Today I’m learning about Mastodon.social. What is it? Mastodon is a new social media frontier, a decentralized, open source social network of the future: “No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Join today: https://joinmastodon.org,” says the page.
With no central servers, the experience may be similar, but the design is very different from Twitter and other large corporate social media players. Twitter must realize that there could be a rapid and massive “100th Monkey” type of migration of their users away to Mastodon. It might happen if the application continues to work well, avoids advertisements, and lets local community standards and moderation do their job while maintaining privacy.
Twitter has come under fire in recent months for its slowness in dealing with cyberbullying, and the proliferation of accounts promoting and glorifying Islamic extremism. Facebook, meanwhile, continues to be a privacy nightmare. – via MakeUseOf
How many users are on Mastodon? As of 5/22/17 it was 623,000 users with over a million posts. How many in 2018? Regardless, Twitter is likely not worried. Millions of which are likely fake, but still.
I fired up a Mastadon and one thing I like is the ability of the iPhone app to read new posts as they scroll by. Unfortunately, until I figure out how to navigate, they are nearly all in another language so I don’t know what they are saying.
“it avoids the risks of a single company monopolizing your communication. Pick a server that you trust — whichever you choose, you can interact with everyone else. Anyone can run their own Mastodon instance and participate in the social network seamlessly. – link
With regard to safety, here is a list of the moderation options from one screen:
Sick of Twitter? Fed up with Facebook? Online abuse and NSFW content getting you down? Just want to exchange ideas away from the glare of people who oppose you?
If it was a bit faster and easier, I’d have already set up my own StrangeNews instance of Mastadon, but it looks like a lot of work at a command prompt to get it running. Besides, there are hundreds of Mastadon instances to explore.
This one for example:
Welcome to Mos Eisley, a Star Wars themed Mastodon instance! The instance is not restricted to Star Wars related content: general use is welcome and expected.
A few more notes: NASA and SpaceX have accounts and I saw one test post of a video, so that is possible in the system.
There are more and more ways we can connect. This may not always be a good thing if all of our gabbing lowers national and personal productivity but it is happening, nonetheless.