The most popular alternative social-media site that respondents mentioned opening accounts with was the free, open-source software platform Mastodon.
4 out of 5 scientists agree, mastodon is ok.
Erin Kissane
About half of the people whose primary or secondary reasons fit into this category talked about content warnings, and most of those responses pointed to what they perceived as unreasonable—or in several cases anti-trans or racist—expectations for content warnings.
Lots and lots of work to do to make alternative spaces more welcoming.
Musk and the people backing all this are more interested in reshaping the global order than in earning fake “fiat currency.” Their real goal is to usher in “hard currency” and re-base global currencies around scarcity and physical assets. So no it really doesn’t matter much what happens to Twitter’s ad model in the meantime. It will probably do alright, and they can probably find other ways to make money, like adding in payments and weird Dogecoin schemes.
Yeah, this article by Dave Troy from last October was not only prescient but has timely reasons why Twitter and Bluesky might not be the competitors you think they are.
YouTube provided no evidence for its assertion that hosting and promoting 2020 election lies would not “meaningfully” increase the risk of harm. It seems curious, given the events of January 6, the ongoing threats to election workers, and the fact that about half of Americans didn’t think votes in the the midterm elections would be counted properly.
aka: this profitable, engaged audience segment is only profitable if you can feed them engaging monetized content. Eroding democracy and encouraging political violence are externalities.
The Verge
Most of the subreddits have pledged to go private — preventing outside access — for 48 hours, though some, like the 26 million-member community r/videos, have said they’ll remain private indefinitely.
Volunteer labor isn’t an infinite resource. Reddit needs to maintain that resource with an imminent IPO, but it sounds like the current CEO doesn’t think it’s necessary.

See also: this summary by Cyber Yuki (click Show More).
The Atlantic
Twitter has long been described, even by its most ardent users, as a hellsite. But under Elon Musk, Twitter has evolved into a platform that is indistinguishable from the wastelands of alternative social-media sites such as Truth Social and Parler. It is now a right-wing social network.
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.
IEEE Spectrum
"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!)
WNYC Studios
"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.
The Atlantic
"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.
The Guardian
"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.
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