Since Facebook emerged it has become the biggest social media site with 2.2 billion users. In the past week, Facebook’s data analysis firm was revealed to have accessed the personal information of about 50 million users. This recent report has many Facebook users asking a lot of questions and overall deleting their profiles. In today’s standards it almost seems everyone is intertwined in social media some how, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or the recently growing Mastodon, and with Facebook users deleting their profiles where does this leave them?
What is Mastodon?
The social network, Mastodon, was created by 24-year-old German man by the name of, Eugene Rochko. Much like Twitter, Mastodon allows you to share posts or what is called Toots, not Tweets. Along with your posts you are allowed to have up to 500-characters instead of Twitters 140-character limit. Twitter is also the primary platform, but with Mastodon it gives you the ability to set up independent “instances” of the site.
How did Facebook Benefit Mastodon?
With Facebook’s recent mistake, Mastodon has seen a big spike in new users the past week. Still as a recently up and coming social network, Mastodon’s 1.1 million users doesn’t nearly match up to the impressive amount of Facebook users. The reveal of the personal information breach recently, has brought to people’s attention that Facebook’s network isn’t secure and nobody can just see how the network is designed, which leaves to just more questions.
Mastodon has become known for not being run by corporate executives like Facebook, but by its own users who set up their own servers. The new social network’s code is open-source, giving the ability to people to see its design. Facebook also gets its development costs paid by the marketing of users’ personal information, while its counterpart pays its development costs by online donations.
Wave of Innovation and Our Digital Fate
Designers like Rochko (creator of Mastodon) have aimed to get some of the power back from such people as chief executive of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg. Such designers believe they can restore some of the Internet’s earlier days when everything was open and inter-operable, not like Facebook benefiting from consumer’s dependence on centralized commercialism taking up users’ personal information.
Most people are unaware of the information and data we give just by using Facebook’s platform. People give information such as email addresses, birthdays, and etc. but data is also generated by things such as, ‘likes’, your friend connections, and a lot more. With this information and the recent Cambridge Analytica fiasco, you can see how when such things fall into the wrong hands can be quite dangerous to users.
Facebook has vowed to limit apps on its platform that may be leaking user’s data to third parties. Now with Facebook simply doing that, they just showed people how much they have control over our digital fate. Where in some cases our information could be spread to, well, anywhere and users wouldn’t even know.
The Innovation of Mastodon is brilliant when it comes to keeping user’s personal information safe by, like I said before, creating our own servers. Facebook had its big leak revealed and now it gives people the chance to see how dangerous the Facebook network can be with their own information, with no notice or knowledge of where their data might be. Simply I see this as a ‘Buyer Be Ware’ occurrence and to be ‘social’ on a network at your own risk.