Twitter Crisis – What we need to do

The Twitter crisis threatens people in many diverse ways. We could lose access to audiences, networks, and communities valuable for socialising, business,campaigning and support. We may lose touch with friends and colleagues. Twitter may itself inflict terrible damage on itself. Whatever emerges from Twitter, we should not be passive. There is an enormous popular movement to reclaim our digital rights from a purely commercial, ad-driven and extractive model.

None of this is to say that Twitter will die, or that Mastodon and federated social media will win, or that one is better than the other. We’ve been reading about the concerns being raised by some people from communities that are vulnerable, marginalised and minoritised to understand how different communities might be impacted by moving to Mastodon. We’d like to share our thoughts on how Mastodon could be better for communities and digital rights.

Plenty of people have explained the advantages and the potential gain of any transition to federated social media. Without recapping, the key point is that federated social media are not controlled by a single commercial developer, so can evolve as society and people wish it to. While commercial actors are inevitably going to work with federated social media if it grows, the fact of “federation” means that competition and choice can improve moderation, reduce hate, and give people greater control over what and how they interact with content.

The open source model also gives the potential to design social media that promote better behaviour. Different groups will

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