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Social Control Media Heading Towards Extinction

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Servers at 8:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum a3e4063d88e9991b3b957d0278440813
Collapse of So-Called Social Media
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Not only does social control media lack a business model; it lacks an incentive to participate and maintain as more people flee and move on to better things in life

EARLIER this year I argued that “Social Control Media is a Bubble and JoinDiaspora Might be the Next Casualty” and by year’s end the other instance/pod that I use, this one in the Fediverse, is shutting down as well. It’ll be gone by year’s end with all the stuff ever posted to it. Poof! Like “the cloud”!

Let this serve as an important and timely reminder: people need to run their own blogs/sites (simpler is better) and rely on RSS feeds for syndication. Centralisation (like “planets”) is undesirable, as usual, so passing around OPML files is just vastly better. This is what we’ve done for years. By today’s bandwidth standards, RSS feeds are cheap. They’re simple and effective. Those have historically been a lot more age-proof and they can be portable. They’re also more censorship-resistant for all sorts of reasons.

An associate has suggested “self-hosting one’s own blog. There are a lot of options from simple to complex, from doing it all yourself to outsourcing larger components. Renting a domain name from a registrar is not that large an annual cost, or at least I hope it is not.”

We don’t want to recommend any host or software; this post is explanatory and focuses on concepts, not endorsement of ‘brands’.

So mastodon.technology threw in the towel; this isn’t surprising at all.

“LinkedIn (Microsoft) has layoffs, Facebook will have a lot of layoffs soon (“Meta” is trying to deny it), Twitter is at the mercy of frauds, and the Free/federated/decentralised or even self-hosted alternatives aren’t doing too well either (stagnation at best).”“I have sad news that I have decided to shut down the mastodon.technology instance,” says the administrator. “In accordance with the Mastodon Server Covenant, the server will be shut down no earlier than December 1, 2022.”

My interactions with him have not been positive and he now says: “This made me realize how little joy I’ve been getting from being an admin. How I’ve come to resent the work I have volunteered to do. I’ve donated countless hours to running the instance, solving both technical and moderation problems, and I’ve always put the instance above my own needs. But I can’t put the instance above the needs of my family.”

“The world needs to move on and the Internet should assess its future.”As I explain in the video above, I cannot export my data and it’s going to be pointless to complain about it, judging by how it all went in JoinDiaspora. I also predict that all social control media will become a thing of the past (no business model, no benefit to society either) although it’s not clear what will replace it or what is already replacing it (if anything at all). LinkedIn (Microsoft) has layoffs, Facebook will have a lot of layoffs soon (“Meta” is trying to deny it), Twitter is at the mercy of frauds, and the Free/federated/decentralised or even self-hosted* alternatives aren’t doing too well either (stagnation at best).

The world needs to move on and the Internet should assess its future. The Web suffers a midlife crisis in its 30s and social control media peaked about a decade after it started. It’s all downhill from there.

Facebook and other GAFAM companies tried to extend their lifetime somewhat by penetrating remote areas and esoteric groups, including age groups. Similarly, “The Federation” became orphaned and it is now run by someone to only document its demise. The numbers below can be misleading; only about 1 in 1,000 citizens of Earth has an account and about 90% of those aren’t even active, so we’re talking about market penetration rate of about 0.01% (6,144,747 total users and 574,911 active users this past month).

The Federation

* The term is relative. Unless one runs one’s own ISP and maintains one’s local DNS server, ‘true’ self-hosting is almost impossible. Even then, there are some upstream dependencies at the backbone and trans-continental traffic. The Internet is made not of peers; it’s a bit more like a pyramid still. P2P and decentralisations are merely ‘hacks’, just like Tor/Onion relays.

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