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NBC News' Ben Collins seems salty that Nate Silver called Mastodon 'a honeytrap for hall-monitor' types

Our own PolitiBunny now has a Mastodon account, as she detailed in a recent VIP post. Mastodon seems to be where all the journalists who think Twitter is going under any minute now have set up alternate accounts, on Mastodon’s server. However, as we learned earlier Monday, the server is getting blocked by a bunch of people as the server “quickly gained a reputation for transphobia.”


Columnist and editor Heidi N. Moore says one of the irritating things about Mastodon is how it “enables status-chasing journalists to gatekeep their peers.”

That gets cut off; the rest reads: “Now, would we make that decision a month from now? I don’t know. I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to get into specifics, but we’ve had some tricky edge cases. Inherently, it’s tricky.”

Also from that Markup newsletter by Julia Angwin:

Mastodon is a different kind of social network. Unlike Twitter, it doesn’t have a central gatekeeper that can decide who gets to use the platform and what type of content is allowed. Instead, Mastodon is an array of different communities that have all agreed to share a single communication standard.

What that means in practice is that to join Mastodon, you have to join a Mastodon “instance”—essentially a community that hosts a Mastodon server. Each instance has its own vibe, standards for admission, and content rules. Each server can block communications from other servers if they don’t appreciate their style.


Moore’s thread goes on, and it’s a good one, but it inspired FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver to notice that all of the hall-monitor types seem to be flocking to Mastodon.

NBC News’ “dystopia beat” reporter (we guess that’s kind of what Taylor Lorenz does) Ben Collins swooped in with a zinger:

Yeah, NBC nailed the 2016 election.

What’s Collins so salty about? Is he one of the hall monitors?



We’ll note that Collins hasn’t yet added his Mastodon address to his Twitter bio.





Editor’s Note:

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