Arrival Elon Musk On Twitter, it has displeased many users. New rules regarding blue flags, control over posted contents and changes have led many to turn away from the historical social network to move toward other shores. In the last period there has been a lot of talk about Mastodon, which has tripled its number of users thanks to a very special platform, which seems to want Learn about the historical legacy of Twitter and giving disaffected “exiles” a safe and transparent port of call.
But what makes Mastodon such a reliable alternative to Twitter? How is it similar to the social network we all know and why, on the other hand, is it different or better?
What is a mastodon
Founded in 2016 by a German programmer, mastodon is a little-known service that over the past few years has managed to carve out a solid niche of enthusiasts, distinguish itself as a utopian service of the modern internet, and a healthy bearer of an asset ethos that, among multinational corporations, acquisitions and economic interests, seems to have faded away forever.
Mastodon is not a real social network or at least not in the sense we are used to today with different Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
At the base of the portal is above all open source code that can be used and rewritten by everyone; Secondly, there is distributed server management: the computers running Mastodon are not owned and operated by a single company, but by anyone who wants to contribute to the service.
This makes Mastodon somewhat Huge complex: Each server is managed in a completely independent way, giving life to several social networks within a larger program. Mastodon is often spoken of as a large federation of independent states: all part of the same group, but each state (server) are independently managed and privileged. Everyone dictates the rules however Everyone has the ability to communicate each other and exchange information because they are able to speak a common “language”.
social network “federal”
The Mastodon model is very different from what we’ve seen so far.
Mastodon’s boom following Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter is just the tip of the iceberg of an ever-growing social network that currently has around 4.5 million subscribers.
Its “federal” administration leads to the entire apparatusComplete elimination of all distortions That marked the most popular and widely used social networks for years.
There are no advertisements within Mastodon pages, a feature that leads to the complete absence of a user profile. Servers are controlled by the users themselves, with self-managing communities that set their own rules. So far the platform It has about 3,000 different channelseach with its own rules and themes: there are ‘rooms’ divided according to geographical origin or traditionally on the basis of the various themes.
mastodona general purpose server for Italian speaking usersgrants maximum freedom of posting to its subscribers but explicitly prohibits racist, sexist, and transphobic posts, apologizing for the fascism and spread of fake news.
Internal organization aside, Mastodon draws a lot of inspiration from Twitter. It is, in fact, a system microblogging Where everyone has the opportunity to post short posts Maximum of 500 characters.
Although different keywords are used with the aim of distinguishing themselves, users have the possibility to quote and repost the contents posted by other users, to rate it with “Like” and to follow the profiles that interest them the most; You can also use hashtags to categorize different topics.
Of course, all those improvements (to many distortions) that took Twitter and its partners away from their original idea are missing: No algorithms suggest postsThe homepage is always organized in chronological order and there are no sponsored content or ads. Each server has a truly massive number of channels within it, each dedicated to a different topic, each freely exploreable and usable. Due to its decentralized and participatory nature, each user will have the opportunity to create and manage their own channel with their own rules and themes, without any external restrictions or interference.
This is a very similar idea to old blogsYou have created your personal online space drawing on an external platform, but you have managed it as you see fit, both in posting content and moderating the community.
The system proposed by Mastodon is certainly a utopian one, but it is confrontational, without central administration or equal rules for all. Some undeniable problems.
In fact, much more than other social networks, Mastodon faces a difficult and cumbersome system for reporting inappropriate content and profiles. It makes it difficult to intervene with force and speed, above all because of the different management of each server or channel and because of the always different rules between one channel and another. Moderation is entrusted to each individual administrator, which is an excellent practice on paper but may present a very high bill if the number of users grows too large.
The direct result of this small control is Fake profiles proliferate Who impersonates celebrities and can’t all be restricted and controlled.
The mastodon doesn’t seem suitable to hold a large number of people inside: In fact, many servers are not high-performance and technically outdatedwhich leads to a significant slowdown of the entire system which, at some of its nodes, does not seem to be able to support many connections at the same time.
The last big problem with decentralization and independent management of servers is the not-too-remote possibility that those servers could be shut down at any moment: if the manager, for whatever reason, decides to abandon the project and shut down their server, the person who has subscribed to their mastodon through it will be killed.”Entrance door’, his profile and any possibility of reusing it will be deleted. In short, once an area is wiped out, all of its inhabitants are also wiped out, a possibility that should be limited in some way, Allow at least to restore your profile Or, if desired, transfer it to another server.
Aside from its limitations, Mastodon offers quite impressive features and we’re glad it’s having its moment of fame, especially in a period when trust in social networks and the Internet in general is at an all-time low.
With its groundbreaking ideas but with an “old” flavor, Mastodon seems to want it Bring the fun back to the center for a freer web, capable of self-management and self-regulation, with basic technology available and usable by all. Of course from here to make this service passes us the new Twitter.
Even with all its problems, the underappreciated news is always the latest in acquisitions, really Twitter has become a safe haven for many users. The greater presence of rules and boundaries, as well as the convenience of having an algorithm in your hands that knows your users and gives them what they want, are luxuries that few really want to give up. At the same time, whatever the future of the mastodon might be, we can’t help but welcome the desire for it Offer people an alternative view of the InternetFar from the logic of control over big technology and economic interests, but above all closer to the idea of freedom that unfortunately has ended up being forgotten over the years.