I wonder if, instead of promoting Mastodon to the general public as "federated," we should call it "user-run." That emphasizes the governance model of our network rather than the technical implementation.

To understand the benefits of a "federated" network, you have to understand multiple layers of definitions.

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First, you have to know what "federated" means in the context of web services. In an age where centralized platforms are the norm, most people have no concept of what a not-centralized platform would look like.

The closest well-known analogy is email, but even that is a bit of a complicated jump, going from direct messaging to social media.

Then you have to understand the main impact of federation: that there are multiple, interoperable providers that you get to choose from, and if you aren't happy with the options, you are free to start your own.

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And *now* we get to the part that's important for society: federated systems are resistant to censorship and abuse of power, because there is no single organization to take down, and if users aren't happy with *any* available options, they can create a new one with minimal effort and consequences.

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"User-run," I think, gets straight to the last point: Mastodon is better for society because its users control it.

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Federation is what gives Mastodon users control over the platform, but I think of that as an implementation detail, not the main point.

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@flyingpimonster I like it. Maybe even "the people's social democratic network".

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Fosstodon is an English speaking Mastodon instance that is open to anyone who is interested in technology; particularly free & open source software.