Flipboard recently announced that it would no longer be actively monitoring or posting updates on Twitter, which is now known as X. In a Medium post published on Tuesday, the company stated that it would only be occasionally retweeting content on X, with its primary focus shifting to other open social platforms such as Mastodon. The reasons for this departure from Twitter appear to be connected to X’s more relaxed moderation policies under the leadership of Elon Musk, which has resulted in a significant increase in hate speech and misinformation. Flipboard is seeking to align itself with federated social media services and has joined a list of companies that are integrating with these platforms using the ActivityPub protocol. This list includes well-known companies such as Mozilla, Tumblr, and Medium.
In a statement posted on Medium, Flipboard stated, “As widely reported, Twitter/X’s rollback of moderation policies has led to a rise in harmful rhetoric and hate speech, and its platform decisions have advanced false narratives and disinformation. These changes run contrary to our values, and so we’ve decided to invest in other, healthier environments.”
The relationship between Flipboard and Twitter began to deteriorate in April when Twitter shut off its free API, which disrupted Flipboard’s ability to share content. Instead, Twitter has encouraged companies to join its paid API tier, for which an Enterprise plan has been reported to cost as much as $42,000 a month.
In response to these changes, Flipboard has launched its own podcast called “Dot Social,” which will be hosted by Flipboard CEO Mike McCue. The first episode, published today, features the founder of Techdirt, Mike Masnick.
The decision made by Flipboard to shift its focus away from Twitter reflects a growing trend among companies and individuals who are seeking more open and decentralized alternatives to mainstream social media platforms. The rise of hate speech and misinformation on these platforms has prompted many to seek out alternative spaces where they can engage with others in a more positive and healthy environment. As a result, federated social media services such as Mastodon, which prioritize user privacy and community moderation, have gained popularity among those looking for an alternative to traditional social media.
Mastodon, in particular, has gained attention for its community-driven approach and its commitment to decentralization. Unlike platforms like Twitter, where content is controlled by a single entity, Mastodon is a network of independently operated servers that communicate with each other, giving users more control over their data and the content they see. This decentralized model puts the power back in the hands of the users and allows for a more diverse and inclusive online community.
In addition to their decision to focus on Mastodon, Flipboard’s embrace of the ActivityPub protocol further demonstrates their commitment to open and decentralized social media. The ActivityPub protocol, which allows different platforms to communicate with each other, has emerged as a key enabler of the federated social web, enabling users to connect and share content across a variety of platforms. By adopting this protocol, Flipboard is signaling its support for a more diverse and interconnected social media ecosystem that empowers users to choose the platforms that align with their values and preferences.
The decision by Flipboard to step back from Twitter and prioritize other open social platforms reflects a broader shift in the way that individuals and companies are approaching social media. As concerns around privacy, data ownership, and content moderation continue to grow, there is an increasing demand for alternative platforms that offer a more user-friendly and community-oriented experience. By embracing Mastodon and other open social platforms, Flipboard is positioning itself at the forefront of this trend, demonstrating its commitment to creating a healthier and more inclusive online environment for its users.