Mozilla wants to build a better social media platform inside of Mastodon, and being “neutral” is not part of the plan.
In a blog post, Steve Teixeira, Mozilla’s Chief Product Officer, announced that the company is expanding its Mozilla.social Mastodon instance into private beta. Why is the company doing it? According to Teixeira, “social is broken,” and the fediverse “moves power away from big tech companies and into the hands of diverse voices to build a social platform that meets people’s needs, not shareholders’ needs.”
So, how is Mastodon going to build a better social media experience? Being neutral is not part of the plan. Teixeira says that “you’ll notice a big difference in our content moderation approach compared to other major social media platforms.”
We’re not building another self-declared “neutral” platform. We believe that far too often, “neutrality” is used as an excuse to allow behaviors and content that’s designed to harass and harm those from communities that have always faced harassment and violence.
Instead, the executive says that “our content moderation plan is rooted in the goals and values expressed in our Mozilla Manifesto — human dignity, inclusion, security, individual expression, and collaboration.”
We understand that individual expression is often seen, particularly in the US, as an absolute right to free speech at any cost. Even if that cost is harm to others. We do not subscribe to this view. We want to be clear about this. We’re building an awesome sandbox for us all to play in, but it comes with rules governing how we engage with one another. You’re completely free to go elsewhere if you don’t like them.
For those wanting to try out Mastodon’s new venture into social, you can sign up for the waitlist.
The timing is interesting, considering that Mastodon just released a new onboarding experience that makes it easier to sign up for the service — as long as you’re signing up for the instance that the company controls.