It's not exactly news that Twitter/X has become a highly problematic platform since Elon Musk took over in October 2022. Hate speech and propaganda have been on the rise, Twitter/X is now the worst major service when it comes to LGBT+ safety, and it also ranked worst in a climate misinformation report. Furthermore, the check mark system for verified accounts has become pretty much useless, the reach of once strong media accounts has been diminished, and R&D people are struggling with radical changes in the platform's technical infrastructure.
As a consequence of these developments, DW Innovation decided to look for a better, more civilized, and more sustainable microblogging platform. And that platform is, at least for now: Mastodon, a decentralized, open-source social media network in the fediverse. It's far from perfect, but it seems friendly, fact-oriented, and inclusive. It has also become the home of many journalists, researchers, and media innovators – i.e.: people like us.
So from October 4th, 2023 until at least January 4th, 2024, we'll do a Mastodon trial run, to see how this network develops and whether it could be a useful alternative for us. Come and join us in the Fediverse – and spread the word about:
The more fruit- and meaningful interactions we have, the higher the chance we'll stay on Mastodon after the trial run is over.
As for Twitter/X, we've decided against an immediate shutdown of our account there for several reasons. The platform used to be our strongest social media channel, we put resources into it for more than 10 years, and it still allows us to connect with more than 7000+ media tech people (and very specialized communities) all over the world. That kind of network has not been established yet on other platforms. Furthermore, we're obligated to use Twitter/X in the context of communication duties for several R&D projects, some of which were launched long before the Musk takeover in October 2022. Finally, our Twitter/X team so far hasn't encountered problems so grave they would have made DW Innovation's work on the platform completely useless.
Nevertheless, we'll keep a close eye on current developments – and reserve the right to leave whenever we think we must. In the meantime, we'll also use our account to tweet about the deteriorating state of Twitter/X, a platform that is becoming more and more incompatible with DW Innovation's journalistic guidelines and humanist standards.