back to article Twitter is suffering from mad bro disease. Open thinking can build it back better

There is a euphemism in rocketry often heard at SpaceX – Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly. A catastrophic explosion, in other words. Until now, it was not a phrase that applies to social media. But within weeks of his shotgun wedding to Twitter, Musk has alienated advertisers by yelling at them, blown up verification, shilled …

  1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge
    Holmes

    The time for regulation was before Twitter surpassed a legitimate news story that would have been harmful to their preferred election candidate, preventing real journalists from a real newspaper from tweeting about what we now know to be a true story.

    1. Steve Button Silver badge

      I assume you mean suppressed and not surpassed?

      Interesting because depending on which news story they suppressed you'll get large amounts of thumbs ups, or thumbs downs.

      Me? I don't think they should be suppressing any news stories, unless they have credible evidence that it's misinformation. And even then I'm not so sure, because I think once people see misinformation enough times, they start to distrust the outlets that are peddling it.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        If only that were true.

        There is a large swath or US Republicans who still believe that Biden stole the election.

        That fact that over 200 legal challenges from Repulicans were all lost is no matter to them.

        Let's face it : the Republicans are no longer a political party, they're a religion.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Judas

          Yes, but they're recognizing Trump was actually Judas so it should stabilize again.

          1. Richard 12 Silver badge

            Re: Judas

            Everyone who is paying attention now knows that the only way Republican candidates win is through gerrymandering and voter suppression.

            The pattern is very clear in a large number of precincts.

            So expect the Democrats and Independents to try to curb that, while Republicans try to gerrymander even more efficiently.

            Some of the doublethink is quite astounding - a court ruled that the boundaries were illegal, but could be used anyway.

            1. AVee
              Holmes

              Re: Judas

              The problem with gerrymandering is not who is doing it, but the fact that it is possible in the first place. If you have a system designed to measure the will of the people, it should not be measuring where lines on the map are. Clearly the system is broken and needs to be fixed. Yet, everybody seems to be arguing about who is abusing it the most, without ever considering why the abuse is possible in the first place. I'm not going to deny the Republicans abuse gerrymandering, but I will say that there does not seem to be much effort to fix the core issue with the Democrats either. Could it be that both parties very much want to maintain the current status quo?

              1. DS999 Silver badge

                Gerrymandering

                Neither is willing to give it up unless unilateral disarmament can be guaranteed, but even so you have to get it past the House, where many members of both parties have reason to fear what it would mean for them if gerrymandering were eliminated. So even if their party told them to vote one way they might vote the other for selfish reasons.

                Still, I think now is the best time to propose such a thing - if you delay it so it doesn't affect current maps but only how maps after the 2030 census are redrawn, it won't hit any current congressmen until the 2032 election a full 10 years away. Hopefully enough of them believe they will be a senator, governor or president by then that they'd be OK with voting for this change now.

                Gerrymandering at the state level is another matter, and I'm not sure a federal law (unless it was in the constitution) could ban the practice. In those places you'd never get them to give it up, because the party in control gets 100% of the benefit from it rather than in congress where nationwide it is a mixed bag.

                The filibuster is a problem in the senate, it would need to be seen as a bipartisan good and such things are very rare these days. Still, if you got Biden and McConnell to both speak in favor of it, they should be able to get most Ds and enough Rs on board to cobble together 60 votes.

                Then of course there's the risk that someone tries to insert an amendment some would see as partisan to poison it, and prevent it from gaining enough votes for passage.

              2. just another charlie

                Re: Judas

                Oh dear, I seem to have come across one of those echo chambers. I think your going to find that it is the dems who are using their control of the cities to keep their positions and even expand through massive voter fraud. And all the major newspapers are complicit in this too. Not a conspiracy theory, just a plain old conspiracy. And ignorant fools abound. Which is why we will never get out of this situation breeding homelessness at a never seen before rate. And until you lot snap out of it, things aren't going to change. Were screwed. The internet is enabling people to realise whats going on, but you lot, the original IT developers are stuck in your ways, when it comes to getting your news. BBC is BS propaganda, and so are 90% of the newspapers.

                1. veti Silver badge

                  Re: Judas

                  The internet is "enabling" precisely no-one to "realise whats going on". It is a superbly honed machine for providing information that you're already looking for - that is to say, the information that you already know exists. If you want new information, the internet is not your friend. There are of course ways of cross-checking and verifying what people tell you online, but hardly anybody uses them because everyone firmly believes they already know the answer, so what's the point?

                  "BBC is BS propaganda" - yeah, no. The BBC tries to be transparent about where information is coming from. That's absolutely all you can ask of any news outlet.

                  Remember every news story ultimately takes the form "X said Y". If you can't tell exactly who "X" is, or exactly what "Y" is, then either it's not news, or it's badly written, or - most likely, nowadays - it's not being reported in good faith. This El Reg story, for instance, is comment, not news - but it's clearly labelled "Opinion", so that's fine. Other stories such as this or this clearly identify both the "who said it" and "what they said", even providing links to them actually saying it. That's good journalism, and the BBC also practises it most of the time.

                  Compare with this, from AP, linked from Drudge Report. Who, exactly, said what and why is it news? I've read the whole thing and I still don't know. There are a lot of attributed quotes, which is nice, but the tying-them-together thing - that's unattributed. It's an analysis/opinion piece, but Drudge Report makes it look like news. Bad journalism.

                  Yes, the US Democrats are just as keen on gerrymandering as the Republicans. This "massive voter fraud" that keeps being talked about, however, is supported by precisely zero credible evidence. Literally hundreds of cases have been brought before hundreds of judges affiliated with both parties, and none has shown the slightest evidence of voter fraud on any significant scale. So who exactly told you there was massive voter fraud, what evidence did they produce for it, and what was their reason for not handing that evidence over to the courts who could do something about it?

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Judas

                    Most media now, including the beeb, is 'sources say', 'persons close to', 'persons with knowledge of'. Its all made up. And remember the beeb covered up for a rather notorious person who did some really rather bad things.

                    As for the election fraud court cases, very few got to the position of showing evidence. As someone else stated those brought before election day were mostly rejected as the injury had not yet happened so there was no standing and then after election they were rejected as 'there is no process for this'.

                    The fact that they have arrested the makers of 2000 mules demanding they reveal their sources is pretty telling. The SCOTUS leaker is walking free but they must know who 'leaked' the 'fake' information about geolocation data. It is also funny that when it was used to track orange man bad geolocation was really accurate but when used to show ballot stuffing it is not accurate enough.

                    1. DS999 Silver badge

                      Re: Judas

                      very few got to the position of showing evidence

                      When asked if he was alleging election fraud in one case, Rudy Guliani told the judges no they were not. Because he had no evidence, because there is no evidence. 2000 Mules is a work of fiction, not evidence. You can't even point to one scheme but you have a whole host of them from ballot stuffing by officials, to 'mules' dropping ballots in drop boxes, to China importing ballots with bamboo fibers in them, to Italian defense satellites switching votes in voting machines, to Hugo Chavez's ghost doing I'm not sure what. You guys are fucking nuts, totally detached from reality!

                      When has there ever been a conspiracy as broad as you Q nuts allege, that is kept intact for years? Never, that's the answer. It is hard maintaining a conspiracy among people who know each other and can fit in a small room together. You cannot maintain a nationwide conspiracy of thousands or tens of thousands of people who don't know each other. You couldn't even set it up, it would be discovered long before it could be put into action.

                      So to cover up this ridiculous lack of any evidence, you claim that not only the democrats, but the media, judges, election officials, and on and on are ALL involved in a massive conspiracy that despite millions and millions of dollars and countless hours of investigation by red state officials nothing was found. Pennsylvania went looking for dead people voting and found two - both of whom had their dead parent vote for Trump. Florida went looking and found 20 people who double voted, at least three of whom were in The Villages - voting for Trump like all the white geezers who want to fuck up the world on their way out.

                      If there's election fraud it is at the very least equal opportunity, but perhaps may be more republicans engaging in it lately because they keep being lied to that democrats are doing it so they think they have to commit their own fraud to make up for it.

                    2. veti Silver badge

                      Re: Judas

                      Bullshit. I know because I just looked down the BBC's front page checking each story that was presented as news.

                      Of 14 stories, 12 are clearly attributed to a specific source. There are two where the attribution is vague: one about "reports" of possible missile strikes hitting Poland, one about Kevin McCarthy being nominated for Speaker.

                      1. werdsmith Silver badge

                        Re: Judas

                        But a bloke down the pub said he read it on facebook....

          2. DS999 Silver badge

            Re: Judas

            They aren't recognizing Trump as Judas, they are only wanting to cast him aside because the candidates he handpicked were all loud and proud election deniers, racists, or just plain nuts. In other words, people like him. They want to win elections, and embraced Trump so long as that worked. When it doesn't, the embrace ends.

            Whether they CAN cast him aside is another matter. Trump threatened to start his own party a couple years ago when many began to cast him aside after Jan. 6th, and they were so afraid of what that would mean they cowered back into his embrace. If he sees the republicans as traitors against him, he may go to war with them by create some sort of Trump Party or MAGA Party.

            Republican voters were brainwashed into believing in Trump by Fox News and other right wing media that the combined forces of the RNC, republican congressmen, and Fox News trying to distance themselves from him after six years or non-stop worship can't now tell them to follow them away from Trump. He'll portray this as just another conspiracy against him to add to the ever lengthening list of people or groups conspiring against him - and by extension the millions of people deluded enough by his lies and gaslighting to see him as more important than the republican party.

            This saga is just starting, and it may take a split of the republican party and a resultant crushing loss in 2024 before they can truly rid themselves of Trump - i.e. only when his followers decide that ditching Trump is a lesser evil than letting democrats win. Right now too many of them would follow Trump into hell, and would vote for a turnip if it was running under Trump's banner and with his endorsement if he told them "better a democrat should win than the republicans who stabbed us in the back!"

            1. zuckzuckgo Silver badge

              Re: Judas

              Trumps power over the Republican party does depend so much on what races he can help them win put rather that he can guarantee some critical losses just by telling his followers not to vote. He does not need a large number of followers just very dedicated followers. Most of the races can be swayed by a small change in voting turnout.

              The questions is, are the Republicans willing to accept the short term losses that Trump can inflict. Longer term they need wait for their next saviour or modify some of their social policies if they want to remain politically competitive. That is a tough pill for them to swallow.

              1. DS999 Silver badge

                Re: Judas

                They have to cut ties at some point, if they can't make any real gains in a year when the incumbent party almost always suffers heavy losses AND inflation is the highest it has been in 40 years, what happens if by summer 2024 inflation is tamed and unemployment has remained low?

                If that happens and Trump is still picking nutjobs in primary races who can't possibly win in a general election and the republican party just goes along with it, they will get absolutely annihilated in the 2024 election. Now maybe that happens anyway if they cut ties and an angry petulant Trump tells his people to stay home rather than vote in the "rigged election" but they are no worse off and that will make Trump persona non grata not only in republican party circles but ANY conservative circles. Even Steve Bannon wouldn't return his phone calls after that, and he'll be ignored by everyone from then on - his worst nightmare!

                When you make a deal with the devil, there's always a price to be paid to get out of that deal. Time for the republicans to pay up.

          3. steviebuk Silver badge

            Re: Judas

            But as Richard Herring or might of been once of his guests pointed out, they should of thanked Judas. Without him Jesus wouldn't of died on the cross and saved us all.

            I'm not a believer. People can believe what they want as long as they don't push that belief on me or make stupid laws from it. But the above was an interesting thought :)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Let's face it : the Republicans are no longer a political party, they're a religion."

          A religion ? No, sorry. They're a cult now ...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            The dems are the cult.

            1. deadlockvictim Silver badge

              AC» The dems are the cult.

              Explain please. I am genuinely very interested to hear this.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                You just have to look at the behaviour over Trump and Dobbs, the screaming in the streets and the unhinged tiktok videos.

                It does however make great meme feed stock!

                1. Martin-73 Silver badge

                  You think memes matter? Dear friend, wrong part of the internet

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    https://www.theatlantic.com/books/archive/2022/09/january-6-insurrection-meme-wars/671397/

                    https://www.salon.com/2017/07/08/forget-fake-news-alt-right-memes-could-do-more-damage-to-democracy/

                    Apparently they do.

                2. veti Silver badge

                  So your position is that because some people on Tiktok got excited, that proves the Democratic party is a mindless mob?

                  Wow. What you must be thinking of the Republicans...

          2. lglethal Silver badge
            Trollface

            What is a Religion? Merely a Cult that has become mainstream...

            The Republicans are definitely a religion by now...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              The cult of the covid vaxx

              1. Snake Silver badge

                Re: vac

                The cult of the covid vaxx

                I take it you are therefore anti-vax?

                Fascinating! You seem extremely healthy for a person who apparently survived diphtheria, smallpox, polio, rubella and tetanus, just to name a few.

                Huh? Oh, wait?? You DIDN'T need to survive ANY of those illnesses because you, and others around you, were VACCINATED against them??!

                Imagine that. Still alive, thanks to your vaccinations, and everyone else is, too.

                Shocking.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: vac

                  The difference is those actually work rather than wear off in a matter of a couple of months requiring an expensive booster from Pfizer.

                  And its still a cult.

                  1. Jamesit

                    Re: vac

                    You need boosters for some of those too.

                    1. James O'Shea Silver badge

                      Re: vac

                      He's not very bright. And he has failed to actually check real facts, not bullshit emitted by Faux News & Co.

                  2. James O'Shea Silver badge

                    Re: vac

                    Ah. Never had a tetanus booster shot, eh?

                    https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tetanus/expert-answers/tetanus-shots/faq-20058209

                    Or a rubella booster shot?

                    https://www.cdc.gov/rubella/vaccination.html

                    Lots more.

                    And I haven't paid a penny for any of the covid shots I've had. Zero.

                    https://wsvn.com/news/us-world/florida-blue-other-companies-offer-free-covid-19-vaccines-flu-shots-amid-seasonal-concerns/

                    You're an idiot.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: vac

                      Nope and nope. And you indirectly pay for Pfizers profits through your taxes. The UK govt has paid billions to Pfizer for the vax and I expect them to claw that back somehow.

                      https://people.com/health/pfizer-says-covid-vaccine-will-cost-130-per-dose-when-government-contract-ends/

                      1. Martin-73 Silver badge

                        Re: vac

                        yawn. Pull the other one, it's got buboes on it

                        1. Anonymous Coward
                          Anonymous Coward

                          Re: vac

                          So you are denying the reality that the various world govts have paid the likes of Pfizer for every dose of the Fauci-ouchie that they have administered? (and lots that have been thrown away)

                          And I'm supposedly the idiot.... You're not helping the image that the left is a reality denying cult :)

                          1. Martin-73 Silver badge

                            Re: vac

                            I believe the downvote count is proving my point more than your anonymous smile. :)

                      2. Blank Reg Silver badge

                        Re: vac

                        The alternative to not vaccinating people would have been much worse with the death count vastly higher and health systems collapsing around the world from so many more seriously ill from covid.

                        As the unvaccinated die at a far greater rate then maybe the problem will solve itself as Covid shows no signs of going away any time soon.

                        1. Anonymous Coward
                          Anonymous Coward

                          Re: vac

                          As we do not have a proper control we cannot say if that is true or not. The statement is based on models that have been shown to be poor at best and verging on made up in some cases. Remember at the start how it was being brushed off as 'flu' and nothing to worry about by the dems? Yes, they did do that. Nancy Pelosi for one with her 'come visit china town' stunt in early 2020.

                          On the plus side the pure bloods are not suffering from suddenly dropping dead for unexplained reasons.

                      3. James O'Shea Silver badge

                        Re: vac

                        If you've never had either a tetanus or a rubella booster, you're an even bigger idiot than I'd thought.

                        As for the UK gov paying whoever... it's called 'public health'. Both my parents were epidemiologists. As a direct result I've seen close up the results of assorted outbeaks of polio, rubella, chicken pox, dengue fever, yellow fever, malaria (that was a fun one), cholera (even more fun than the malaria) and assorted others, and am firmly a believer in aggressive public health measures. There really is no excuse for polio, for example, to still be around. None. Other than some people are idiots and won't get vaccinated.

                        1. Anonymous Coward
                          Anonymous Coward

                          Re: vac

                          NHS doesn't offer rubella 'boosters' and tetanus boosters are only recommended in certain cases and no more than once every 10 years. So not sure why you are mentioning this in relation to the covid 'vaccine' which needs boosting every 6 months it seems.

                          I'm old enough that I had chicken pox before the vaccine was even developed and I had the oral drop on a sugar lump polio vaccine which was a single shot deal.

                    2. veti Silver badge

                      Re: vac

                      Look, I agree with you, but who do you imagine has paid for all your vaccinations? Santa?

                      You'll have heard the phrase "cost of living crisis" bandied about a lot lately. That's happening because governments everywhere spent humongous quantities of money they didn't have during the pandemic, and yes, much of that spend was on vaccines. Now we're all paying for them.

                      (Of course Russia creating an energy crisis has helped, but if you check the timeline you'll see that inflation was tracking decidedly upward even before that. If you're in the UK, of course, there's also Brexit to be paid for. And then the Tory meltdown. Don't envy you that.)

                      1. Martin-73 Silver badge

                        Re: vac

                        I assure you I know who paid for them all. :)

                      2. Ian Johnston Silver badge

                        Re: vac

                        much of that spend was on vaccines

                        The UK has spent about £2bn on COVID vaccines, so far, over three years. The NHS costs about £150bn per year to run. That makes the vaccinations about 0.45% of government healthcare spending. Considering the number of lives saved, treatment not needed and economic activity not lost, it's an astonishingly good deal.

          3. iron Silver badge

            All religions are cults.

            1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

              All religions are cults

              Ah.. I love the voice of unrestrained ignorance..

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "A religion ? No, sorry. They're a cult now ..."

            Umm, a religion is just a cult that somehow gained some 'respectability'…

            1. Ideasource

              Just as a society is a cult that has taken power over a nation.

          5. Blank Reg Silver badge

            Yes, the republicans are definitely a cult now, a cult of stupidity, fear and ignorance

        3. vtcodger Silver badge

          Vote A.O.!!!

          Let's face it : the Republicans are no longer a political party, they're a religion

          Largely true. And the Democrats aren't much better having embraced a crusade to fix a largely imaginary "climate crisis" using a tool kit (wind and solar) that any clever twelve year old can figure out almost certainly can't do what they want it to do. I infer the situation in the UK isn't much better. Likewise, the EU although many of their current problems are due in part to Putin.

          My daughter and I were discussing this the other day and concluded that American voters are thoroughly fed up with BOTH our political parties, and would be only too happy to vote Alien Overlords into power if they were on the ballot.

          1. Richard 12 Silver badge

            Re: Vote A.O.!!!

            If you genuinely believe that, then the proper response is to give the Democrats a supermajority, and terminate the Republican party.

            The Democrats will then break up into multiple parties, and next time you can choose between multiple someones who respect your right to vote.

          2. myithingwontcharge

            Re: Vote A.O.!!!

            "would be only too happy to vote Alien Overlords into power if they were on the ballot."

            Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos?

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Vote A.O.!!!

            The climate problem is not imaginary. However, some of the political solutions being followed are not realistic. E.g., in California, giving 10% subsidies on expensive electric cars that only higher incomes can afford, and 100% subsidized construction of EV charging stations for those cars, in the hopes the effects will trickle down with cheaper batteries and EV cars - which is unlikely to happen if those products are sourced in a non-coal environmentally friendly way in locations where environmentally friendly regulations can be enforced.

            A better solution would be to universally double the housing density of all housing zones - so every property that now has one family could two instead - the would also mean removing requirements for availability of street parking. Then lower paid workers would not have to live in the exurbs and drive 60 miles to get to work. Yet, the relative wealth of neighborhoods would be preserved, so it would be fair, unlike building a 15 story sun blocking apartment building in the middle of a one story neighborhood. Higher density means public (or at least shared) transport becomes much more economical - or even necessary if parking spaces are not available or expensive.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Vote A.O.!!!

              Californian politicians only care about the top %. The rest are just there to 'vote' for them as the fix to all the major issues is just another few billion in spending away. Homelessness, just need to spend more. Blackouts, just need to spend more. PG&E put profits over safety and set fire to people's homes, just spend more. The reality being that most of this money goes to friends and family and other political backers and is never seen by the people who need help.

              1. veti Silver badge

                Re: Vote A.O.!!!

                Perhaps you can suggest how to solve public problems without spending more?

                Bear in mind that any change to the status quo costs money. Even "stopping doing something entirely" costs money.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Vote A.O.!!!

                  Money alone rarely solves problems. It mostly lines pockets.

                  So step 1 is stop spending. Step 2 is look at what is actually going on, not what someone with the title 'activist' is telling you.

                  Most 'problems' are created or massively over-hyped as a reason to increase the lining of said pockets.

                  The 'activists' 'helping' the homeless in LA seem to be doing anything but

                  https://www.lamag.com/article/why-is-los-angeles-tossing-food-for-its-homeless-population-in-dumpsters/

                  If the money is free flowing then the problem will never be resolved. It becomes too profitable. Like UK infrastructure projects. Oh no, its delayed and over budget, here have some more money.

                  1. veti Silver badge

                    Re: Vote A.O.!!!

                    You're right in that "money alone" doesn't solve anything. But one thing I can promise you is that if you suddenly stop spending money on some current program, no matter how ineffective or pointless you think it is, everything will abruptly get a lot worse.

                    At a minimum, you first need to do some kind of study of what will happen when you cut off the spending. Otherwise you'll spend the next 20 years fighting off lawsuits. Which, win or lose, will at least wipe out whatever money you thought you were going to save.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Vote A.O.!!!

                      Ah, spend money to work out where to spend less money so now you spend more money to spend less money and get less actual real work done in 10x the time. Sounds like government. You'd probably need a year to decide on the name for the committee.

                      As I've said before, governments are not there to solve problems. They are there to keep problems going for as long as possible and to give the impression they are solving it to the public in order to keep the money flowing.

                      Its like the UN claim a couple of years back that 6billion would 'end world hunger'. When the Muskprat says he will stump up the cash if they can show how it will be spent and account for all of it the UN is suddenly 'err.. umm.. actually.. we didn't mean it like that'.

            2. itsborken

              Re: Vote A.O.!!!

              This is an announcement from Genetic Control:

              "It is my sad duty to inform you of a four foot restriction on Humanoid Height."

              ...

              "It's said now that people will be shorter in height. They can fit twice as many in the same building site (they said it's alright)...

              Peter Gabriel/Genesis was ahead of it's time.

            3. martinusher Silver badge

              Re: Vote A.O.!!!

              >A better solution would be to universally double the housing density of all housing zones

              Doesn't work. The San Fernando Valley has a lot of quite small houses on big lots so they're bought up and redeveloped as (typically) a four family building. Since the infrastructure isn't upgraded then all this does is add to congestion.

              Even with a legal requirement to build a certain percentage of low income housing developers prefer by far to build 'luxury' units on a site, especially sites near rapid transit stops.

              The problem here with affordable housing is the same as the problem in the UK. Its not a lack of housing availability, its a lack of housing affordability.

          4. Ian Johnston Silver badge

            Re: Vote A.O.!!!

            a largely imaginary "climate crisis"

            Idiot.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Vote A.O.!!!

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bumKlEoGhvk

              Tell me this isn't cult brainwashing behaviour.

              1. drachemann

                Re: Vote A.O.!!!

                "Tell me this isn't cult brainwashing behaviour."

                Yeah, watching and sharing videos from Sky News is definitely cult brainwashing behaviour.

          5. Fred Goldstein

            Re: Vote A.O.!!!

            I thought Lewis Page wasn't writing here any more.

        4. Headley_Grange Silver badge

          What it means to be a republican

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5GgNov8i4k

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: What it means to be a republican

            That was an interesting clip - it's been a while since I've seen that sane a politician because they normally tend to get drowned out by the screeching idiots who have abandoned all reason, possibly because they don't know what proper reasoning looks like.

            1. Headley_Grange Silver badge

              Re: What it means to be a republican

              It's a clip from a TV series called "The Newsroom" - not a real interview. Sorry, should have made it clear in my OP.

              1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

                Re: What it means to be a republican

                That's a brilliant overlooked series.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: What it means to be a republican

                Ah, that explains why it featured a sane politician..

        5. Steve Button Silver badge

          Both parties in the US are clearly a religion.

          People vote along party lines regardless of the policies, because they don't want the "other side" to gain any ground.

          The two party system is inherently a way of driving people into more extreme partisan views.

          1. Richard 12 Silver badge

            First Past the Post/Winner take all forces a two party system, regardless of how you start

          2. Scene it all

            There have been studies of election results going back 100 years that verify that this exact thing happens. Elections in a two-party system tend to force the parties apart regardless of what the populace would prefer on issues.

          3. Sora2566

            Upvoted, but I think a better comparison would be sports teams. Hyper-focused on winning over the good of the game, extreme emphasis on loyalty, and lots of apologists for sexual assult.

          4. veti Silver badge

            Well, that's clearly not the case. The UK, for instance, has had FPTP voting for its entire democratic history, but the main parties have repeatedly drifted to extremes - and then back to the middle ground. The winner of every election in my lifetime has been the party that better succeeded in painting its opponents as extreme.

            There's nothing inherently polarising about FPTP. And if you think PR can't produce worse results, just take a good look at Italy right now.

        6. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          New York Times:

          Voters Reject Election Deniers Running to Take Over Elections

          With Jim Marchant’s defeat by Cisco Aguilar in Nevada’s secretary of state race, all but one of the “America First” slate of candidates who espoused conspiracy theories about the 2020 election were defeated.

          It's worth remembering that 40% of registered voters do not declare themselves as either Dem or Rep.

        7. Dimmer

          Please review the American bar association list of the court request and the results. It will give better context to your statement.

          My read on it is the court bailed completely and did not do anything - for both parties. It is Like they wanted to fuel the stolen election fire.

          Before election : you have no injuries, so no standing, go away.

          After the election : election is decided so it is now a moot point, so go away and quit bothering us.

          I personally think the state legislature had standing to sue the election officials when made up new rules, thereby breaking the election laws. This was brought by 2 state legislatures controlled by different parties.

          The “200” was about our judicial system not allowing light to be shown on the process so it can be fixed.

        8. Elongated Muskrat

          Let's face it : the Republicans are no longer a political party, they're a religion.

          The view from outside that mire, is that US politics and religion are so intertwined that they are effectively inseparable. Which is heavily ironic, given the nominal separation of church and state in the US. You can count the successful US politicians who haven't professed belief in some supernatural entity or another on the fingers of one foot.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            US has freedom OF religion which doesn't mean you have an actual separation of church and state. France has freedom FROM religion which means you do.

      2. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

        Yes of course, my mistake for trying to spell so early in the morning.

      3. 42656e4d203239 Silver badge
        Unhappy

        >>I think once people see misinformation enough times, they start to distrust the outlets that are peddling it.

        Nope. They don't.

        They seek out further sources of the same misinformation and use them to reinforce their bubble... hence twatter/farcebook echo chambers.

        Once most people see misinformation enough times, the misinformation becomes the truth (cf. Fox News, Anti-Vaxx etc.)

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Once most people see misinformation enough times, the misinformation becomes the truth (cf. Fox News, Anti-Vaxx etc.)

          I'll take your misinformation and raise you a Biden laptop, an exagerated risk from Covid and Jussie Smollet's noose.

          But this is the problem. We've had an awful lot of misinformation over the last few years, and sometimes the people claiming misinformation have been misinformed. Either intentionally, because it's simple propaganda, or they've relied on reliable sources that have proven anything but.

          Challenge is how to fix this. It's much like the challenge with cult deprogramming. Once people have deeply seated beliefs, it's very difficult to get them to change.. Even if there's ample evidence to the contrary. So for example people still believe in a flat earth, or believe that current temperatures are the hottest ever. Especially when there are a lot of vested interests pushing false narratives. Thousands of lobbyists are jetting back from Egypt, still determined to change the climate and pocket some share of the $100bn a year being demanded.

          Social media obviously plays a part in this being a way to drive the chosen narrative, especially if combined with censorship to suppress dissenting views. That just leads to a self-reinforcing echo chamber, not a communications platform. Which I think Twitter became, ie it wasn't a communications platform, it was a way to shout fire into crowded theatres. Anyone who dared so say "So where's the fire?" gets swiftly banned for being a denier. I think there's still some potential value in being able to filter by topic (ie hashtag) or source, but the tools given to users to do this seem extremely limited.

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            So many thumbs down from those who are sadly misinformed, deluded, pro-censorship or obvious facists..

            26 of you (and counting) have evolved sufficiently to use thumbs, but not words? Rather confirms that those on the left are rarely right..

            1. Elongated Muskrat

              Are you part of the same club as Dave Gibberish? The "call everyone a fascist whilst not knowing what it means" club?

        2. Fortycoats

          Sir Pterry said it best. What people think they want is news. But what they really crave is OLDS.

          And from the same book: "A lie can run around the world before the truth has pulled its boots on".

          We all have an inherent bias, and many people want to read things that reaffirm their opinion on how they think the world should be. Somehow a significant number take it as a personal affront to have their views challenged by truth, and just double-down on the crazy.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Misinformation is obvious ..... until it is not !!!

        "Me? I don't think they should be suppressing any news stories, unless they have credible evidence that it's misinformation. And even then I'm not so sure, because I think once people see misinformation enough times, they start to distrust the outlets that are peddling it."

        A 'reasonable' view that is predicated on the idea that 'misinformation' is obvious and will always be seen.

        Unfortunately, 'misinformation' is anything but obvious to a large number of people, which is the whole point of peddling such information in the first place.

        'Misinformation' is assimilated and then it is passed on, while corrupting the ideas/perspective of all involved in the communication.

        Look at how many people still believe that the last Presidential Election was 'Stolen', how the so called 'evidence' has grown/mutated into 'Fact'.

        Look at how the Republicans are so sure of the power of 'misinformation' that they deliberately push the 'Stolen' button to gain votes, even when they have been totally unsucessful in proving the 'truth' of this 'fact' in any court of law.

        'Misinformation' can only be fought at source and that is very very difficult because politicians like to win so will lie if needed !!!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Misinformation is obvious ..... until it is not !!!

          How many believe 2016 was stolen? And how much moaning did they do?

  2. ParlezVousFranglais

    With the NHS and Social Care about to crash through the floor, the UK Goverment would be torn to pieces trying to invest in something to compete with corporate social media

    Even if they did invest initially, how long before the funds were cut to the point where security was compromised, and millions who trusted a government run social network got pwned - can you imagine the fallout?

    And yes, the BBC has lasted until now, but it won't for much longer under its current funding model

    For sure, corporate social media is about as far from perfect as things get, and for sure, there will be some die-hard Mastodon/Fediverse followers for years to come, but like it or not, for the vast majority, corporate social media is where its at - exactly the same as the age-old arguments re Windows vs Linux - (although let's not go there on this thread :) )

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      And yes, the BBC has lasted until now, but it won't for much longer under its current funding model

      The Bbc is the world's greatest entertainer, so it'll be fine. Technology has moved on, so it's able to fund itself via subscription, if the public really value what it produces. Of course it prefers to stay swimming in it's jacuzzi of cash.

      1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

        The BBC knows around half the UK public will happily say "no thanks" if they switch to a subscription service. Hence they steadfastly refuse to abolish the telly tax, knowing they'll lose a huge chunk of their income. Only way the beeb will go to a subs model is when they're forced to by parliament.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          If the BBC funding changes then it must be compelled to retain its public service function and continue to make some of the TV for niche audiences that just wouldn’t get an outlet under an audience size funding plan.

          1. Dave@Home

            Like Channel 4 does?

          2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            If the BBC funding changes then it must be compelled to retain its public service function

            When the Bbc funding changes, it could have PSB obligations just as any of the other broadcasters like ITV, C4 and even C5 etc does.

            1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

              When the BBC funding changes, the PSB obligations can be put out to tender.

    2. katrinab Silver badge
      Meh

      They would have a gcs.gov.uk Mastodon instance in much the same way that they have a gov.uk website and department.gov.uk email accounts.

      Only government agencies would be able to sign up to the gcs.gov.uk Mastodon instance, so if you see a toot coming from there, you it is a genuine government communication, and you can assign the level of trust you normally give to the government in that particular matter.

  3. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

    If I were Jeff Bezos,...

    .... and you know, owned an outfit that could provide compute resources for Mastodon, ... I'd provide compute resources for Mastodon and make sure it was resilient, and see what happened. It would be a perfect snipe.

    1. Lon24 Silver badge

      Re: If I were Jeff Bezos,...

      The migration of a few hundred thousand from Twitter has already created shockwaves to Mastodon. Admins of the larger servers/instances have, mostly, had to close new registrations and rapidly upgrade their hardware from their own pockets. New instances will come into play (we booted our first last night) but the shortage of admin/moderator expertise will be the constraint for the foreseeable future.

      If Twitter just fades so there is steady attrition then Mastodon, although never taking the place of Twitter, can grow to be an alternative platform. If Twitter did collapse then it just couldn't cope with or without Jeff Bezoz.

      I don't share the article's certainty that Twitter will fail shortly. Elon realised $4bn last week so can keep it afloat for some time if he can hang onto half the advertisers (and roughly half of the US would want to support a right of centre Twiiter that has magnitudes of greater social impact than Truth Social, Parler & Gab combined.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If I were Jeff Bezos,...

        ... roughly half of the US would want to support a right of centre Twiiter ...

        Only a quarter of US citizens even have a Twitter account. Of those, how many do you estimate would get turned on Musk's tweet that the Pelosi's attacker was maybe actually his gay lover?

        Factual and opinionated conservative thought was never banned from Twitter/Facebook/YouTube anyway.

  4. Headley_Grange Silver badge

    Mastadon sounds good for my use-case. I use Twitter to get information fed to me about train services and sports. So, if I've understood Mastadon, this would work OK for folk like me; the train company could set up its own federation, I'd join it and the information about late and cancelled trains would still get to me. It might need more work on the part of the train company to set up an manage, but it ought to work.

    I guess that the problem is where the money comes from. I expect that the money which Twitter did make came more from the contentious, argumentative and nuttier bits of the Tweetosphere, rather than people wanting to know the footy score.

    1. thondwe

      Not quite how it needs to work - Train company and you just need accounts on one or more servers - neither need to run a server - though if say, all utilities funded a server that would be helpful. Or a big sports club could do the same. Could easily see the UK Uni's clubbing together to run one for Uni Staff for example.

      Mastodon more akin to a Twitter multiverse?

      1. Lon24 Silver badge

        Oh, yes - each organisation having its own 'site' with a 'comment section'- connected together by 'links' and some sort of 'search engine'. I must patent that!

        A sad thing is my main use of Twitter is just following some organisations who publish their breaking news on Twitter and not on their website with a RSS feed I can monitor. Maybe now they will now start to re-think and make info available cross platform. It's not difficult to automate.

        However, no special interest group is going to migrate to Mastodon until all its members do. Chicken & egg. That isn't going to happen much while Twitter staggers on. The cultists seem to forget that going there for a left/right bashing is still a minority sport even if the toxic debris dominates your timeline. Convenience rules. People will moan about the abuse but my feeling is most will tolerate it rather than take a leap.

        1. captain veg Silver badge

          this I don't get

          Why do so many organisations prefer to post their news on Twitface rather than the web site that they already pay for?

          It's bonkers.

          -A.

      2. katrinab Silver badge

        The Rail Delivery Group would set up a server for train operators, much like they do all the backend stuff for timetable information at the moment.

        Traveline would set up one for bus operators.

        You would subscribe to the ones you want to follow from whichever server you select.

        1. captain veg Silver badge

          rail delivery group

          It wouldn't take much coding. Or maintenance. Just a static page with the words WE APOLOGISE FOR THE INCONVENIENCE in big type.

          -A.

    2. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      The question is: why are you/they using twitter for that role? I don't mean that in a disparaging "you ought be doing this with just a sed script" kind of way. But that functionality could be handled by a mailing list, a web site (ideally with an RSS feed), or even usenet. So what is is it specifically about twitter which makes it much more suited than other methods?

      1. Headley_Grange Silver badge

        I'm guessing, but from the train companies' perspective it's easier on Twitter. No subscription lists to create and manage, no GDPR, no mail formats to create/manage - just get a Twitter account, a blue tick and get typing. Many people are suspicious of signing up to mailing lists - even though it's probably no worse than getting a Twitter account.

        From my perspective - there's little choice for the trains. I got a gig that required a daily commute and keeping up with delays and cancellations was easiest via Twitter. The timetable app shows delays and cancellations, but doesn't give advice about platform changes or alternative options or non-train related problems which affect the journey. Also, for some reason, it takes ages to load and refresh what must be less than a kB of data. Once I had the Twitter account I added a couple of sports teams to it, but there are better apps for that now. The commuting gig finished a couple of years ago, so I only use Twitter now if I head to town and I'm coming home late and worried about late trains.

        1. Dave559 Silver badge

          The GB rail network has (various?) open(ish?) data APIs, which assorted railfan techies have already built various websites from for a number of years (eg, Train Times (timetables), Open Train Times (maps)), so I expect it wouldn't be too hard for someone to feed train running or cancellation data into a Mastodon account.

          Various people have also set up unofficial Mastodon accounts for various news sources which gateway the original organisations' Twitter feeds into Mastodon, which is possibly even easier (but maybe less of an 'interesting' technical challenge).

          1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

            Do the APIs include "advice about platform changes or alternative options or non-train related problems which affect the journey"...?

            While I'm here: one of the advantages of Twitter over email and websites, is it's done in public. If $BigCorp ignore my email, nobody knows. If they ignore my tweets: everybody can see. Though that doesn't really cover the use case we're discussing.

  5. OhForF'

    Twitter's civic importance

    As a result of Twitter’s civic importance

    In my opinion it was a mistake for all those organizations depending on communication to ever allow Twitter to take control of it (but that is where a lot of users were).

    It is not acceptable to be forced to use twitter and follow public bodies tweets to get official information in a timely manner, neither is it to get customer services provided by a company.

    Fortunately Twitter is not that important if the organizations can just switch to other channels like Mastodon.

    A the same time they can take back control of their communication channels if they host their own servers.

    1. Steve Button Silver badge

      Re: Twitter's civic importance

      "Fortunately Twitter is not that important if the organizations can just switch to other channels like Mastodon."

      This is a parody, right?

      Mastodon has a tiny fraction of the users that Twitter does, it's just not relevant right now. Perhaps that will change, but as things stand right now Twitter is still important.

      It's a bit like saying someone lost their column in The Times, but fortunately they can "just" switch to the East Anglian Daily Times.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Twitter's civic importance

        > This is a parody, right?

        It was probably just poor wording but I think I can see the intended meaning: people (and organisations) went over to twatter and other siloed platforms at the time in a sort of crowd mentality reaction, which could and certainly will occur again (not necessarily towards mastodon).

      2. katrinab Silver badge
        Megaphone

        Re: Twitter's civic importance

        If TfL for example were to move to Mastodon, I think a lot of people would follow them over there.

      3. captain veg Silver badge

        Re: Twitter's civic importance

        If the East Anglian Daily Times is online, and producing better quality copy than The Times, then why not?

        -A.

    2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: but that is where a lot of users were

      with WERE the key word, as in the past tense.

      Twatter under Musk is going downhill fast. long may that downhill trend continue.

    3. ThatOne Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Twitter's civic importance

      > A the same time they can take back control of their communication channels if they host their own servers.

      You mean, having their very own website to post information on, and maybe even send out newsletters to people who want to stay in touch? Man, that's disruptive!... The whole "useless yet essential middleman" paradigm comes tumbling down!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mastodon is a bit of a freak show for the uninitiated. But then Twitter was always thus.

    It always made me wonder what those 7.5k people at Twitter did though. For comparison (mostly according to WP), Discord apparently serves ~50% of Twitter's traffic to ~50% of its active users from just 30 colos with 600 total staff. Were there just a lot of hangers on at Twitter or was it just really inefficient?

    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Jack Dorsey openly admitted as such; he let the company grow too fast. Meaning, it took on far more staff than the current or projected growth required, making it a no-brainer for a new owner to axe the hangers-on.

      The problem isn't the redundancies, it's the unfiltered nature of the redundancies.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It's a thing amongst the silicon valley VC cult that you're supposed to hire lots of people to show that you're "growing fast".

        I've heard (from a venture capital company manager) about tech start ups going from zero to >1000 employees in the space of three months. That is about a dozen people a day being hired and trained… by people who just got the job themselves.

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge

        If he took on too many people then it seems odd that there so many contractors and Musk fired permies before contractors.

        1. lglethal Silver badge
          Trollface

          Probably the Contractors had better contracts then the Permies.

          This is America - Land of the Free (to be kicked out of your job without warning and minimal pay off)...

          1. Jedit Silver badge
            Stop

            "Probably the Contractors had better contracts then the Permies."

            Nope. The permanent staff were fired first as their annual bonuses were due. By firing them then attempting to rehire them straight back a couple of weeks later while sacking contractors in their place, Musk has demonstrated to any court's satisfaction that he did so purely so he wouldn't have to pay out on contractual obligations.

    2. Roj Blake Silver badge

      Twitter will need far more content moderators than Discord.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's not the tech infrastructure or the size of the user base that has an impact on the amount of staff needed to run a service. Tech is largely irrelevant.

      How many court cases has Discord had in how many countries? How often have they been summoned to appear in front of lawmakers? I bet Twitter receives, political, legal and law enforcement enquiries on a daily basis. You'll know for certain that someone, somewhere on the planet, is currently drafting a court summons for Twitter to explain its action/inaction in a certain case.

      There will be an election somewhere next week, in a country where English is not commonly used, that is heavily gamed through social media and you'll need people who understand the local situation (and local language) to assess the risks and come up with a strategy. Or, don't, and risk facing accusations of illegal meddling in elections because you have broken local election legislation by allowing polling to appear on election day.

      You'll need people who know, and police, what's allowed and not allowed in certain jurisdictions. In the US it's fashionable to share Nazi content, in Germany it's illegal. Tesla has a factory in Germany, can Musk afford breaking German law with his privately held megaphone business? SpaceX has lucrative US government contracts, how much incitement of domestic terrorism can he afford on his platform? And who is going to remove that if you've fired most of the staff involved in responding to these complaints?

      In most countries its illegal to post photos of naked fifteen year olds, how is he going to deal with that? Or, more importantly, who is now he's axed almost the entire moderation function?

      You're trying to maintain or grow ad revenue. That means you'll need people who know how the advertising business works. How media buys are decided. Where potential areas for growth are. You'll need people who are point of contacted for current or prospective advertisers. Perhaps people who can help them become more effective (by spending more money with you).

      IT staff are not going to help you with any of the above and I wouldn't put tech in the top five of Twitter's most important issues of the moment.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A good brief

    About the economics of open platforms. I was pretty much told I was an idiot by my lecturer when doing project management at uni, for trying to run an open platform without having worked out how to sustain it. He was absolutely right, as I found out there years later at my own cost.

    As for Mastodon: it's the current hype among certain types ("social justice warriors", whatever that is, far right types, and of course porn purveyors).

    I took a look at it last time there was a press fueled moral panic about social media silos (which are of course a problem). A few people sign up at that point, they complain for a while about whichever platform they just "left", and then they just disappear. There is no real content of interest to professionals or even the general public for that matter.

    That is of course a "critical mass" issue, but the other problem with Mastodon and associates is its terrible scalability. It's super resource hungry, a pain in the arse to set up properly, and the underlying protocol, called activity pub is, IMO, way too chatty and inefficient.

    The really sad thing is, we had NNTP, which worked fairly well and piggybacked on existing infrastructure (email). I'm sure that given a quick refresh it would do a *much* better job than mastodon in terms of resources usage and the general economics of it.

    1. ThatOne Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: A good brief

      > we had NNTP, which worked fairly well

      Indeed, but it has become so terribly uncool, just like email. Most modern youth (<40) would rather die than be seen using something as dorky as an email-based system.

      After all, it's mostly about being hip: If you think about it, Twitter was a fairly hip place till recently, somewhere you wouldn't be ashamed to be seen. Which is why people are now leaving - it's not like Twitter has stopped working, it just stopped being hip...

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        Re: A good brief

        > we had NNTP, which worked fairly well

        Indeed, but it has become so terribly uncool, just like email. Most modern youth (<40) would rather die than be seen using something as dorky as an email-based system.

        Most modern youth couldn't drive anything without a GUI. NNTP but hidden under a GUI and sold as federated with personally configurable moderation (kill lists) might make a come back.

        1. Dave559 Silver badge

          Re: NNTP

          Usenet was great back in the day, but once the spammers and trolls found out about it (let alone the AOLers - hmm, I wonder how many of the younger generation(s) would even know what an AOLer is nowadays?), it had an even worse 'content moderation' problem, and it was up to you to carefully handcraft score or kill files appropriately, something that would definitely be beyond 95%+ of netizens these days!

          1. captain veg Silver badge

            Re: NNTP

            Usenet was terrible. But in ways less irksome than the likes of Twitter.

            -A.

          2. ThatOne Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: NNTP

            > it was up to you

            With those 5 words you've already lost 99% of the potential user base: All the instant gratification junkies, all the clueless non-IT people (yes, they exist!)...

    2. John Smith 12345

      Re: A good brief

      The other big problem with Mastodon is its name. Terrible name,

      1. captain veg Silver badge

        Re: A good brief

        And Twitter is better?

        -A.

        1. James O'Shea Silver badge

          Re: A good brief

          Twatter warns you up front just how bad it really is.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A good brief

        > The other big problem with Mastodon is its name. Terrible name,

        Yeah. I would have called Hippopotamus, myself.

  8. LDS Silver badge

    "It is, however, so much more."

    Is it really - or was just people who didn't understand the issues at stake that made it so?

    Relying on a single private platform for public announcements was plain idiocy from the beginning. It is true that many non-tech people are making the same mistake over and over - i.e. Whatsapp for messaging, and grandstanding people like big stages.

    Journous were part of the problem too - because of course was much easier to follow a single news stream instead of having to look for them from different sources - risking to miss some - but hey, that's plain laziness, and the emperor's new clothes are now shown for what they are.

    If (or when, probably) Twitter tumbles and falls will be a good lesson - unless now someone advocates it is "too big to fail" and thereby forces some kind of bailout.

    But freedom of speech is not protected by having a single private Moloch forced to publish whatever it is fed - until it becomes called MiniTrue- it's stimulating the presence of more news feeds.

    But this have nothing to do with FOSS - it's just about messaging/data exchange standards if we really need to get news feed the same way from different sources. The fact that software serving them is proprietary or not really doesn't matter. And the more FOSS you dream, the more it will be controlled by some another huge Moloch making money in a different sector and using FOSS as a weapon to keep on making those money - there are no free lunches - remember it.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: "It is, however, so much more."

      If you have a proprietary messaging system then that by design cause a network effect and therefore there will eventually be one "too big to fail" winner in each area like Twitter or WhatsApp. Nobody could come along and make money out of a FOSS network like Mastodon.

      Google worked this out and de-XMPPified gtalk.

  9. Steve Button Silver badge

    "banned people he doesn't like"

    Twitter has been doing that openly for about 3 years now, but I never heard many people in the media make a fuss about it until it was Musk doing the banning. I mean, it was happening ALL THE TIME to people who said things that went against the mainstream narrative, same thing on FB, LinkedIN, YouTube, etc.

    I hate to defend the man, as I think he's a total wanker and was just in the right place at the right time (Paypal) and he's got a really nasty steak (pedo guy), however it would be nice to see a little BALANCE in the reporting. Why do you (all the media pretty much*) ignore the banning of accounts by Big Tech, except when it's Elon doing that banning (and really he's only banning parody accounts, to deter them from abusing the blue tick scheme).

    *apart from a few.

    1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: "banned people he doesn't like"

      Before Musk, Twitter banned the sitting president of the USA but allowed the Taliban to remain on the platform and openly and gleefully ignored all antisemitism.

      Whatever you think of Trump, that's clearly beyond ludicrous.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "banned people he doesn't like"

        > openly and gleefully ignored all antisemitism.

        That would be the charitable reading.

        As the Facebook whistleblower (I forget her name) has shown us, they could well have been promoting that (as Facebook is alleged to have done) in order to increase "engagement". It's a well known technique that the press have been using for centuries.

        Precisely, one of Musk's stated goals was to make more transparent the algorithms that determine what content people see. I think he mentioned opening up the algorithms.

        1. ThatOne Silver badge

          Re: "banned people he doesn't like"

          Creating the new career path of "TEO" ("Twitter Engine Optimization"), with the subsequent spam offering to improve your Twitter visibility for a small fee...

          1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

            Re: "banned people he doesn't like"

            The joke being that the spam will arrive at you via email.

      2. myithingwontcharge

        Re: "banned people he doesn't like"

        "Before Musk, Twitter banned the sitting president of the USA but allowed the Taliban to remain on the platform and openly and gleefully ignored all antisemitism."

        To be fair, Twitter didn't ban Trump until after he tried to overthrow the elected government. That's actually a crime in the US, a country that has some rather strange (to outsiders) "free speech" rules.

        The Taliban on the other hand are a government, no matter how abhorrent that may be.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "banned people he doesn't like"

          "The Taliban on the other hand are a government, no matter how abhorrent that may be."

          Umm, well, yes, sort of, but they only became the government by overthrowing the previous government, at which point I refer you to your preceding statement…(!)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "banned people he doesn't like"

            > but they only became the government by overthrowing the previous government,

            Technically, the previous government collapsed before the Taliban could get around to doing the overthrowing.

        2. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

          Re: "banned people he doesn't like"

          The problem isn't how the Taliban took power as such - it's their day to day activities.

          According to the old Twitter management, possibly tacitly encouraging a protest against the election result is worse than the following:

          The first account of stoning I can find for the Taliban was recorded on video and they dug a hole in the ground and threw rocks at her until she died because she had premarital sex with her fiancée.

          The Taliban were allowed on Twitter and Trump was not.

          In my opinion it stems from the paternalist racism of the left - that foreigners aren't responsible for their actions because they are less than. But they are responsible and these particular lot are are abhorrent.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "banned people he doesn't like"

            "In my opinion it stems from the paternalist racism of the left"

            Sadly true. In the immortal words of Ana Kasparian "I'm better than you!".

  10. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    WTF?

    You want the State to manage social media platforms ? Are you insane ?

    The Republicans are actively trying everything they can to ensure that people of color won't be able to vote in 2024.

    You want them to be in charge of managing social media ?

    That's a fast track to ensure that anyone discussing voting rights will be banned - among other things.

    Corporate social media is bad enough. Government social media is a true nightmare.

    Think about Indonesia, Pakistan, Iran. Do you really think the State can run social media objectively in those countries when it hardly has a chance in the USA ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You want the State to manage social media platforms ? Are you insane ?

      "The Republicans are actively trying everything they can to ensure that people of color won't be able to vote in 2024."

      Citation needed.

      1. First Light Silver badge

        Re: You want the State to manage social media platforms ? Are you insane ?

        "As of May 4, at least 34 bills with restrictive provisions are moving through 11 state legislatures. Overall, lawmakers in 39 states have considered at least 393 restrictive bills for the 2022 legislative session. Since the beginning of 2021, 18 states have passed 34 restrictive voting laws, which can disproportionately affect voters of color."

        https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/research-reports/voting-laws-roundup-may-2022

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: You want the State to manage social media platforms ? Are you insane ?

          "which can disproportionately affect"

          OK, so they don't ACTUALLY affect but just 'can affect' so says a left wing organisation.

          This is probably my favourite video showing just how racist white 'liberals' are.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nY8PKtYsbUM

          You need an ID to do pretty much anything in the US.

          Most of the developed world (and a good part of the developing world) can run elections without mail in ballots and do it all in 1 day. Maybe the US needs to grow up.

          1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

            Re: You want the State to manage social media platforms ? Are you insane ?

            In the UK we have the hilarious situation where the left wing Labour party are vehemently opposed to requiring people to prove their identity in order to vote while demanding ID for internal party votes.

            1. captain veg Silver badge

              Re: You want the State to manage social media platforms ? Are you insane ?

              What the Labour party* does for their internal processes is entirely their business, though I note you cite no evidence for that claim.

              As for governmental elections, the specific proposals on offer from the Conservative government rather obviously favour Conservative voters over the everyone else.

              -A.

              * What is "the left wing Labour party" supposed to mean? Is there a right wing one?

              1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

                Re: You want the State to manage social media platforms ? Are you insane ?

                > What the Labour party* does for their internal processes is entirely their business, though I note you cite no evidence for that claim.

                It isn't contested that Labour require ID for internal elections, I'm certainly not going to find a source for that for you.

                > As for governmental elections, the specific proposals on offer from the Conservative government rather obviously favour Conservative voters over the everyone else.

                Are you talking about Gerrymandering? Grow up.

                * The left wing labour party - that was for the benefit of anybody from the wrong side of the English Channel or North sea, which I think is perfectly clear.

                1. captain veg Silver badge

                  Re: You want the State to manage social media platforms ? Are you insane ?

                  No, gerrymandering is something else. And they have form there too.

                  I was actually referring to the well-documented fact that the specific proposals favour forms of ID that are most commonly held by socio-demographic groups that tend to vote Conservative. Here's a citation; grown up enough for you?

                  -A.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: You want the State to manage social media platforms ? Are you insane ?

                    The article seems to miss a key part of the new ID requirements.

                    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/voter-identification-faqs

                    Various concessionary travel passes

                    PASS cards

                    Ministry of Defence identity cards

                    Photocard parking permits issued as part of the Blue Badge scheme

                    Driver’s licenses

                    Passports

                    Free Voter Cards, provided by local authorities

                    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/voter-identification-at-polling-stations-and-the-new-voter-card/protecting-the-integrity-of-our-elections-voter-identification-at-polling-stations-and-the-new-voter-card#the-voter-card

                    So when I register I can upload a photo of myself and get my free voter card that works as ID for voting.

          2. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: You want the State to manage social media platforms ? Are you insane ?

            Postal voting is a thing all over the developed world. Or would you rather send everyone home around election time... sounds a bit authoritarian.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: You want the State to manage social media platforms ? Are you insane ?

              I never said it wasn't a thing. It is just that one country seems to think that 'democracy' won't exist if they don't send out postal ballots without the voter actually requesting it. Pretty much everywhere else you have to request a postal ballot.

              And why would people need to be sent home around election time?

              1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                Re: You want the State to manage social media platforms ? Are you insane ?

                If there is no postal voting, people would have to vote at their polling station.

                It seemed the other AC had an objection to the entire concept of postal voting. I don't know if you are the same AC, but I did not know that everyone got a postal vote without requesting one in the US (or perhaps it varies by state). The requirement to request a postal vote seems reasonable, I'm not arguing against that.

                Likewise "early voting" also strikes me as a bit odd and makes security more difficult, but each to their own.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: You want the State to manage social media platforms ? Are you insane ?

                  At least 10 states sent out postal ballots without being requested. (based on 2020, not sure what they have done for 2022) There also seems to be some issues around being able to request a postal ballot without needing to prove identity. The use of mail boxes in the US rather than more secure systems like letterboxes in your door has resulted in cases of mail being stolen from people. The US is rather notorious for deliveries being stolen from doorsteps.

                  If you really cannot get to the poling station (out of the country, military, disabled) then you should be able to request a postal ballot. The serious oddity with the US system is the use of drop boxes rather than sending back via the postal service.

                  1. Irony Deficient Silver badge

                    Re: You want the State to manage social media platforms ? Are you insane ?

                    At least 10 states sent out postal ballots without being requested. (based on 2020, not sure what they have done for 2022)

                    Ballots were mailed to all registered voters in my state for the recent election. I go to the polling place anyway because folks with petitions to put items* on local ballots† gather outside the polling place in the hope of finding people who are willing to sign the petitions. I heard an estimate on the radio that about five of every eight voters voted by mail in my state this year, which will make it harder for folks with petitions to get enough signatures for their projects to appear on their local ballots.

                    The US is rather notorious for deliveries being stolen from doorsteps.

                    That would depend upon the particular doorstep in the US; the risk varies by locale.

                    The serious oddity with the US system is the use of drop boxes rather than sending back via the postal service.

                    There isn’t a single “US system”; elections here are administered by the states, and different states have different rules and options. In my state, the mail-in ballot could be deposited in a drop box, sent back via the postal service (but had to be received by 19:00 on election day to be valid), or returned in person at the polling place. An in-person voter didn’t have to use the mail-in ballot, but if a ballot provided by the polling station were used, he‡ also had to sign a document stating that his‡ mail-in ballot wouldn’t be used.

                    * — e.g. a lump sum from local taxes to support “meals on wheels” preparation and delivery of food to older residents

                    † — which, if a threshold of signatures of local residents has been met, are put to a vote on a different election day

                    ‡ — epicene

          3. veti Silver badge

            Re: You want the State to manage social media platforms ? Are you insane ?

            What are these countries that don't have mail-in ballots and "do it all in one day"? I don't know of any.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: You want the State to manage social media platforms ? Are you insane ?

              France? No postal votes and quick results. The UK is pretty quick and majority in person voting.

      2. Bitsminer Silver badge

        Re: You want the State to manage social media platforms ? Are you insane ?

        Black voters continue to face enormous hurdles in the U.S. electoral process. Voter disenfranchisement and suppression are at an all-time high. This includes online disinformation, poll taxes, polling station closures in Black neighborhoods, voters abruptly removed from the rolls, gerrymandering, strict voter-id and registration laws, and much more. It is imperative that Black communities and our votes are protected and that we are informed of the various sophisticated techniques used to suppress, deter, and or stop Black communities from voting.

        https://nbcit.org/black-voter-suppression/

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You want the State to manage social media platforms ? Are you insane ?

        Which party said "Too many people would vote" when asked why they didn't support making Election Day a national holiday? The GOP.

    2. wub

      Re: You want the State to manage social media platforms ? Are you insane ?

      And so where do we go?

      As you point out, as soon as the state leans too far in one direction, it can use state-run social media to enforce and accelerate that movement to extremes.

      And we've seen what happens when a corporation depends on 'engagement' to capitalize on the user's attention.

      How does a platform that can meet the expectations of a huge, distributed user base acquire sufficient funding for the moderation that is clearly essential without ending up depending on either commercial or government management?

      Does anyone have an example that might fit these conditions?

    3. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: You want the State to manage social media platforms ? Are you insane ?

      They would have a Mastodon instance for their own communications, much like they run their own email servers (or pay the likes of Microsoft to do it for them).

    4. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: You want the State to manage social media platforms ? Are you insane ?

      Nice strawman you have there. Does it have a name?

  11. Richard Tobin

    Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly

    I'm told that in the world of Air Traffic Control the phrases used are "loss of separation" and "metallic contact".

    1. Magani
      Unhappy

      Re: Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly

      Also they need to change the expression 'near miss' to the less acceptable but more accurate 'near hit'.

      1. b0llchit Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly

        That we call avoided unscheduled contact.

    2. Ian Johnston Silver badge

      Re: Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly

      Don't forget CFIT: Controlled Flight Into Terrain,

      1. captain veg Silver badge

        Re: Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly

        See also: involuntary asset conversion.

        -A.

  12. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    Interesting political theory

    There is a halfway house between capitalism and communitarianism, and it’s called the state.

    Pretty much every form of social organization of a country has the state, it's not one of the alternative forms.

  13. Oh Matron!

    And this year's Gerald Ratner award goes to....

    My account deletion is in proggess

  14. Zuagroasta

    Unmoderated forums (aka social media) are the biggest mistake of the 21st century. If Musk kills one of the cesspools of idiocy that all these unmoderated forums have turned into, more power to him, even though his way of doing it is a bit self-destructive. We have witnessed the fact that the old dictum “people are dumb because they lack education/information” is totally invalid, and that the screaming idiots will drown out any other participants if they are not excluded by a moderator or moderators. Enough is enough. States already fund or mandate platforms for idiots through public-access cable TV and various printed media… that luckily have higher barriers to entry than Yuckerberg’s and Dorsey’s benighted creations.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      It looks like he's not going to kill it, just strip it back so moderation and knowing who you're talking to becomes impossible. Both of those things will scare off advertisers (false accounts which look official, advertising next to neo-Nazis).

    2. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      No forum can be completely unmoderated and stay in existence(*). There has to be moderation for legal compliance at a minimum – no CSAM anywhere, no Holocaust denial in Germany, no being rude about the King in Thailand, …

      the screaming idiots will drown out any other participants if they are not excluded by a moderator or moderators

      This. Doesn't matter whether it's ranting MAGA hat wearers, ranting XR supporters, or for that matter, ranting beekeepers, it's the volume of ranting that kills a site for the average user. I wonder if having auto-moderation through posting rate limits might be an interesting experiment to try.

      (*) Except possibly on the dark web, which has its own problems.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        "I wonder if having auto-moderation through posting rate limits might be an interesting experiment to try."

        You'll have to think carefully about the algorithm that determines the rate limit. Otherwise when several dozen people gang up to troll, their victim will have to choose which one(s) they can afford to rebut without going over their quota.

  15. silent_count

    You made this god but the kneeling sucks

    "The social media platform has become intrinsic to politics and media in many countries, and an indispensable tool to many professions, creative communities, and minorities."

    In Pratchett's world gods only have power if people choose to believe them. I think this is a suitable analogy.

    If you choose to buy into their walled garden, for better or worse, you're stuck with whatever Apple decides is best for you.

    If you choose to make a propriety messaging platform "intrinsic" and "indispensable" then you are, for better or worse, stuck with whatever tickles the whims of the ownership.

    The Kool Aid and that bitter, almond-ey after-taste are inextricably linked, and more fool you if you thought you could have one without the other.

  16. thejoelr

    Facebook.

    The reality is that many Twitter users aren't going to Mastodon. It has new quirks they aren't used to and the registration process is harder. The real company who will benefit is Facebook.They will absorb an increase in traffic easily and serve more ads. They may lack the same features as twitter, but I think they will just be lost.

  17. F0ulRaven

    When Twitter and Facebook first hit the mainstream, I was very surprised how the media and the public sector took to it without their usual ' Other social Media establishments are available' that they usually brush private enterprise with.

    A decade later, and we are at the turning point where having a Mastodon server to manage your social media is just hitting the thought processes of the mainstream.

    Obviously, if Musk had a brain, he would have already worked out what was needed was a Twitter server app (think Azure Stack etc) that various industry organisations managed, and worked as a Twitter federation - he would earn for more than he will for blue ticks in licensing.

    You could then have different rules for what was acceptable on each Twitter server, yet, people could still share the news, and find each other for trending.

    The main issue with Mastodon is its a bit complex to set up properly, and that is the reason people use Twitter - any fool can set up an account, and most of them have!

    As it is, Musk is having a public nervous breakdown and Twitter will end up as a lesson in not letting money go to your head!

  18. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Shotgun wedding

    I think the problem is shown in the second paragraph.

    Musk is probably going "awright, you MADE me buy Twitter... now you get to see how I can be as the boss"

    He's probably rampaging around like a bull in a china shop mostly as revenge.

  19. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Single point of failure?

    "The social media platform has become intrinsic to politics and media in many countries, and an indispensable tool to many professions, creative communities, and minorities"

    So when it dies, all that content, including much that could contribute to the historic record, will die with it. We might suddenly realise that relying on proprietary ephemeral media for retention of important records is not a brilliant idea.

  20. Twanky Silver badge
    Megaphone

    Rant...

    Directly from the article:

    1) The social media platform has become intrinsic to politics and media in many countries. And there's part of the problem, right there. Politicians and celebrities want a cheap way of bypassing the filter of the mainstream media and speaking directly to the people - at the expense of those people, of course. Rather than compose carefully considered speeches and carefully constructed arguments they go for sound bites - 280 character quips. FFS when did it become OK to offer condolences for some atrocity, bereavment or natural disaster via a tweet? An SMS text message would be more personal.

    2) All these erode the user experience and thus trust, the sine qua non of social media. Eh? User experience and trust are the essential elements of social media? Not on my planet. Again, I think this is part of the problem. Why does anyone expect something dashed off in a moment of emotion or insomnia to be necessarily true or carefully considered. Tweets and other social media emissions should be treated the same as the opinions of your mates down at the pub with an implicit prefix of apparently, yeah...

    and another thing:

    3) There seem to be multiple standards being applied. I've seen many complain amount misinformation or even disinformation on Twitter and comparing it with Fox News or other outlets. Why should Twitter have to check that stuff posted by its users is true? Does Fox News or any other company have to do that? If it does have to check why are people still comlaining that their reports are conspiracy theory lies? Why hasn't it been closed down so we're not exposed to 'unsafe' news? What about The Sun or Straits Times or Sydney Morning Herald or Twll Dû or any other organ? Who gets to decide what's 'true'? The consensus of experts? FFS some moron tweets a stupid idea about cleaning people out with bleach and people take it as medical advice. If Twitter and other social media had the trust levels it deserves (no better than the guy down the pub) then nobody would follow advice like that.

    Social media should be for exchanging social chit-chat - or 'chattin shit' as a young relative of mine so eloquently puts it.

    1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

      Re: Rant...

      FFS when did it become OK to offer condolences for some atrocity, bereavment or natural disaster via a tweet?

      When the BBC realised that Stephen Fry tweeted condolences anytime anyone he wished he had met died.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does Mastadon include a viral-inducing algorithm to auto-amplify the most dopamine-inducing material - and all the libelous crap that entails? If not, then any Mastadon server, as is, cannot compete with other social media for advertisers.

    But I guess any Mastadon server can set up it's own curation - which can be any combination of software algorithm and manual moderation desired. The algorithm might be stupidly cheap but the knowledge intensive moderation is expensive. How expensive? If it so expensive that the cost outweighs by far even value of the Mastadon "base" software, then maybe Mastadon doesn't offer that much as a Twitter substitute - although it perfectly good for being what Mastadon is (which is arguably a better thing than Twitter).

    Jack Dorsey is apparently starting a new Twitter-like platform, building from scratch. Maybe that's (1) just ego, or maybe (2) building from scratch is actually less trouble than starting with Mastadon and then optimizing and modifying to creating a money shifting (note: not necessarily profitable) efficient product.

    1. pluraquanta

      Mastodon doesn't have ads. Technically it is possible to do it by forcing users on your server (but only users on your server) to follow ad accounts, but otherwise it's deliberately been designed to not serve ads.

  22. Dave559 Silver badge
    Pint

    Immunize the Mastodon

    I think that the author fully deserves not just one, but several, beers (or beverages of choice) for the excellent eschatological subheading (which is particularly appropriate, if Twitter is about to encounter its very own Ragnarök), and immanently! [sic]

    1. Frumious Bandersnatch
      Pint

      Re: Immunize the Mastodon

      Yeah, deserves an eschaton of upvotes.

  23. jumblist

    An interesting topic of discussion that this article touches upon is how we see our online social spaces evolving over the next 50 years or so. It seems increasingly clear that any responsible society cannot leave the fate of these to the whims of private companies and super wealthy individuals, who are corruptible and often have dubious intentions with no sense of civic duty.

    Twitter gets a lot of stick, rightly so in many cases, but hidden away underneath all of the shouting and screaming there are networks of many thousands of high value accounts sharing knowledge and insight, informing people around the world. These networks have a positive social impact globally that will shortly be lost, and to what end? Over time they will reform elsewhere, but for how long will the next platform endure?

    I'm not confident that Mastodon is the answer, but I think it's on the right track. Will be interesting to see how it evolves. The lesson of the last days of Twitter seems to be that a successful 'global town square' will never endure under the control of one individual who enjoys playing god.

    1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

      Therein lies the problem

      "many thousands of high value accounts"

      You left out the word "only". Because, unfortunately, there are hundreds of millions of low value users, and possibly millions of negative value fake accounts.

    2. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

      "there are networks of many thousands of high value accounts sharing knowledge and insight"

      and

      "who are corruptible and often have dubious intentions with no sense of civic duty"

      I suspect that both are true in many cases. And without assurances that they can continue to pursue their agenda, they'll be leaving for more amenable venues. And I think Musk didn't know the extent of this sub rosa network.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    an indispensable tool to many professions

    old but true: cemetary is full of indispensable people

  25. tojb
    Windows

    Cost of twitter ~40Bn US.

    Musk's next payday from Tesla (currently tied up in court by shareholders, but likely to get most of it): ~50Bn US.

    Musk can afford to own twitter debt-free and run it as a hobby. The whole situation is insane, but it is entirely feasible for him to keep it on the road.

  26. captain veg Silver badge

    intrinsic to politics and media in many countries, and an indispensable tool to many professions

    No, it's a web site.

    If it's no longer there, another will come along to serve the same function. This might already have happened.

    -A.

  27. ecofeco Silver badge

    Who cares?

    There is nothing about any social media website that matters in the real world.

    They have come gone like the wind and so will many others.

    If you need some kind of group connection tool, there are better tools. Use them.

    1. drankinatty

      Re: Who cares?

      Amen. I'm not a bird, I don't tweet.

      Moments like the self-inflicted ($40B) demise of twitter and all the hand-wringing that accompanies it, makes it quite liberating to have grown up when communication was done with pencil (or pen) and paper and the cost of a stamp was a dime. You could always just pick up the phone (that was permanently affixed within your home and owned by the telephone company -- and may have been shared as a party-line with your neighbors)

      The world got along fine without social media... (seemingly much better from a school shooting, political insurrection, or drunken COVID parties during lockdown standpoint) How long does a Prime Minister last nowadays anyway?

  28. Jonathon Green
    Trollface

    Meh…

    [Shrug] My personal view of Twitter was always that if something could be said in 140 characters it probably wasn’t worth reading. Subsequent changes to the message length limitation have not not presented any reason for me to revise my opinion of the platform…

  29. fg_swe Bronze badge

    The Spirit of the WWW

    The greatness of the WWW comes from the idea that we do not have centrally controlled systems, with central censorship. Rather, everybody can run his or her own little WWW server. No censorship, except if you start to utter death threats. A DSL Modem, an RPI, free software plus free DynDNS is all you need. The local Linux user group can assist you to set this up.

    Of course the journalists of the big media companies will not like this, as they lose some of their power. FB and Google will not like it, because they lose the power to simply delete or hide your writings. The financiers behind these corporations will not like it, because they lose power, too.

    Still, We The People, should run our own little servers. Power concentration (also in media) was a key feature of communism and nazism. Not good.

    When you have your ideas written on the WWW, you can always use the URLs in a Twitter, Telegram, WhatsApp, DeltaChat, FB discussion. They might kill the discussion, but your WWW pages survives and you can always send the URL again.

    While doing so, never lose your spiritual compass. Aim to be as friendly as possible.

  30. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

    Mastodon is already better

    Joined Mastodon a couple of weeks ago, I'm already having far more interaction with other users and gained more followers that I ever had on twatter.

    The birdsite would have died 6yrs ago if not for the shitshow that was the trump presidency... That cockwomble literally saved the platform for 4yrs as people flocked in to see what insanity, bullshit and propaganda he would spew forth from his face hole.

    It's been heading back down the drain ever since... Now that muskrat has taken over... he's trying to do the same thing.

    People are flocking back to the platform again... not to use it as such, but to be witness to the car crash as it circles the drain.

    Muskrat is CEO of at least 4 or 5 companies... and the only take away from that anyone should have.... is that CEO's are basically worthless and do very little.

    Billionaire meltdown is the new must watch sport... c'mon Zuckerdroid... you're next... please be next.

    1. fg_swe Bronze badge

      Calm Down

      1.) Calling other people "rats" should be reserved for extreme circumstances.

      2.) Musk defintely has done some great things. Rockets which can land in one piece, practical electric cars, mass produced,...

      3.) Communist rage never produced anything economically useful, quite the opposite. A good CEO does add immense value: Jobs and Packard come to mind. Can you imagine a ship without a strong captain ?

  31. NeilT

    Rational View

    I find it extremely interesting to find an author who can understand the technical details of a Mastodon mesh but fail to recognise the extreme transitive effect of a visionary who has extensive experience in the field.

    Add to that nobody calculating the average cost of the employees being discharged.

    Well on its way to $800m by the time the next lot exit.

    The vast majority of the work done on Twitter is either not revenue generating and so can be culled. Or can be done well by smart AI.

    Add on top the $4bn in Tesla shares Musk dropped and you have a company primed and in the starters gate.

    Daily active users are up. The drag on revenue is down, dead wood is being burned and ideas are flowing freely.

    The biggest oar in the whole thing is regulatory and for that the author couldn't even be bothered to research the control order.

    Responsible journalism?

    I'll take Musk and Twitter.

  32. Matthew "The Worst Writer on the Internet" Saroff

    Mastodon reminds me of something

    Fast local response, with some sort of polled exchange of more distant messages propagating through a non-hierarchical group of servers?

    I may be dating myself (It's not like anyone else would), but this sounds a lot like Usenet.

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