With the Twitter board accepting Elon’s buyout offer, I’ve reached the point where I can no longer maintain a presence on this network; I’ll post a link to this blog post, wipe all other tweets, and then delete the account after a week.

There are many reasons for this:

  • I don’t like to depend on the largesse of a billionaire
  • Elon Musk is a modern-day Carnegie or Rockefeller; see the Behind the Bastards takedown
  • his free speech maximalism is a terrible idea. If you think Twitter’s moderation policy is insufficient already, the guardrails will come off
  • that dogecoin comment. I already dislike how Twitter’s Blue Sky is overly heavy on “crypto” and “web3” style blockchain based decentralization, rather than federation a la the Fediverse … but now it will get worse

Scrapping advertisements, if it happens, is a positive, but not enough to outweigh the rest. I like the idea of switching to subscriptions, but making it cheaper seems non-workable ($2.99/mo is much cheaper than Reddit Premium’s $5.99/mo). Also - gee thanks Twitter for killing Scroll post-acquisition. I want to read a news site by going to their site directly, not relying on finding the article I want in their Twitter feed, thank you.

So what’s next?

I’m already on the Fediverse, and TBH use it more than Twitter, where my activity is mostly read-only and sometimes commenting on tweets.

Most of my contact information are available (and verified) on Keyoxide, which is linked from my site.

If you’re interested in making the move too, or at least dip your toes, here’s a quick primer:

  • think of Fediverse as like email. You can pick the instance you sign up for just like you can pick from many email providers
  • instances have different moderation policies, and tend to only federate with instances with similar policies - so far-right instances tend to be isolated. Think of it as a submarine having multiple air-tight compartments, rather than the giant free-for-all soup you get with large unfederated platforms like Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram
  • Mastodon is the most popular server-side platform if you are looking for a Twitter replacement; Pleroma is lighter weight and easier to self-host; Misskey has more fun features (like custom reactions!). They are all part of the fediverse and interoperate via the ActivityPub protocol, which is an official W3C standard. For an Instagram-like experience, use Pixelfed
  • And yes, you can follow people across all these platforms just from one account if you want, though the interfaces might be more suited for certain content types. But your local timeline is filled with people from your instance, so it helps to find one where you’re at home. You can explore instances before you sign up (for Misskey it’s oddly hidden, add /explore to the base URL to get that timeline)
  • Fediverse.Party has a good guide to these networks and more; go to their page for each service to get some stats about the sizes of the different networks and how to pick instances in each
  • instances.social is a good interface for choosing a Mastodon instance

Read-only Twitter

Quitting cold turkey is hard, but if you’re like me and down to mostly reading certain people whose only presence is Twitter, Nitter is a Twitter front-end that let you read Twitter without maintaining your own account, or being tracked by Twitter.

There is a nice list of bots on Awesome Mastodon that automatically post news, and BirdsiteLIVE lets you bridge any Twitter account to ActivityPub.

Hope that helps, and see you on the Fediverse!

This post is day 20 of my #100DaysToOffload challenge. Visit https://100daystooffload.com to get more info, or to get involved.

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