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    A person I know who was active on Twitter around 2010 said that he felt at home with the geeky culture on twitter then, and regrets the loss of that culture as twitter became more mainstream and politically relevant on an international scale. I suspect that some of the homey feeling of mastodon is this same effect - because of its newness, and lack of backing by an expansion-seeking corporation, it hasn’t attracted enough people the author doesn’t like yet. Just like Twitter in 2010.

    This doesn’t mean that I’m anti-Mastodon. In fact, I’m strongly in favor of it, and I hope it gains more adoption as a competitor to Twitter. I’m always in favor of open, decentralized platforms that are not controlled by a profit-seeking corporation. But I’d like to see the author revisit this article in 1 or 3 or 5 years, if the same people who he thinks make Twitter a “garbage pile” are on Mastodon as well.

    Of course one crucial difference between Twitter and Mastodon is that by design Mastodon makes it easy for communities to arise that have the power to systematically block content they don’t want to see. So maybe even in that future, the author would still feel “at home” on Mastodon, and so would the garbage pile people, and everyone would be happier than they are today.

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      if the same people who he thinks make Twitter a “garbage pile” are on Mastodon as well.

      Some of them are already on the Fediverse, if not using Mastodon. Each instance can control who it federates with, and life goes on.

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        I have heard it is even better: sometimes instance A federates with B, but only for explicit subscriptions and targeted messages (not for global search etc.). In this case, communicating with both sides of the schism of the day becomes feasible even on individual-user level, not just on the instance-level.

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        Of course one crucial difference between Twitter and Mastodon is that by design Mastodon makes it easy for communities to arise that have the power to systematically block content they don’t want to see. So maybe even in that future, the author would still feel “at home” on Mastodon, and so would the garbage pile people, and everyone would be happier than they are today.

        I’m not familiar enough with Mastodon to know how this works. But if it’s as you describe above, then given the current highly-polarized state of Western democracy, we must recognize the downside of a system that would encourage people to disappear even further into the comfort of their own ideological ingroups.

        To the extent that Twitter users are confronted with opinions they vehemently disagree with, that’s a good thing for society. (Even though it’s notoriously rare for such a disagreement on Twitter to lead to a productive conversation.)

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          On the one hand it is true; on the other hand, having a global conversation seems to encourage everyone to take a side in every conflict, which drives the polarization even deeper. It is not enough to show people things they disagree with, you have to show mostly the high-quality examples of the opposing views for anything good to happen.

          Maybe overlapping personal bubbles could provide better diffusion of ideas by avoiding indestructible walls? I am not sure this would work, I just don’t think we have any obviously-better simple options.