If you're used to centralised networks like Facebook, you may be wondering why Mastodon and the Fediverse are spread across thousands of sites. Why not just have a single site where people sign up?
There are many important reasons, but maybe the most important is this:
Networks on single sites tend to be bought by bad people when they get popular 😠
It happened to Instagram (bought by Facebook), it happened to Whatsapp (bought by Facebook), it happened to YouTube (bought by Google). It can happen to ANYTHING built entirely around one site.
No matter how much you trust the people who run a site, when someone offers them billions of dollars they may just take the money.
Decentralised networks, where there is no central site, are much more resistant to buyouts.
No one owns the global email network, thousands of indie players like @Tutanota and @protonmail are able to offer alternatives, and if one provider behaves badly you can switch to a different provider.
@jcast Actually, there is a migration protocol, but each user has to do that individually, that is why a timely notice is important.
Regardless, to guard against external failure, you should host your own instance. It is not hard and enables heavy personalisation. Check out https://fediverse.party/en/miscellaneous for the plethora of software you can use, I am pretty happy with Pleroma, featurewise a superset of Mastodon and easier to set up.
https://bonfirenetworks.org/apps/bonfire.html also looks promising but is not ready yet.
Thanks will look into that. Currently using GNU social on a private instance, not federating.
The problem with migrating accounts on Mastodon is that AFAIK the contents are lost in the process, only followers, followed accounts and basic info are kept.
So data portability is not fully implemented yet. I was trying to figure what the blockers to this process are.
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