back to article Threads versus Twitter: Shouldn't we be happy the wheels are falling off antisocial social media?

It feels like for years we've been moaning about the disastrous effect of social media on society. There are lots of accusations you can throw at the big networks: for instance, they've ruined people's attention spans, destroyed intelligent debate, and driven wedges between us all. Now nobody does anything unless it sparks …

  1. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

    Let me be clear

    Facebook/Meta are not 'joining' the fediverse... they're attacking it.

    They see it's rise as a threat, so they'll do exactly what companies like google and microsoft have done in the past. They 'join, they undermine, they make changes to the underlying software that make it proprietary and incompatible with the wider activitypub network. They force a slowdown in development and adoption and they marginalize and isolate every other instance. Won't adopt their standards, can't interact with their users... and once they have a majority of users... it's game over.

    Mastodon server admins have a choice to make... and that choice should be to defederate and entirely block the threads.net instance.

    This kind of attack has happened before and that's all this is... an attempt to eliminate the competition and maintain the monopoly.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Let me be clear

      I think we've seen this already with Google Talk and XMPP. Big behemoth jumps in, promises everyone interoperability, then takes them all somewhere else (Hangouts).

      1. Lon24

        Re: Let me be clear

        I don't see that. Mastodon & the Fediverse are too small to worry the giants. Threads target is clearly Twitter which is maybe 100 times bigger and collapsing under its own incoherence. Meta will be laser focused on that. Thanks to Elon, Meta will have to work hard to fail.

        BlueSky is collateral damage - why today would anyone now go there? BlueSky couldn't grab the opportunity last weekend and threads now has volume = content that BlueSky can only dream of - and it's trivial to join. You can be sure the Meta developers will work hard to make it completely intuitive to Twitter refugees. They did well to get it going so fast and not falling over on the first day.Their only restraint is what their lawyers might restrict.

        Mastodon may also be collateral damage even if Meta don't actually target it. But, unlike, BlueSky Mastodon does have at least three USPs - data privacy and a more liberal tone and a safer environment for the vulnerable. Like Linux it can take a niche of the market as the thinking person's town square. Becoming too big and losing its tone may paradoxically be its demise. Frankly most folks will sell their souls/data for a decent 'free' service. Indeed they have done it already.. What they are less inclined to do is pay as well. The penny 's dropping at Twitter that you pay or you may be served some limited scraps and may only comment unheard.

        Unless there is a change of leadership the only question about Twitter is how long? Will the answer first come from the user migration or bankers trying to salvage some of their investment. Hence I think Threads will be the big winner and Mastodon/Fediverse the small winner/survivor. Twitter/BlueSky RIP or rot in hell depending on your worldview.

        Disclosure: I am a small Mastodon instance admin.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Let me be clear

          I absolutely think Mastodon will survive but if Threads joins the Fediverse then there will be strings attached by Facebook - there will be a reduced implementation of ActivityPub which suits FB or the standard will be pushed in ways which Mastodon instances might not want - and FB could pull the plug at any time.

          What I think is was a shame about XMPP is that people thought it was really going to go places with help from Google and now it's a shadow of what might have been. I guess now nobody is under a similar illusion for Mastodon having seen how BigTech works and don't even want growth brought about by Facebook.

          After the latest events I am convinced more than ever that social media following the Big Tech model is fundamentally flawed. It doesn't warrant the money spent for used to obtain market share, and if it is successful (only FB social media so far I think) then it doesn't warrant the personal data given up by users.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Trivial to Join (threads)

          Yeah right. You just have to pledge the life or your unborn child to Zuck.

          He (and Fecalbarf etc) are just as bad as Google, Twitter and the rest for hoovering up everything they can find on you, your family, friends and even enemies and selling to Ad slingers.

          Not on any (anti)Social Media platform and have no inclination to ever view one let alone join up. That stance is very amusing to those on a trip to Europe with me who delight in sharing every little detail about their day on WhatsApp including what Pub they will all be meeting in that evening. They are all locked in to Social Media. It is designed to be highly addictive. FecalBarf even admitted so in court.

          It is time we all kicked the Social Media habit. We managed before it came along.

          1. John Stirling

            Re: Trivial to Join (threads)

            [quote] It is time we all kicked the Social Media habit. We managed before it came along. [/quote]

            We managed before electricity, but I think life is better with it. Social media has its faults, but as a technology it offers benefits if used correctly.

            1. Helcat

              Re: Trivial to Join (threads)

              "it offers benefits if used correctly."

              That's a real big IF.

              Plus: What do you mean by 'used correctly' because different groups will have their own views as to what that is, including the corporations providing the social media platform in question (FB clearly felt that social experiments on unsuspecting users was fine, and governments clearly feel they're entitled to peddle propaganda targeting other people in other countries, for example)

        3. RegGuy1 Silver badge

          Re: Let me be clear

          Pedant alert: laser focused. Isn't a laser coherent light, which means it isn't focused? Or to put it another way, the phrase is an oxymoron.

          1. jonesp

            Re: Let me be clear

            Lasers can have a focus, such as lasers used for cutting, or for heating a small spot.

            Also, I found this quote:

            As described in the textbook "Principles of Lasers" by Orazio Svelto, even a perfectly spatially coherent beam will spread out due to diffraction.

    2. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

      Re: Let me be clear

      Totally agree, but I really want to understand what a fediverse is and why it's bad

      1. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

        Re: Let me be clear

        The fediverse isn't bad at all, it's great... using the activitypub it allows for a decentralised network. In this case servers interacting separately but together on for arguments sake, Mastodon... But there are others like Lemmy and so forth.

        Anyone can set up a server (instance) and connect to the wider networks... anyone can join any instance and can even switch between them

        Because it's not centralised, some instances have more relaxed rules for things like nudity, but the majority have rules against hate speech.

        Today I've seen admins pre-emptively blocking threads.net because there are bigoted accounts on threads posting homophobic, transphobic freely and without moderation. The instance I am on, is opting for a wait a see attitude. I'm hoping that will change

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Let me be clear

          Your description makes it all sound rather like Usenet with both local and networked newsgroups. What's the USP of the likes of Mastadon compared to Usenet of old when there many, many small operators as well as some big ones?

          1. Justthefacts Silver badge

            Re: Let me be clear

            TLDR; The Onion might phrase this as:

            Linux phreakers propose Usenet to replace Twitter - “It’s the Future, we don’t see a problem with that”

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: Let me be clear

              LOL, that's so true and Onion-like :-)

        2. Justthefacts Silver badge

          Re: Let me be clear

          “Talk to” sounds superficially great but is irrelevant, it’s “Listen from” that’s the problem, few angles:

          Moderation: threads.net is bad, because $homophobic? Ok, but if I’m a teen I need to be able to scroll through DaBaby links tagged by my mates. $antisemitic content……yeah, not my bag, but I’m still want to scroll Ye. Basically, I’m just going to be on “the popular app” (yeah, network but dafuq I care) and that’s going to be the one that doesn’t block stuff. Shorter: The fediverse described is just Usenet which *still exists*, it never died, just nobody uses it any more. I’m far from saying “moderation is bad”, rather I think the opposite “the Wild West shitshow can’t be the main drag for very long”. But there is always going to be a main drag, aka town hall, everything else is…..well, ElReg forum. Not the main drag.

          Discovery: How do you do discovery? Without this, all you’ve invented is the Whatsapp group. The “best” discovery wins, always, even if I can subscribe from any network. Because I don’t find stuff I like from one network, and then listen from another. Discovery is Push, centralised, and inherently not standardisable.

          Synching: Is fediverse something where somebody publishes on one network, but others can read from any network? Well, fine, but there’s some obvious technical problems with that in practice - say I’m subscribed to 3 or 4 reader networks (see above why the users quickly install their friends 4 networks). How does one network know when I’ve read the tweet on another network? I don’t want to read the same stuff presented 4 times on 4 feeds. How does one network synch subscribes and unsubscribes on the others? And crucially Blocks? There is of course a set of solutions, it becomes SMTP and ISP spam blocking and folders and attention-focused threads and…..oh look you’ve re-invented email from the 90s through to 2023, but via all the stages it’s taken. I already have that.

          Again, the problem is that email SMTP has already been in

      2. steelpillow Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Let me be clear

        The Fediverse is a decentralised network of social media services, all linked together via a common interface protocol. If you sign up to any one of these services, then you can interact not only with its members but all the members of all the other services in the Fediverse. No one organisation can control it. The most popular software for building a federated service node is Mastodon, but there are others.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Smart People

      Don't use Social Media, by and large. Social Media is used mostly by those with less than the median IQ. Those with above the mediam IQ who "use" Social Media only do so as a vehicle to extract money from those with below the median IQs.

  2. ukgnome

    Currently there are no adverts on Threads - How the hell am I gonna get scammed now?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Alert

      Have you seen the permissions this app requires? That's the scam, right there.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Billionaires own social media. They didn't like the way twitter was going so it was bought it to kill it. Look how it's gone down, sack all the staff, make very unpopular changes such as adding post limits, limiting what people see etc... Threads on the other hand is under the all seeing eyes of our lizard overlords. It can be controlled much more than twitter ever can without most users realising it. Facebook has ultimate control over what you see on Facebook so it makes sense to control all the narratives. Another thing of note is that twitter has a hell of a lot of left leaning young people who a while back all got together and started following each other and they can't have that now can they? A free internet is an illusion. Google (search), Meta (socials) and the mainstream media (news) are all controlled. Maybe none of us are free and freedom is actually an illusion.

    1. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

      Freedom is an illusion

      Freedom isn't desirable in any large society. There have to be controls. Some countries do it via authoritarian governments, some countries let the billionaires dictate the narratives. There used to be more to the world than the internet. Now, if you're not engage in it, you're not part of society. And how do we engage in it? We follow one type of social media or another. The internet can be a force for good, but it's also a way of engaging the citizens and taking up their time.

      1. Magani
        Thumb Up

        Re: Freedom is an illusion

        "Lunchtime doubly so."

        Close, but we'll take it.

        Vale Douglas.

      2. Inkey
        Big Brother

        Re: Freedom is an illusion

        Why is it undesirable ?.... and If it's an illusion why are western "democrcies" always banging on about it ....

        Think you're free try to do anything without money

        We are the only species that pay to live on earth...

        what i read from your statement is "dominion" is desirable" in large sociaties by a minority of people who enjoy the benifits of creating scarcity

        1. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

          Re: Freedom is an illusion

          It depends what type of freedom you are talking about, to make it undesirable. It means different things to different cultures, even between the US and UK. But generally, you can't be free do go round killing people when you feel like it, you can't be free to steal stuff off other people etc. In any large society, you have to have rules, and rules curtail freedom in some way. That's what I meant. Of course you took it to mean something authoritarian.

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            Freedumb

            In the USA I was threatened with arrest by a cop because I chose where to cross a road with no traffic in sight. That's real freedom for you.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Freedumb

              That came from freedom for corporations, the Real American Freedom, not freedom for the individual: jaywalking was invented by the motor manufacturers.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Freedom is an illusion

            " you can't be free do go round killing people when you feel like it, you can't be free to steal stuff off other people"

            Careful there, that almost sounds UnAmerican (check your downvotes)

      3. JohnDyson

        Re: Freedom is an illusion

        It cost Musk a lot of money to expose the Constitutional abuses by the US gov't. I don't know if that was his original goal, but it did happen. It does seem that Twitter will have lost its dominance, but the earlier incarnation was so defective and unreliable. Some aspects of the actions by the old Twitter were beneficial, but the gov't involvement and lack of balance negated all of that benefit. I applaud Musk for helping to support the 1st amendment of the US Constitution.

        1. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

          Re: Freedom is an illusion

          Musk is an incompetent parasite with no redeeming qualities. Everything he does is self-aggrandising bollocks. He's a psychopathic megalomaniac who is using his - let's face it, unearned through anything he actually did himself - enormous wealth. I deride Musk for helping to support the totally flawed 1st amendment to the US constitution, which is only of any use in a tiny part of the world, namely the US. The rest of the world has more sensible checks and balances.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Freedom is an illusion

            "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

            I'm not seeing the flaw.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Freedom is an illusion

              "I'm not seeing the flaw."

              Try looking at all the crap that is done in the name of those words.

              The whole Constitution should have started with "No cherrypicking, nitpicking or stretching the meaning of a word past breaking point allowed".

          2. JohnDyson

            Re: Freedom is an illusion

            Musk is the 'incompetent parasite' who is the only one leading a revolution in space delivery technology. Also, he has helped to expose the gov't attacks against various aspects of Constitutionally protected freedom of speech. Whatever flaws Musk might have, these two items make it very easy to mostly give him a pass. Alas, most people nowadays don't seem to understand 'freedom of speech', even those living in the otherwise admirable EU and UK. Read the Consittution, and try to understand what the gov't had been doing, against NON CRIMINAL speech, think about it just for a while. Don't hold onto political right/left biases, look at the need for that fundamental freedom. Don't even try to compare with the 2nd amendment matters, those will mess most people up, because the 2nd amendment is not adequately nuanced by itself. You don't have to like or agree with what someone says, but it is best for everyone involved that non-criminal speech be protected. The current US executive leadership & bureaucracy has not been doing so.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Freedom is an illusion

              Why does he allow governments in Europe to censor then? Surely then he is enabling the behavior you say he is supposedly exposing in the US.

              From a European perspective I see him interfering and being strong armed by local governments (of a certain political persuasion) and frankly I can't understand why anyone would believe his line of bullshit. Governments, both left & right, interfere in the media - think "d-notice" for one aspect of this in the UK. It's being going on forever and will continue. To think any other way I think may be a little naive. You may have an ideological world in mind where this does not happen (based on your constitution) what you do not seem to consider or understand is the bigger picture, societal management or even the structure of a democracy itself. We've been here before in Europe, in no hurry to repeat but it looks as if it's going to be a struggle.

              Oh and one more thing, "Give him a pass" - Fuck off - No chance. I'm picking sides now and I ain't on Elmos.

            2. Ken Y-N

              Re: Freedom is an illusion

              Err, since Elmo took the helm the acceptance rate of government requests to remove tweets has actually increased from around 50% to 80%:

              https://restofworld.org/2023/elon-musk-twitter-government-orders/

              Twitter has performed little or no push-back on these requests partially because Musk has sacked most of the people who used to handle these issues.

        2. Shuki26

          Re: Freedom is an illusion

          +1 A very unpopular thing to say on this site, because the truth is not easy to digest.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Freedom is an illusion

          "It cost Musk a lot of money to expose the Constitutional abuses by the US gov't."

          One man's "narrative".

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Freedom is an illusion

          "It cost Musk a lot of money to"

          buy Twitter, and he brought that on himself ("due diligence? What kind of puny wimp does that?")

          "expose the Constitutional abuses by the US gov't."

          of _course_ that is what he did, that was the reason is why he bought Twitter.

      4. steelpillow Silver badge

        Re: Freedom is an illusion

        Only in a certain sense brewed up by bored philosophers. Margaret Thatcher famously declared that society is an illusion ("There is no such thing as Society!"), there were only individuals. On that basis one can hardly claim that a free society is somehow more concrete.

        But I don't think that was what you meant. You are using "freedom" it as a synonym for anarchy. However a free society offers freedom on the condition that you do not fsck other citizens' freedom - do that and defensive measures will drop on you in order to preserve the freedom of others. This is what the word usually denotes.

        1. JohnDyson

          Re: Freedom is an illusion

          Everything has reasonable limits, even 'freedom'. The US Constitution partially describes/defines one reasonable set of rules in US society. It doesn't describe absolute freedom, nor does it describe tyrrany. It attempts to describe something better than 'rule by fiat', avoiding fiat by a single leader, avoiding 'rule by democracy' or other 'unwise' situations. If change to the 'rules of the road' is needed, then a purposefully difficult process can modify those rules. All too often, the legislature (for example) is very lazy, thereby encouraging the expedient 'executive order' or 'judicial activism'. Anyway, freedom, whatever it is, does need to have limits/rules defined. There is no absolute freedom, and there shouldn't be. Somehow, freedom should be 'maximzed', such that everyone can participate, and that includes *government* NOT taking freedom from one person to give advantage to another. In the US, the effect of the Constitutional limiations for business/people is much more nuanced that the rather more strict controls over the Federal, then State gov'ts. (Again, this is somewhat US specific, but some of these ideas about limiting government might be helpful elsewhere also.)

        2. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Freedom is an illusion

          Only in a certain sense brewed up by bored philosophers. Margaret Thatcher famously declared that society is an illusion ("There is no such thing as Society!"), there were only individuals

          This is a good example how the media (back in 1987) and social media today can be used to twist things. She said individuals and families. She also said almost in the same breath "the quality of our lives will depend upon how much each of us is prepared to take responsibility for ourselves and each of us prepared to turn round and help by our own efforts those who are unfortunate."

          But the end of that sentence is always conveniently ignored.

          What she was getting at was the true fact that when we set up a social system such as a welfare state, there will be those that take advantage when they are not the people it is intended to help and if you can look after yourself then you should, not expect others to do it, and if you can help others that need help then you should. It became distorted into "every man for himself". This is how media works and it really does work on those too lazy to question it.

      5. Barry Rueger

        Re: Freedom is an illusion

        The downvotes on this post reflect the way that Americans have well and truly drunk the Kool-Aid, or have been taught from birth to believe their country's own PR.

        This is the country that has a list of seven words that you can't say on radio, that extends copyright protection more or less indefinitely so that Mickey Mouse doesn't go Public Domain, and which accepts both horrendous rates of gun violence, and a truly abominable health care system for large swaths of the population, despite being what is classed as a developed nation.

        And yet it trumpets its supposed superiority and freedom at every turn, ignoring a political system that that borders on insane, (seriously? Trump??) a military that is seriously many, many, many times what's needed, and a universe of social media that gets worse by the day.

        I believe that America is on its last legs. There will be loud and violent outbursts, but the whole thing is crumbling before our eyes. Whether it's government, or corporations, Twitter or Facebook, I can see that it's all heading for a collapse.

        I just hope that Usenet survives, and we can go back to the Good Old Days.

      6. CountCadaver Silver badge

        Re: Freedom is an illusion

        Bookface being the 2023 version of prole press

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I think…

      …the compete incompetence shown by Elon tuning Twitter pretty much proves this isn’t true.

      There isn’t an all powerful Illuminati. Billionaires are not more intelligent than anyone else…

      It’s all people doing stuff, screwing up and getting lucky. At random.

      1. fg_swe Bronze badge

        Well

        There are surely hidden and overt groups who want to control as much as possible. There are political parties. Powerful commercial interests like the WEF. Armies, intelligence, police, unions, even firebrigades have some influence. Corporations who bribe journalists on a grand scale.

        Then there are the cross-cutting ones like freemasons, churches, rotarians etc.

        During the C scare, the power of commercial information operations was visible.

        1. Brian 3

          Re: Well

          And there are the conveniently corrupt - those who find it convenient to have broken laws and systems, and are using such for their own convenience and power. Why would you report your supervisor's wanton and blatant corruption, when your own activities might be affected as well? Better to keep 'Riding The Gravy Train', right? Pick up some 'spades' on the way to keep yourself afloat.

      2. Shuki26

        Re: I think…

        Billionaires are people too but there can and is indeed forums of activist billionaires who can think they are more intelligent than us plebs. But ultimately, there is that 'luck' where the conspiracies work or not.

    3. martinusher Silver badge

      Applying limits has a purpose, and its not just resource usage. There's quite a distinction between 'a lively exchange of views' and 'a mob', especially if automated posting is allowed.

      We've had open internet forums from the beginning. USENET not only worked well but integrated with a mail program and so was convenient to use. What ruined it was a one/two punch -- unrestricted posts meant the threads got clagged up with malware, piracy and garbage and businesses couldn't find a way to monetize the user base or appropriate message threads. But its still possible to run this type of action, you just have to restrict the user base to a known group.

      Anyway, I figure "threads" will be popular because its "non Musk". But its the same old / same old. Nothing to see here, folks.

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "Billionaires own social media. They didn't like the way twitter was going so it was bought it to kill it."

      So, your theory is that Musk and Zuck are really bosom buddies and the public antagonism is all for show? LOL

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Choices

      Telegram?

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I reply to my own post for prosperity. X marks the spot where I was right. I have been saying this for months. I would flip the bird but that alas has now gone.

  4. karlkarl Silver badge

    The next war of the "glorified chat rooms" begins!

    Ironically in many ways I am glad they exist. They do a great job of attracting all the low effort twits to them, leaving the rest of the internet communities relatively clear from trolls.

    There is a fine balance between a useful "chat room" and one that is simply too large. These companies obviously go for the latter due to monetisation but ultimately they will never be as productive or as inclusive as a reasonably sized focused community (i.e a Linux forums, MS-DOS gaming forum, etc). So my theory is that no matter how good the intentions are for a large scale community system (fediverse, distributed, privacy oriented, etc), it will always become horrible.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Social media is like an STD

    What seems like a good time often ends badly.

    1. moonhaus

      Re: Social media is like an STD

      The effect of STDs depends on who you call. This could be the internet's PhONEday.

  6. fg_swe Bronze badge

    NewSpeak: "Fragmented Internet"

    The internet started out as a collection of thousands of independent, small servers and other endpoints. It developed into millions of independent servers, blogs, video sites, government propaganda outlets, some conspiracy sites plus the Mainframes called Google, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter and so on.

    The Mainframes are in fact Golden Cages, where a small cabal of oligarchs censors as they please. During the C-Virus-Panic the oligarchy censored away critical, correct information such as the CDC VAERS results. They want Total Control of Information in order to protect their investments in various GigaScams.

    But you know what ? We are NOT living in the soviet union and we should raise the middle one to this self-appointed Dollar Soviet. As much as we show it to other powermongers like the one who threatens nuclear war weekly.

    The internet ins INTENDED to be fragmented !

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: NewSpeak: "Fragmented Internet"

      I find people who talk in soundbites exceptionally uncredible. Try writing in your own words instead of joining up other peoples soundbites in some semi-random order.

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: NewSpeak: "Fragmented Internet"

      And at least 7 people seem to not understand this.

      The PC was meant to free us from the mainframe timeshare network, yet here we are not only begging to be put back in chains, but paying for it!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: NewSpeak: "Fragmented Internet"

        "The PC was meant to free us from the mainframe timeshare network"

        The machine that taught everyone to call a Microcomputer a "PC" was made by IBM. The well-known models, advertised to every business, deliberately underpowered to prevent cutting into sales of their Minis and Mainframes. The other models available at the same time were terminals for those same Minis and Mainframes.

        The PC was meant to reign in the anarchy of the Microcomputer.

    3. tacitust

      Re: NewSpeak: "Fragmented Internet"

      You're using the same argument the crypto bros have been making from the start, and look how well that's been going...

      Yeah, we're not living in the Soviet Union, or modern day Russia, which is why you clearly don't understand what it's like to live in a truly repressive society, where you can be jailed for five years for holding up a blank sheet of paper in your local town square, and where journalists are routinely arrested and/or murdered if they don't toe the government lie.

      Power abhors a vacuum, and there is nothing more ripe for exploitation than a fragmented Internet. If a fragmented Internet is really the ideal (which it might be, I don't know) then the only way it happens is through strong government regulation to keep those oligarchs you mention at bay, and also all the entrepreneurs who aspire to join them in the vast sea of wealth.

      Unfettered, barely regulated capitalism got us into this mess, and we can't get out of it by neutering the only tool we have to correct it -- i.e. a government that (actually) works for the people and has the will and the strength to wrest the power away from the billionaire classes. Given the prevailing power structure, that's an extremely tough ask.

      (And no, libertarianism is not the answer, since that will only free the oligarchy from any controls that are left and they we are truly screwed.)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: NewSpeak: "Fragmented Internet"

        The problem of centralization of power in government is that when a change of government occurs those same laws & practices that we good when the govt was "your people" become tools of repression in the hands of their opponents.

        So IMO govt power, economic power, judicial power, and religious power (which includes most kinds of movements that see themselves as above the law) need to be balanced against each other, with this separation protected by a constitution.

        My own experience is of South Africa during apartheid, when certain kids of discussion were shut down by social pressure / risk of getting fired for the wrong politics (if you worked for the govt or a govt enterprise), on radio and TV broadcaster controlled by the govt, etc.

        But SA had and still has a string culture of independent newspapers that drive the government nuts because the message can't be controlled. While what they said was subject to censorship, it was mostly after-the-fact (you said something true but embarrassing, so we going to shut you down). Due the number of newspapers (which is where the "fragmented internet" analogy comes in) they could *all* be shut down.

        And there was one area where the govt never managed to break down the separation of powers - the judiciary. Judges scrupulously applied the law to protect independent voices and treat anti-apartheid activists fairly. No, they didn't try to bend the law, but also they didn't hand down judgements that would be an easy way out for them personally.

        Based on the above, I'm deeply suspicious of handing any more power to governments, especially as in the Zuma era we have seen the post-Apartheid ANC government apply repressive laws to conceal their own corruption.

        So... the monopolists? Especially when they are aligned with a political faction...? My lesson from growing up in SA is to "sup with a long spoon", but also to use multiple news outlets, understand their political connections and bias, and try to synthesize an approximation to the truth that underlies the varied twisted takes. What gets left out from media reports is often more interesting than what goes in, because that says a lot about the objectivity of the source. And if I spot a "four legs good, two legs bad" type argument then that source drops off my list.

        Due to this background the free-for-all nature of today's twitter suits me better than the Meta monopoly & enforced conformity. And after some false starts twitter's algorithm has stopped giving me tweets from political nutters (of both sides) and has been trained to specialize in historic aircraft and military pics. Having made a career in the computer business I'm deeply suspicious of monopolies & for that reason I'm steering clear of anything in the metaempire.

    4. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: NewSpeak: "Fragmented Internet"

      The internet ins INTENDED to be fragmented

      What about the www? With a few small exceptions, any browser you choose uses a standard protocol that is also used by the web servers.

      And email, standard protocols regardless of what client you choose.

      But a more modern situation where I people need to maintain half a dozen accounts or apps so they can message somebody on their chosen platform because they don’t interoperate is just shit. Or a user of one social media service account cannot add content from another social media service to their newsfeed is just the shit end of the stick for us all.

      Things are supposed to improve, not get worse.

  7. fg_swe Bronze badge

    Centralized Information

    BBC

    DW

    RFI

    Globaltimes

    Voice of America

    RT

    Prawda

    NYT

    All of them are beholden to powermongers. They can lie in synchronized fashion in order to enable wars in Iraq, in Syria or now in Ukraine. We clearly need LESS centralization.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Centralized Information

      Have my upvote.

      The mainframe timeshare shackles are not for me.

    2. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: Centralized Information

      When you visit a site like "Russia Today" you know roughly what you're going to get because it says so on the tin. Same with the others you cite (the modern BBC is a government shill just like every other national broadcaster).

      These days government sponsored media isn't as much of a problem as corporate sponsored media.

      1. MyffyW Silver badge

        Re: Centralized Information

        "the modern BBC is a government shill just like every other national broadcaster"

        No, it really isn't. One only has to look at the earnest hand-wringing over just about any issue to see how studiously it tries to ensure balance. Doesn't always succeed, but it is way better than most government or corporate sponsored media.

  8. fg_swe Bronze badge

    One Man

    One IP Address

    One RPI server

    One Web Server

    One Vote

    1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      Re: One Man

      ONE VISION!

      1. PBuon

        Re: One Man

        Blah blah blah, Fried chicken!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: One Man

        "ONE VISION!"

        No, he has the voices to guide him, not visions.

  9. fg_swe Bronze badge

    Internet Interoperability Without Central Censorship

    + Learn a bit of HTML

    + Learn how to run a WWW server, ideally on your own hardware. Post your ideas there.

    + Learn how to share HTTP URLs. Can be done on WA, Telegram, Twitter, FB and other Golden Cages.

    + Run your own file server in order to be protected from oligarch censorship and spying

    Nobody said it is as convenient as eating an oily burger plus a liter of aromatized sugar water.

    Grow up. Grow balls. Don't be a sheep.

    1. Someone Else Silver badge

      Re: Internet Interoperability Without Central Censorship

      Oh, and here's one for you"

      + STFU

      You're Bombastic Bob without the caps lock key, and I claim my $5...

      1. David Nash Silver badge

        Re: Internet Interoperability Without Central Censorship

        Not sure what they did to deserve that. It's true that you can use your own web server to publish information and share the links.

        Not really a substitute for chatting a-la twitter but it's a decent way to publish stuff. A business whose web address is a facebook page just looks unprofessional.

        1. Justthefacts Silver badge

          Re: Internet Interoperability Without Central Censorship

          “business whose web address is a facebook page just looks unprofessional.”

          To my age group, and to “dinosaur orgs” that might seem true. However, it’s easy to lose track of the fact that FB and Insta are town hall marketplaces*.

          The annual revenue of Meta might be “only” $90bn a year, but advertisers aren’t paying them for nothing. A minimum of $300bn+ total revenue, and maybe twice that, is being achieved by the micro-businesses you are deriding here.

          The vast majority of Insta fashion brands have no website, or just boilerplate to satisfy the accountant, because their customers simply don’t “use the web” in the way you think of it. There are thousands of those in the $10M-$100M+ category. Insta is dominated by brands you have no possibility of being aware of, without Insta, because you aren’t their target customer.

          1. ecofeco Silver badge

            Re: Internet Interoperability Without Central Censorship

            Ah yes, brands that are just making a slightly different version of the same crap everyone else is.

            I work in global scale mfg. 80% of everything in any market category, from industrial to retail, is the exact same thing just with a different logo and different price.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Internet Interoperability Without Central Censorship

          "It's true that you can use your own web server to publish information and share the links."

          Carefull!! That's how they suck into their rabbit hole. Post a little truth, followed by some half-truths that almost sound reasonable then the real bat-shit crazy follows and it's too late. You're in and you can't get back out!!

        3. Citizen of Nowhere

          Re: Internet Interoperability Without Central Censorship

          >Not sure what they did to deserve that

          It was probably the fatuous condescension. As soon as someone starts calling others sheep ...

    2. Justthefacts Silver badge

      Re: Internet Interoperability Without Central Censorship

      Or… post on Insta some nice pictures of the B&B you run; or great hairstyles you’ve done on your customers who are trendy 20-something females and nobody outside that demographic gets their time wasted; or scented candles / sparkly lippie you make in your “studio”; or happy dogs at your dog-grooming service (seen only by dog-owners); or your healthy line of custom-made vegan lunches treats delivered for home-workers, ads shown only to vegans and micro-geo-targeted on your 10-mile delivery area so that nobody outside it gets their time wasted (and your ad spend wasted); or a guttering and awning firm that micro-geo-targets customers based on scraping the weather reports of downpours and heat-domes in a 20 mile radius, showing videos of your products performing (ice creams and umbrellas, an evergreen business model, updated).

      Honestly, my way sounds both more fun and much more profitable use of time than yours.

  10. Dave@Home

    Holy Cow

    Reading the comments here I should invest in Aluminium foil

    1. Mr D Spenser

      Re: Holy Cow

      Agreed.

      What if they are lying to you about <insert any topic you like here>? What if they aren't? What are you going to do about it?

      99% of the un-wealthy are going to do nothing. You, are likely to do nothing about any given topic. Me, I'm taking the dog for a walk.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Holy Cow

        99% of the un-wealthy are going to do nothing

        Yes, absolutely nothing is what I do too, and that covers not holding any social media account.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Holy Cow

      And start a boutique with all the most fashionable designs (the real money is not in the physical materials, it is in all the "value added" steps)

    3. C R Mudgeon Bronze badge
      Joke

      Re: Holy Cow

      Clearly, all the world's aluminum producers -- yes, every last one -- conspired to start that whole bogus foil-hat thing in order to, you know, sell more aluminum.

    4. xyz Silver badge

      Re: Holy Cow

      Watch out... You'll start a fight between the Aluminium and Aluminum clans!

  11. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    There's no such thing as antisocial social media, it's antisocial *people*. It's humans being humans and communicating with other humans.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Yeahbut, without the "media" bit, the anti-social is limited to face-to-face down the pub where if you get too abusive, someone will punch your lights out so it becomes self-limiting. The "social media" sites enable people to be far more abusive and nasty than most would ever dare in real life.

      1. chivo243 Silver badge
        Stop

        Until someone shows up at your door holding a weapon... I recently moved to a rural town in midwest America, and the first week I'm here, I read about an argument that started on FB and ended in a death in this small town. It was a flashmob of 2...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Social media is a venue for trolls

    Don’t feed the trolls.

    1. Sanguma

      Re: Social media is a venue for trolls

      But feeding trolls their own toes is part and parcel of the sheer joy of living!!! I mean, finding an accredited "international human rights lawyer" on Twitter who fails to understand the significance of "Habeas corpus" has got to be one of the great shocks of life - feeding him his own toes (with suitable condiments) made up for the grim horror of discovering his existence ... By the time he'd got around to deleting all his offending posts, I figured he'd put both feet in his mouth, right up to the hip, and really, you can't deny such individuals the joy of tasting their own toes up to their pelvic cage ...

      1. Spanners Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Social media is a venue for trolls

        Many "experts" on Twitter are not always as good as they think.

        Yesterday I came across someone who had "accountant" and "economist" in their profile. He was replying to someone who was concerned that the Conservatives were doing as much damage to the economy as possible to make it as hard as possible for their adult replacements.

        His reply was that, as they were now the government, they could print as much money as they needed and there would be no problem!

        Musk looks to be a similar expert.

  13. mpi Silver badge

    I am happy to report that I couldn't care less what happens in that space.

    I am not using any of the "big" of social medias other than Reddit, and that only to gather technical information and news articles at various subreddits.

    Lo and behold, I live, and happily so. I have a career I'm proud of, a partner who loves me, and a home I enjoy. I don't lack for human contact, or connection with the wider world.

    The best trick that "social" media ever pulled off, is to create the believe that they are somehow a necessity.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: I am happy to report that I couldn't care less what happens in that space.

      Basically, this.

      They come and go and contribute nothing to my life in general. If they all disappeared today, I would not miss them and it would not affect my life in any way.

      Geocites, MySpace, to name just a small fraction of former wannabes... they are all transient.

  14. Omnipresent Bronze badge

    The only ones dumb enough

    to join social are the ones trying to take advantage of others. The real people have gone private. That means you are all taking advantage of each other lmao.

    Think about it. Every time one of you influencers, or tech mods joins, it pulls together every account, and everything you've ever done on the AI verse (oops, i mean interwebz) and counts all those as new sign ups as well.

    The internet has become a joke.

  15. The Central Scrutinizer

    Social media.... it's all a stinking cesspit of conspiracy theory bullshit and surveillance capitalism.

    1. Ashto5

      Conspiracy ?

      Or is it ?

  16. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Let me demonstrate my view of Social Media ...

    ... done.

  17. an.other_tech

    Even more data grabbing?

    So you have to have a facebook or Meta account for Threads ?

    OK, but haven't Meta / Facebook already proved they can't be trusted with personal data ?

    Some say the Fediverse isnt big enough to worry the big boys.

    There's the problem. If they can't control it, won't they destroy it ?

    How is it in anyone's collective interest to allow Threads in the Fediverse ?

    Surely it is just opening the ports for corporate tentacles to creep into .

    Didnt want Facebook, tried TikTok, and not a huge fan of social media, but recognise it's potential and uses.

  18. cosymart
    Joke

    Stitch

    If a message on Twitter is a Tweet is a message on Threads a Stitch? :-)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stitch

      Up.

      You forgot the "up'

    2. PK

      Re: Stitch

      ... or a Threat ?

  19. Tron Silver badge

    Point of order.

    Distributed tech doesn't have to fragment the internet. It can just be a way of doing bog-standard social media, without centralised censorship, centralised surveillance and data scraping. You can allow individual users to choose what they want to see - content and ads - and block what they do not want to see. You can still monetise it, encrypt it, and it can still be global. In fact it may be the only way to protect it from nationalist censorship of the sort currently slithering through the UK parliament.

  20. Quotes
    Facepalm

    .com

    Fancy launching a new online service (again) without acquiring the relevant .com

  21. xyz Silver badge

    Social Media

    The opium of the masses 2.0

  22. Adelio

    I do not use social media, I have no twitter account (well i did sign up to get support on some software 10 yrs ago) and i stopped using facebook 5 years ago.

    To be honest, I just fail to see their usefulness. I just check the main news sites (BBC, CNN etc)

    I am not interested in Cat videos!

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