The fediverse is like social-media unionization for journalists

NPR has officially quit Twitter. PBS followed suit. (updated 14. April)

Dear journalists, this is the best opportunity you'll ever get to actively fight back against the attention-hoarding platforms that have been grossly undermining the power of the Fourth Estate for the past two decades.

A true revolution for independent media is available to you as a mere three-step process:

First: Leave Twitter

It should be clear to any journalistic institution of integrity by now that Twitter's leadership is only interested in your patronage insofar as it benefits Twitter-corp, full stop.

The platform is deeply compromised, and you have no control over how and to whom the words you publish there are disseminated. Stop feeding the beast; stop posting.

You don't have to delete your account, nor your tweets. You don't even have to completely stop tweeting. But I urge you to stop using Twitter as your default microblogging/networking application. Try it for a month at least.

Second: Join the fediverse

Facebook, Instagram, Post, Notes... none of these are legitimate alternatives for news syndication in the modern information age. If you take the lazy path of shifting your primary distribution channel from Twitter to yet another black-box platform, it's simply out of the frying pan and into the fiery clutches of yet other monopolist that owns your followship.

If you truly want to call yourselves independent journalists in this day and age, the federated network of instances built on top of the ActivityPub protocol is your only honest outlet as far as social media feeds go. “The medium is the message” is as true as ever, and any medium owned by a technocratic oligarch is in direct opposition to your civic duty as emissaries of truth and understanding. Every additional tweet goes into the record; history will remember your complicity.

The fediverse is collectively owned and operated by thousands of different stakeholders, making it the most independent social network in history.

Most importantly however: the fediverse is a movement, presently engaged in the woefully under-reported fight for an equitable and just internet, and it needs the champions of the fourth power in its corner to stand a chance of winning.

This is no time for editorials and opinion pieces. What we civilians need from you at this time is your attendance at the gathering space. Before you do anything else, show up where the movers are congregating. Then, and only then, should you exercise your voice anew.

Making the move

Migrating to the fediverse is fraught with choices that can lead to paralysis. Here's the one all-important thing you need to know: Once you've made the initial move to any fediverse instance (by default Mastodon), your followship is now and forever truly YOURS. You can take your followers with you elsewhere as you see fit.

It's not a one-click process, but unlike the closed platforms that make every effort to keep your voice and your data locked in, the fediverse and its many nodes is a completely open ecosystem, rapidly evolving in lockstep with its inhabitants.

It takes a while to fully appreciate a social media paradigm that doesn't actively antagonize its tenants; there's less drama and toxicity on the fediverse, but isn't it high time you gave your adrenal glands a rest?

This is the easiest way to get started: Mastodon: A Quick Start Guide for Journalists.

It recommends signing up for, which is run by Jeff Brown of and – get verified while you're at it!

There are some other options listed here, but if Newsie is still accepting registrations don't overthink it; Jeff will get you sorted.

Third: Co-create the fediverse

Grow the garden-like town square together with everyone else. You need something? Build it, together with all the other open source developers. You cannot operate as an island. The collective project of the fediverse only succeeds if we work together to grow our common ecosystem.

If you want better infrastructure, connectivity and reach for your craft & trade, it's in your power to realize those betterments. The fediverse is as much yours as anyone else's.

Media agency; see how that feels for a change.

And that's it. In summary:

  1. Resist the urge to tweet
  2. Take an hour to put up your fediverse persona
  3. Save democracy 🤝