I think it has been since 2016 when they chose not to enforce their terms of service for Trump. The billionaire buyout just brought it to this ultimate state faster.
"Mastodon, a text-based social network similar to Twitter, is the most popular example of ActivityPub in action. Users can post text, share images, and follow others. But Mastodon, unlike Twitter, is not hosted as a singular service but instead a collection of independent servers that communicate through ActivityPub. Joining Mastodon means joining a server with its own community and code of conduct. Users can interact with users on other servers, but their account is hosted on the server they choose."Nice intro to Mastodon here. And speaking of apps, I have been using Ivory as my main mobile Mastodon app for a while now and I'm enjoying it more than the official app. It's great to have so many options.
"Stanford’s communicative infrastructure cannot depend on the judgment of social media companies or volunteer maintainers of servers, and social media is too important for our university to leave on the hands of profit-making enterprises or well-meaning nonprofits."I think all institutions should be considering this if they believe social media is an important way to communicate.
"Here is how platforms die: first, they are good to their users; then they abuse their users to make things better for their business customers; finally, they abuse those business customers to claw back all the value for themselves. Then, they die."I really wish this die phase would hurry up. A company can wreck a lot in the time it takes to die. (And Cory has been on a roll lately! This post is a barn burner!)
"Even if the attention of the world were to move away from [Mastodon] it will absolutely sustain itself because it only requires a bunch of committed people to say, 'hey I want to do this'. Things like that are very robust."Brooke Gladstone interviewing Clive Thompson about what Mastodon is and why anyone should care.
"Many of us with larger presences on the platform have seen a significant drop in our follower counts as people make good on their threat to exit. This is, of course, as much their right as it is Musk’s to buy the platform and run it as he pleases. But I think leaving is a mistake."LOL I have to admit there is some Schadenfreude happening at this moment. Social media has been so awful for so long. Let me have this.
"Salma al-Shehab, a Saudi student living in the UK and attending Leeds University, was sentenced to 34 years in prison for having a Twitter account and following and retweeting dissidents and activists. She was arrested and convicted after returning home for a holiday."Saudi Arabia partnered with Elon Musk to become the 2nd largest investor in Twitter. It doesn’t look like Musk is building a free speech platform.
"The law allows financial penalties of $10,000 per violation, which can be tripled when violations are deemed intentional. The Attorney General’s Office asserted Facebook has committed several hundred violations since 2018."This is a new one: a corporation intentionally breaking the law over and over again might have consequences?
"The rise of services that connect strangers through private messaging has strained the conventional “see something, say something” mantra repeated in the decades since the Columbine High School massacre and other attacks, according to social media researchers. And when strangers do suspect something is wrong, they may feel they have limited ways to respond beyond filing a user report into a corporate abyss."Centralized social media without strong moderation was a big mistake. The advertising industry needs to force reforms but I’m not optimistic.
"Robbins, who said she lives in California and only ever interacted with Ramos online, told CNN she reported him to Yubo several times and blocked his account, but continued seeing him in livestreams making lewd comments."We need both online and physical world consequences for threatening behavior online. Services allowing people to repeatedly make threats of physical harm is unethical but it is the status quo for online media.
"The larger point, though, is that network activity plus some corroborating evidence based on the content of the speech should allow plaintiffs to succeed in many cases where an attacker was playing out the paranoid fantasies of a larger radical network that was effectively under the control of a few key individuals."Interesting proposal that could bring accountability to ringleaders who spread dangerous rhetoric online. If someone spreads violent paranoid fantasies and their followers act on it in the real world there’s really no consequences right now.
"They discussed how various platforms, from Twitter to TikTok and Telegram, are moderating the content coming out of Russia and Ukraine right now; the costs and benefits of Western companies pulling operations out of Russia during a period of increasing crackdown; and how the events of the last few weeks might shape our thinking about the nature and power of information operations."Good discussion of the state of global social media moderation during an information war.