accomplish a goal or series of goals. 

The size of an affinity group can range from two to, say, fifteen individuals, depending on the action in question, but no group should be so numerous that an informal conversation about pressing matters is impossible. You can always split up into two or more groups, if there are enough of you that is. 

Affinity groups can be practically invincible. They cannot be infiltrated, because all members share history and intimacy with each other, and no one outside the group need be informed of their plans or activities. They are free to adapt to any situation. All individuals can act and read instantly without waiting for orders, yet with a dear idea of what to expect from one another. They function without any need for hierarchy or coercion.  They are held together by principle, not by money, accomplishments, infamy, or by solely a leader. 

Affinity groups operate on the  consensus model–decisons are made collectively, based on the needs and desires of every individual involved. 

Since action situations are always unpredictable and plans rarely come off as anticipated, an affinity group usually has a dual approach for these. If A happens, we’ll inform each other by X means and switch to plan B. If X communication is impossible, we’ll reconvene at site Z at Q o'clock. Always keep your options open. Be forever prepared with contingency. 

A contingency group only answers to itself alone. Affinity groups are not burdened by the procedural protocols of other organizations. Each affinity group should strive for s similarly considerate relationship with other individuals and groups that support similar causes.

An affinity group can work together with other affinity group, in what is sometimes called a duster The larger and more spread out the groups, the greater the progress and efficiency. 

You don’t need to find a revolutionary organization to join to get active– you and your friends (well in this case, our followers on tumblr) already compromise one! Together you can change the world. Stop wondering whats going to happen, or why nothing’s happening, and start deciding what will  happen. Don’t just show up at the next demonstration, protest, punk show, traffic jam, or day at work in passive spectator mode, waiting to be told what to do. get into the habit of trading crazy ideas about what should happen at these events–and making those ideas a reality!

The world is honeycombed with affinity groups from chess clubs to anarchist propaganda groups. They are formed, dissolved, and reconstituted according to the fluctuating whims and fancies of the individuals adherents. It is precisely because they reflect individual preferences that such groups are the lifeblood of the free society. But the anarchists have also insisted that since the necessities of life and vital services must be supplied without fail and cannot be left to the whims of individuals, there are social obligations which every able bodied individual is honor bound to fulfill if he expects to enjoy the benefits of collective labor. Large scale organizations, anarchistically organized, are not a deviation. They are the very essence of anarchism as a viable social order. There is no “pure” anarchism. there is only the application of anarchist principles to the realities of social living.
—  Sam Dolgoff

“We are all from June 2.”

Because we are all fighting against the bosses and fat cats”

Posters about the June 2 movement, a West German anarchist, urban guerilla group which was active from 1971 to 1980. The name refers to the date in 1967 when a West Berlin police killed Benno Ohnesorg, a young leftist at a demonstration.

The group came out of the militant West Berlin anarchist scene, with many members having been in direct action affinity groups such as the “Roaming Hash Rebels” and the “West Berlin Tupamaros”.

For about a decade the June 2 Movement claimed responsibility for numerous bank raids, bombing of police and state infrastructure and most notoriously the kidnapping of CDU politician Peter Lonz in exchange for the release of 6 of their imprisoned comrades.

The bottom poster is a detail from an early 70′s wanted poster of suspected members and associated of the group.

On the 2nd of June 1980 the group announced it was disbanding, with many of its remaining members joining the more well known RAF (red army faction/rote armee faktion)

“LGBT” as a supposed-community is based upon similar encounters with a singular structure of heteronormativity as well as the growing process of encountering-gender that is described as being trans (and particularly the becoming-women of trans women) and how the molecularity of straightness, of the binary process of encountering-gender that the category of “trans” implies in the common construction of it, and the mythic community that is based upon little more than historical convenience and that changing fluidity of exactly which affinity groups are being politicized in order to construct a naturality for the community instead of allowing for meaningful critique and even rejection of this supposed-community as inherently meaningful is like

we all hung out at a lot of the same places because we’re hurt by the same structures, as well as hurt very similarly by some other structures

and that essentially the whole “being equated to being gay” thing that a lot of ace/aro claims about popular conceptions of being ace/aro and the convenient & uneven application of the almost universaly inadequate split-attraction model

and that attempting to totalize a number of forces with a deterritorialization of the discursive flows of those forces in order to embody an aesthetic similarity to the near-incoherent forces that work upon LGBT communities isn’t really helpful

and that the act of totalizing involved in this is just like…not good