Decentralization and Mastodon: A New Era in Social Media

Aaron Crocco
4 min readJan 25

Mastodon. You may have heard of it. In the era of Elon Musk’s deliberate-or-not work to burn Twitter to the ground, people are looking at alternatives. On the surface, Mastodon may look like Twitter, but there’s a lot under the hood that makes it better. A lot better.

Mastodon is a decentralized and open-source social media platform that is gaining popularity as an alternative to centralized platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The platform is built on the same basic principles as these popular networks, but with a few key differences that make it an attractive option for those looking for a more open social media experience.

Photo by Battenhall on Unsplash

The first thing to understand about Mastodon is that it is decentralized. This means that there is no central server or company that controls the platform. Think of it like email. Your email provider could go out of business or be shut down. However, that does not shut down email across the globe. If Gmail or Hotmail were to cease operating, you could simply sign up for a new email elsewhere or even roll your own email server. That is the same open and decentralized idea that Mastodon is built on.

Instead, Mastodon is made up of a network of “instances” which are independently run by different organizations or individuals. Each instance has its own rules, moderation policies, and user base. This decentralized structure allows for a greater degree of freedom and customization, and also makes it much harder for governments or other entities to censor or shut down the platform. It also is not subject to the whims of Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, or any entity.

Getting Onto Mastodon

Moving to Mastodon is relatively straightforward. The first step is to choose an instance that aligns with your interests and values. There are many different instances to choose from, and you can find a list of popular ones on the Mastodon website. Once you’ve chosen an instance, you can create an account by providing a username and email address. You’ll then be able to start posting and interacting with other users on the platform.

One of the biggest advantages of Mastodon is its focus on privacy and security. Because the platform is decentralized, there is no central point of…

Aaron Crocco

I curate the internet and send it to hundreds of people in my newsletter each week. Yes, that is my DeLorean. #BTTF, Sliders, Whovian, . Powered by coffee ☕