Twitter has users. Mainstream (Silicon Valley) tech and drug dealers are the only two groups to use that term to describe people. And they're both obsessed with manufacturing addiction and exploiting those people. Calling people users is a form of othering.

Let's do better.

Mastodon doesn't have users. Mastodon has people. Call them members if you must. But not users.

Twitter, Facebook, and Google have users. We have people.

CC @Gargron

@aral @Gargron

How about
mastozens? (like citizens)

how would people see Mastodon it if we called them 'members'?

@jd @Gargron @aral i think the point is that we like to think of mastodon as more than just software or a service. it's a community of people working together.

@wxl @aral @Gargron

If #Mastodon people think of themselves as members or as citizens then a common ownership can develop, people will have demands and a method of discerning needs and wants can then develop. I think all software projects (including opensource) have a problem with democracy โ€“ I am not sure it can even work.

@jd @wxl @aral @Gargron benevolent dictatorship works better for network admin, but if you want a say in your own server make your own instance

@ZDP189 @jd @wxl @aral @gargron
This has always been the way online networks operated. whoever controls resources also has control over what they are used for. An old quotation commonly seen on Usenet was "Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one" (apparently written by a US journo in 20th century). At least Mastodon makes owning one more feasible (but still not trivial).

@vfrmedia @jd @wxl @aral @Gargron members can vote with their feet. If an instance is badly run, members can migrate to a different instance.

Perhaps Mastodon can work on automated migration and bring their network of follows and followers. The trick is members would have to move, not clone themselves.

@ZDP189 @jd @wxl @aral @gargron a few people have already done that (not for any bad motives, usually due to tech issues with their original instance) but have had to export and import the data manually. Currently the network is small enough they've been able to find their friends again but as it grows that could be more problematic.


@vfrmedia @jd @wxl @aral @Gargron exactly. Also imagine if someone with a big following like 200k accounts tried migrating and the system had to propagate the changes across all instances! The traffic alone would be crippling.

Members will just have to experiment with different instances, read reviews of instances and trust in the admins.

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Generalistic and moderated instance.