How a pioneering platform is working to detoxify social media


It’s Friday night! I’m writing to you from New York, I’m Jordan Parker Erb.

Social networks are not without pitfalls. They are known to be “toxic” to mental health, especially that of teenagers. They can become echo chambers for misinformation. And the screen time we can rack up isn’t great either.

But some platforms are trying to detoxify social media. Today we have a look at Mastodon, a platform that tries to do things differently.

That, and more, below.

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1. A pioneering platform is working to detoxify social media. Once championed as heralds of a more interconnected world, social media has instead contributed to loneliness, low self-esteem and the proliferation of harmful misinformation, writes Evan Malmgren. A platform could change that.

  • Mastodon aims to create a “decentralized” platform – a social media ecosystem where control of content and functionality is dispersed among users instead of being concentrated in the hands of the main provider.
  • With 4.4 million users, Mastodon is like Twitter, but rather than a single website, it’s an open-source software platform that lets users run self-hosted “federated” social networks. .
  • “I posted a message and immediately random people I had never spoken to thoughtfully engaged with it,” one Mastodon user said. “It felt like the internet had to be.”

A look at a less toxic online experience.

In other news:

Mike Blake/Reuters

2. Leaked Amazon slides urge employees to “step up their game.” In a show of hands, Amazon executives encouraged workers to “do more with less.” In another indication of belt-tightening at the notoriously frugal company, Amazon is also shutting down its ORCA robotics team and Explore virtual travel division.

3. Intel is planning massive layoffs. The layoffs, which will likely affect thousands of employees, are expected to take place later this month, according to Bloomberg. Everything we know about Intel’s downsizing.

4. Is it time for Mark Zuckerberg to retire? Bill Gates has left Microsoft. Larry Page and Sergey Brin let someone else take over the reins of Google. It’s time for Zuckerberg to follow their lead, writes senior correspondent Linette Lopez. She explains why quitting would save Zuck’s empire.

5. Twitter is revising its rules regarding permanent bans. As Elon Musk’s takeover bid continues, the company is reassessing its policies of permanently banning users – but even if the rules change, former President Donald Trump is unlikely to get his account back. Get the full recap here.

6. Internal critics think Uber’s chief product officer has made the company too myopic. Some former executives say Sundeep Jain lacks the innovative drive Uber needs to thrive, and his no-nonsense style has made him one of the company’s most controversial figures. Meet Jain, Uber’s Chief Incrementalist.

7. One of the investors who agreed to back Elon Musk’s Twitter bid wants out of the deal. Manhattan Venture Partners pledged to invest in the deal earlier this year, but the company is trying to exit its commitment as Twitter’s value has plummeted. Read our full scoop here.

8. People who quit quietly could be prime targets for layoffs. As the labor market slowly shifts back in favor of employers, workers may not be able to get away with doing the bare minimum, or “quietly quitting” – and those who hesitate may be the first to walk out.


How a pioneering platform is working to detoxify social media
Elon Musk sells bottles of a perfume called “Burnt Hair” for $100 a bottle.Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for the Met Museum/Vogue; The boring company

9. Elon Musk sells a perfume called “Burnt Hair” for $100 a bottle. It’s unclear what scents are actually in the perfume, as it’s simply described online as smelling “like leaning over a candle at the dinner table.” Now you too can release “the essence of loathsome desire”.

10. Tom Cruise could take a spacewalk outside the International Space Station. As part of one of his upcoming adventure films, Cruise may be the first civilian to perform a spacewalk outside the space station. What we know so far.

What we’re looking at today:

  • Delta, Walgreens and others report profits. Track earnings here.
  • SpaceX’s Crew-4 mission is set to return to Earth.
  • Google’s new Pixel 7 smartphones are now available.

Keep up to date with the latest tech news throughout the day by checking out The Refresh from Insider, a dynamic brief audio from Insider’s newsroom. Listen now.

Organized by Jordan Parker Erb in New York. (Comments or advice? [email protected] or tweet @jordanparkererb.) Edited by Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.


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