Apscitu masthead.
Apscitu motto.

Expert IT News Article tab.

Twitter logo, Mastodon logo, First Amendment photo, Free Software Foundation logo, dried mud photo (background).

Twitter vs. Mastodon, Free Speech vs. Free Software

By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          November 14, 2022

In late October 2022, just before Halloween, Elon Musk, in a mammoth act of free speech activism, bought out Twitter Inc. for $44 billion, taking the corporation private and taking over control, including dissolving the board of directors. Ever since then, the frightened woke media and frightened woke companies have been trying to make Twitter fail, so they can continue to control speech, and thus thought/opinion/votes.

I myself noted and complained about the woke Wall Street Journal (WSJ) newsroom trying to make Twitter fail, in violation of SEC rules (see Banned-For-Life Trader and Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget Using Fake News for Stock Price Manipulation? and Stock Market Crash Deja Vu: Reddit Violates Securities Exchange Act).

(Note that, paradoxically, the WSJ newsroom, led by Editor in Chief Matt Murray , is woke but the WSJ opinion editors, led by Paul Gigot, are not. They hate each other and often write directly contradictory articles. The woke WSJ newsroom even tried to silence the WSJ opinion editors with a cease-and-desist petition.)

IT incompetent woke Christopher Mims is the WSJ tech/IT columnist, part of the woke WSJ newsroom. On 6 Nov 2022, Christopher Mims , @mims on Twitter, claimed in a tweet to be quitting Twitter:
People Like Me Should Be Thanking Elon Musk for Convincing Us to Finally Quit Twitter

It's been real y'all. See you on the other side.
The next day, 7 Nov 2022, the WSJ published, as part of the news section, a column Christopher Mims wrote:
Why Elon Musk’s Quest to Revive Twitter Is Likely to Fail
This is the world's most important financial newspaper, whose reporting can and has caused companies to fail, actively trying to convince people, in violation of SEC rules, that Twitter is going to fail, so that it will fail. You can tell this is the purpose because Mims/WSJ does not even give a logical reason why Twitter is likely to fail. Mims/WSJ's premise is given in the first paragraph:
Elon Musk is treating Twitter like a startup. The thing about startups is, most of them fail.
This is just stupid. Most startups fail because they are undercapitalized. By no stretch of the imagination is Twitter undercapitalized.

That day, I sent an email to the WSJ to complain about this crime. (Earlier I had sent an email to WSJ General Counsel Jason Conti to protest the WSJ's use of bait and switch in WSJ subscription advertisements, which resulted in the WSJ stopping this illegal practice.)

To protest Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter to allow free speech, woke companies have stopped advertising on Twitter, to the point where even Elon Musk says it may cause Twitter to fail. This protest is partly false advertising because many companies, particularly woke companies (e.g. Disney, Meta/Facebook, Amazon, Google), are struggling now that the Coronavirus Scare is over and having to cut costs, including advertising, but also employees. Twitter itself had to cut costs by firing most of its employees.

However, many woke companies say they are going to take their advertising dollars to Twitter competitors, even though the whole reason they are frightened about losing control of Twitter is that it really has no competitors. They often suggest the Twitter-like Mastodon.

Mastodon is free open-source software that allows anyone to essentially run his own Twitter, with his own speech rules, but interoperably with other such Twitters; sort of a Twitter network that no one person or group, like woke media and woke companies, can really control all of. So even though Mastodon's creator might be woke himself, Mastodon will be of no use to woke media and woke companies.

Mastodon was created (initially programmed), and its software development is still controlled by, Eugen Rochko , who was born in Russia in 1993 and when he was eleven moved to Germany, specifically Jena, a city formerly in communist East Germany (socialism, a tenet of wokeism, is just communism with good PR; the communists called themselves socialists). I've been to Jena, a year or so after Rochko moved there. Like much of East Germany at the time it was still being rebuilt after the Fall of the Wall and German Reunification; East German infrastructure had completely fallen apart under communist rule. I particularly remember JenTower, Jena's skyscraper; it was mostly unoccupied because it was built in 1969 as an anti-capitalist stunt by the communists (the World Trade Center Twin Towers were started a year or so before), with no real use and unmaintainable.

As a teenager, Eugen Rochko was very much into MySpace (remember them?), then Facebook (remember them?), and then Twitter. He became disillusioned with Twitter, as software (I agree with him about that), its commerciality, and its ownership by a corporation. At first he also didn't like Twitter being used for politics at all, but then decided he just didn't like it used for politics he didn't agree with, non-woke politics. So he set out to program a free Twitter replacement, which he named Mastodon, after a Southern (U.S.) heavy metal band, ironically most of whom are not known for their wokeness.

Eugen Rochko gave away his Mastodon software under the guidelines of the Free Software Foundation, which was founded at MIT by Richard Stallman. While I was at MIT I met Stallman, in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Lab. A couple of years ago he was forced out of MIT for his non-woke comments during the scandal at MIT where woke MIT President Rafael Reif was caught accepting money from convicted child sex offender and trafficker Jeffrey Epstein . Reif, being woke, was not forced out of MIT — woke rules do not apply to the woke — but quietly retired this year; only as president though, not from MIT altogether. Unfortunately, he was replaced by Sally Kornbluth , a woke cell biologist (see above) from Duke University who is implicated in the creation of COVID-19 in Wuhan China.

After pre-Musk woke (IT incompetent) Twitter silenced all the non-woke on Twitter, most notoriously by expelling U.S. President Donald Trump, these non-woke went looking for a Twitter replacement, just like the woke are doing now. They found Mastodon. In particular, Trump started his own Twitter by setting up a Mastodon server.

Ever wonder why Trump's Twitter is called "Truth Social", which everyone, including Elon Musk in a tweet, says is a terrible name? Because an individual Mastodon server is usually referred to as "name.social". For example, the original by Eugen Rochko is called "mastodon.social". Thus Trump's Twitter is technically named "truth.social".

Mastodon has not been very successful as a Twitter replacement for Trump, as it won't be for the woke now. For Trump, this is because Mastodon is a network of Twitters, which can decide not to interoperate with a particular Twitter. Urged by woke Eugen Rochko not to interoperate with Trump's Twitter, many did not, isolating Trump's Twitter.

For the woke, Mastodon will not be very successful as a Twitter replacement for different reasons. The first, as mentioned, is that no one person or group, not even Eugen Rochko, can control all the Twitters in the Mastodon Twitter network. The woke, like the communists, are adamant about total control of speech.

The second reason is the license under which Mastodon is given away. Eugen Rochko codified wokeism into this license. Violation of the wokeism in this license was the pretext by which Rochko isolated Trump's Twitter. However, this license also requires that each Twitter's source code be made public (that's what "open-source" means), which would reveal any secret automated censorship. Trump complied with this requirement but, as they demonstrated with the pre-Musk woke Twitter, these woke would never comply.

Warning: Unless you are a woke Disney fan, the rest of this article may be too explicit for you.

The Mastodon equivalent of a Twitter "tweet" is a "toot", which in American English is euphemistic slang, particularly between parents and young children, for "fart". I lived, worked, and traveled in Germany, where Mastodon creator Eugen Rochko is, for four years and noticed the Germans have a bad habit of using English to name new things without understanding the connotations. For example, in Germany a cell phone is a "handy", which in American English, which has no official noun "handy", is euphemistic slang for a particular masturbatory sex act, which I shouldn't have to and won't explain further here. Personally, I find calling a tweet a fart, particularly from a mastodon, to be quite fitting; much like calling a cell phone a handy, for that matter. Note that tweets began as cell phone texts (a.k.a. SMS), which only exist because the cell phone protocol had 140 bytes/characters left over and one of the design engineers thought, "What the hell".

What the hell indeed.