Twitter is a Choice, Don’t Opt Out

I see a lot of people I follow say they are going to leave Twitter, and I think that’s a bad idea.

Something I realised listening to Chelsea Manning on the It Could Happen Here podcast, that the “pay to play” internet has been in the works for a long time. Chelsea isn’t a conspiracy theorist; she’s worked as an intelligence analyst, developer, and now as a network security expert.

TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook all make you think you have this large following when you don’t, via algorithms. It is a mirage. Here’s an example: @CaseyHammybone has 6.5 million followers on TT, but most of his views are 30k-150k on average.

Most posts are seen by 2% or less of his followers. And this is how social media works. There’s an illusion of being seen, but it is mostly just smoke and mirrors to give the illusion of audience.

But there is an alternative that’s been around for a while. Mastodon isn’t an algorithm-driven social media site; it doesn’t make money from access to content. Blogs and open-source media sites run on ActivityPub lists your timeline in a chronological order. And it’s not as if you have to stop posting to these popular social media sites. Moaparty, for example, crossposts to and from Twitter and Instagram.

The default Mastodon desktop looks a lot like Tweetdeck:

Toot! (iOS)

Fedilab (Android)

Both are very “Twitter-like”. Toots=Tweets, Boosts=Retweets, and Favourites=Likes.

Don’t leave algorithm-based sites; use them to push people from those platforms to platforms that aren’t algorithm-based. Push your Twitter followers to your Mastodon instance, your Medium readers to your blog, or your Youtube viewers to Peertube. Push content to Patreon and Fanbase (instead of TikTok), where you get paid to produce content. It may SEEM like you’ve entered a smaller universe, but that’s just an illusion that algorithms produce. Leveraging the current parasitic ocial media platforms is key to taking back the power from those that have effectively silenced online discourse.

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