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How Mastodon and federated services put social networks in the people’s hands

PC World – Adam Taylor – Twitter’s troubles spark a new old-school revolution: “The Internet is getting weird again. Twitter’s recent stumbles under new ownership have surprisingly shined a quick light on the world of federated and decentralized social networking services, like Mastodon. These services are peer-to-peer or community-run networks, depending on the particulars. Federated services are services that are managed by individual organizations or “offices,” such as the Post Office, email, or self-hosted forums. If you were on the Internet “back in the day,” you might remember when everyone connected through a variety of different forums or IM client accounts while having their own personal pages on Geocities or Blogspot. The rise of federated services is reminiscent of that. If you’re used to “modern” social media from 2012 or so onward, all of this can be really confusing at first glance—which is understandable! A lot of jargon is being thrown around, and much of the established norms are being abandoned.  Have no fear! This is your guide to the federated universe (coined the “Fediverse”), and what it all means for you and for the future of social media/networking. Since the biggest crowd of Twitter refugees seems to be heading towards Mastodon, let’s look at what you need to get started there, first. From there, we’ll dive deeper into the underlying concepts and systems that make federated services work, as well as highlight some other specialized networks you can try—like PixelFed and PeerTube—which take that idea beyond mere Twitter clones into a full web experience.”

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