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Social Media Waffling, Migration, Culture, and Hope

I’ve waffled on Twitter. Disabled, re-enabled, and again just diabled cross-posting. Before the edict on barring Mastodon links in profiles, I had used Debirdify to learn that about 106 of the accounts I follow had federated accounts elsewhere. That’s less than 10 percent of the total number of accounts I follow there. The news escaping the Twitter bubble about the owner and his policies and his actions don’t really give me hope.

The interesting thing right this minute is dipping into the full federated Mastodon feed to see things I would otherwise have no idea how to find. The no-algorithm thing is cool in that sense.

I do think that things like boosting and likes will lead to much of the same “interaction-seeking” behavior from Twitter that can be leveraged in manipulative ways. I already see accounts whose output is primarily boosted toots, or broadcasting memes. My fear is that it’s just a matter of time until accounts are stolen and instances get weaponized as long as there is a financial or political incentive.

I worry about a commercial platform hosting speech and owning access to it, when the owner talks both about free speech and lawful speech. My sense is that culturally we will be now also facing battles over what is lawful speech, and protecting a specific point of view as lawful and anything other as not.

Nevertheless, I do see more and more accounts coming over into non-Twitter spaces. I find that interesting and exciting. I think there is value in having more than one path to information. And I fully support an individual’s right to own their words and their art.

I’m about half way through @manton’s Indie Microblogging book. I see the wisdom of using the web itself and protocols we already have as the social network. Weird, right? Using the interconnected network we already use, itself, as the social network?

In the end, I’m seeing aggregation sites (networks) as a single point of failure, and I’m seeing diaspora as the best hope for preservation and posterity.

It takes more work to run my own ship, but I like that I can head to the ports of my own choosing with hosting, email, DNS, RSS, blogging, and Mastodon instance. Further, I’m happy to pay the people in those ports that are helping me and providing value.