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Check out Mastodon, the slightly clunky but much friendlier Twitter alternative

Mastodons: Not as cool as mammoths, but pretty ok

By David Futrelle

Today, I’m taking time out from the regular manosphere horribleness to recommend something nice.

If you’re a Twitter user who’s gotten fed up with the platform and all the Nazis running rampant on it, or if you’ve stayed away from Twitter because of how nasty at is. you might want to check out Mastodon, a Twitteresque open-source social networking site that, at least at the moment, is way friendlier than Twitter, largely free of the nasty political sniping and trollery that’s ubiquitous on Twitter. It seems to be especially popular with leftish feminist types, making it essentially the anti-Gab, and there’s been something of a wave of defections to Mastodon in recent days.

Getting started on Mastodon is a little more confusing and cumbersome than opening an account on Twitter; among other things, you need  to pick a server (or “instance”) to log onto, and it’s a bit harder to find people to follow at first, but I think it’s worth the effort.

I got on the platform yesterday and it’s been a nice respite from Twitter nastiness. If you’re a regular reader of this blog I think you’ll find it a congenial place. Sure, it boasts only a fraction of the number of users as there are on Twitter, but once you find some folks to follow it’s busy enough to keep you interested.

You can sign up here; don’t worry about picking an “instance” up front — just go with the one they give you. (You can change it later.) If you have friends on Twitter who are also on Mastodon this somewhat clunky but functional web app will round them up for you so you can follow them, which is a good way to start.

It won’t take you much time to get used to the new lingo — on Mastodon, tweets are replaced by “toots” and retweets have become “boosts.” One bit of advice: Don’t bother with the “federated timeline.” It moves way too fast to keep up with.

If you want to use Mastodon on your phone or tablet, there are several apps to  choose from. The one I see recommended most often is Tusky, available on Android. (If any of you have other recommendations for the iPhone, or for Android apps you like better, post them in the comments.)

If you’re accessing Mastodon on the web, and  you find the multi-columned Mastodon interface too busy and/or confusing (I definitely do), you can check out a handy web app called Pinafore, which replicates the minimal one-column Twitter web interface. It’s what I’ve been using.

I’m not going to give up Twitter (@DavidFutrelle ); it’s got a much bigger reach and it’s better at delivering news. It’s also better for yelling about Trump; most Mastodon users (even those who aren’t shy about trashing Trump on Twitter) seem more interested in jokes and socializing than in rehashing the political takes that are everywhere on Twitter. A lot of people compare Mastodon today with Twitter as it was before the Trump Era.

Anyway, you can find me on Mastodon at DavidFutrelle@mastodon.social.; if you’re looking for people to follow, check out my follow list there.

For a more detailed how-to, see here. And for more on how Mastadon works and other stuff, here’s a decent if slightly dated intro to Mastodon. And another basic intro. And a longer one!

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Skiriki
Skiriki
2 years ago

Already there — you can find me from there as @Skiriki@mastodon.social .

Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
2 years ago

I’m not on anything… :(. :(. 🙁

BD1
BD1
2 years ago

Yes, yes, YES! Glad you’ve discovered Mastodon, too.

Every once in a while, when I’m feeling especially like a megalomaniac, I get a notion like maybe I should use my tech skills to do a fork of Mastodon and take on Twitter in a full frontal attack. I won’t say Gab because that would be like Patton deciding a group of five year olds on a playground would make a worthy adversary for his Third Army.

PZ Myers
2 years ago

I’m @pzmyers@octodon.social over there.

BD1
BD1
2 years ago
Rabid Rabbit
Rabid Rabbit
2 years ago

We Hunted the Mastodon?

Handsome :Punkle Stan: Jack

I’ve been hearing about Mastodon for several months but no one I know was on or wanted to try it.

calmdown
calmdown
2 years ago

you need to pick a server (or “instance”) to log onto

Yes! Finally, the years of MMORPGs have paid off!

Niamh
Niamh
2 years ago

I’m on Mastodon since 2 years. It is really great but I encourage you to really chose an instance. mastodon.social is great but it’s too the biggest instance and the moderation could be slow. Moreover, many people move from twitter now.

To find a instance, you could use this site https://instances.social/
Don’t forget to check the rules of the instance you pick!

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
2 years ago

I am interested in knowing more on two account :
* what mastodon is making money on ?
* privacy-wise, how is it ?

Malitia
Malitia
2 years ago

Apparently (I only read around the site a bit) they mostly make money by donations. They probably need less than twitter as long people are also willing to chip in by running instances (sites/servers).

Privacy wise as far I can see: The on service search is deliberately limited, you can opt out of search engine indexing (<- This is very good. I hope it works as advertised), there are also twitter like mute/ignore functions and the like, and the people running the instance you're on can moderate (I've no clue how well they do it, and will probably vary from server to server).

Ledasmom
Ledasmom
2 years ago

It sounds good, but I’m honestly still giggling at the “toot” thing.

BD1
BD1
2 years ago

Managed to get a mastodon.social account today (they weren’t allowing new signups for a bit).

desitively@mastodon.social

ellesar
ellesar
2 years ago

I’d like to recommend Celeste Barber’s Instagram – she likes to recreate poses of celebs and models with hilarious effect. My eyes are still watering.

Crip Dyke
2 years ago

I am “cripdyke” over on @octodon.social

When I signed up, I relied on a past recommendation that Octodon.social was a cool instance. I’m not saying that’s not true, the mods seem to be good, pro-privacy, and anti-harassment. The people on the instance seem cool and, of course, it still connects with the whole rest of the mastodon universe like any other instance.

However, it’s not that active an instance. It seems to have relatively low membership and therefore the automatic feed from everyone in your instance isn’t going to be very active. You’ll mostly get toots (mastodon version of “tweets”) from the friends you choose to actively follow, rather than random stuff from people on the instance that you don’t know.

For a lot of people, that makes Octodon.social great: they want their friends, not all the random crap 80,000 people want to say. For other people the random crap is part of the fun.

Now, if you want the random crap, but want control of your random crap, Octodon.social is also good because you can follow bot accounts that forward you all of the random crap from an entire instance that isn’t yours. Since it isn’t easy to move your account to a different instance, signing up to a low-traffic instance allows you to subscribe (and unsubscribe) to other instances as the mood takes you.

BUT if you like the random crap AND you want to sign up and forget about settings and management and all that crap, THEN Octodon.Social is not for you, because you’ll actually have to go out and subscribe to other instances’ feeds.

I don’t think it’s that hard to subscribe to other instances’ feeds. I like Octodon.Social. I subscribe to the feeds of other instances and, if they have sucky mods and bad things are getting through, I unsubscribe. It works for me.

But if you care more about having active, random stuff passing through your feed and don’t want to take a few minutes once a week to do your subbing and unsubbing, you might want something else.

Fluffy Spider Returns
Fluffy Spider Returns
2 years ago

I am
sparklytoughhyena@octodon.social
As of 5 minutes ago

Rei Malebario
Rei Malebario
2 years ago

I’ve been on it for ages. By myself so I haven’t tooted a thing. I’m metal_dog@pleasehug.me

Katamount
Katamount
2 years ago

I’ve seen some posts about it, and Dave’s recommendation had me pull the trigger too. I’m @katamount@meow.social.

J
J
2 years ago

Is the ‘horribliness’ of man-o-sphere places in your opinion simply descriptive or prescriptive for a space to be apart of the man-o-sphere?

Thoughts on Toy Soilders?

Off-topic, sorry, just will never use social media because the abuse and doxxing is something I’d like to avoid.

kupo
kupo
2 years ago

Is the ‘horribliness’ of man-o-sphere places in your opinion simply descriptive or prescriptive for a space to be apart of the man-o-sphere?

I think it’s not a necessary component. There are a handful of men’s focused sites I’ve seen that are actually working on problems that affect men and doing good work. Sadly, they’re extremely rare.

Thoughts on Toy Soilders?

The movie?

Skylalalalalalala
Skylalalalalalala
2 years ago

Off-topic, sorry, just will never use social media because the abuse and doxxing is something I’d like to avoid.

Just fyi, I’ve been on social media for about a decade now and never been abused or doxxed, despite occasionally getting into fights about controversial topics. It might be I’m just lucky, or it might be that I just don’t have enough of a presence to bother with. Or my being super careful has paid off, at least with the doxxing. Given I have a very feminine username, I’m actually rather surprised about the no abuse part.

Could someone who is on Mastodon please clarify something for me – can you talk to people across instances, or are you limited to reading across them & talking to people in your own? It’s one of the things which has put me off creating an account.

Malitia
Malitia
2 years ago

can you talk to people across instances, or are you limited to reading across them & talking to people in your own?

You can talk to people across instances.

The only thing choosing an instance really limits is how easy is to find people without knowing their user code. (Because search is deliberately limited and the Federated Timeline goes fast and only includes people who opted in by letting the bot follow them.) And of course there are occasional technical difficulties (instances being down, or not synchronizing properly mostly).

Malitia
Malitia
2 years ago

I’ve not shared it yet? OK. I’m (at)Malitia at mastodonten.de

j
j
2 years ago

I think it’s not a necessary component. There are a handful of men’s focused sites I’ve seen that are actually working on problems that affect men and doing good work. Sadly, they’re extremely rare.

Just curious about your opinion on it (not specifically though) since 1in6 isn’t included in the sphere.

Toy Soldiers is a blog about male victims of sexual violence, adults and children. They’re very hateful toward feminists and could easily make an appearance on Mammoth with some of his posts, such as his hot take on the cosby case or how feminists are evil dooers who conspire to abuse children or something.

Teele
Teele
2 years ago

Thnx. Made an account and some tootz. I never got it going with twitter tho, too much noise there. Maybe this is better.

@TeeleLember@mastodon.social

P.s. off topic, but did you all see that Contrapoints has a new video out about incels?

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

Toy Soldier actually got banned here years ago. He kept blatantly lying and misrepresenting what everyone else was saying. From what I remember, anytime anyone disagreed with him about anything at all, he would claim that means that feminists don’t believe men who say they were abused by women. He was an odd and tedious kind of guy. He still blogs?

He was banned probably back in 2011. Way before my time. I read through the archives so I could experience the NWO slave/Meller troll heyday for myself. Unfortunately, there were low quality trolls back then too. He was one of them.

j
j
2 years ago

Mmhmm he does but much less so and his audience all but disappeared.

kupo
kupo
2 years ago

I found his blog and he’s got a super transphobic post, so that’s a huge “nope” from me.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
2 years ago

Specifically, Toy Soldier stalked, harassed and threatened the absolute shit out of LBT, a regular at the time and male rape survivor himself (and yes, TS knew that – hell, that’s why TS focussed on him). TS is complete scum.

This was before I started posting, too, but I spend more time re-reading the archives than is probably healthy. ಠ_ಠ

j
j
2 years ago

He did that? Huh. Not surprised though. His constant ax grinding makes such a claim believable. Frankly, he’s the reason why I tumbled around the man-o-sphere. -shrug-

Just fyi, I’ve been on social media for about a decade now and never been abused or doxxed, despite occasionally getting into fights about controversial topics. It might be I’m just lucky, or it might be that I just don’t have enough of a presence to bother with. Or my being super careful has paid off, at least with the doxxing. Given I have a very feminine username, I’m actually rather surprised about the no abuse part.

That’s good to hear! Social media abuse can happen to anyone though at any time for any reason. Seems the real key is to never go viral? and after a brief attempt at a bullying campaign during the first year of high school I just said F facebook and everything else.

kupo
kupo
2 years ago

@j
So what are your thoughts on him?

j
j
2 years ago

Um. Well. The fact that he’d stalk somebody and abuse them is just really gross and the fact that he somehow simultaneously advocates for male victims of sexual abuse while being one of those guys that’s universally critical of all women’s accusations of abuse make me think he’s a charlatan and an asshole?

Tedd
Tedd
1 year ago

One thing to notice, it’s due to it’s nature, the fediverse also has a good amount of alt-right, manly on their instances. It’s even in the Wikipedia page of mastodon.

meerkat
meerkat
1 year ago

Hey David, your Mastodon profile says you moved to bofa.lol but my browser can’t find that server. Is that still accurate?