The BfDI account (Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information) of the German government has an impressive Mastodon implementation worth following (note the “joined April 2020” tag).
What is Mastodon? A far better version of social media.
A government’s official use of a distributed architecture in this case exemplifies how any “checkmark” of authenticity ought to be engineered.
When you read posts made by one of the https://social.bund.de/ accounts you inherently know from the domain name (web identity) that you’re not following an impostor.
This all makes far more sense than any government becoming saddled with the overly centralized Twitter platform now operated by an unaccountable political extremist who arbitrarily censors speech when he isn’t trying to tax it.
Jeff Jarvis probably explains all of this better and gets it exactly right in a new blog post:
I am on Mastodon and already enjoying it. Come on in; the water’s fine… Don’t let unhelpful reporters dissuade you with their arm-waving about complexity; you are smarter than they think you are.
In this distributed future, other services can be offered. Institutions, entrepreneurs, or individuals could provide services including curation and recommendation (of users and content), verification (of users), and authentication (of content). See also our founding webmaster, Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s vision for data vaults that would allow you to hold and control your information; he’s building a service called Inrupt based on the protocol he proposes, Solid.
What is Solid? It offers you the best version of the present Internet because it directly addresses data ownership and digital rights.
The German government use of Mastodon is just one clue for how things can shift right now to a better world. Likewise the Flanders government is rolling out Solid to all its citizens and the BBC has setup a “Taster” for using Solid in the UK.