Boris Mann

Open Source. Community. Decentralized Web. Building dev tools at Fission. Cooks & eats.


12:29pm Sunday

  • Created: January 10, 2021

With Trump being kicked off Twitter, the discussion about Parler being kicked off AWS, there’s lots of discusison about federated and censorship proof social networks.I RTd @QuinnyPig who has a good thread on AWS terms of service, and other cloud providers more broadly. Aimed at explaining even to non-technical people, a good one to share.

I got drawn into a long thread kicked off by Stefan George of Gnosis, who wanted to post a bounty to save/store Twitter stuff to IPFS. I pointed out that Twitter archives already exist.

From there I got into a whole back and forth, including people suggesting that Twitter data should be mass exfiltrated to setup an alt social network. Maybe at one point I would have reached for a purely technical solution like this, but here’s my final take:

Technical tricks to try extract Twitter data is probably orders of magnitude harder than …just doing the work in building out critical mass communities.

The difference between the two approaches? One is technical challenges, the other is marketing and community building. @bmann

I am… somewhat distraught that a lot of decentral type people think about this issue as censorship, rather than the “let’s deplatform fascists issue” that it actually is. Twitter is in no way a public utility. Own your “distribution” – whether it’s direct mailing list subscriptions or your own community social network: run your own Discourse or Mastodon server. Twitter is today’s mass media: use it for distribution, but know that you’re there at the company’s sufferance.

And of course, when I see lots of crypto people happily using Medium and Substack, I’m not going to take the rest of their opinions seriously. Your words need to get backed up by actions, my dudes.

Jeff Henshaw popped back up on Mastodon – and he’s hosting his own Mastodon server. He was asking me why I’m on Mastodon, here’s my answer:

the concept of collective ownership / maintenance.

Nothing wrong with “multi user” systems, but we have to clearly understand that it costs people time and some server resources to run things.

I’m working on a model of awareness that people should pay for apps — that behind that app are real people, not just corporations.

“Exit to community” is a related theme. Plus governance, etc etc

Yes, I’m posting my own content back to my own site. Which means it becomes part of my forever content, and also I can link to and include it in search.

I guess I should document my Twitter ArchiveTwitter Archive
My personal Twitter Archive – everything posted to my @bmann Twitter account – is at
It is powered by Martin Hawksley’s [[TAGS]].
I set it up a long time ago, and it has worked reliably ever since. It runs from my Google Account, is linked to my Twitter account to pull my Twitter archive[^twitterarchive], and then it publishes it to my Github account, which uses Github Pages to publish and host
Martin’s post [[Keeping you...
, which lives at In a week or so, when FissionFission
Fission is the company I founded in June [[2019]] with [[Brooklyn Zelenka]].
twitter @fissioncodes
[[Discord]] chat
[[Discourse]] forum

has Github Actions support, I can start publishing this to IPFSIPFS
InterPlanetary File System
Originally created by [[Juan Benet]] who founded [[Protocol Labs]], which continues to improve IPFS and related protocols such as [[libp2p]] and [[IPLD]], as well as the [[Filecoin]] blockchain.
directly, instead of hosting it on Github Pages. Doing this direct from Google Sheets to Fission would be ideal, as a little one off Twitter Archive app.

It was really easy to setup. Michael Hawksey’s @mhawksey post explains it all: Keeping your Twitter Archive fresh and freely hosted on Github PagesKeeping your Twitter Archive fresh and freely hosted on Github Pages
Blog post by @mhawksey on using his [[TAGS]] tool to have a continuous archive on Github Pages, which you can then add a domain name to, in order to have it at a custom website like I do for my [[Twitter Archive]].

I just emailed Michael to see if I can send him some thank you money, or donate to some project on his behalf.