Flipboard Chooses a New Path: Shifting Away from Twitter/X and Embracing a Healthier Social Web

A New Chapter Unfolds

Flipboard has announced its departure from Twitter/X. This move comes as the company expresses concerns about the platform’s evolving moderation policies and a firm commitment to embracing federated social media services. Flipboard will start refocusing its effort on Mastodon and other open social networks. The announcement reflects a broader trend in the tech industry, where companies are actively seeking alternative platforms in response to the growing challenges of hate speech and misinformation.

Behind the Decision

Flipboard’s departure from Twitter/X is grounded in two significant factors. Firstly, the company is dissatisfied with the more relaxed moderation policies implemented under Elon Musk’s leadership. This shift has unfortunately led to an uptick in hate speech and misinformation, prompting Flipboard to distance itself from the platform. Secondly, Flipboard is aligning itself with the prevailing trend among companies that are adopting the ActivityPub protocol. This move aims to integrate with federated social platforms, promoting a vision of a more decentralized and open internet.

Embracing a Healthier Online Environment

Over the past few months, Flipboard has joined the ranks of like-minded companies such as Mozilla, Tumblr, and Medium. The decision to shift focus aligns with Flipboard’s dedication to creating a healthier online environment. By engaging with platforms that prioritize user safety and responsible content moderation, Flipboard aims to contribute positively to the digital landscape.

In a statement posted on Medium, Flipboard articulated its concerns, stating, “Twitter/X’s rollback of moderation policies has led to a rise in harmful rhetoric and hate speech. These changes run contrary to our values, and so we’ve decided to invest in other, healthier environments.” This sentiment echoes the widespread discontent among users and companies regarding the trajectory of some mainstream social media platforms.

Strains in the Relationship and API Challenges

The strains between Flipboard and Twitter/X became evident in April when X shut off its free API. This move disrupted the sharing functionality that Flipboard relied on for content publishing. Instead, Twitter/X encouraged companies to opt for its paid API tier, with reports suggesting an Enterprise plan could cost as much as $42,000 a month. Beyond the financial hurdles, this decision signaled a notable shift in the accessibility of Twitter/X’s services for third-party applications.

Introducing Dot Social Podcast

Simultaneously with its departure from Twitter/X, Flipboard unveiled its latest venture – the “Dot Social” podcast. This podcast, hosted by Flipboard CEO Mike McCue, embarks on a journey to explore and champion the cause of the open social web. The inaugural episode, released today, features a thought-provoking conversation with Techdirt founder Mike Masnick. Together, they shed light on the challenges and opportunities of fostering a more open, interconnected online space.

A Glimpse into the Future

As Flipboard redirects its focus towards Mastodon and other federated platforms, it joins a growing movement of companies advocating for a more decentralized and user-centric internet experience. This decision manifests a broader industry sentiment, emphasizing the importance of responsible content moderation and a commitment to creating online spaces that prioritize user well-being.

Flipboard’s departure from Twitter/X marks a strategic shift in its approach to social media platforms. By embracing federated services and launching the “Dot Social” podcast, Flipboard is not merely reacting to current challenges but actively contributing to the ongoing discourse on shaping a more open, transparent, and responsible digital landscape. As Flipboard embraces this new chapter, it sets an example for others in the industry to prioritize values and actively participate in the collective effort to build a healthier online world.