Last month I revived my Mastodon account after seeing one more round of Twitter giving Nazi accounts acting in bad faith a pass while suspending upset liberal accounts acting in good faith.

I think this concept of acting in good faith vs bad faith is the crux of the issue in social media today. Is this person trying to make things better or are they delaying action, spreading confusion or uncertainty, harassing others into silence? Often it is easy to tell in the case of red-blooded USA patriot accounts with IP addresses in St. Petersburg or anonymous anime fans who make it clear that they hate women.

But often it's not clear at all. People acting in good faith can still inadvertantly spread FUD and good faith itself is not black/white. In the end, tech can't solve a social problem. There's no algorithm that can correctly classify the sentiment of a 280 character message.

Until social networks demonstrate they can block bad actors at scale, federation is the only workable solution. Mastodon instance admins can document and enforce a Code of Conduct and other admins can block/ban users or instances which violate their Code. Already there are blocklists for Mastodon instances which have been deemed bad actors for one reason or another.

It's not perfect and perhaps it won't scale very far but it does appear to have enough traction to work today. Niche-specific instances like https://ruby.social for Ruby developers make for nice, small communities and small communities tend to treat each other with more respect than larger ones. Find your own community and wean yourself off Twitter today!

Mastodon looks pretty similar to Twitter:

I'm at https://mastodon.xyz/@mperham and Sidekiq is hanging out with all the Rubyists at https://ruby.social/@sidekiq. I hope you give Mastodon a try.

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