Scuttlebutt is a growing underground project that is tackling the decentralized web from a different perspective.
Unlike Diaspora and Mastodon, Scuttlebutt is not a product for end-users — rather, it’s a protocol (like HTTP or RSS). Decentralized social network products, like Manyverse and Planetary, are being built for end-users on top of the Scuttlebutt protocol.
Secure Scuttlebutt (SSB), as it was originally called, was released in 2014 by Dominic Tarr, a New Zealander who lived on a boat and had sporadic internet coverage. Tarr’s lifestyle (which, for the record, is unusual even in New Zealand!) inspired the design of Scuttlebutt, which relies on content being self-hosted and only periodically sent over a peer-to-peer network. This is the opposite of how Twitter works: there, the content is hosted on a centralized server (controlled by Twitter) and is constantly updated, in real-time, over the internet.
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