Mastodon has no users, nor people. But people (can) have Mastodon
I just saw on Twitter and his “replacement”, that is Mastodon, something that in my opinion is a perfect, real-world confirmation that, as I recently said, certain worries about Mastodon flaws and alternative “platforms” are… misplaced. Please have a look at this screenshot:
on the left, there is Tom Harris complaining about, as I understand it, some remarks by Aral Balkan. On the right, there is Balkan’s remark that Tom would be (emphasis mine) “yelling at him for posting his thoughts on his (Aral’s) own site”. On the same topic, Balkan further commented on Twitter that “some folks just don’t seem to get how decentralisation and individual sovereignty works”.
Because, you see, Balkan was not “arriving in Mastodon”. Balkan is expressing himself through a personal copy of Mastodon on his own server. Balkan is not posting on “mastodon.social”. He is posting on “mastodon.ar.al”.
In other words, and regardless of personal attitudes and communication styles… the exchange above is a perfect example of what I’ve said recently about Mastodon, and about “alternative platforms” for Twitter, Facebook, etc:
- “Governance of Mastodon instances”, or alternative platforms in general, is a NON issue
Mastodon and similar stuff are a problem only if you want them to be platforms. Just compare what I said there about “firstname.lastname@example.org” with the “mastodon.ar.al” note above
More exactly, it is an issue ONLY if you insist on starting with platforms, instead of personal, individual, directly interconnected clouds like, just as example, this proposal of mine
If everybody involved in that quarrel, that is not just Balkan, but also Harris, and all their “followers” had their own server and software to communicate, there would be no “arriving”, no community moderation, no community governance to worry about. There would only be individuals, each with the individual freedom and responsibility to speak, and to not hear, that is “block”, what others say.
This freedom and responsibility are what we must make accessible to everybody, by building PERSONAL clouds that are really easy to use. It’s NOT an easy road, and it is one that does create its own problems, I’ll grant you that. But it’s better, and very likely even easier to implement and deploy, than any of the alternatives I’ve seen so far.