Twenty years ago, pretty much nobody had heard of “social media.” Today, there’s almost no way you can escape it. Despite this, Americans are increasingly disenchanted with these platforms—and many view them as corrosive to our politics and culture. From polarization to eating disorders to January 6th, there isn’t much that Facebook and Twitter can’t be blamed for these days.
Back in 2017, the pseudonymous hacktivist known as “The Jester” decided that he was sick of social media’s noxious ways—the disinformation, the internecine verbal sparring, the endless rage and fury. In particular, he found himself concerned about “influence operations,” the propaganda campaigns that have become so common online—and that seem to be swiftly driving us all collectively insane.
Instead of quitting social media outright, though, Jester decided to do something slightly different.
In a matter of months, he had spun up CounterSocial, an alternative social media site that was designed to “counter” the disinformation, trolls, influence operations and harassment prevalent on other platforms. He wanted to create a controlled environment—a walled garden where ugliness and toxicity could be moderated out. Today, the site has approximately 100,000 users and continues to see steady growth.
Interesting to see that it is built on top of Mastodon, Mozilla, Apache Jitsi and MIT code via Rocketchat. The Mastodon user interface is very obvious. It has custom "glue" holding the open source bits together, and I imagine the big difference will be that it is tightly moderated (something that many social network users actually desire). Yes if you prefer to troll and abuse etc this won't be for you. There are certainly some very interesting features the network provides (and many of those will likely be behind the Pro level access).
See The Notorious Hacker Who’s Trying to Fix Social Media
Over the past two decades, social media has taken over the world and become a menace to democracy. Can a pseudonymous hacktivist get it back on the right track?