📑 The Man Behind Mastodon, Eugen Rochko, Built It for This Moment

Bookmarked The Man Behind Mastodon, Eugen Rochko, Built It for This Moment by Will Knight (WIRED)

People fleeing Twitter have turned to Eugen Rochko’s alternative. He says social networks can support healthy debate—without any one person in control.

In an interview with Will Knight, Eugen Rochko discusses the current move to Mastodon, Musk’s free publicity and the differences with Twitter. Rochko also explains why the same thing that has happened with Twitter cannot happen with Mastodon.

What if someone—say an impulsive billionaire—wanted to buy Mastodon or take control of it somehow?

The network is protected from something like that. The code is free, open-source software, and nobody can change the license or take it back retroactively, and all of the different servers are owned by other people. Somebody could buy Mastodon gGmbH [the German nonprofit that maintains the software] and with it the trademark and the servers we run—mastodon.social and mastodon.online—but it wouldn’t affect the Fediverse in any significant way.

In other pieces on Mastodon, Clive Thompson suggests that it is an example antiviral design that encourages murmuring conversations, rather than the must-see post.

And I’ve realized that Mastodon is a superb example of antiviral design.

It was engineered specifically to create friction — to slow things down a bit. This is a big part of why it behaves so differently from mainstream social networks.

Jeremy Keith compares the exodus from Twitter to being at Dunkirk.

Right now, Twitter feels like Dunkirk beach in May 1940. And look, here comes a plucky armada of web servers running Mastodon instances!

Wouter Groeneveld wonders if social media scrolling is the answer, something I have been wondering about for a while.

I don’t really know what I’m trying to say here except that it’s perhaps not worth it to scroll endlessly on yet another social media platform where posts are starting to converge into the emptiness that Twitter had to offer.

Jim Groom and the team at Reclaim Hosting have documented how to setup your own instance.

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