Our Pledge for a Healthy Internet describes our hopes for the Internet, and what it can become: a powerful tool for promoting civil discourse and human dignity. One that elevates critical thinking and reasoned argument, that honors shared experience and individual expression and brings together diverse and global communities to work together for the common good. Today we see the rising tide of the Fediverse, through Mastodon, Matrix, Pixelfed, and many others as a promising next step in that direction. Together we have an opportunity to apply the lessons of the past to build a social experience for humanity that is healthy, sustainable, and sheltered from the centralized control of any one entity.
Mozilla to explore healthy social media alternative
Mozilla is working on a Mastodon Instance, mozilla.social.
Now is the time, as we’re living through the consequences of 20 years of centralized, corporate-controlled social media, with a small oligopoly of large tech firms tightening their grip on the public square. In private hands our choice is limited, toxicity is rewarded, rage is called engagement, public trust is corroded, and basic human decency is often an afterthought. Getting from the internet we have to the internet we want will be a heavy lift, requiring significant investment in scalable, human-centred solutions for user and community safety, product experience, and sustainability. These are all big challenges, and there’s a lot we need to learn on the road ahead.
It all sounds good…
At the risk of sounding like Walter Kowalski (Gran Torino: “get off my lawn!”) …
I just can’t escape the feeling that social media has irrevocably negatively altered the internet.
I was on the internet in 1985, when it was all text and primarily academic, and I was there in the early 90s when Mosaic showed up. From 2000 on, it’s pretty much been down from there, but the real race to the bottom started in 2006 with the public introduction of Facebook But none of what I am writing here is unique or novel to me. Jaron Lanier has been sounding the alarm and has written extensively in this vein (c.f., “Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now”)
To be honest I remain unconvinced (like Lanier) that the current initiatives will fix it.
I hear you. I’ve read most of Lanier’s books and agree with much he has to say. I do think social media will be with us, so we might as well try to improve it.
If you’ve tried Mastodon, for example, it’s a little like early Twitter, without the ads, without the algorithm, with a lot less anger.