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Mr8BitX t1_j1m2fza wrote

Neither do I


Thebadmamajama t1_j1n2iy3 wrote

"By trying to force Mastodon into their usual narratives, they’re missing that what’s really innovative about Mastodon isn’t its technology — it’s the platform’s values."

Values don't matter if the product is unusable.


ryanhoulihan t1_j1nljel wrote

I use it every day. Do you understand email


quantumlocke t1_j1oabat wrote

I went through the trouble of making an account, but have only used it on the web. As compared to Twitter, the process of finding and following people who aren't on my home server isn't as simple, which I find frustrating. Long term, I have massive concerns around operating costs and moderation. The platform (i.e. NOT a platform, but just "some guys" running an instance) seems susceptible to moneyed interests having an outsize influence on moderation decisions.


ryanhoulihan t1_j1oh76s wrote

Yes, some of those are subjective, but everything has flaws. I’ll take those over Twitter’s, thanks.


quantumlocke t1_j1otl8l wrote

I’m happy to not be on Twitter too, but Mastodon isn’t likely to be the next big thing due to the issues I called out and just overall user experience friction. The “next big thing” is probably going to be easy to use, easy to understand, and they will understand that their main product is great moderation.


ryanhoulihan t1_j1ovjr8 wrote

Yeah we’ve tried that a few times now haven’t we


quantumlocke t1_j1p334e wrote

I mean, I don’t think those factors are the source of the problems we have with social media.


ryanhoulihan t1_j1p6674 wrote

Really? Infinite growth, data collection, and billionaires at the wheel aren’t the problem? Algorithms chasing engagement?


LeStiqsue t1_j1mysj6 wrote

So I actually looked into Mastodon yesterday, to see what I could figure out about it.

It looks like Discord, but if everyone were limited to a Twitter interface and had no voice or video calls. And look, that might work well for some people.

But the major, major limiter here is that there is no good way to discover communities of interest. There is no meaningful search function that I can find.

Everything I can do in Mastodon, I can do more easily in Discord. I might be missing something here (highly likely, I'm 37), but this looks like a solution in search of a problem.


e_j_white t1_j1n3mlm wrote

I'm still trying to wrap my head around the federated servers.

I get that it can't be controlled if it's not centralized, but wouldn't separate servers lead to more echo chambers and bubbles?


ghost103429 t1_j1nnuxt wrote

It entirely depends on the servers that you join. Some will have more liberal policies allowing any content from any server to come in within reason, others will be walled gardens.

Mastodon is designed to be software first and so how you experience it will be dependent on the configuration by the owner of the server or on how you configure it, if you setup your own just as how email is.


e_j_white t1_j1okkg8 wrote

Hm, no nothing in particular is preventing the rise of echo chambers and walled gardens, it seems.


oxala75 t1_j1n5m97 wrote

Not necessarily. You can still see posts from people across other servers, but that is very dependent on you following people, who also boost (retweet) things that their followers or people they follow post. Basically your inter-server stream of posts grows based on your ability to literally network - no algorithm involved.


B-Rock001 t1_j1nc4qi wrote

That sounds like the definition of an echo chamber...


leeharrison1984 t1_j1nkr99 wrote


Since there isn't an algo, the degree to which you create your own echo chamber is entirely up to you.


B-Rock001 t1_j1ntfuh wrote

And people gravitate to their own tribe.... it's human nature. It's naive to think that people are going to a better job "without algorithms" to not create echo chambers.

But I also think you're using "algorithm" as a bit of a boggy man here... I mean how does mastadon know what to show you if not for an algorithm? It'd be like sorting by "new" on Reddit... yeah that works for some people but it's like taking a firehose of data. Most people want something a little more curated, which means something has to do that sorting

Algorithms aren't the problem, the incentives are. What we need are algorithms that have incentives encouraging positive discourse. Attention and likes are fine for your puppy and cat pictures that really don't mean anything, but if you want to talk about anything meaningful popularity is not the way.


oxala75 t1_j1o5dt4 wrote

"sorting by "new" on Reddit..."

That is what I want on Mastodon.

Also, i don't think Twitter's algorithm promotes positive discourse. I believe that it promotes engagement at almost all cost.

Additionally, I've been having much more substantive discussion on Mastodon. In fact, that's currently my only gripe with my experience with the Fediverse - a lot of genuine connections and access to interesting people, but the silliness is in lower supply than on Twitter. I know why, and i'm aware that loving hot mess is a double edged swords.

Mastodon is not a Twitter killer, but I think that it can be a Twitter alternative for some. More importantly, it is something that has value. It is not for everyone, and isn't trying to be. It is harder to understand at first, and i wish that was different. But I'm very puzzled by people who are calling it useless, and by people who don't understand why living algorithm free wouldn't be desirable for some.


B-Rock001 t1_j1oh6ml wrote

Never said it was useless. Just don't buy it's the revolution supporters (like the author of the article) want it to be... I think that has a lot more to do with the lukewarm reaction than "you just don't get it, man". Seems to me a good chance it simply exacerbates the bubbles we already find ourselves in if only those who are savvy enough to work with it sign up.

BTW, I know some like sort by new, but I find it's mostly trash (except maybe in small communities). I actually want something to sort through the dregs and promote the good stuff. Likes and attention is a terrible metric to use for that but it's all we've got so far. I want something better that starts encouraging healthy discourse for all, not just those who can figure it out... don't really know what that is, but mastadon ain't it.


oxala75 t1_j1oq2fk wrote

I hear you. I'm not sure what the solution is, because Twitter also is a lot of (good!) things, but great at encouraging healthy discourse for all is not one of them.


[deleted] t1_j1nmxmm wrote



oxala75 t1_j1nnuw8 wrote in real life. You choose work, school, etc., along with other people who made conscious decisions to be in the same place, along with other people who maybe ended up somewhere. On bigger servers that aren't themed or organized around a particular principle, you may have a more diverse population.

That said, a lot of discourse is happening across servers - where you end up talking to people that you would not have sought out.

I appreciate that an algorithm mixes things up for me, but finding interesting new people was at best a side effect of the algorithm.

EDIT: I don't know what 'conaxious' is


citrus_sugar t1_j1n6y4q wrote

It leads to security issues; there’s no way a server admin could protect against a a real attack.


LeStiqsue t1_j1nvaxu wrote

Or, and I genuinely am just throwing this out there, I could be a Discord user. That's really my point here. Mastodon looks like cool tech that nobody needs.

I don't use a computer to be a revolutionary. I use it to make tasks easier. If someone wants to change it into something better, great, but it probably won't be me that does it.

I already have what I want.


GimpyGeek t1_j1o6r18 wrote

I've heard others saying this is like discord too, but I wouldn't really say it's quite like that. With the major server providers participating in the federation most posts will inevitably be visible in most places


psychothumbs OP t1_j1odpe6 wrote

Does Discord have twitter-style asynchronous short post timeline functionality?


LeStiqsue t1_j1om0zl wrote

No, but it has a functional search.

So you can see what people said in the past, if you like. And! they're not limited to short posts.


SculptusPoe t1_j1mpyzy wrote

Ignore it until it becomes relevant or provide some facts about it and perhaps what features it has and move on? That was difficult....


intelligentx5 t1_j1mic9d wrote

Mastodon is confusing AF. Lol. I want to interact across spaces, and it’s not super easy for that to happen


bdy435 t1_j1mjb0m wrote

Mastodon is open sourced. Help make it better, its a work in progress.

Being decentralized, its free of muskrats and other rodents.


4look4rd t1_j1mssu4 wrote

Centralization is exactly the value proposition of social media. I fail to see what Mastodon brings to the table that something like Signal, Telegram, or even Discord don't already have out there.

Decentralized social media is an entirely different product than the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and the others. Mastodon doesn't really fix it.

At its core, the fundamental idea of social media is what is broken.


merien_nl t1_j1muoip wrote

Centralisation is part of what is broken in social media. There is no inherent need for centralisation to have social media. It is however a weakness. As demonstrated by Twitter. Mastodon solves this.


MetricVeil t1_j1mxhi6 wrote

>Centralization is exactly the value proposition of social media. I fail to see what Mastodon brings to the table that something like Signal, Telegram, or even Discord don't already have out there

Interoperability between different systems is the key. Centralisation is the problem. Mastodon and a 'Fediverse' of similar applications brings interoperablility without being tied to profit-generated platforms.

Centralised social media platforms become unwieldly and polarised. They are, also, very vulnerable to manipulation and technological disruption.


B-Rock001 t1_j1n8gm3 wrote

How is any of that solved by decentralization? Now instead of one service you don't know whether you can trust you have hundreds. Unless there is a way to encourage "good" content and discourage "bad" content built in to the platform (which it doesn't) it's going to have all the same problems. Just like sub Reddits or discord servers it's going to depend a hell of a lot on quality of moderation. I'm sure some Mastedon servers will rise above the rest in that regard, but I fail to see how that would not result in either re-centralizing on the "good" servers or just pushing people farther into echo chambers of servers they "like".

The problem with social media is not the centralization, its the perverse incentives we put on "likes" and "attention" that preys on our human nature, which then companies have learned to turn into profit. You have to solve the first part if you want to have better online discourse and I don't see anyone doing that and mastedon is only focused on the profit side of things... and I'm not sure it's user friendly enough for mass adoption. It's like telling everyone to just build their own website... try telling that to grandma.

Edit: or maybe more aptly, it's like telling grandma to go look at a bunch of existing websites to find one they like and if they don't find one to build their own. That's too much choice for the average person.


MetricVeil t1_j1nbaq6 wrote

>Now instead of one service you don't know whether you can trust you have hundreds.

Well, lets build on end-to-end encryption, and go from there. :D


>... and mastedon is only focused on the profit side of things...

Where does this idea originate? Do you understand the idea behind the Fediverse?

As for 'Grandma', it's like telling her that it doesn't matter which service she uses, they all do the same thing and just as safe as each other. :D


B-Rock001 t1_j1ncnfv wrote

Encryption doesn't tell you wheter you can trust the source, just that you are who you say you are. A conspiracy theorist can get an encryption key.

How do you tell grandma which server to pick? Either you ask grandma to trust someone or make her do her own (likely uninformed) research.


ArekDirithe t1_j1ni53n wrote

How did she pick an email service to use? The choice of mastodon instance is just about as meaningful as which email service you sign up for since they all work on the same interoperable standard.


B-Rock001 t1_j1nrg83 wrote

Not sure what point you're trying to make.... I don't think people put as much thought into which email clients to use as you're implying. She picks the most popular, easy to use one which typically is going to be a giant corporation who can make a slick feature rich interface for low cost/free because they have the money to do so, possibly by harvesting and selling your data.

I mean how many open source/"ethical" email clients do you see in the top lists:

I'm all for the shift to move away from free=good, but that's a big social shift that's going to take more than decentralization to do that. Saying you have so many choices now kinda misses the point... people like choices to be easy and that's one of the allures of a centralized service.


ArekDirithe t1_j1nsmx6 wrote

> Not sure what point you're trying to make.... I don't think people put as much thought into which email clients to use as you're implying.

This is the point. There’s really no reason to put as much thought into which instance you sign up for as what people think, because like with email, you can still see and interact with everyone who uses different instances. And if unlike with email, if you decide to change the service you sign up for, you can easily migrate and all your followers go with you. No need to tell people “hey I got a new email address. Now it’s…”

Edit: By the way, I specifically said email service, not email client. Just in case you missed that, because the discussion you were having was about telling grandma which server to join, not which mastodon app to use. Grandma will probably just use the web version or the “official” mastodon app.


B-Rock001 t1_j1nx0kb wrote

> There’s really no reason to put as much thought into which instance you sign up for as what people think,

Why not? How do I know the server I sign up for isn't going to harvest my data and sell it on the side? Or that it's run by lunatics that promote crazy content? Or that it will collapse because the hoster can't afford hosting? Or that it's going to get hacked?

Every concern you could raise about centralized social media could be raised about an individual server. Yeah, I'm sure you could migrate to a new server if you find out the one you picked sucks, but that's extra work grandma isn't going to want to do... she just wants something that works.

So mastadon kinda addresses a couple problems (like centralized profit) but doesn't do anything to address deeper issues with current social media... all in a package that is objectively more complicated than current offerings. Bringing it back to the article, that seems like a good reason why reaction has been lukewarm to mastodon... not because "tech writers can't understand it".


ArekDirithe t1_j1o0ull wrote

You can literally say the same thing about any email service - which was the point I was replying to.

But you seem to want the fediverse to instantly solve all issues. I don’t think anyone is proposing it is the panacea of social media. Just that it’s far better than corporate-owned for-profit social media.


B-Rock001 t1_j1ofeb6 wrote

Yeah we're taking past each other. I'm not suggesting it has to solves all problems, but everyone is acting like it does... and even the problems it does proport to solve still needs proving at large scale. I mean there's a reason you don't see that many open source platforms becoming mainstream... money talks.

I have my doubts it's going to scale like people seem to think it will... and it doesn't solve the problems inherent to social media, so yeah, forgive me if I fail to get excited about it. The original article was trying to suggest tech writers just don't get mastodon... seems to be like it's just reasonable scepticism that this is going to be all that revolutionary.

Anyway, there isn't much more to say. Cheers.


ArekDirithe t1_j1o12xh wrote

Oh also to clarify your misunderstanding from someone previously: end to end encryption would mean the server hosting your data has no actual access to the content, only you and the recipient can read it. That’s the whole point of end-to-end encryption.


cyrusm t1_j1mmq2z wrote

Yeah... but what's it do?


mahatmakg t1_j1mz69n wrote

I mean, for me it's like Twitter with no ads. I think social media can be a pleasant an positive way to connect and reconnect with others if it's not fueled by ads and helmed by madmen.


Article_Used t1_j1n2avw wrote

it’s twitter, except can’t be bought out and run by a billionaire. already open sourced, and federated so anyone can run a server. not another for-profit company trying to steal your attention


cyrusm t1_j1n35pd wrote

Ah okay. That's all well and good, but Twitter has never been my jam, personally (I still can't see value to tweets, don't know why, seems silly). Thanks for the description!


Cl1mh4224rd t1_j1ni49z wrote

>it’s twitter, except can’t be bought out and run by a billionaire.

This is a bit naive, though, isn't it?

What's to stop a corporation or billionaire from setting up a Mastodon server and accumulating users? Or multiple servers? What's to stop corporations buying up the most popular Mastodon servers and then merging them?

I mean, if a schmuck like me can do it, a billionaire can do it at a much larger scale.


Article_Used t1_j1niccm wrote

nothing, but then what’s to stop the users from leaving for another, uncorrupted server? that’s the difference.

they’re also interoperable with other federated servers, so anyone can leave without losing their followers or who they follow. i can’t migrate off twitter until the people i want to follow do as well.


B-Rock001 t1_j1nywec wrote

  1. That's asking for users to take an action... majority of user base would ask why should I care it doesn't affect my service? I wish more people cared about it, but reality is people just want something that works.

  2. Hosting isn't free, who pays for it? What happens when the billionaire provides the most stable instance because they can afford it? Crowd funding can get you so far, but it's hard to keep going.


Article_Used t1_j1nz6si wrote

i don’t care if anyone else transitions, the key is that i’m able to, and easily. hosting is <$10/mo, so worst case i pay for my own instance, best case i split it with a thousand of my closest friends.


B-Rock001 t1_j1nzsea wrote

Cool, so mastadon solves the problem for you and people who are like you (more tech savvy)... but what about all the people who don't have the know how or don't want to do that? Will you let them freeload on your server driving up your costs? Or will they go to the billionaire's free server?


Article_Used t1_j1o1h4m wrote

you can see for yourself now, there are plenty of free mastodon servers being run currently, without the generosity of any billionaires.


B-Rock001 t1_j1og6m9 wrote

For now, we'll see if that scales. Not sure how many people can cover operating costs at the scale of Twitter, even decentralized. I notice you didn't offer to foot the bill...

Besides, seems the corporate profits argument just shifts to hosting services at that point.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love for there to be better, ethical social media, it just doesn't seem like mastadon is the revolution supporters want it to be.


SawgrassSteve t1_j1njags wrote

It fills a niche for me. It's sort of like playing a casual game after getting the crap kicked out of you playing a hardcore MMORPG.

I go to Twitter if an article or post references a tweet. Otherwise, I ignore it.

I go to Reddit for sports, r/AskHistorians , learning stuff (that I have to fact-check elsewhere), irreverent takes, and references to office Space (among other things.) I reach a point where I get tired of the toxicity, the subreddits that attract people with low critical thinking skills and encourage trolls, and so on, I take a break.

I go to Mastadon to hang out in a place where I won't get upset by some jackass troll's hot takes. I have less chance of getting annoyed by unconscious racism, misogyny, or a complete lack of nuance related to geopolitical issues on Mastadon.

It's a good place to get random people's random thoughts. People try to compare it to Twitter because of the way it looks and somewhat the way people interact, but it's a different animal to me. It reminds me more of the early days of the internet where everything was a sandbox. You tell a joke and people share it or they don't. An amateur Mark Twain or two makes a keen observation on society every once in a while. Sulu's there, so that's a plus.

Once you figure out the hashtags that match your interests it becomes a little more fun and interesting. It definitely requires patience.

It's lower in vitriol (although the hatred for Elon Musk is palpable) and has fewer self-promoting people. Lots of cat photos, though.


ghost103429 t1_j1nofio wrote

Basically it's if email and reddit had a baby. Get handles of people and content you like and it will appear in your feed.

The nice thing about it is it uses activity pub which means you'll be able to view content from other platforms and sites that decide to use it from a single portal and not just from maston servers. Right now it should be possible to view content from WordPress sites as posts you can comment and like.


bitfriend6 t1_j1n12m8 wrote

You can't meaningfully call yourself a "tech" reporter and not know how to set up your own website. Mastodon is that but with the same technology behind bittorrent (in a very rudimentary way) and I'd hope these "tech" people at least know how to use bittorrent. The people looking for a narrative about Mastodon is exactly why tech reporting is so bad now, there is no narrative. It's technology. If you can't understand something and thus can't fit it into a larger ideology then why are you even reporting on it? It speaks to the immense ignorance large publishers have fostered within their own ranks which is why modern news media is so low quality.

I agree with the author of this article, just to be clear. It's shocking how much of the current "tech" media doesn't know anything about technology, science or math - just pop culture and social networking which is human journalism.


B-Rock001 t1_j1nbzsu wrote

Yeah, I have to disagree. The article is kinda missing what the problem is. There are already exist things like the concept of mastadon... take their example of email interoperability, where do those standards come from? This is where organizations W3C or IETF are formed.

Mastadon basically aims to be that standards body which isn't really anything new... but in order for those to exist you need weight behind it (ie time and money). Right now maybe that's okay with crowd funding, but unless you shift people's minds away from "likes" and "attention" I kinda doubt they'll have the resources to scale for the masses or beyond anything more than just Twitter clones.

Right now mastadon probably feels better than Twitter because of the barrier to entry... would that hold up at the scale of Twitter? If it does get mass adoption I think you'll either get some servers that end up being dominant or people get pushed into echo chambers. That doesn't solve anything.


JerryConn t1_j1mmzk8 wrote

Just like Twitter, if journalists flock to it eventually everyone else will flock to it too.


unresolved_m t1_j1n6gzi wrote

Musk probably seems more profitable to journalists


ghost103429 t1_j1nomt9 wrote

Mastodon gives journalists the freedom to run their own servers outside the influence of a centralized authority which may be beneficial for journalists who are reporting on things that could land them in legal hot water by oppressive regimes.


Laur7388 t1_j1mavzs wrote

Firstly, they should use it as a better and free (from freedom) replacement for twitter. For that a bit broader unslaved mind is required. :-)


ZebulonPi t1_j1md92d wrote

It’s basically what the coverage around Blender would be if the general public did 3D modeling…