Solve it for yourself.
Post on your own blogs on your own servers.
Solve it for others.
Help others get set up with their own servers.
Create solutions for people
Make attempts at creating decentralized solutions. Even if a 1000 people use it, someday we might crack the code to getting people off the walled gardens.
Basically, if that article sounded like a demotivating blow to your hopes, please flip the bird at it, and keep working to solve this problem.
The social giants today optimize their offerings so that we spend as much time as possible using them to maximize profits. That doesn't necessarily make us happier. Wouldn't a a social that frees time and doesn't create addiction and depression be something to strive for?
I think we should stop counting success in time spent and numbers of users.
For a federated service, like email or phone, this is not a problem: the union of all service providers is the entire service, and more providers can connect. So connecting to any compliant provider is fine, and providers have an incentive to be good, or at least outcompete each other by some metric.
For a siloed and sealed-up service, like Facebook or Twitter, once you and (most of) your social graph is there, there's no way anyone can connect from the outside; to be connected with you, they need to dive into the same silo. The bigger the service grows, the harder it becomes for people outside not to consider joining, because of the pull of the part of their social graph who already joined.
I think that federated services will always exist, as long as unimpeded internet connectivity is allowed. I also think that 1-2 huge walled gardens will also exist, for the same reasons why phishing using dancing kittens videos will continue to exist: many humans are emotion-driven and don't value [insert a list here] when overwhelmed by a positive emotion from something new, cute, and free to use.
Just look at Hacker News for example. It'll never be as big as Facebook, Twitter or Reddit, but it doesn't need to be. It's a good community for the people it's aimed at.
The idea you should only make stuff for as large an audience as possible or to get rich quick is perhaps one of the most depressing aspects of the internet (and world) today.
1. let sponsors host your data in an open competitive marketplace.
an open marketplace for goods and services that focuses exclusively on driving value to customers through:
1. require low cost guarantee from vendors.
2. vendor can't buy rank at all.
3. better way to find products and service.
(sort of like ebay that focuses on customer value not transaction volume)
do what amazon did to "best buy". you do alot of your research everywhere else but you buy from here.
kind of like how amazon screws over best buy. the networks can't stay afloat if most everyone uses the social networks resource then goes to a fair efficient marketplace to buy goods/services because the prices are cheaper and easier more convenient for users. and the prices are cheaper because they don't pay an advertising tax which funds all the free useless videos.
I've also in the process of starting up a forum for local techies. Again, this will be self-hosted. I did some integration between wordpress and nodebb to be able to share my posts to a nodebb forum, and the comments are powered by nodebb.
Whenever I see a discussion on decentralized social, I get a bit excited, maybe try it out, then drift away. But now, I'm thinking about decentralized social a bit differently. I'd like to write a short status update (like a mastadon toot), post a picture, or write a 20 paragraph article all using the same interface. People should be able to reply right below it as comments, or share it. The forum I'm setting up could probably work that same way.. it's just a feed of things, and if it could be organized into topics (or perhaps even just #hashtags), that would be a good experience. So far, that's just all running on my server. If it was also federated, people on that federated network might see it and interact.
I don't know if there's anything active that can do that. mastadon looks like it's geared as a twitter clone (500 character limits) so I can do the short status and picture aspect of it, but not the longer posts. I like the idea of the local feed, which I believe could be displayed live on my site. I don't know if GNU Social or one of the others would fit in with this idea, but I'll be investigating this more now.
There is this ostatus plugin for wordpress. This makes it look like I can share posts to gnu social + mastadon, and integrate the comments with it, but not sure how that would work in practice.
To kind of sum that all up, I'd like to setup a federated blog (status updates, comments, articles) for myself, and a federated forum for a group. They could be the same instance, or two separate instances, or two entirely different applications.
(but I am legitimately interested in the systems-theoretic nature of this problem, and hearing the different views, and this view is a valid one.)
Then, when I was trying to read, the text kept popping up and down as ads moved in and out. I gave up at that point.
Obviously, what people mean is some sort of "people don't want to learn how to manage the installation and configuration of a linux distribution on the command line". Which probably is true--but also completely irrelevant.
Arguably, home routers are servers. People routinely "operate" home routers. So, people routinely operate their own servers.
Yes, usability might need to be improved. But obviously, the first generations of new technological ideas are built by and for enthusiasts and thus require a bit more motivation to get started. There is absolutely no reason to think that that is therefore an inherent property of the idea itself.
This is quite arguable, as most people plug in a router, or even more commonly, have Comcast do it for them.
And you are closer to the mark with the "configuration of a linux distribution on the command line" bit. Look at adoption rates for GPG and some of the blog posts/comments on it. ,
If Security Professionals are giving up on what is not a wholly complex system in general, it sets a fairly clear bar on what is acceptable anymore and what isn't. Apple's Messages, Signal, Telegram, any of these chats with the built-in End to End Encryption is what is mostly needs to be; you just open the application, and the work is done. Of course, this means in some way centralization and trusting a monolithic org to play nice.
Currently a lot of the social media alternatives fall victim either to the lack of traction or the complexity of participation, and adhering to the privacy and security ideals sometimes requries complexity.
Don't get me wrong, I'm firmly in the RTFM camp and protect your privacy by whatever means, but that means concessions, and often concessions people don't want to give. Malware would be cut in half if people just ran NoScript, but that would break a lot and require some knowledge of what happens on the pages they go to. People would probably be happier with alternative social media platforms that are more communication focused, but that requires sometimes more configuration than they're willing to bother with.
The ideas proposed by alternative systems typically aren't that new to begin with and have been around for ages - when complexity is a requirement for the technology, there isn't really a post-enthusiast era. Many tech leaps were very simple on release; consider BitTorrent. Get client, download torrent, a file appears. It was pretty magical, and new.
 - https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2016/12/giving_up_on_... (comment from Schneier on , agreeing)
 - https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/12/op-ed...
And yet, they are not limited to communicating with other comcast customers.
Whether that would be the best model for social networks, I don't know, but I think it is important to recognize that you do not need every individual to build their "server" from scratch to achieve some meaningful benefits of decentralization. If comcast doesn't like you, they cannot cut you off from the internet, and that is already a pretty big advantage over walled gardens.
So replace router with Apple TV.
Difficulty: the answers to the above must leave you with a product easy to use and reliable enough to compete with doing approximately zero work to use and maintain a Facebook account. Plus it needs to offer at least as many features.
I've for some time wanted a kind of private swarm-storage product (probably using IPFS, I guess, for lack of alternatives) that lets you plug in a new node at a friend/relative's house with a few TB of storage, put in the credentials (keys, bootstrap node[s]) for the swarm, and has it intelligently back up some amount of content from the network such that everything has at least X copies (3, say) while making all the rest available (that's where IPFS helps) on request, with some interface for adding content to the swarm from any node. The above problems have kept me from attempting even this task. A social network would be even harder.
A world where it's common for people to run their own server opens up exciting possibilities (just as a world where everyone carries a computer in their pocket has), but I don't think actual physical servers is going to get us there.
Pointing out that some people run servers isn't much of a distinction. Some people also use decentralized social networks. But virtually nobody.
This article is not a well-thought out argument either. It's a bunch of random irrelevant anecdotes with some hand-waving tacked onto the end that the writers though was good to write down here because the same words impressed their friends.
The main barriers here actually are:
- over-advertising and self-promotion of non-advanced stuff like Diaspora etc that doesn't actually solve any inherently hard problems in this area, wasting people's time especially that of interested people that want to enter the field
- lack of funding on solving the hard problems in this field
- lack of structured educational material to get good new engineers onto these topics
When people say this stuff "can't work", they really have no realistic concept of the amount of actual resources it takes to bring a great idea into reality, and how little resources are being (and have been) fed into this topic that they so over-confidently dismiss "can't work".
The problems I had with it I can't imagine being able to solve technically. It was merely not top-of-mind for the group I set it up for. They came for a little while but weren't inherently invested (e.g. you're "inherently invested" in your football team's communication mechanism. don't log in, and you don't find out about a schedule change). Instead it was just a group of friends I wanted to "facebook-verb-without-facebook-noun with".
Point is, Diaspora worked for me technically, just not socially. What was it missing in your eyes?
> It was merely not top-of-mind for the group I set it up for.
Some people make a big deal out of the "network effect" but they totally ignore how networks get going in the first place. It's the digital world, networks come and go all the time, overcoming the network effect is not a magical process. You offer more features than competitors and target people that have greater influence in the network.
It's for sure an uphill battle and this is one of the motivations of creating decentralised networks in the first place - to reduce network effects, to avoid these barriers to entry and these influences that make society's inequalities worse. But obviously if one has a depressing attitude about the whole process of overcoming network effects, and talk shit about "it can't work", then it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Also some of the hard problems like spam detections are only ads related. If you build a decentralized social network you don't face those
Mastodon was released in October 2016, it currently has about 800k users spread across 2000+ servers.
Currently the maintainer of mastodon gets ~$2800 from Patreon to host one of the main #mastodon servers & work on the project.
Mastodon is kind of like Wordpress for niche communities who want a twitter like experience outside of twitter for 1 reason or other.
Right now one of the biggest use cases for mastodon is lolicon in Japan.
Here is how much it costs to host your own instance:
Let’s contrast mastodon with gab. Gab (centralized) was launched August 2016 has about ~270k users, 3,000+ customers and it just raised $1m. It also gets mainstream media recognition.
The main use case for gab is people with political views that were booted off of twitter. Aka free speech. Right now gabs community is not really my cup of tea but I can see why you would use it.
I think something like gab has more of a chance of going mainstream by collecting fringe communities effected by stuff like the adpocalypss than mastodon does.
I think his mainly because of the problems around federated identity. A good critique of this can be read here:
Secondly, do you think it is a good basis for building communities if everything is associated with monetary rewards? Sites like Reddit are exactly enjoyable because, most of the time, reward is only imaginary, just like in real-world gatherings of people: It is about having a good time rather than about an exchange of money.
Thirdly, how do you ensure that the things people post on Steem are their own work, especially if the data is hosted elsewhere, e.g. on YouTube. There will probably be massive, irreversible thefts of intellectual property (a.k.a. reposters, but with actual money involved). Conversely, a lot of valuable content comes actually from reposting and "karma theft" (which is what linking e.g. a blog article from someone else actually is).
Fourthly, how do you avoid fraud as for example often found on Kickstarter? Kickstarter actually has a review process and even they are not fully equipped for it. I am not seeing reliable moderation ever scale enough such that it can withstand the likely immense fraudulent interests due to the monetary incentives.
Whatever this might be, it's not theft. And it might just be something we have to accept if we don't want to live in a de-facto police state.
> Conversely, a lot of valuable content comes actually from reposting and "karma theft" (which is what linking e.g. a blog article from someone else actually is).
That's a fallacy, though pretty common. People who connect other people with stuff those other people want do provide a useful service, and being rewarded for a useful service is not obviously a bad idea, let alone some sort of "theft".
> Fourthly, how do you avoid fraud as for example often found on Kickstarter? Kickstarter actually has a review process and even they are not fully equipped for it. I am not seeing reliable moderation ever scale enough such that it can withstand the likely immense fraudulent interests due to the monetary incentives.
Just like everywhere else in life? You don't need a big brother managing every step you take in order to avoid fraud.
I did however find out that the community is great, made many new friends and read a lot of interesting posts. Lately it looks like it has been kind of overrun with people from China or third-world countries, which is interesting, but sometimes the posts are not translated and the steemit.com site does a poor job of managing different languages.
I haven't been active on Steemit for more than a year but thinking of going back since I miss it. It's very consuming though, a lot more than Facebook. Since there's a monetary reward on everything you do it feels like "working" even when you're mindlessly upvoting stuff. I used to spend many hours a day just reading, jotting on a new blog post or connect with fellow steemians on the official chat server.
- My Email Address
- My Phone Number
Not really the sort of decentralized I was hoping for..
I do not believe a blockchain will solve it. The core problem is that you need a network of trust. Currently, we have governments as trust masternodes via identity cards. Then there are secondary master nodes companies like Facebook, Google, Telekom, Vodafone, etc, where verification is easier and faster, but less reliable. How does a blockchain improve anything about it?
Here is the challenge: There is a kid born in rural Africa. How could you proof to someone with a smartphone in the US that this human being exists?
Better question: What would you even need that proof for?
First of all, "proving that this human being exists" in no way implies "proving that this human being is a kid in rural africa". Let alone "proving that this human being is a kid in rural africa who lacks resources". Now, those absolutely might be legitimate concerns in some scenarios--but how would that be a baseline requirement for a system for social interactions? Last I checked I don't need to bring a credit report to get into a local pub and chat with people either.
Secondly, if you assume a situation where those questions actually were relevant: How is trusting one centralized, not democratically controlled institution to take care of the problem even a solution? If you rely on them, you implicitly also give them the power to effectively declare real people non-existent. If facebook says "this is not a real human being", is that actually reliable information, or could it just be a case of them optimizing their business with the (possibly unintended) side effect of cutting this rural african kid off from resources by incorrectly labeling them "not a human"?
But you see those people, with your own eyes, and thus know they exist. Maybe in 50 years we'll have robots indistinguishable from humans, and the question of proof will become relevant for in-pub interactions. For now, the question is relevant only for long-distance communications.
> How is trusting one centralized, not democratically controlled institution to take care of the problem even a solution? If you rely on them, you implicitly also give them the power to effectively declare real people non-existent.
True. But so is the case with a democratic government, and so is the case with any other organization or system. And the power to declare people non-existent is exercised frequently, often by mere bureaucratic accident. Ultimately, trust is a spectrum. No organization is worth 100% trust, but also no one is worth 0% trust. I don't e.g. particularly trust Facebook, but I trust the social web - if I have a friend who has a friend who has a friend who is a friend of the rural kid in Africa, I can with high confidence assume the rural kid in Africa exists.
So yeah, in my previous comment I mixed up a few different use cases. But I think in pretty much all of them you want to at least know the other person is a human being, and frequently you also want to know they are who they say they are.
 - This effect is actually sabotaged by the pro-privacy efforts to hide as much information about people as possible, rendering users unable to follow the social web chains beyond their own direct connections. Privacy is important, but it's always a trade-off, sometimes trading off genuinely useful things.
But I still don't see their credit report. I could still fall for someone fraudulently claiming to be poor.
> I don't e.g. particularly trust Facebook, but I trust the social web - if I have a friend who has a friend who has a friend who is a friend of the rural kid in Africa, I can with high confidence assume the rural kid in Africa exists.
Well, first of all, if you receive that information from facebook, then you necessarily need to trust facebook first before you can even start with that investigation.
But also: Do you trust facebook to not misrepresent the non-existence of that rural kid in Africa? Is that trust warranted?
> But I think in pretty much all of them you want to at least know the other person is a human being, and frequently you also want to know they are who they say they are.
You don't really expect to accidentally become friends with a bot quite yet, do you? Just because it's difficult for machines sometimes to detect bots, doesn't mean that is really a major problem for closer social connections. Also, what does "know they are who they say they are" even mean? You say you are TeMPOraL, and I am pretty sure you are TeMPOraL, what more is there to "know you are who you say you are" that could be improved by "identity checks" on the part of a "social network"?
> This effect is actually sabotaged by the pro-privacy efforts to hide as much information about people as possible, rendering users unable to follow the social web chains beyond their own direct connections. Privacy is important, but it's always a trade-off, sometimes trading off genuinely useful things.
Which is why every privacy advocate is for individual control. Privacy is not about forcing you to be paranoid, but about giving you the control over your data. There is nothing wrong with you being able to prove your identity to a peer that you want to prove your identity to, say. The problem is when you are forced to prove your identity no matter the need for the actual social interaction.l
Account creation costs real money, which we subsidize. Anti-spam is required. No phone number or email address is required to use the blockchain, only for Steemit Inc to buy you an account and give it to you for free.
Anyone with an existing account can create more, if they pay. AnonSteem simply sells creation for btc and ltc with a markup.
There are plenty of guides how to work with the Steem blockchain directly posted as blog posts on the blockchain itself. :)
You can create an account through steem connect if you have a friend with steem https://steemit.com/news/@timcliff/new-tool-from-busy-org-cr...
For advanced users you can do the steem account creation transation yourself using the steem cli
(I've not read the white paper or other documentation so the info may be buried in there, I'm unlikely to find time for that in the near future though so asking out of "laziness" in case you have a quick answer to give)
Your whitepaper blew my mind in trying to bootstrap YACC via the hook of a decentralized social network. I'd say odds of long-term success are zero here, but points for originality.
There's no shilling going on here. Just a user recommending it.
So if you want people to create their own hubs they should get something for their effort. I don't have a solution there but something as stupid as being able to watch some show with 6 or 8 participants all over the world could be a start. Even the old Google Wave (I think it was), the mix of chat, code, wiki which was too slow for a webapp at the time should be reconsidered. Maybe with native clients.
People are getting pretty sick of getting pushed around by these mega corporations whether it's when they're telling you what software you're allowed to have on your cell phone or what you're allowed to write on a social media site. I think the next decade is going to be defined by an explosion in decentralized technologies.
Yes, the "only" added value of decentralized power structures is their decentralization. And the absense of all the terrible effects that centralized power structures tend to have in the long term.
You're going to have to do better than draw some analogies to monarchies on Hacker News. And things like "but they sell your data!" has had no impact beyond desensitizing everyone with Chicken Little'ism.
The average user would never bother to migrate to decentralized services for any other reason then necessity, lack of choice, or to escape rules/laws.
A good social network shouldn't be about who has the most users, but who has the users you want to interact with.
Mastodon will probably never be the average user social network, but it works pretty well for people with specific interest, or
marginalized people that doesn't want to interact with hateful people.
As for the lolicon content, it just doesn't exists except on specific instance, which are blocked on mine.
If you think the only reason to use a self-hosted social network is if you want to circumvent the laws, you're making the same argument as only wanting privacy if you've got something to hide. YouTube ran an algorithm to delete "extremist videos" and accidentally irreversibly deleted a bunch of historical evidence of destruction of Syrian historical sites. Shit like that happens all the time when someone else is in charge.
I also never said they don't have value, or that they're only there to circumvent rules or laws.
Sidenote: Loss of privacy/centralization isn't a problem to be solved, it's a reality that needs to be accepted. We lost already.
Or, before then, do you still remember when email was this walled garden where everyone had an account with Electronic Messaging Solutions Inc.? It took decades until sendmail, exim, qmail, postfix, and so on came along, largely thanks to Google's help in breaking open the former monopoly, and people could finally host their own email servers!
Are you sure you aren't just saying "those decentralized services that happen to be built as replacements for centralized services come out later than what they intend to replace"? Well, yeah, of course they do. While those that happen to be invented decentralized first come out decentralized first. Also, I think email still is a decentralized service of today? And yet, gmail seems to be going strong in centralizing email, doesn't it?!
I don't know about your definitions, but in my playbook 800,000 users is pretty damned successful. Let me reinterpret your comment for you: "I do not want to believe Mastodon is successful, since it hurts my view."
> Apparently content that was not accepted on twitter, such as lolicon, has found a new home on Mastodon.
Unsurprising. All communities end up with some version of this problem, be it hate speech, illegal content, piracy, etc. And it can definitely be harder to police in these kinds of federated environments... but it's certainly not an unsolvable problem. People just have to want to solve it. Twitter has a huge problem with hate speech on their platform, as an example, but they've basically turned a complete blind eye to it for years and years. (And even now after they've started trying to add some support for content policing, reporting hate speech still requires far too many clicks to be reasonable, given the rate people can churn it out...)
In fact, when your platform starts to have these problems, it's usually a sign you've done something right. It means your platform is actually mature enough to abuse, unlike other platforms that failed to reach this status like Diaspora. That's not a sign to give up, it's a sign that you need to start thinking about how to solve these new problems. (And they're hard problems to solve, often coming down to jurisdictional boundaries and "default deny" policies simply because the problem is seen as too hard to fix in software. You even see Google struggling to solve these problems - e.g. on YouTube it's still common that they ban content erroneously, claiming it to be extremist or whatnot.)
> The average user would never bother to migrate to decentralized services for any other reason then necessity, lack of choice, or to escape rules/laws.
Or you know, because they want to. There are plenty of reasons to leave Twitter behind: It's adding bloat that hardly any of the users care about, with yawn inducing, bandwidth destroying live video, infuriating autoplaying video, and "moments". It continues to pollute feeds with garbage from other users with no way to filter it (like "[so and so liked this]" - good for them, but this isn't Facebook...). And now they're even messing with chronology, so you get messages from hours in the past appearing at the top of your feed instead of up-to-the-minute content that you'd expect. (And my personal favorite anti-feature, the "you have location tracking disabled, we will not track your location" location-tracking sidebar filled with location-specific content.)
Looking at all of those downsides, then comparing with Mastodon which doesn't have any of those problems, supporting large messages, spoiler tags/content-under-the-fold, having decent Android clients, and decent, growing communities, and, well... it's really quite a compelling platform for me.
What? I like Mastodon, it just doesn't have any people from the circles I follow on Twitter. I don't think the average user (who I was talking about btw) who follows mainstream celebrities does either.
Anyway I didn't bother reading the rest of your post, seems like you're coming from a place of anger.
I think that decentralized social network projects should relies on existing standards and help with their development. That's why I'm working on Movim (https://movim.eu/) for several years now, which is fully based on XMPP and is de facto compatible with many other clients and services out there.
Recall that all computing problems are solved by adding more abstraction ( ;) ) and not all problems yield to a direct attack with the current tools. Maybe the point of maximum leverage here is actually the problem that interoperation between different protocols is too difficult?
Imagine if we didn't have a standard protocol for emails (SMTP/IMAP/POP) but instead several protocols built using JSON on top of HTTP. We would have to take most of our time to work on broken transport libraries and fix incompatibility issues between all those solutions. Hopefully we have a standard (even if it's not the best one) and we can "just" build on top using the many existing libraries and projects out there.
I think that such "social standard" should be build on Internet protocols (TCP/TLS/DNS/IP…) and not Web only (HTTP), even if it's "easier". Also instead of re-starting from scratch I prefer to improve something existing like XMPP that have flaws but is already an industry standard with a strong community, many libraries/clients and servers deployed all across the world.
I use decentralized networks, even used to run my own instance.
Another tech media article misunderstanding Mastodon as a Twitter competitor.
They can't understand Mastodon because they can't imagine a technology that doesn't cater to them.
Tech media personalities can't understand a world where their opinion means less than that of a random furry.
It is equivalent to a text message or phone call.
I have some friends with blogs. Those blogs have RSS feeds. Feeds of "news", you might say.
I load up sageRSS in Firefox, see friends who have new content in bold, and get their news. A "news feed", you might even say.
Admittedly I can't easily use that to deduce that x is friends with y is friends with z, or (easily) get a map of where all of my friends went on vacation last year, but I kind of think that's a good thing.
You could do what Zuckerberg did. Start with big-name colleges. Call it FratNet. Get a few key fraternities and sororities on board. Each frat has their own node, but it's probably in a data center and costs like a Wordpress site. Offer it on mobile. Log in with face recognition. A key function is a good events calendar and invite system.
Then roll it out to other groups which have lots of events, such as churches.
What do I mean? Pretty much all major social networks need to re-invent user authentication, and then taking your profile from one social network to another is a very inconsistent user experience. Can I "friend" a Linkedin user via Facebook? If I sign into other sites via Facebook, they often demand that I enter personal info that I don't want to enter.
A decentralized social network needs to be built upon a better authentication system.
What we really need is something like government-backed user profiles. Imagine if the US government provided a government-backed user profile. Now imagine that web sites had to allow interaction with government profiles without registering, providing email addresses, ect.
That's the point where a decentralized social network could start working. Otherwise, the social networks end up needing to perform services that really are the government's job.
I use mastodon, but I don't host my own server. I just joined one of the many already existing servers. Similarly, email is decentralized, but most people don't host their own servers.
It's also a system with a clear, although niche, use case that adds value in a way that FB wouldn't.
I think we should keep trying. All private internet services are doomed to die. It's inevitable. Only decentralized services can live on and keep us truly free.
- Do NOT expect people to download and setup software and run nodes... Can you build it in the universal piece of software that everybody has today.. AKA browser ? I think whoever nails these challenges will win.
- I think somebody (maybe me) should build such a 'universal browser' that allows all of these decentralized things to happen. I was thinking Brave would be that browser.. but I'm not sure..
Now with perspective ai it looks like this will only increase and all of this is never a user choice, it's always the platform deciding for me what level of toxicity I'm able to handle. And it often plain fails. Lots of false positives.
I see this on every platfrom, nontransparent moderation and algorithm filtering everything without my knowledge nor any control.
I personally use mastodon daily, I don't know what a platform needs to reach to be successful, but when I use it daily it's successful enough for me.
Even the pawoo drama makes it sound like the only reason people in japan use it, is to see lolicon content, but the whole pixiv platform is far more than just lolicon. It's like deviantart full of talented artists that don't draw any lolicon content. This platform just doesn't think of lolicon as taboo.
Mastodon is constantly growing and it's not just the pawoo instance.
Those are probably locked accounts.
"But email is decentralized". Actually not true, it is heavily centralized around gmail. Same true with bitcoin, it is centralized around exchanges.
And a lot of Mastodon servers also have their own Patreons to help out with the hosting costs.
Would you be happier building a social network designed to keep people on it as long as possible, so that it looks like a good way to get a lot of eyeballs in front of the ads posted by your real customers, or would you be happier building one that people interact with for a small portion of their day in ways that generally leave them happier, and then get on with doing whatever else they're gonna do?
Not everything needs to be about making as much money as possible. And so far Mastodon has been doing okay by taking a more distributed approach: development is partially funded by users who care to pay something, and partially a volunteer effort by people with enough time to spare; hosting is funded by people spinning up a Mastodon instance for their friends or their community, and if it starts to get to be more than they can handle they close off new signups and/or start asking their users for a few bucks here and there.
Mastodon is, thus, not obligated to anyone but Gargron's vision of what it should be, and what the users of his software are willing to support. Sure, it's not gonna make any lists of "ten hottest unicorns in Silicon Valley". Who gives a shit?
Would you rather lie there on your deathbed thinking "I sure generated a ton of value for shareholders and helped a racist con-man get elected president", or "I sure helped a ton of people have a lot of conversations and connections"?
Yes I would rather have a billion dollars than have a billion users with a dollar each. One is capitalism and the other is socialism, I think capitalism is just more natural.