The Fediverse's answer to Reddit

Lemmy Tell You This

Article from Issue 275/2023

With Reddit closing off access to its API, it is time to look to the Fediverse for an alternative.

Search for help on programming and chances are the first five results you get back from your search engine of choice will be from Stack Overflow. If you ask the Internet something more niche, such as how much do sea turtles grow in a year or what fertilizer should you use to make the leaves on your basil grow more luscious and juicy, many of the responses will come from Reddit (that is, unless you use Google, in which case your first 10 results will be ads).

The point is that Reddit, originally designed to be a user-powered news aggregator, has become an excellent resource for specialized, obscure, often wacky knowledge and in-depth discussions. One hundred-percent of the content is generated and curated by the users, and the combined effects of splitting topics into subreddits, peer-moderation, and the upvote-downvote system itself often manages to keep content relevant, interesting, and helpful.

Alas, decadence arrives to all proprietary platforms. In a process technically known as "enshittification" (a term coined by Cory Doctorow [1]), as a centralized and corporate-owned platform grows and requires investors, and, hence, a viable business plan to keep it economically viable, more and more anti-features are introduced. Typical anti-features include ads, premium features, limitations on access to data, etc. The user experience gradually worsens until the platform reaches a breaking point, and the community – the only real, organic valuable asset a social platform has – leaves. It is happening at breakneck speed on Twitter, it is happening bit by bit on YouTube, and the process started years ago on Reddit.


Use Express-Checkout link below to read the full article (PDF).

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF
Price $2.95
(incl. VAT)

Buy Linux Magazine

Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content

  • Introduction

    This month in Linux Voice and Elvie.

  • PeerTube

    PeerTube, the Fediverse's video platform, offers a decentralized, open source way to watch videos and live stream your own content. We'll show you how to get started and even set up your own instance.

  • Fediverse Introduction

    Do you have to you give up your privacy to enjoy access to social media? The makers of the Fediverse say no.

  • Mastodon

    Get started with free microblogging, interact with others who share you interests, and even help expand the Fediverse with your own Mastodon instance.

  • Tutorial – Fediverse

    If you're looking for social media options where the user has more control, you'll find a range of options to explore in the Fediverse, including the popular Mastodon.

comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe to our Linux Newsletters
Find Linux and Open Source Jobs
Subscribe to our ADMIN Newsletters

Support Our Work

Linux Magazine content is made possible with support from readers like you. Please consider contributing when you’ve found an article to be beneficial.

Learn More