Usagi Sailor Moon - Pen Handwriting
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the superiority complex on neocities

Come on. You already know Neocities. It's the thing that's hosting this very site!! Started in 2013, Neocities is ad-free, and exists with the expressed goal to revive the support of GeoCities. Neocities aims to capture the spirit of the old web; what existed before all your Facebooks and your Twitters! Sounds perfect for anyone disillusioned with the current state of the web and the people on it, am I right?

Well, not even Neocities is without its problems. And I think that the pervasive superiority complex that exists on Neocities can be boiled down to originate from two things: culture and community.


Neocities is a platform for coders. I mean, obviously; the whole thing is that you're supposed to host your code here to make a website! You sort of have to know at least some things about coding in order to be here.

Neocities is also a platform for people who miss the old web. It's based off of the now-defunct Geocities, after all, and the art of the personal website itself is something very associated with Web 1.0.

Both of these factors, I feel, come together to form a very pervasive "anti-Carrd" attitude.

"But what is Carrd?" you may ask. Well, Carrd is a free website-building platform which is exceptionally easy to use. Someone can not know the very first thing about website building, and not know a lick of HTML, but still create a pretty decent website with Carrd. And some may argue that that's not why people on Neocities hate it. People on Neocities hate carrd culture! And, yes, while I agree to an extent, I also think that the truth that a lot of people don't want to admit is that they don't just hate carrd culture. They look down on people who rely on others to make a website. They have what is essentially a superiority complex.

I suppose this would be less bothersome if this superiority complex did not extend to others on Neocities, but it does. Take, for example, your average template-user. People who use website templates are not good enough at coding yet to create their own sites from scratch. So instead, they commission others to make website templates for them to edit and personalize, or they use free ones made available on the web. A lot of coders start off this way, and some coders want to even stay this way, if they don't have the time or energy to undertake learning to code!

Now, let's go back to people on here who talk about Carrd, or who talk about people who rehost their Carrd code on here. What are some real things that I have seen said about them? Well, how about that they're "lazy" for "using templates"? How "it's a slap in the face to people who hand-code their own websites from scratch"? Yes, it's not what they're talking about, but these anti-Carrd sentiments often do extend to people who are new to coding, and who are thusly using website templates. If you look down on some people who need help to build a website, you look down on all people who need help to build a website. And this has led to lots of people who use templates to help them learn to code (myself included) feeling overwhelmingly unwelcome on Neocities. It fosters this sort of imposter syndrome, and I've seen it make people want to give up on learning to code altogether, on a platform which is MEANT to be a way TO LEARN how to code! As someone from a server I'm in once said, on Neocities, "Coding abilities become synonymous with human worth." If you aren't good at coding, then you deserve to be mocked for it and to be met with open malice. And, as Sonic the Hedgehog once said, "That's NO good!"


Despite most Neocities users complaining about the hierarchies of popular social media, there is an undeniable hierarchy forming among the more popular sites. I think that it's possible one of the reasons for this is that, when you go to check out Neocities' sites, it's automatically sorted by 'most followed'. That, combined with the ability to more or less 'microblog', per say, with the posting feature, leads to a social-media like atmosphere where the more popular sites are able to do and say all sorts of awful things.

For example, 5amgirlfriend is run by an open transphobe, and yet still gets positive comments. When a popular Neocities user was outed as a pedophile, there were still tons of comments supporting her, and (allegedly) multiple popular Neocities users already knew that she was one, but did not say anything. The person who runs Dokodemo followed and platformed a literal TERF, specifically to 'piss off' a transfem that he didn't like, and then proceeded to be involved in creating multiple whole-ass websites mocking and purposefully trying to trigger said transfem, and yet Neocities users are still turning a blind eye, saying nothing about it, and are giving him a platform. There is a hierarchy of popular Neocities users who hide each other's bad qualities, go to harass those they don't like and platform awful people, but nobody seems to care. It's all just, "Don't start drama, guys! Let's not bring CANCEL CULTURE onto here!", and it fucking infuriates me.

As a CSA victim and a transgender person, I have not felt safe on Neocities, ever since being made aware of all of this. The culture of awful things that popular people do being swept under the rug and defended, just because they know how to code iFrames or something, is terrifying. Especially when the people it effects are then harassed for speaking about it. And I'm not saying that what we need is to go to the other end of the spectrum, either; callout threads about slur discourse or fucking whatever. (Read: Actually harmful 'cancel culture'.) I'm not saying that all of these people in this hierarchy of popular users need to be deplatformed. I just don't want genuine bigotry to be called "drama" to dismiss the people affected. Man, in the end, the only thing that I really want is for marginalized people to be able to talk about these incidents in a less-than-positive manner without being fucking harassed!

I don't even know what I would recommend we do to fix this problem. But I do know that it is a problem; a huge one; that needs to be fixed. You don't have to know exactly how to fix a food's taste in order to be able to tell that it tastes bad. And this culture of idolization of those with the most followed sites, and then turning a blind eye and pretending not to see when they do something awful? It's fucking foul.