The world and all our lives have some big problems.
We may not be able to overcome them alone.
But what we can choose is this:
Whether we want to be a part of those problems...
Or if we want to be a part of their solution.
Do YOU want to be part of the solution?
✊ Be part of an Ethical Revolution.👈
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Trash Twitter (aka X)

Ethical Net list reasons why X (Twitter) should be avoided, including: trolling, hate speech, spam, fake accounts, fake news, political involvement, privacy issues and the fostering of addictive behaviour. The good news is there is a clear ethical alternative to Twitter/X: Mastodon.

What’s so Bad About Twitter/X/Whatever it’s called?!

Here are a few reasons to consider an alternative to Twitter:

Anxiety

Charity Anxiety UK suggest psychological distress is brought about when young people spend significant time on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter (X), or Instagram. The echo chambers created by Twitter’s algorithms likely exaggerate this problem.

Centralisation

Twitter is in the hands of a few powerful people. You can’t control the direction it takes.

Fake News

Armies of spam, bot and fake accounts are mobilised on Twitter to hit us with sensationalist clickbait.

Free Speech

Twitter has a history of “deplatforming” people and content.

Polarisation

Twitter’s algorithms (as well as pushing ads) tend to feed us content it thinks we want to see, polarising us and dividing us from others.

Privacy

Or lack thereof! Twitter admits that it collects plenty of data from you, probably more than you realise. They’ve repeatedly fallen below GDPR guidelines. Data breaches revealing passwords have been an issue in the past. Do you feel privacy isn’t important because you have nothing to hide? Read this.

And put it this way (as Jaz did): “If the phone companies were recording the words we use in our conversations to sell our preferences to advertisers and make machine learning-driven inferences about us as humans, we’d lose our collective minds. But when Internet companies do it we’ve managed to create a world where that’s … normal … most people don’t like it but believe there’s no alternative.” But there is an alternative, see below…

Targetting

Through their algorithms you’re bombarded by adverts.

Trolling

This can be state sponsored or simply individual hate speech.

Why Choose Mastodon as a Twitter Alternative?

Mastodon has pretty much all of the functionality of Twitter with the following extra added benefits:

There are no algorithms or ads to waste your time

You can follow anyone across any Mastodon server from a single account and receive their posts in chronological order.

Mastodon puts decision making in your hands

Each server creates their own rules and regulations, which are enforced locally and not top-down like corporate social media, making it the most flexible in responding to the needs of different groups of people.

Mastodon is decentralised

Instant global communication is too important to belong to one company. Each Mastodon server is a completely independent entity, able to interoperate with others to form one global social network.

Mastodon is free and open-source software

It believes in your right to use, copy, study and change Mastodon as you see fit.

It’s not for sale

Mastodon was developed by a non-profit organization. Public support directly sustains development and evolution. They respect your agency. Your feed is curated and created by you. You will never be served ads or have profiles pushed for you to see. That means your data and your time are yours and yours alone.

If it sounds good to you then you can join Mastodon here. Once you’re in go ahead and follow me here.

Twitter Vs Mastodon Comparison

When searching for a more ethical alternative platform to Twitter it is important to consider certain criteria. A platform that meets the criteria can be considered an ethical alternative.

Is it decentralised?

A decentralised platform is not owned by any single entity. No one person, group or company owns it. Users have little or no control over a privately owned platform. Certain rules may be imposed and certain vested interests may be served. Even if a platform is seemingly benevolent the fact that it is privately owned means it can (and probably will) be sold at some point to the highest bidder (usually one of the big bad lads!)

Mastodon: ✅ | Twitter: ❌

Is it Open Source?

Open source software allows people to view, modify, copy and share the computer code on which it is powered. It is totally transparent, meaning anyone can check the full code and ensure there are no nasty spy back doors or criminal attacks built in. This makes it incredibly secure. It is adaptable, by anyone, which means its constantly evolving, building strength upon strength with improvements and fixes being offered up by the community. In short it is democratic rather than despotic.

Mastodon: ✅ | Twitter: ❌

Is it Tracker Free?

From the perspective of data collection companies, you are the product, waiting to be sold to advertisers. Conventional platforms are littered with trackers, stalking your every move around the web with the intention of selling your data on to these companies in order that you can be targetted by advertisers. If a platform is tracker-free you cannot be targetted in this manner, ensuring your privacy is respected.

Mastodon: ✅ | Twitter: ❌

Is it Ad Free?

Whether you’ve been tracked and targetted by advertisers or not, adverts are a distraction and a pain in the arse. What’s more if a platform is dependent upon advertisers to make money then it is in its interest to serve these advertisers to you. An ad-free platform is a hassle-free, no strings attached platform.

Mastodon: ✅ | Twitter: ❌

Is it Secure?

Keeping your data secure is important. You want to ensure hackers and cyber-thieves cannot access sensitive information. Tracking and surveillance by corporations or governments should not be something you are subjected to without question.

Mastodon: ✅ | Twitter: ❌

Who imposes the rules?

People have differing views on moderation, and that’s fine. We’re all different. We can agree to disagree and still respect and love one another. Decentralised social media platforms are served across multiple servers. Each server creates their own rules and regulations, which are enforced locally and not top-down like corporate social media. This means every individual can choose to join a server with the rules they agree with. They are still able to interact with any user on any of the servers across the decentralised social media platform.

Mastodon: You and your community ✅ | Twitter: The platform owner ❌

Are there algorithms?

Mainstream platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc) use algorithms to feed you content that will make them more money. With no algorithms you get to see the content you choose in chronological order, keeping you in control and not wasting your time (or money!)

Mastodon: No ✅ | Twitter: Oh yes! ❌

My Twitter Alternative Recommendation

My recommendation for an alternative to Twitter is definitely to sign up to Mastodon. You can follow me here.

Once you’ve signed up you might find this brief list of 10 usage tips a handy way to get to grips with surroundings.

Who to follow?

Here are a few notable accounts you might want to follow to get you started on Mastodon:

What about Bluesky or Threads as Twitter Alternatives?

Read the bit above again on why to choose Mastodon as a Twitter alternative and ask yourself if Threads or Bluesky can claim the same. 😉

Alternatives to other unethical platforms

Further Resources:
TED Talk by Dino Ambrosi Exposing the Hidden Costs of Social Media

Your 26 Steps Checklist