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Private and Public Mastodon · Here’s how to get into a lot of trouble:
Suppose you (like me) love the intellectual wealth found in free-form text on the Internet.
And (like me) are a reasonably competent programmer.
And (like me) have derived value and pleasure searching Twitter.
And (like me) you look at this nifty new Fediverse thing and see that it has nice Web APIs so you could build an app to vacuum up all the stories and laments and cheers and dunks and love letters and index ’em and let everyone search ’em and find wonderful things! So you lurch into the Mastodon conversation, all excited, and blurt out “Hey folks, I’m gonna index all this stuff and let the world in!”
That’s when you get your face torn off
Is Moving to Mastodon Ethical? · The big story occupying space in my mind (and on this blog) is the #TwitterMigration. As Twitter grows troubled and troubling, “Fediverse” technologies in general and Mastodon in particular are successfully attracting many users and providing a pleasant experience. Everyone is wondering out loud whether Mastodon can take the strain and whether it can provide cool new features. What we haven’t been discussing are two ethical questions: First, is it OK to bail out of Twitter? And if bailing out, is Mastodon a acceptable place to land? ...
Twitter Futures · I write this on December 16, 2022, as the landscape shifts convulsively, as Twitter becomes the main character on Twitter. It’s reasonable to wonder what comes next ...
Protect Me From What I Want · Over on Mastodon, there are many people who enjoy not being in the grip of software like Facebook or Twitter that single-mindedly tries to maximize “engagement”, which means the amount of time you stare at the screen so they can show you ads. These algorithms don’t care what they’re showing you and if it turns out that showing you exclusively stories vilifying or praising Donald Trump (depending) maximizes engagement, then that’s what you’ll see. So the chant over there is “No algorithms on Mastodon!” This chant is wrong, and the discussion around it teaches us that we need clarity on what algorithms are, what moral weight they can carry, and whether they can be avoided. (Spoiler: They can’t.) ...
Bye, Twitter · Today I’m leaving Twitter, because I don’t like making unpaid contributions to a for-profit publisher whose proprietor is an alt-right troll. But also because it’s probably going to break down. Read on for details ...
Mastodon Moment · My first Mastodon post (that I can find) dates from April 6, 2017. I try to check out interesting new life-online technologies, and this was one. But I found it sort of quiet and empty and didn’t say much. Now, following on Muskification, Twitter may become an unattractive online home, so it’s time to explore alternatives. I’ve been digging deeper into Mastodon (so have really a lot of other people) and this is a progress report ...
author · Dad
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