Tetem has joined the eXit, and we are leaving no Twitter crumbs behind

Publiceerdatum: 21 maart 2024

Ever since Tetem joined PublicSpaces coalition in 2020, it has been important that all employees and teams are aware of the steps we will be taking as an institution that has joined an effort to make the internet an even plane for the common good. In a parallel way, we want to keep our audience and community informed of where our support is going to, as transparency is key when making decisions based on an ethical or social goal.

Movement has begun within each partner organisation towards abandoning big tech services or making a statement of disapproval towards their handling of personal data. PublicSpaces mentions in their website, “With a select few large organizations that control much of the internet and make their money using our data, it has become increasingly urgent to develop alternatives.” The wave of change has started to take shape, and the search for social media alternatives has become a first step for the coalition to materialise this mission.

In alignment with our values and as a supporter of such efforts, Tetem has joined the PublicSpaces campaign named “eXit”, where as a coalition we will be reducing or getting rid completely of our use of X. Our director asked me to be a project leader for this campaign, and naturally this means I attended the next meeting of the coalition with the PublicSpaces team. The trip to Amsterdam was informative beyond the projected presentation on the wall, as I got to meet leaders from other organisations and institutions that have equal parts ambition to take back the internet and qualms about the transition. There are big elephants in the room for this topic, which include the abandonment of a nurtured audience, the clumsiness that will be getting used to the Mastodon structure, and the difficult softening of the stubbornness from those that do not see a reason to make such change. Of course I had such thoughts in my mind too, and I know that the PublicSpaces team is aware of such boulders on the road. Nevertheless, in the decision to join the coalition and their efforts one must understand that convenience will be left at the door.

The fun wordplay holds much power beyond that of exiting the platform X, formerly known as Twitter. More than a step towards breaking away from this big tech company completely, eXit aims at bringing a more democratic alternative to the social media table. Mastodon cannot be described as a social media platform as we know it, but more so an open source software with which one can create a platform with a custom set of community guidelines. In a lot of ways it follows a similar structure to X, where one can share snippets of thoughts, comments, and media to share with an audience. At the time of Elon Musk’s purchase of X, and all throughout CEO Linda Yaccarino’s tenure, massive moves from X to Mastodon have taken place. Educational institutions such as the University of Groningen have successfully made the move, proving that Mastodon is gaining land not only within subcultures, but also within professional and educational fields.

Throughout the next few months and into early summer, Tetem will be making the move from X to Mastodon. The transition will not be immediate, as we will still be posting on X the messages we see fit for the platform, but by June all our communication efforts on X will be moved to Mastodon. In support of this statement move, we will take the most sharp approach and will be deleting our X account completely by the end of this process. This seemed the most sincere approach to me as the project leader, especially when our director suggested this option. These efforts from both PublicSpaces and Tetem but be fully supported on all fronts, meaning that these decisions are beyond “business moves”, they are statements that in order to be clear and powerful, need to be followed by sharp and resolute action.

If you kept up with Tetem through X, we hope you understand our actions in the name of levelling out the playing field online. We encourage you to keep following us on our existing social media channels and most of all we encourage you to take the leap with us and join us on Mastodon!

~ Blog geschreven door Juanita Pineda Oviedo, Programmamedewerker Talent en Publiek

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