Unpacking Mastodon
Nov 15, 2022
Episode 816

Unpacking Mastodon

Is decentralized social media the future?

Since Elon Musk bought Twitter, over a million people (including Kai and Kimberly) have joined Mastodon, a decentralized social media network. We’ve got questions, lots of questions, about how it works, privacy, moderation and what’s up with all the servers.

So, we called up a leading Mastodon expert.

“One way to think about it is imagine your servers kind of like a village and the connection between them as roads, and people traffic along those roads and communicate with each other along those roads. And from there, you build a very large network of relatively small social media servers,” said Robert Gehl, professor of communications and media studies at York University in Toronto.

On the show today, Gehl will walk us through the ins and outs of Mastodon and decentralized social media and explain what it all means for our public discourse. 

In the News Fix, we’ll talk about why mortgage rates are so darn high (it’s not all because of rising interest rates) and the future of self-driving cars — don’t plan to take your hands off the wheel anytime soon.

Later, we’ll hear from a listener about what it takes to run for a local school board in Wisconsin. Plus, the eBay hack you didn’t know you needed.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

We want to hear from you. If you’ve joined Mastodon or are staying with Twitter, let us know how it’s going. We’re at 508-U-B-SMART or email makemesmart@marketplace.org.

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The team

Marissa Cabrera Senior Producer
Bridget Bodnar Senior Producer
Tony Wagner Digital Producer
Marque Greene Associate Producer