Over the past few years many of us have worked under the assumption that our Social Media platforms would continue without too much disruption.
This was in spite of the fact that we often did not agree with the direction of the leaders or the owners of the companies which we used.
Or. Should I say, the companies that used us?
The old phrase is “If you are not paying for it, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold“
We have been happy to present our lives to the world using a platform that mined our information and then sold that same information to allow for targeted advertising. The volume of data that was mined is simply mind-boggling.
In 2011 Max Schrems wrote to Facebook to request a copy of the data they had on him. Keep in mind that he had deleted his account the previous year.
The resulting file included a 496 Megabyte PDF file that was just over 800 pages long. (More information on that story here)
And that’s just Facebook.
All of the ‘free’ social media companies are precisely that – companies. Their purpose is to make money, their product is the information that we freely give them.
Enter into the fray one Mr. Elon Musk.
Musk has been an interesting character for years. His antics at Tesla and SpaceX have gathered a huge fan-base.
However, his actions and decisions around the purchase, non-purchase, and actual purchase of Twitter have proven to be disastrous to the company.
There are plenty of software engineers who warn that the cracks are already showing, and that Twitter could collapse very, very soon.
Hence the Great Social Media Migration.
Mastodon has become the home-of-choice for tens of thousands of Twitter users, despite many having misgivings regarding a different level of complexity. But Mastodon isn’t the only alternative out there.
The interesting thing for me has been the whole concept of the Fediverse.
- There is no ‘owner’ of any given platform
- Platforms can be hosted over a number of servers
- Servers can interact with each other (Federate)
- Servers can block other servers that don’t maintain the same rules or code
So I’m moving from Twitter. Starting on a journey in the Fediverse. Exploring Mastodon and Pixelfed.
I like the idea that my data is mine to share, I like the fact that there are no ads.
If you decide to jump onboard, go for it. The tone on the mastodon.ie server is very positive. But if you do join, don’t be the product. Subscribe, or throw a few euro towards the project. I think we all benefit in the end.