With all the recent hullabaloo regarding changes at Twitter, I've been exploring one of the highly publicized alternatives; Mastodon.
Mastodon is a distributed Twitter alternative that runs on many different servers (also called instances) that are all federated and share content. Moderation falls to each server, which initially must implement a based set of policies, but optionally may also expand on those to create a more restrictive environment. In addition, servers may also block (defederate) other servers if they find them problematic for any reason.
The software is free and open-source and is supposedly pretty simple for any technically minded administrator to set up and get going.
Servers can be general use, corporately controlled, purpose driven, or interest driven. In addition, many people are setting up personal servers of their use or for family and friends. This leads to the primary criticism of Mastodon. Sign up is easy, but it's hard to know who to sign up with. There are thousands of servers.
As all servers are responsible for local moderation, it made me think about eGullet which already does moderation. If eGullet would set up a server/instance, it could be an easy choice for many of it's users (and attract new ones). Alternatively, I think it would be possible just to link eGullet membership to the Mastodon server. Either way, it would be interesting to integrate eGullet into Mastodon's 'Fediverse'.
If such a thing happened, you could log into eGullet.social and have three tabs: Home (everyone you follow), Local (all eGullet member posts) and Federated (the general Fediverse).
Beyond that, it's pretty much like Twitter without 'The Algorithm' that serves you posts that it selects for you. You can click on Hashtags to see that activity and search for other stuff, but no ads and no AI interference.
I think mastodon is still proving itself and there still are some unanswered questions, but in my view, it's a very interesting implementation. And one that would allow the reach of eGullet to expand beyond these virtual walls. Who knows, Jimmy Kimmel might 'Boost' (like a re-tweet) your post.
Anyway, this is not a recommendation, and full-disclosure - I've never owned a Twitter account, so all my comparisons are suspect. But I just think it might be an interesting prospect worth kicking around.