I'm just thinking about this blog post I wrote in 2018. Because even when Twitter makes a good decision, the first sentence comes to mind: Why does the entire world have to wait on the CEO of one US company to make a decision?


I don’t know if Masto or even the Fediverse is the answer but I really feel more and more that social media in general should be a public good, funded by the state.

Whenever I think about this I have fantasies of, like, if your Fediverse node meets certain standards, then the state will contribute resources - help to cover hosting/admin time/etc, maybe with some scaling based on the size, maybe with a hard ceiling to help keep any one node from getting too dominant, dunno.

“Being a non-profit” or at least “no ads” is definitely one of those standards.

@anthracite @Gargron state-funded is effectively state-controlled, though, no? What prevents despots and tyrants from defunding dissident nodes?

@solo @Gargron

Nothing. We’re working all right without any of that already. Anyone who wants to run a node without any state funds should be perfectly free to do so.

Like, the little instance I run is about half supported by its Patreon, and half by my pockets, which is in the domain of a couple cups of coffee a month. I’d probably be more up to date if I had an extra funding source like a grant from the Bureau of Social Media but it’s running fine without that.

@anthracite @Gargron But...didn't you just say social media should be a public good? Why advocate for state-sponsored nodes with all of the attendant risks if the current crowd-funded model works?

@solo @Gargron

I grew up in a time when things like “PBS” and “the NEA” were actually funded. It is very useful to have multiple funding streams. And it is also SUPER useful to society to have the option to have stuff out there that ABSOLUTELY does not need to worry about making a profit.

Lift up marginal communities that don’t have a lot of people with funds to spare, y’know?

@anthracite @solo @Gargron

recently proposed model of "public-common partnership" may be something you are looking for

Some public utilities in European countries are already controlled in similar fashion

@anthracite @Gargron I'm not sure about the 'funded by the state' part but I do agree that it needs to be decentralized for that very reason.
Non profit being a requirement is a great idea.

@Gargron concordo plenamente. às vezes me sinto tolo com tamanha dependência desses aplicativos

@Gargron I kinda have to log in here and use my account for once, but after what happened today with Trump's suspension, I'm getting the signal that not even a major corporation like twitter is immune from the problems of smaller communities. I just see the patterns from what happened on CL and also several other communities I was a part of that fell apart in a similar fashion. This may be the first sign of twitter's collapse, though I don't know if it'll lead to decentralization of communities

@Gargron Ironically, the Trump ban is exactly what inspired me to look around on Mastodon again after a long time, even though I agree with the ban 100%.

@janssens_bart @Gargron #Twitter banned me (a small-time activist who exposes the harms of #CloudFlare). My posts were civil but CF is a powerful adversary. Banning someone who incites violence & pushes misinfo from a trusted posture (e.g. #Trump) is not a strong case against Twitter. And sadly, only relatively non-controversial bans get headlines b/c civil activists like myself aren't notworthy.

@Gargron @janssens_bart It's precisely the banning of low-profile activists that serve as strong rationale to leave twtr, as well as the substantial number of Indians that #Twitter marginalized not too long ago.

@janssens_bart @Gargron As a state actor, #Trump has no place on #Twitter in the 1st place. Nor does #Biden or any other politician. We expect politicians to serve *the public*, not members of an exclusive walled garden that's centrally controlled by a private corporation who controls who among the /public/ may communicate to their representatives in /public/ office.

@Gargron @janssens_bart the ethical thing for #twitter to do is to acknowledge that it's not their place to control who gets to interact with politicians and refuse to serve all politicians who (mis)use Twitter as a public service. It's not the profitable move but it's the ethical one.

@resist1984 @Gargron Very good points, it is exactly because it was profitable that they allowed Trump to continue as long as he did.

@Gargron Or worse, why does no one question why they're making this decision *right now* when it's popular?

@Gargron because now they don’t need to fear repercussions from the trump administration. It’s all about appeasement.

If you don't mind, I shared your blog post to my 2k Twitter followers. I wonder what will they say. Or will they be able to comment at all?

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