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New draft: Twitter vs. Mastodon

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Annika Backstrom 2 weeks ago
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+Title: Twitter vs. Mastodon: On Leaving the Titanic
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+Slug: twitter-vs-mastodon-on-leaving-the-tianic
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+Summary: I vent some frustrations about the 800 lbs blue bird.
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+Date: 2018-06-16 11:15
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+Category: Social
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+Tags: mastodon, twitter
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+Status: draft
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+
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+I'm frustrated about Twitter vs. Mastodon[ref]I'm using this as shorthand to
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+mean "microblogging over ActivityPub," sorry Pleroma/GNU Social/other
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+folks.[/ref] so I'm going to dump some thoughts here. It's surely all been said
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+but I want to get it out of my head, and nobody on Twitter cares and everybody
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+on Mastodon already knows and doesn't want to hear it again.
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+
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+Somebody in a Slack linked to [this thread][1] by Rebecca Cohen (@GynoStar) on
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+Twitter. The gist is she replied to some trolls using Princess Bride quotes and
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+got a temporary suspension for "abusive behavior". This is pretty much what
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+we've come to expect from the moderation teams of big platforms: rules are
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+inconsistently enforced, mod teams suffer [inhuman][2] [conditions][3] and don't
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+always make the decision we expect or want, trolls routinely weaponize
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+moderation tools against already-marginalized groups.
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+
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+I've been off Twitter since October 2017 and finally deleted my account late in
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+2018. As someone who already left that particular flavor of toxicity behind,
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+it's frustrating watching this same story play out over and over.
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+
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+People want Twitter to get better. They want to fix it. Twitter was great for a
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+time, but objectively, is it worth saving? Is that model, with its shitty
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+moderation and reliance on ads and its hostility towards app developers and its
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+neverending current of toxicity, even possible to save?
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+
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+Mastodon is not a panacea. The protocols aren't perfect, the software is good
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+and improving but not everyone's cup of tea, and the moderation and funding
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+models are different than we're used to. But after two years, my only wish is
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+more people would join so we can make it better together. Not just with code,
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+but with community and collaboration.
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+
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+Complain about Mastodon (the software) if you want. Question the longevity of
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+individual servers with no long-term plan. Point out the weak spots with
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+distributing and duplicating moderation across thousands of servers and admin
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+and mods. But please, don't just dismiss it without really committing, and later
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+complain that "nobody is on Mastodon." Seriously, you all sounds like a bunch of
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+Titanic passengers waiting for somebody else to prove the lifeboat is safe. Just
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+get off the damn boat.
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+
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+![Everyone I know is on Mastodon!][4]
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+
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+I respect that this is not an easy calculus for some people. I exercised a ton
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+of privilege deleting my own Twitter. The platform is hugely important to some
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+people's revenue streams, especially content creators. There are crossposters in
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+both directions to help you, if you need them. (Just please don't set up and
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+then abandon a Twitter to Mastodon crossposter, I beg you.) Every engagement you
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+make on Twitter helps entrench that platform. You get something from them, but
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+they are taking whatever they can from you, and giving back as little as
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+possible completely on their own terms.
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+
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+Fixing any of the complex problems we face these days takes effort. It's easy to
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+be a naysayer. If you have the spoons, please come and be part of the solution.
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+
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+  [1]: https://twitter.com/GynoStar/status/1146050207618088960
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+  [2]: https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/25/18229714/cognizant-facebook-content-moderator-interviews-trauma-working-conditions-arizona
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+  [3]: https://www.theverge.com/2019/6/19/18681845/facebook-moderator-interviews-video-trauma-ptsd-cognizant-tampa
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+  [4]: /media/2019/07/mastodon.png "A group of people saying together that everyone they know is on Mastodon."
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+

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