QUICK! KILL IT WHILE ITS DYING!!!
For every twitter user, either tens of thousands of people care about what they have to say or no one cares. I have been a heavy Twitter user for about two years and I am definitely the latter. I've used the microblogging website as a void for all my stupid thoughts that no one else would care to hear. I like twitter a lot more than instagram because all the posts I recieve aren't other people's "perfect" vacations and I can share things frequently without being annoying.
As of writing this I have 3700 tweets where I make dumb jokes,
“Whoa Noah you just built a boat, housed a few animals and then passively watched as everyone else on earth DROWNED??? Thats a little more than fucked up my man”— TubbDoose is on Mastodon (@TubbDoose) October 9, 2022
Drinking? Smoking or vaping? Cannabis? Any other recreational drugs? Sexually active?— TubbDoose is on Mastodon (@TubbDoose) August 4, 2022
No. No. No. No. No. pic.twitter.com/amYGdswJe5
where I complain about other people,
Passive aggression is so annoying. When they know their own anger is unjustified but they can’t hold back from releasing it, they try to slip it in subtlety as if that makes it okay. And then you can’t even get mad because then YOU would be escalating it.— TubbDoose is on Mastodon (@TubbDoose) November 3, 2022
WHY DO THEY DECIDE TO TALK RIGHT OUTSIDE THE HOUSE ENTRENCE. GO SOMEWHERE ELSE YOU ARE SO LOUD.— TubbDoose is on Mastodon (@TubbDoose) October 14, 2022
and mostly where I complain about myself.
Imm so fucked ahgghg I’ve already done two all nighters and missed three and a half classes— TubbDoose is on Mastodon (@TubbDoose) September 23, 2022
My mannerisms were all designed with the original intent of conveying weakness and fear. I practiced them for so long that it now takes effort to deviate from them.— TubbDoose is on Mastodon (@TubbDoose) August 30, 2022
I had a good time because I knew how best to use the system. Of course it wasn't always like that. Twitter has a Joan Jett style "Bad Reputation." Twitter is toxic. Twitter is cancel culture and right wing trolls. Twitter is a social evil. Twitter is destroying the world. Twitter doesn't give a damn about its bad reputation 𝅘𝅥𝅮𝅘𝅥𝅮.
The invisible hand keeps punching me
If you've used twitter.com you would know this characterization isn't far from the truth. If you haven't been on twitter, heres my best imitation of a typical timeline on the website.
Twitter is not and never was a "digital town square." Twitter, like a lot of things on the internet, is a website that makes money through forcing you to look at it. If there was anyone who signed up for twitter with the goal of resolving conflicts and coming to a consensus, then they all passed away suddenly and immediately in 2006 from the cosmic level of failure they had foresaken themselves to.
Twitter is terrible on purpose. The company has greedily perfected its emotional feedback loop to keep its users as angry and addicted as possible.
Anger drives us to action more than any other emotion and Twitter capitalizes on this. In my early use of the website I was 100% a victim to the company's greedy hate mongering system. Over time though I began eliminating the worst parts of twitter from my use.
Its like the Divine Comedy
One of my first twitter memories is replying to a reply to a tweet from Joe Biden ahead of the 2020 American election. The account said something like "trump is going to win" and I said "I really hope he does not because of x, x, and x" or something. Immediately I was SWAMPED by trumpsters. My phone was pinging every two minutes with another taunting reply from a person with the American flag in their bio. It was a little funny. They were trying to be so mean while knowing nothing about me. One of them found I was Canadian and tried to get back at me through insulting Justin Trudeau??? I stupidly responded to a lot of them, trying to get them to recognize my points. The trolling only increased. Eventually it became annoying.
"I don't have time to argue with every 40-60 year old republican on the internet, I have social studies homework to do!
I deleted the reply so the notifications would stop. After that I comitted to never replying to a politician. Further on in my Twitter journey I realized that reading political things on twitter was also something I had to stop. Twitter is a horrendously stupid way to interact with the news. All of the politicans lie (even the ones you like), the trending page is all advertisments and right wing trolls (because they are the only people motivated and stupid enough to spam tags that hard), most political posts reccomended to you will be ad hominems that agree with your world view, and even posts from news organizations are not that informative because of character limits (also the replies are dense with even more right wing trolls). I unfollowed all politicians (even the ones I would support), stopped touching the trending page, and started getting all my news through articles delivered to me by RSS (RSS feeds are so good, please use an RSS reader!).
That still wasn't enough though. Annoying posts continued to litter my timeline because they push tweets from people you don't even follow. With "Not interested in this Tweet" as my sword, I was deep in an intense battle against the algorithm... until I found Tweetdeck.
Tweetdeck solved all my problems. There are no ads. I could fully remove the trending page from view. I would no longer see things my friends liked. I would no longer see annoying viral posts. NEVER AGAIN would I be served a tweet I didn't ask for. Once I started using tweetdeck my experience on twitter was never even similar to the flaming wasteland I was introduced to and the website is known to be. I mastered the system and could now fully enjoy complaining and laughing into the void.
... and then the Musk Nation attacked.
I've heard many people talk of their past fanaticism of Elon Musk with regret. A lot seem to think his ego got too big, like some kinda of disgraced child star. I was never one of Elon Musk's weird nerds. I think I seem like an easy target though. I'm interested in tech, extremely online, trying to major in computer science, would like to be self employed, and yeah... probably a nerd. But I don't think there are any universes where I end up as an Elon Musk stan. From the moment I was introduced to his existence and saw people compare him to Iron Man, every neuron in my body attempted to suffocate itself. They plead for death over continued experience of the magnitude 9 level of cringe that had begun ripping my brain into a powder. Luckily I survived this encounter and can now tell you why I hated it so much! Firstly, do people not realize that business managers are not the ones making the product? I thought this was common knowledge. How do you think businesses operate??? Do you also think the CEO of Disney is writing, directing, producing, acting in, and editing every movie and tv show released by the megacorporation??? If you did, I'm sorry but they don't even have an artistic role in one. Instead CEOs do boring stuff like mergers and budgets. And even if Elon Musk was an engineer, he would not make cars and put rockets into space by himself. That is not something ANYONE does by themselves. There is no solitary genius placed on Earth as our technological saviour. Even one car requires a team. Its extremely difficult for me to even conceptualize why someone might think Elon Musk is worthy of the strange worship he recieves. But thats only my first gripe. Secondly and most importantly, I think idolizing anyone is something to be avoided. You can be a fan of their work or believe in their philosophies, or enjoy their preformances, but I think you cross a line when you become a fan of the person. People change, they have secrets, and they contradict themselves. People are just people. They will never live up to the godly status you imbue them with. Be a fan of ideas and experiences, not the organism that created them.
If you think Elon Musk is smart, then we disagree on the definition of "smart." I've heard it said that hes "a really smart guy with lots of ideas, but he has trouble identifying if the ideas are good." Is having a lot of ideas the definition of intelligence? If I throw two thousand five hundred thirty seven darts and land 6 on the bullseye, do I have good aim?
My disgust in Elon Musk fans extended to Mr Musk himself when I saw him tweet this:
Based on current trends, probably close to zero new cases in US too by end of April— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 19, 2020
To be honest I should have disliked him before that purely because billionaires shouldn't exist, but this is when my opinion of him dropped below neutral. By March 2020 it was CLEAR Covid-19 was a massive problem we would be dealing with for a while. It was a scientific consensus. But Elon Musk thought he was smarter than those little epidemiologists.
"I have a lot of money and I declare zero new cases in US by end of April"
That is what I would call "a stupid idea." It becomes even worse because for some reason A LOT of people think this man is a genius. It is DANGEROUS for him to be spewing this kind of gargbage. After that I learned of his embarrassing "Teslas in Tunnels thing (which answers the question: "how can we make trains bad") and also found that hes kinda of just a terrible person. Search "Elon Musk Horse" or "Elon Musk thailand cave" or "Elon Musk Fauci" or "Elon Musk reopen tesla factory" or "tesla factory work conditions" or read any of the articles about how hes treating employees at twitter or scroll through his twitter account or maybe take time and think about what sort of MANIAC would believe - out of all the problems in the world (poverty, child mortality, homelessness, lack of healthcare, etc...) that transfering twitter's ownership over to himself was the issue worth throwing FORTY FOUR BILLION DOLLARS AT.
He is not a fallen star or a complicated genius.
He just sucks.
When news of Musk's plans to acquire twitter broke, I tweeted,
I kinda hate elon musk and I'm pretty sure him owning twitter will generally be a bad thing... but I'm still REALLY excited to see the stupid things that are gonna happen on the platform— TubbDoose is on Mastodon (@TubbDoose) April 26, 2022
and WOW was I right. I was more right than I thought I would be. Elon Musk's Twitter acquisiton might go down as my favourite cultural event ever. It is just so cartoonish. If you want to read about what has and is happening at twitter, check this stream from the Verge. I'll give best summary here though.
Elon Musk offers to buy Twitter for $44 billion because he thinks it doesn't protect free speech
Twitter accepts offer
Elon Musk realizes it's really stupid to buy an unprofitable company that everyone hates
Elon Musk changes his mind, tries to blame it on Twitter having too many bots
Twitter takes him to court, Elon Musk is going to lose
Elon Musk agrees to buy Twitter so he won't lose court case
Elon Musk arrives at Twitter HQ holding a sink. "let that sink in"
Elon Musk fires many of the executives
Elon Musk announces that comedy is now legal on Twiter
Elon Musk fires a significant number of employees
Elon Musk orders the remaining employees to update Twitter Blue to be more expensive ($8/month), give you a verified checkmark, and make your tweets higher ranked. I thought this was extremely stupid and I tweeted,
Giving accounts priority because they paid money is just going to increase the effectivness of misinformation bots. Making verification a sign you paid REMOVES what verification is supposed to be which is a sign that you are who you claim you are. He is so dumb omg.— TubbDoose is on Mastodon (@TubbDoose) November 1, 2022
After tweeting about it I listened to an episode of the Vergecast where they say you can verify identity with the name on a credit card. I felt a little silly and corrected myself.
I’m actually probably wrong about it being better for bots cause you can verify they are real with their credit card (i dont think theres an easy way to make credit cards under fake names?). https://t.co/ZQ5X7Q3ERs— TubbDoose is on Mastodon (@TubbDoose) November 3, 2022
I still think forcing journalists and other potential targets to choose between being vulnerable to impersonation and paying is bad though.— TubbDoose is on Mastodon (@TubbDoose) November 3, 2022
Then the "Twitter Blue Chaos Event" occurred. You can see some examples here on KnowYourMeme, but basically... I was right the first time. Twitter was giving verification to accounts without actually verifying any of them. It was truly wonderous. It was the most "twitter" twitter has ever been. I even peaked over the walls of my tweetdeck fortress to catch a glipse of the madness. Nintendo of America was flipping people off, Eli Lilly was offering free insulin, Elon Musk was proclaiming piss to be his favourite drink... It was a very funny time but it was also shocking. Did Elon Musk not know this was going to happen???
Several advertisers leave twitter for obvious reasons
Twitter begins banning impersonators without warning. So comedy isn't legal?
Musk lets go even more employees
Twitter pauses twitter blue for it to be relaunched later
Donald Trump (banned for inciting violence) and accounts banned for transphobia are unbanned
There is a lot more but thats the basics. It was thrilling. Elon Musk was murdering twitter. Everyone was talking about it. Even the local news podcast I listen to had an episode on the situation.
All of Elon Musk's changes have been bad for the experience of being on twitter.com, but I don't use twitter.com, I used tweetdeck. To be honest, I haven't and probably won't be affected by the circus Mr Musk is preforming. I hate that Trump is back but on tweetdeck I'll never have to see his tweets regardless. Still though... I hope twitter dies.
Try avoiding the one that's destroying the world!
I'm no longer tweeting. I don't want to support a company who's business model drives it to incite anger and hate. I don't want to have a part in maintaining a website which took action to BRING BACK transphobes and a man who attempted to destroy America's democracy. I don't want twitter and I want Elon Musk's twitter even less.
Maybe I'm drenched in copium, but I still like microblogging. Theres a reason I stuck with twitter before I knew about tweetdeck. I LOVE saying things on the internet. I am so loud and annoying online. Before I had twitter I used to spam my instagram story everyday. Everyone hated it. On a microblogging platform like twitter though, thats just normal. At the very beginning of this post I said
"For every twitter user, either tens of thousands of people care about what they have to say or no one cares."
For a non-twitter user there are "some" people interested in the things they say. They have group chats and a thing called "hanging out" for that. Most people have no use for microblogging - but I do. I don't want microblogging to die. I want twitter to die so that something better can replace it.
Our universe is made of instances of a few fundamental particles and a set of fundamental forces which govern how these particles interact. Everything that exists — from carbon atoms, to sugar molecules, to pumpkin pie, to me, to the planet earth, to our solar system, to our galaxy — only exists because the structure of fundamental particles which composes it is stable under these fundamental forces. I think stable complex behaviours emerging from simple systems is the lens that almost everything should be viewed through. That includes politics, economics, culture, and yes, horrible social media websites.
Twiter is the way it is because under twitter's system, "the way it is" is stable. "Twitter's sytem" is not simple. It encompasses the ranking algorithms, moderation policy, and user interface, but we can understand all of that under a broader system which IS pretty simple: Twitter does what makes twitter money.
I've already discussed how elements of twitter like the trending page and ranking system optimize for that sweet sweet money making discourse, so lets talk about moderation. Why are white nationalists like Tucker Carlson allowed on twitter? The answer again: money. If spreading racist shit like the Great Replacment Conspiracy Theory was not allowed on twitter, then twitter would stop making money from its racist users. Thats less important though. More importantly, twitter would lose its status as a percieved public utility. Being kicked off twitter should feel like being banned from Disneyland. Yeah its sad, but you paraded Main Street USA while giving a speech to other visitors about how immigration of nonwhite people was the most dangerous issue facing the country, and Disney has a right to control whos allowed in their private property. It doesn't feel like this though. Because like 5 companies control most of the most visited websites of the world wide web, it feels like being banned from going on the internet. Being percieved as a public utility while actually not being one is very profitable. Also because twitter is seen this way, politicians will try to govern them like a public utility if twitter does things they don't like (much of america is controlled by crazy far-right politicians).
So every social network that optimizes for profit is doomed to twitter's fate? Kinda of? My time on reddit is pretty good because the existence of subreddits gives you more control over your experience. Reddit still houses HORRIBLE communities though, I'm just not forced to see them like I was on twitter. So yeah, I think money is the root of a social network's evil (how surprising!).
How am I going to find a microblogging platform that doesn't care about money???
Open source software
Volunteer run websites using the software are supported by donations
Every website can communicate with every other website
Mastodon is pretty much email. Email but social media. You can be @gmail.com or @yahoo.com or even @tubbdoose.com and that doesn't stop you from emailing someone at @protonmail.com. Similarly, I could host my own mastodon instance (what each website is called), make moderation decisions, change up the UI, block other instances I dislike and people using my instance could still read, like, and reply to posts from other instances (and vice versa). Having this sort of decentralized network is called being "federated."
I think federation solves everything about social media.
... Okay maybe not everything - Where humans go, idiocy will follow - but just hear me out!!!
Here are some things most people might identify as "issues" with social media:
Now I'll go through why federation solves each of them
The technology is open source so if one instance starts tracking you, you can move to one that doesn't.
This is the same reason Wikipedia is ad free. Very early in Wikipedia's history there were discussions of implementing advertisments. Because Wikipedia's software is open source, editors on Spanish Wikipedia were able to create a Wikipedia clone called Enciclopedia Libre and moved to it over the potential that Wikipedia would integrate advertising. The immigration forced Wikipedia to decide against advertising - lest they continue to lose editors and become irrelevant.
On a federated social media the threat of users leaving means the only surviving instances are ones that prioritize the users. That is why pretty much all mastodon instances are supported by donations - just like Wikipedia is now.
Because theres no ad money, there just isn't any incentive for it. In fact, Mastodon was created specifically to get away from the hate mongering on twitter and you can see this reflected in the design.
Mastodon intentionally misses two major features on twitter: text search and quote tweeting.
On Mastodon you can only search for accounts and tags. You can't search for specific words in posts. The reason is to prevent abusive users from searching for terms like "trans" or "black" or "they/them" and harrassing the people using them.
Quote tweeting is a feature on twitter where you can embed someone elses tweets in your own. A very common use case for this is quote tweeting something really bad and saying "bruh this is so bad" which is dumb because it further spreads the bad thing. Mastodon intentionally doesn't include quote tweeting because of this.
Cool how social networks relying on keeping their users happy results in better social networks right?
A Mastodon instance isn't a pretend public utility. It doesn't have to accomodate "all voices." Some opinions (the racist, homophobic, transphobic, sexist, dangerous, etc ones) can be banned if the instance admin wants. Now do you want to be on an instance that allows nazis and health misinformation, or on one that doesn't? If you don't suck you would probably prefer one that doesn't.
All the decent people will go to decent instances that ban horrible stuff. All horrible instances that allow horrible stuff will be blocked by those decent instances. This will result in two major networks forming: decent instances where most go and horrible instances where nazis go. Isn't that a lot better than a pretend public utility that tries to make us coexist with nazis?
To generalize these benefits you can simply understand them as federation removing the tragedy of the commons issue of social media.
Why does everyone between the ages of 12 and 30 have an instagram? Because every other person between the age of 12 and 30 has an instagram. Its not because instagram is good at anything it does (in fact its pretty bad at most things). Instagram and twitter and all other centralized social medias survive because "thats where my friend or that famous person is."
How are social medias supposed to compete then??? Made an instagram with a web version that doesn't suck? Who cares, no one from my high school is using it. Made a twitter with less Ben Shapiros? Whateverrr, the funny Make Up a Guy account isn't on it. If everyone else goes there, I'll go, but until then, I'll bask in the dusty air of this decaying hellscape.
On Mastodon you can move between instances easily while still following people on others. The best instances can grow and the worst will die. The tragedy of the commons issue doesn't exist within Mastodon.
Unfortunately we can't get this decentralized tragedy of the commons-less network without first breaking through the tragedy of the commons and leaving centralized networks...
My personal moral philosophy suggests that one should not do what they believe all others shouldn't do. Although that is often difficult - sometimes taking the bus is just too inconvenient and I still eat meat for now - not using twitter is REALLY easy for me. I have been hardcore addicted for two years. Twitter has constructed elements of my pyschology and behaviours that never would have been there without it. I was the ridiculous stereotype teenage public diary microblogger on the site. I HAVE A T SHIRT WITH THE TWITTER LOGO!!! But when I decided continuing using twitter would make the world worse, it was easy for me to stop. I am BEGGING you. If you care about making a better internet, please consider being brave and pausing your activity on Twitter. Mastodon is at least worth a try.
Better than Twitter but not perfect like some people might try to tell you.
Due to the nature of being an alternative social media, Mastodon has a very "hippie cult commune/french revolution" vibe right now.
"We are creating a new world with new rules and new customs and new words. This is where the grass is greener, the word 'Twitter' is banned, and the sky is a solid sheet of rainbows."
Obviously by the way I described it, I dislike this. The most trending posts on Mastodon are consistently ones about how good it is, many people call twitter "birdsite" because direct references to twitter are too grotesque I guess, and there are endless viral controversies where people argue about how others should use the service. Commanding others not to use an open verification database called "fedified" because its "not in the spirit of decentralization". Telling others to boost posts instead of favouriting them. Shaming others for dirtying the sacred servers of their instance by sharing links to songs they've made??? Its so bad that I see A LOT of posts where people are so scared they ask for ettiquette on really basic things like linking to their other social medias. I guess when we travel to a new frontier, our minds quickly attach to imaginary utopias and we'll sacrafice the values of those utopias in an effort to create them. Some real human ass bullshit...
Mastodon won't always be a new frontier though so I am confident this issue will fade. Mastodon on all other counts has been very good. Much better than my experience on twitter. The feed is reverse chronological posts from only the accounts I follow (like tweetdeck), the news feed links to consistently interesting articles, the trending hashtags are boring but at least they aren't #TrudueaDictatorship everyday, and... I'm not scared???
On twitter I took being scared as a given. Honestly, I'm not sure I even knew there was an alternative. Of course, if you reply to a large account or have a political post get attention, then there will be mean people being mean to you. Thats what the internet is... right? Mastodon has proved to me that this assumption was wrong. Apperently you can actually have nice and productive conversations online.
I've replied to big accounts (Hank Green's 20th post was boosting a reply from me 😎), I've replied to big accounts with a political opinion (I know, dangerous!), and I've had respectful disagreements with strangers. Everyone has been so kind to me so far. Its kind of astonishing.
The lack of rudeness on Mastodon has changed how I use microblogging. Sometimes I'm actually SEEKING OUT replies. For me, microblogging is not just an empty void anymore. Its now an empty void with ocassional social elements sometimes!
This is true for almost everyone who uses Mastodon
Used to use twitter
Open to trying out new tech things
Did not like what Elon Musk was doing with Twitter enough to actually do something
The result of this is a very specifc group of people that looks like this:
I think I very much fit in the intersection of those 3. I am sort of an outlier though because I'm younger where most people on Mastodon are middle age. Being older might be a product of "techy" or maybe the "actually" part of "actually progressive" (my generation is known for slacktivism), but I'm not so sure. Anyway, a really funny result of these demographics is that one of the most followed accounts on Mastodon is former StarTrek actor George Takei. George Takei embodies the personality of Mastodon. The show he is known for played in the 1960's, it was utopian, its nerdy, George was a politician and is still very politically active... I never would have predicted Sulu from the Original Series to be the perfect mascot, but it makes so much sense.
Unfortunately the "techy" part does mean less diversity. The typical Mastodon user is a white male in their 30s-50s. Despite this the tag #BlackMastodon is pretty strong and there is even a whole instance called blacktwitter.io that seeks to recreate the black twitter community on Mastodon.
I really really REALLY hope Mastodon continues to grow and doesn't stagnate to become known as a social media only middle age white men use because that would be EXTREMELY embarrassing!!!
Here I will address concerns you might have about Mastodon
Mastodon shouldn't succeed because all microblogging is bad:
Microblogging will exist for as long as the internet exists though won't it? Can you imagine a world with the internet and without any popular form of microblogging? How would online creators communicate quickly with their audience? How would basketball players make sure you know how they REALLY feel about Taiwan's relationship with China? Where would losers like me go to complain about their sad loser lives???
I am certain microblogging will always exist in some form - its on us to ensure that form is constructive and not destructive like twitter was. If you really think that is impossible, don't take part in Mastodon. But you also ESPECIALLY shouldn't be taking part in twitter.
Won't leaving for Mastodon make Twitter's culture even worse:
I guess? Maybe? Depends on how you quantify toxicity. Is it the ratio of toxic to non toxic posts in your feed? Does one normal post neutralize a toxic one? Or maybe does a single toxic post in the timeline overpower everything else?
I don't think any of this matters. Personally I think one toxic post or trend in your timeline is enough to deem twitter as toxic, so decent people leaving isn't going to make things any worse. Even if it does though, so what? Should we endure the toxic culture just to spite Elon Musk.
"Are you mad yet Elon Musk? That I'm still on your website making money for you? Do you feel "triggered" by my strength to endure toxicity and continue generating content for you to sell? No matter how many transphobes and democracy destroyers you bring back, I'm going to stand tall and support this website. What are you gonna do? Its not like you own this place or something..."
This is a dumb view is what I'm saying. Twitter is not a battle ground worth fight for. Twitter is an image of a bird, a domain name, and a building in San Fransisco. Why do you want that?
The damage done by a toxic culture should be measured in how many people are affected. The more people leaving twitter, the less are effected by how horrible it is.
Mastodon will lead to a leftist echo chamber:
These are the rules for the instance I use (mas.to)
No discrimination, including (but not limited to) racism, sexism, homophobia or transphobia.
No explicit (NSFW) content without content warnings and/or sensitive media markers. Explicit content must not be used in user avatars or header images.
No harassment of other users on this or other servers.
No content illegal in the following countries: United Kingdom, Germany
No incitement of violence or promotion of violent ideologies.
No disinformation regarding public health issues or political/military campaigns.
No spam. This includes commercial advertising, promotional campaigns, and SEO.
No impersonation of other individuals, public figures or organisations, unless clearly marked as a parody.
If those seem like conditions for a "leftist echo chamber" to you, then I guess it will.
Can Instances survive just on volunteers and donations:
I am a little worried about this. I've started donating $5 a month to my instance to keep it operating. I'm scared content modertion won't scale for a donations based model. Of course Wikipedia editors prove content moderation is possible as a volunteer position, but encylopedias are also very different from social media? If donations and volunteerism fails then the only stable large instances would end up being for profit. Imagine a google or amazon mastodon instance. Just like email, tech giants could swoop in and monitize mastodon.
If we were in a world where tech giants competed with each other on mastodon then I'd be okay with that because its still a lot better than the centralized social medias we have right now. Monetization does recreate the hate mongering incentives though so I would MUCH prefer it if donations and volunteerism IS able to scale well.
How does verification work in a decentralized network:
I am also worried about this. There are two tools for verifying identity on Mastodon. The first is that links on your profile glow green if the website says your account is the owner.
Since tubbdoose.com is in green you know I am the true owner of it... But not all people have websites? and even if they do, I might not be able to easily tell if the website linked actually belongs to the person I think owns this account. What if the website is fake as well?
Another way you could verify identity is through the instance someone uses. For example the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) could host their own instance and all their journalists would be @cbc.ca. This does rely on media companies to actually do this though and I'm not sure they will any time soon. Also what about people without company affiliations like that?
In the end you sorta just have to snoop around profiles to make sure. "yeah thats a believable amount of followers and posts" sorta thing. Maybe one day there will be an exculsive Mastodon instance for relevant online creators which does all the identity checking before the account is made and then we only trust famous people when they are using that one? That does actually exist for journalists (journa.host). The only alternative from this I see is the content moderaters getting really good at spotting impersonations (which ties back to my fears of scaling content moderation).
We are at an exciting time in the history of social media. Twitter still has the potential of collapse. The odds of a billionaire impulsivley buying twitter, throwing weird temper tantrums, and ABSOLUTELY TRASHING IT are SO SLIM. Maybe I have to start believing in God again because it really seems like divine intervention.
He closed his hands in prayer "Father, I hath witnessed the most foul of business practices. Oh please I beg of you, cast out thy wretched centralized networks and with thy awesome power, bring upon a new age of the internet we so love. Amen."
And the Lord doth answer his prayer. By his command the most foolish of men was crowned King of the internet and after 400 days and 400 nights, the kingdom fell. "Hazzah!" he said unto the Lord. "Now cometh the rebuilding."
We CANNOT overlook this oppertunity. Twitter is dying and we have to kill it quickly before it has time to rise again. An emotionally unstable idiot with enough money to buy and further destroy the website will only happen once (probably). PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE take advantage of it the one time you can
I use the general mas.to instance and its pretty good so I recommend signing up there. You can also go to joinmastodon.org/servers and choose an instance more specific to your interests.
Once you've made your account, here are some cool people you could follow:
Hank Green - internet guy firstname.lastname@example.org
Jane Manchun Wong - reverse engineer blogger email@example.com
David Revoy - artist firstname.lastname@example.org
Our World in Data - data research organization email@example.com
lolennu - funny person firstname.lastname@example.org
roxiqt - funny person email@example.com
and also ummm...
You could follow me if you want! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thank you for reading this super long, probably unfunny, and most definitely incoherent, blog post on how I want to murder twitter. I hope it was worth your time!