The follow-up to Twitter: all the news about alternative social media platforms

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To join Mozilla.Social, Mozilla’s new Mastodon instance, it is not allowed to harass other users. You also may not use derogatory language about gender, sex, sexual orientation, race, age, ability, or other “physical, social, or cultural characteristics or classifications.” You should also not spread disinformation and disinformation. Or imitate someone. Some of these are normal policies, some are unusually heavy-handed, and all are difficult to litigate. But Mozilla’s position is quite simple and extremely unusual in the social media universe: if it’s debatable, it’s gone.

“We’re not going to advertise that we’re some sort of neutral platform,” said Steve Teixeira, Mozilla’s chief product officer. He says that too many platforms try to find a middle ground between, say, people who want to harm others and people who don’t, when in reality there is no middle ground at all. “You have to land on the side of people who don’t want to harm others.” By not pretending to be neutral and not claiming to be free speech of anything, Mozilla hopes it can be much more active in making Mastodon a good place to be.