Mozilla Fellow Darius Kazemi has published a DIY playbook for those disenchanted with Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms

Mozilla
Mozilla
Jul 8 · 2 min read

Today’s sprawling social media platforms can present users with a host of problems: misinformation, invasive ads and trackers, harassment, and feelings of addiction and isolation.

And yet it’s difficult to pack up and permanently log off. “How will I stay in touch with my friends and family?” the refrain usually goes.

Today, Mozilla Fellow and creative technologist Darius Kazemi is providing a solution for those who are disenchanted with the reigning platforms: https://runyourown.social/

https://runyourown.social/ is a DIY playbook for creating your very own social network for 10, 50, or 100 people. The in-depth, 10,000-word playbook covers a range of topics, like how to host the network on your own server, how to build and enforce your own code of conduct, and how to set up the infrastructure using open-source software like Mastodon or Pleroma. The Portland, OR-based Kazemi is an experienced instructor: he’s launched several decentralized social media networks over the years (including a tongue-in-cheek one for dolphins).

The playbook also outlines all the benefits of a DIY approach, like the ability to build custom features and the complete lack of data collection and advertising.

The costs for running a site usually comes in around $20 a month — a manageable amount when split among dozens of users.

Screenshot of Kazemi’s own DIY social network, based on the Mastodon project

Says Kazemi: “If you’re tired of Facebook or Twitter or wherever else, and have thought that there’s got to be a better way, this is for you. Using big social media sites is easy, but you pay a steep price for it. You should consider running your own site, which is harder but can be extremely rewarding.”

Kazemi continues: “Since August 2018 I have run a social network site called Friend Camp for about 50 of my friends. I think Friend Camp is a really nice place, and my friends seem to agree that it has enriched our lives. I’d like to see more places like Friend Camp on the internet, and this document is my attempt to provide some practical guidance as to how you might run a social network site like this.”

Get started at https://runyourown.social/

Mozilla’s Fellowships and Awards work is part of our mission to support a healthy internet. Our Fellowships and Awards fuel the people and projects on the front lines of the internet health movement — from creative technologists in the U.S. to disinformation researchers in Portugal to digital security experts in Mexico. Learn more at https://foundation.mozilla.org/fellowships/ and https://foundation.mozilla.org/awards.

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