Curious about Trump’s “Truth” social network? Make your own instead
Trump’s “Truth” social developers simply installed Mastodon and made a few changes. This is actually encouraged in the open source software community and Fediverse, but there is one big rule that the developers at Trump have ignored … the software license requires that any changes you make also be open source and published. Trump didn’t do it at first, instead claiming that Social Truth is something completely new, but they released the source as a ZIP file when called in for software license violation.
But what is the Fediverse?
It is basically a network of social media servers. Instead of a single monopoly social network like Facebook where everything that happens on Facebook is essentially owned and controlled by Facebook, the Fediverse is more collaborative and open. The special thing about social media platforms in Fediverse is that you can create an account on one server and “follow” accounts on other servers AND other platforms.
What makes this especially cool is the diversity of the Fediverse platforms. For example, Mastodon is very similar to Twitter, while Peertube is very similar to YouTube, Pixelfed to Instagram, and Funkwhale to Soundcloud. You can see a full list of the different Fediverse platforms at Fediverse.Party and find out how they differ.
Make your own.
There are many documents available to start your own instance of the Fediverse social network for free. Most will require a Linux server, but you can create one at home or sign up for a cloud-based VM instance. Here are some links and videos to point you in the right direction.
Optionally, if you already have a WordPress site, there is a developer plug-in that adds Fediverse support to your existing site.
Rent your own server
If this all sounds too complicated, there are Fediverse hosting services as well. You can pay someone else a monthly fee to run a Mastodon server for you and handle all the technical stuff. Masto Host is a good example. For 6 euros / month you can get 5 users and a 2 GB database; perfect for a family … or you can build a bigger social network community with something like 2000 users for 89 euros / month. There are also many other options, such as: MaaStodon, Spacebear Federation and BitCap Network
Or just join someone else’s server instance
Presumably Trump’s “Truth” social network will have all of the federation capabilities that Mastodon and other Fediverse platforms have (I haven’t looked at their source code), so of course you can just join the instance. Someone else’s fediverse and have the same capabilities. As mentioned, a Fediverse account has complete freedom to track and interact with other accounts on completely different platforms and instances.
There is a list of available Fediverse Observer servers where you can see which ones are accepting new users as well as other information such as the number of users they already have and their stability in terms of uptime. You can also choose more local instances for you. For example, if you live in Brazil, why not join a Brazilian social network?
Make sure you understand, however, that joining someone else’s forum means you will be governed by their policies, just as Trump was governed by the policies of Twitter. If you want to create your own policies, create your own server.
Will Trump’s removal from Big Tech social media help strengthen the decentralized web and make more people aware of the freedom of the Fediverse? May be. You should, however, circulate this article to disseminate information about the Fediverse. I’ve been using it for a few years now, so if you sign up feel free to follow me here: Adam (@[email protected])