The good one

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 2 min read

Jason Koebler: Mastodon Is the Good One

the Fediverse is a better, more user-centric social media concept than the one we currently have, where you amass followers on a single platform then lose them if that platform dies or becomes bad and you decide to quit. Federated social media means that you create an account on a server, can follow people on that server and on other servers, and can move your account to other federated platforms or servers whenever you want.

I feel pretty strongly that if you do work that involved a following of real people online, you should absolutely know who your followers are and own that list so you can take it with you elsewhere. When I ran a newsletter through Substack, I owned my audience and was able to easily move to Ghost. I’ve gone all in on ActivityPub with my own server and making it my social home on the internet. I’d spent a decade building an audience on Twitter, and I threw that all away when I left last year.

YouTube is the one place I don’t follow this rule, and truthfully it does give me a little heartburn when I think about the fact I just hit 20,000 followers there, I don’t know who any of them are and I don’t have any way to take them with me if I ever want (or need) to get off YouTube one day.

But I love YouTube as a user, and as a teacher who makes videos about tech, it’s the best platform for me as well. The other options I’ve seen simply aren’t there. Which brings us to the second quote:

I’m writing this because it has been weird to watch some journalists and people who are fully aware of Facebook’s catastrophic history with things like disinformation, algorithmic dark patterns and ever-shifting reward systems, user monetization and tracking, disastrous forays into the news business, shoddy content moderation, and complicity in a genocide become the world’s largest Mark Zuckerberg / Threads simps because he’s a little less awful than Elon Musk.

I think a lot of people need to take a good look inside and recognize that while they said they didn’t use Facebook for moral reasons, Threads shows that in fact we didn’t use it because we didn’t like it; the moral element was a cherry on top.

Notice I did use the word “we” in that description. I was absolutely in that group! For years I thought to myself that I left Facebook in the dust because I refused to use a product made by that company, but I really enjoy using Threads, so apparently I was okay with it if I liked the app.

I did quit Twitter, though, so there’s that 🤷🏻‍♂️