Right on cue, I’m making another public service announcement about moving to alternative profiles. Last night, I witnessed the unthinkable with journalists getting banned for mentioning a particular account and banning links to alternative social networks like Mastodon, aka “The Great Tusk.”
While Twitter has survived a bit longer than I expected, the experience has worsened. This coincides with the influx of hate speech, censorship for those who aren’t far-right wing, and unhinged behavior from Elon Musk on the platform.
With yesterday’s incident, dubbed the “Thursday Night Massacre,” Twitter has become very unsafe and unpleasant. This should become a case study that while centralized social networks have benefits, it has significant drawbacks that make them decremental to society. That includes bad actors like extremists and hateful people who use the platform to spread misinformation, harass people, and even incite violence. This is due to inadequate moderation.
Moreover, social media controlled by big corporations are causing mental health issues for Generation Z youth. This results from algorithms that automatically feed you content, even the unsavory ones from extremists and misinformation. There is no wonder why the country has become so polarized. This has been especially the case since the 2010s with the decline of the Independent Web.
However, this is our chance to rebuild and revive the independent web while taking back control of the internet from big corporations. If you are looking for a new alternative to Twitter that is anime-centric or a content creator that reviews Japanese media, I have created a new place. I thought of this when Elon Musk bought Twitter, as I have zero confidence that it will get better from here.
Shortly after Elon bought Twitter, I decided to set up my own Mastodon server, mainly aiming for the AniBlogosphere, their readers, and anyone from AniTwitter that wants to join. Sakurajima is what I named the Mastodon server, and it has been growing steadily. My aim with this is to create an alternative community. This consists of Mastodon and an Internet forum for people to discuss anime and various topics in a place free from hate, harassment, misinformation, and extremist content.
Sure, Mastodon looks like Twitter, but it is different in various aspects since it’s decentralized. However, you should try it as the experience compared to Twitter is better since there is more interaction. Also, the number of followers has grown considerably just in a little over 1 month.
Sure, starting over may seem challenging and unappealing, but it will pay off in the long one. You might meet new people and/or grow back your followers rather quickly in no time. I have made guides on how to use Mastodon and autoshare your blog posts there too.
Either way, I hope the Anime Blogosphere revives once Twitter goes the way of MySpace. I lived through the internet’s beginnings when I started using it a lot when I was 10 years old in 1999.
As expected, I was immature, but I got to experience the evolution of the internet. I spent a lot of time on internet forums, creating bad Pokémon fan sites, and chatting with people on Internet Relay Chat (the predecessor to things like Discord and Matrix). This led to making this Anime Blog in 2009 and meeting new people.
Sure, I noticed a decline in comments after 2015 when people stopped commenting on blogs and Anime forum communities as AnimeSuki declined in activity. Still, I am hopeful that Twitter finally collapses or goes the way of MySpace and fades into irrelevance. Then, maybe we will see people blogging more and commenting on other blogs again, along with a revival of forum communities.
Let’s face it, humans are not made for centralized social media, especially ones controlled by corporations. Instead, we must curate our experiences, choose what communities to participate in, and decide what content we want to consume. Blogs, the Fediverse (Mastodon), and internet forums have the upper hand in this aspect as it’s not controlled by giant corporations but by the people.
Besides moving over to Mastodon, if you don’t have an Anime Blog, this is probably a great time to create one. Also, following and interacting with your favorite Anime Bloggers by commenting on their posts help keeps the Anime Blogging Community alive. Who knows, if we get the network effect going on Mastodon, we might see our favorite Seiyuus, video game companies, and anime production social accounts in the Fediverse.
With that, what are your thoughts about this? Do you think centralized social media is terrible, and we need to go back to blogging and participating in internet forums? Also, if you have any issues with our Mastodon server or need help, you can do this in the comment section. Also, you can follow other Anime Bloggers and me and join us in the Fediverse at Sakurajima.
If you see this text, this site has stolen my content. If you are affected by content thieves, look this domain up on a Whois Service, look up the IP and send a DMCA takedown with the host provider. STOP STEALING CONTENT AND MAKE YOUR OWN. Also, MATRIXAT, go fuck yourself you fucking thief!
2 Comments… read them or add your own.
Do I “centralized social media is terrible?” I’m pretty sure it doesn’t matter what I think. Despite its potential, we’ve seen what it’s done to society. So, yeah, I’m onboard with the idea that de-centralized is better.
The only thing I have against Mastodon is reach. The audience is just very small compared to what I’m used to. Very much reminds me of USENET in the pre-AOL days. Which, now that I think about it, really isn’t a big problem! In fact, its pluses might outweigh its negatives.
I’ve got to add Mastodon posting to my publishing process. I’m still not confident I’m following the form Mastodon wants, and I really don’t want to embarrass myself.
Would I like to see more anime bloggers? Absolutely! The more voices, the more perspectives, the better. I like a post that gives me a perspective I hadn’t thought of before. Hard to get that on our current crop of social media.
I’ll close on this observation: I have never seen an individual obliterate their reputation so thoroughly and so quickly as that guy at Twitter has done. It’s almost as breathtaking as the hypocrisy. I mean, one minute it’s “we can censor that guy for inciting a terrorist attack on the government” to “you published public data so you’re banned.” I mean, come on — what kind of intellect could possibly reconcile those two positions?
As old and cynical as I am, that still astonishes me.
You can see my toots as example, but in general you do want to use your post’s hashtags so your content is easily searchable as there is no full text search on Mastodon, since nobody is going to setup Elasticsearch, which I heard is very memory intensive. the Mastodon Auto Post has a format that allows you to include the title, url, and tag.
The discovery part is probably the weakness of decentralized networks since it only knows the users that other users follows. There is no algorithm. That means if the user follows a user, your content will get sent out to more servers. In a way, it’s like RSS feeds and going on different message boards.
As for centralized networks, I think the problem with them is that they focus more on monetization, which of course means they want to get every user, even unsavory users, meaning it’s the social media companies best interest to feed the users what they want, even extreme voices and misinformation which is a problem, especially with Facebook. Also, only like a few big companies control the biggest platforms.
If social media was treated like a utility, which they should, companies will have to follow regulations, which in theory won’t allow companies to get away with algorithms and tracking issue and force to have a certain level of moderation. It would probably make it impossible for what Musk is trying to do now, which could get him in trouble with the EU as they have strict laws regarding content moderation and tracking with the GDPR. I think the US is behind the eightball on this and I do think social media companies needs more regulation so you don’t have a billionaire buy a platform and turn it into a free for all food fight with hate speech, misinformation, and harassment. After all, social media have an outsized value when it comes to spreading information.
But as of counting, there are 25 people that are anime bloggers, video content creators including myself that are on Mastodon. There are probably more that I do not know about, but the list is steadily growing. Probably more join when more decide to leave Twitter for Mastodon.