Hey folks, if you’re still on birdsite, please help me boost this tweet:

Let’s get some more folks on Mastodon and the fediverse while also raising awareness about surveillance capitalism.

Thanks in advance :)


@aral Do you think that this here will scale surveillance capital free? If we replay the open web here, someone will set up a bit obvious hub (cf's popularity) and then start tracking people, and most normal peeps won't want to move.

I feel the mistake we made with the early web was we made it open, but we left it closable. I don't see how the fediverse (for all I love it) has solved that problem. Once advertising driven money sees fediverse, what's to stop it just co-opting it?

@mdales It hasn’t solved the problem and it’s a point I often make myself. We only solve that problem with a network where there are no privileged nodes and thus no return on scale.

That said, we need bridges (both technical ones and ideological ones between surveillance capitalism and a post-capitalist peerocracy) and the fediverse is just such a bridge.

@mdales Regarding your first point, we must remain vigilant and use social shaming and social exclusion (public shaming and domain blocks) to stop VC-funded initiatives (startups) in the fediverse from gaining network effects to begin with.

There is nothing technical or legal to stop a well-funded VC-backed firm from embracing, extending, and enclosing the fediverse. The only power we have is not to federate with such nodes from Day 1. It’s our only weapon.

CC @Gargron

@aral I like the tweet and the numbers. But to be realistic, it is not a surprise right? Filter bubble, etc... It is obvious that here are more people who care deeply about this topics. With a tweet/toot about a different topic you could probably generate the complete opposite numbers (beside the followers numbers).

@bjoern Oh yeah, if I wanted millions of retweets on Twitter I’d just have to change my name to Justin Bieber and tweet about how I just farted.

@aral I've just recovered my Mastodon account after seeing your tweet :-)

@aral just two days ago I was surprised by the numbers of the #FSF accounts:

FSF @ Twitter: 30.100
FSF @ Mastodon: 820

Less then 3% ? And I asked myself why do all these #FreeSoftware friends seem to prefer #Twitter over #Mastodon?

Now I realised that FSF @ status has at least 4984 followers. Makes around 16.5% of their Twitter Followers. However, still not convincing and imho a story for reflection.


@3rik @aral @fsf


Where do FSF post most often?
Where do FSF engage with their followers?
Which accounts are featured most prominently on their website and other branding material?

The ratio might not be due to any twitter/mastodon difference.

@zatnosk @aral @fsf @lightone yes, I see. Their status instance is synced with their twitter account. The Mastodon account however is not in sync and features less posts. Why ever that might be the case?

(btw: <3)

@3rik Do you mean number of followers or what?

@aral Isn’t using Twitter a legitimization of surveillance capitalism or is Twitter not a surveillance capitalism company?

@kmicu You can use Twitter against the grain and against its interests to reach people who would otherwise not be able to reach. That’s how I use it. That said, I’m constantly evaluating that trade off. At the end of last year, I stopped using Facebook because it wasn’t effective (who even knows who sees your posts; it’s an algorithmic timeline). Also shut down my Google account. Keeping Twitter for now and using it to raise awareness + move people here.

@kmicu (Note, I wrote that four years ago. Again, note what has changed in my approach in those four years. We do have alternatives now and we should be using them whenever possible and leading people to them. We must build (one way) bridges.)

@aral done. have seen similar trends on a number of my own posts too.

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Aral’s Mastodon

This is my personal Mastodon.