An excellent piece of thought on Mastodon but also in general on the open source free social network where anyone can join an instance, roll an instance yet be connected, participate and let others blossom. It is this connected nature of the network where really the power of small networks spread across a larger “fediverse” if you will, that makes Mastodon et al such a powerul concept. The decentralised nature of the network means that you can keep out trolls and nazis and carve out a small niche on your own yet stay clean and connected to the rest of the world.

The other good thing about this garden without walls is its interoperability with search engines and open ness. So, this effectively negotiates a middle ground between interest networks and people networks. If all you care are your small group of friends and nothing else, go create an instance and invite only them and enjoy all the interactions. If on the other hand, you are also interested in technology and global politics while your friends are not, you can do that too, within the space of your instance connected to the fediverse. As no single entity controls what one gets to see, this is the best of both worlds.

Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Environmental Health at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Also in:

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