I Don’t Want to Talk to You on WhatsApp
This Week In Writing, we address an impersonation issue, talk about scammers, and settle a Mastodon issue
If I follow you on Mastodon, you might have noticed I refollowed you three times this weekend. It all happened on April 1st but was very much not an April Fool's Joke. Instead, I was migrating my account again.
I'll get to more about why in a minute, but during the process, someone responded about my profile picture. They preferred my previous Medium profile picture. I was feeling snarky, so I replied, "you mean the one someone used to impersonate me on Medium and send crypto spam?" I should have knocked on wood or something because it happened again today.
Someone calling themselves "Justin Cux" on Medium, using my current profile picture, was replying to stories asking to chat on WhatsApp. Pro Tip for potential spammers: don't reply to the person you're impersonating's article. I reported the account to Medium, and it was immediately suspended.
They say immolation is the highest form of flattery, but I'm not a fan of this kind.
Anyway, let me put this out there into the world: I will never send you a message asking to chat on WhatsApp. In fact, I'm not on WhatsApp and try to avoid products owned by Meta unless I can't help it. So, yeah, don't fall for scammers online.
If it looks like I'm trying to reach out to you, contact me and ask if it was really me. But, if you see anyone attempting to be me asking to chat on WhatsApp, go ahead and report them.
Speaking of Mastodon changes...
I moved Mastodon servers again. Yes, a month ago, I was excited about launching my own server. The beauty of Mastodon is that you can run your own instance. I've learned that I'm not meant to do so -- at least not in Mastodon's current state.
Moving to Masto.host made server management a lot easier and took most of the system administration out of the equation. However, I still ran into overwhelming admin work I wanted to avoid.
Preventing bot accounts from filling up my media server was a never-ending struggle. Managing relays to stay connected with hashtags and the larger fediverse made things interesting, but it also sucked up processing resources and that damn media limit.
My media server had ballooned to nearly 50 GB of files. And I'm the only user on the server!
Anyway, it was not how I wanted my social experience to go. So, I moved instances again. This time, I landed at beige.party because, well, it's fun. The local timeline is interesting, and the federated one isn't filled with bot spam. Frankly, all instance administrators deserve a ton of respect and, if you're able, donate to their maintenance funds.
Unlike any other social network, the beauty of Mastodon is that you can just up and move everything (except your posts) with ease. I made it harder by running three active accounts simultaneously, but they are now (almost) merged with beige.party.
You can find me at @firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Speaking of new addresses...
You can officially find this newsletter at WeekInWriting.com. Substack made setting everything up very easy. Plus, it looks like the email address stayed the same. So, hopefully, this email showed up in your box.
The domain is a small change, but one of a few that I have planned for this newsletter over the next few weeks. Have a suggestion for additions (or subtractions) from This Week In Writing? Let me know.
Some of you appreciated last week's random collection of links. So, let's try it again. Here are the random tabs I've had open all week:
Penguin Random House asked readers what the all-time "must read" books are. I'll echo the people saying To Kill A Mockingbird, but also add Station Eleven because why not.
I was going to talk about Spring cleaning this week but got sidetracked by spammers. This link is all about the mental health benefits of throwing things out and would have fit perfectly.
Someone asked ChatGPT to write hundreds of ways to end a written letter. Frankly, my favorite is missing from this list.
Most (if not all) of these links were initially discovered in the fantastic 1440 daily newsletter.
Until next week.
I have the honor to be your obedient servant,
I'm jealous of people who can jump all over the various instances of Medium. I haven't developed a mental model to understand it yet. I've been using the me.dm instance: https://me.dm/@walterrhein. I've really enjoyed it so far. There seem to be so many really bright people on there, which is a big change from other social media sites.
One of my friends once received one of those emails from a Prince who "wanted to give away his millions." The Prince had my name... of all things. We had a good laugh about that. However, any instance where people try to steal your identity to scam others is serious business. Glad you got it sorted out.
I am so happy with that sign off. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be back in 2 hours and 45 minutes.
Also, glad the migration was quick! How did you get your tabs to link outside substack? Is that on the substack settings or do you have to do it on your website backend?