Everyone has watched the Twitter drama unfold over the past few weeks and months as Elon Musk has taken the helm. Truth Social and Donald Trump have continued to pound social media even without the mouthpiece of Facebook … and most recently, Musk has opened up Twitter to Trump and his massive followers.
Facebook is under attack on multiple fronts, and massive layoffs are underway for many tech behemoths. There is the drama unfolding everywhere in the social media space.
Mastodon and the Fediverse
Mastodon is a decentralized social media platform loosely organized on servers across the globe that form the Fediverse (federated universe). Essentially, the Fediverse is organized a lot like email. Users have a single identity on a server.
These servers run the same core software and know how to talk to each other. This connection allows the users from different servers to connect with each other.
Mastodon is set up in this manner and does not have one massive server (or server farm) controlled by one billionaire or one mega-corporation. Instead, there is a federation of servers across the globe that are set up and managed by separate individuals across the Mastadon Community.
Moves by the current Twitter CEO and recent layoffs have increased Mastadon users by nearly half a million in the last month. Mastodon CEO, Eugen Rochko, reports that the number of active Mastadon users crossed the one million mark on Nov 7, 2022.
Moderation Policies are established by the individual servers across the community. These individually managed servers also decide which servers they will federate with. So, people who like hate speech can set up their own server and proclaim whatever they want … while the rest of the Fediverse can ignore them and choose not to connect with that server.
Mastodon features a scrolling timeline (much like Twitter) that shows the posts from people you follow. Tweets are posts; when you share someone else’s post, it is called a boost. In addition, there are hashtags and lists to help organize the posts that you see.
Your Mastadon handle includes your full identity (first and last name) and the server name you joined. If you want to verify your identity, you can do so with no charge by adding a link to a website that is under your control. You can also edit your posts without having to pay anything more to do so.
Ed Bott is a Senior Contributing Editor of ZD NET and has put together a step-by-step guide for joining Mastadon. You can find these instructions here: Joining Mastodon.
Have fun, and be safe on the Fediverse!