Mastodon vs Threads: The Great Divide

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Mastodon is awesome. I’ve been on it for slightly over a year and nothing would persuade me back on to The Platform Previously Known as Twitter. Nothing. Of this I am totally sure. When Meta announced that Threads was going to join the fray, I signed up to see what was going on. It was rubbish. Now I’m all for giving things time to mature and sort out their future state, but this is Meta, so I was never going to stay on it, was I? So I quickly put on my profile telling people to find me on Mastodon and then never signed back in again. Now I know that there are other micro blogging sites out there, but for the purpose of this not-quite-so-micro-blog, let’s say that there are three. The Platform Previously Known as Twitter, Threads and Mastodon.

So, Threads is the new kid on the block but we already know why it’s here and how it will evolve. Meta is all about taking the users as the product and ramming targeted advertising down everyone’s throats in a bid to make their billions. Meta cares for the rights of no one and is fast becoming the epitome of capitalism. Individuals don’t matter. Anything can be bought and anything sold to the highest bidder, even if they don’t really own it. Being active on Threads is a form of self abuse.

The Platform Previously Known as Twitter is where the action is. Fascists are getting their voices back, flame wars continue to flash in and out of existence, blue ticks come and go without rhyme or reason, advertisers are slowly bleeding it dry whilst the general public chat with AI bots without a second though. When I joined Mastodon, I added my userid to my Twitter profile and again, I’ve not been back.

Now we come to Mastodon. This is a much nicer place to be. Far fewer celebs, very few companies (and really only companies that have a vested interest in being nice to people, mostly) and almost no flame wars. The whole idea of Mastodon is to be open, sociable and accepting. The federated nature, we are regularly told, means that anyone can start their own instance and become part of the flock, or, if you turn out to be a bit of a fascist, then all of the other instances will disconnect from you and you can be a fascist all on your own. Great. So why the issue with Threads setting up an instance on Mastodon and joining the party?

Well, as far as I can tell, and I’m really no expert on this, I can assure you, Threads is going to claim ownership of anything that it finds on Mastodon. And we know it will, because that’s what Meta does. It doesn’t advertise the fact, but it’s pretty common knowledge. This makes it a threat to Mastodon because Mastodon doesn’t really have the defences to stop this. Sure most admins might well disconnect from Threads, but not all will and that means that there really isn’t a way to guarantee that we won’t find Threads Toots all over the Fediverse. And you can’t stop your Toots getting reposted onto Threads. And this means that Threads will get its tendrils into my life, even though I don’t want it to. And my belief is that this will poison Mastodon and Mastodon will, if not actually die, become polluted, poisoned and corrupted to the point that it will no longer be Mastodon, but a host to the Threads parasite.

I’m still open to being persuaded otherwise, but I really don’t see how anything else can happen.

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