As Mastodon starts to mainstream, welcome to the end of social

My Mastodon feed is full of US politics and American football. I could use lists or mute keywords, but neither seems to be an ideal solution. I thought it had been agreed by most users when the influx happened that political posts would have content warnings, because there was a desire not to re-create OnlyKlans. For the most part, I’ve respected that, but based on my feed, no one in the US has. Yet from memory, they were the ones who requested it.

By and large many of the Kiwis who are on there are smarter than most—certainly some could even run the country better than the politicians we elect—so on the odd occasion when you do see your compatriots, it’s a treat. There’s some good car content but I don’t always see it due to time zones (again, hashtags could help here). However, disagreeable and unintelligent users are increasing in number, and Mastodon is set to follow every other internet phenomenon that mainstreams. Email was great before spammers, MySpace was usable before Rupert Murdoch, Facebook was tolerable before bots. Bluesky and Threads are soulless, OnlyKlans is a Nazi bar run by a man with an overinflated opinion of himself, and both it and Facebook attract bots like nobody’s business.

Mastodon is what the Metro was to Austin, something that extends a life but doesn’t save it. Welcome to the end of social, which coincides with the end of Google as a usable tool, and it’s time to shore up what spaces we do have. (Hence my championing Mojeek. It’s going to survive this.) All the lobbying in Washington, DC isn’t going to save Big Tech, either: they’re the equivalent of Ford, GM and Chrysler in 1973. Too out of touch, with not a single offering that people will stick with if they find something better. Grab the popcorn. The 2020s are going to look very different, and in future, we won’t even associate these first three years of the decade with it.

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