What open source gets wrong with Mastodon


In tech Twitter’s rush to replace Twitter with Mastodon, we seem to be falling into an old trap, one that has long bedeviled tech and, in particular, the open source corner of tech. That problem, of course, is tech. And open source. Or rather, the belief that the solution to most problems is more tech and more open source. Let me explain.

Everything is fine

I’ve spent more than two decades in open source. It’s my home, my tribe. But we open source people have an unfortunate proclivity to privilege choice over convenience, and Mastodon falls into this hole. Mastodon bills itself as “social networking that’s not for sale.” It supports this argument with reminders that it’s open source and decentralized: “Copy, study, and change Mastodon as you see fit.” And “each Mastodon server is a completely independent entity.”

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