Notes on Twitter Evacuation Day

Found at: sdf.org:70/users/psztrnk/log/20180103.txt

Notes on Twitter Evacuation Day

Disclaimer: I already left Twitter, without fireworks and fanfare, unadvertised.


As 01.01.2018 -- also known as Twitter Evacuation Day -- passed, I see a lot of 
new folks on Mastodon here and there. And this is cool. Correction: it *would 
be* cool, if... ok, here it is, plain and simple, a couple of notes for the 
birdsite refugees.

## One: most of you haven't actually left

I keep seeing toots like this:

"Looking forward to taking back control here. Not going to delete my Twitter 
account but I'll only be passively reading, replying anc cross-posting from 


"From now on you will only see my posts I posted on #mastadon as crosspostings 
on Twitter."

This is not evacuation, this is duplicating your content. The whole idea was to 
deactivate/delete your Twitter account. You have failed that idea, guys. You are 
still supporting Twitter -- more than ever, since you don't produce content 
exclusive to Mastodon, GNU Social etc., you are mirroring your Twitter stuff 
across the Fediverse.

Even Tim Heidecker (sorry, "Tim Heidecker (leaving 1/1/18)"), who started this 
whole #TED campaign, failed to delete his account. You haven't evacuated, guys, 
I am sorry.

## Two: you are still on Twitter if you are on Co.So

Counter.social was the worst possible choice to join when you have left Twitter. 
I am sure that many people, who are new to to Mastodon, weren't aware of the 
fact that in many term Co.So is the same as Twitter. I don't blame you guys, 
because how would you know, right?

Mastodon is a tool that is *intended to federate*. To prevent user data to be 
stored and handled centrally. Instead it was built to distribute user data 
across the Fediverse, meaning that the choice about who handles your stuff is 
yours, but it doesn't prevent you from interacting other users using other 
instances of Mastodon.

Counter.social basically destroyed the most important idea behind Mastodon by 
breaking the federation -- basically preventing its users to freely interact 
with users across the Fediverse. Its administrator put down the foundation of a 
new Twitter by declaring

"my money -- my server -- my rules"

and by autocratically banning certain countries' residents to join the instance, 
justifying it with "spam prevention".

Most of the instance admins are *listeners* -- they listen what their users say. 
And there is Co.So, which is basically just as autocratic and selfish as Twitter 

Basically, you have chosen Twitter over Twitter. But hey, I have good news as 
well: you are free to abandon your Co.So account and choose another, truly free 
instance to explore the greater Fediverse.

## Three: there is no free beer, not really

Many of you really made the leap -- congratulations. You evacuated from Twitter, 
you have joined a free instance. Now let's talk about the bitter part: the myth 
of free beer.

It is a common saying that if you don't pay for something then there is a great 
chance that you yourself are the product. Twitter is a great example. You sell 
your data by joining Twitter so the ads you are shown can be better tailored. 
This is how and why Twitter survives and makes money.

Mastodon is nothing like that.

The instances are mostly supported by donations coming from their users. This is 
a price most of us willingly pay to keep our instances running free and ad-free. 
Please consider a recurring donation for your instance admin to cover the costs 
of the domain, the server and such. As little as $1 can help admins a lot to 
keep the service running.

Have fun with Mastodon and thank you for keeping the Fediverse alive.