Mastodon? I Haven’t Got the Spoons

Down with the ship I go.


In the latest round of social media boycotts, it is Twitter who is beginning to feel the wrath of long dissatisfied users. Twitter is facing off a boycott as a result of its CEO Jack announcing he’d try to break down echo chambers and expose users to different views. Of course, this inevitably prompted immediate fears that users would be exposed to hate groups – because Twitter’s track record really is that diabolical.

Mastodon has become the new home for those fleeing from Twitter. It’s essentially the same platform as Twitter, only, well, a lot worse. You get a timeline and can see people’s instant posts and it’s much more chatty and random than Facebook. It looks almost exactly like Twitter, except nothing is where it should be.

It took me less than a minute on Mastodon before I knew it was entirely not user friendly. Maybe this isn’t enough time, but the point of being user-friendly is that you can instantly feel at ease. Being user-friendly isn’t just about having things in an easy layout to encourage more users. It’s actually a vital component to accessibility.

“Being user-friendly is actually a vital component to accessibility”

Mastodon is tiresome and difficult to use. There are no clear search options and you have to choose a server to be a part of with little information so you are basically joining a group of strangers who you have no idea if you can trust. Each server seems to have its own rules – which is only great in theory, like how Republicans all want greater control for individual states in the US. What it means in reality is that users on Mastodon may have no clue the rules of their server until they are already in it. Yeah, there might be content notes but there have already been major reports of those controlling servers being Nazis, taking little to no action and basically acting like Jack but on a smaller scale. Switching to a platform which is almost as bad as Twitter but requires more spoons seems utterly futile.

The boycott is understandable. People genuinely don’t feel safe on Twitter and they should go and find a safe space wherever they can. Mastodon just doesn’t feel like it. And there is a deep concern that many marginalised people – particularly disabled people – will be left behind on Twitter, with their support network gone and their platforms crumbling. It’s just a shit situation on all fronts and one that could have been avoided if Jack gave a damn about his users.

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