Hello readers! In order to enhance your experience here, I’ve added this site to the IndieWeb. This means that this site is kind of a bare-bones member of the federated groups following agreed upon protocols that collectively form platforms (sort of like social media) we can connect to, and serves as a mini instance in and of itself. If you’d like to follow us on Mastodon, you can do so @email@example.com. You can also follow my main profile there @firstname.lastname@example.org.
The bad decisions of billionaires have turned many of us off from centralized social media. Public forums should belong to the public and be regulated by the people who use them. So there should be a protocol for membership just like we agree to not haul off and hit each other for no reason when we go out in a civil society. Existing laws and social norms are enough on the internet since the learning curve precludes people above a certain level of hostility from also having the patience and discipline to acquire the skills to be more dangerous than those more civil.
The real brains out here are pursuing sustainable technology. The social branch of them is working on IndieWeb, ActivityPub, and other methods of democratizing social media by opting for protocols over platforms.
This keeps the balance between free speech and democracy well enough and naturally enough to do the job. In time it will be even more democratic as owning a domain and being able to afford external hosting won’t even be a barrier much longer. People will be able to form smaller, federated clusters that work more like communication hubs that can opt in to link up with others they feel safe with and opt out and block those they don’t. So it stays global and civil. Even if some clusters isolate themselves too much, one can opt out of them into one that is less so. If someplace is too “wild west” one can opt for an instance that is more easygoing. One can even remain a kind of free agent or opt for various instances they can pick and choose depending on their mood. There are many possibilities.
If you’re tired of worrying that your entire profile and content will disappear because a billionaire throws a tantrum and becomes a fascist, but you’re not sure where to start, read this article from WSJ on how to join a Mastodon instance.
Blessings and Ashé!