Mastodon is by far the most popular ethical social network with millions of users. You can watch their official video above, which explains how the site works. It’s a bit like Twitter, but with a much longer character limit and more flexible interface.
Behind the scenes, Mastodon works a bit differently to most social networks: instead of being one big site, it’s a network of thousands of smaller independent sites (called “instances”). Whichever site you sign up on, you can make friends with anyone else on the wider network.
The instances that make up the Mastodon network are joined together by a process called “federation”. This may sound complicated but it really isn’t, it’s actually a process all of us use all the time, even if we don’t realise it.
You can try it out by signing up at one of the sites below, and you can use your account on one of the Mastodon phone apps. (We’ve also done some hints and tips on how to get started.)
p.s. If you enjoy using Mastodon and want to start your own instance as part of the network, you can do so very easily at masto.host
Friendica is a Facebook-style social network with similar features including events and photo albums.
Like Mastodon, Friendica is made up of many smaller sites linked together through federation. The smaller sites that make up the Friendica network are called “nodes”.
Friendica is also connected to Diaspora and Mastodon, so you can make friends with people on those networks too.
If you decide to sign up, you can register at the sites below. You might also want read our hints and tips on how to get started.
The oldest ethical alternative to Facebook, Diaspora is made up of lots of smaller sites called “pods”. Diaspora is also federated with Friendica.
If you decide to sign up, read our hints and tips on how to get started.