Mastodon Gained 70,000 Users After Musk’s Twitter Takeover

Critics fear there will be more room for hate messages and extremism on Twitter now that Musk has taken over. The billionaire has big plans for the network and wants to change some things, giving users more freedom of expression. For example, controls on messages would become less strict than they are now.

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For days Mastodon has been a hot topic on Twitter. It is mostly people who say they leave Twitter or at least say they are also active on Mastodon. The platform seems to be the designated Twitter alternative, as it is already very similar to the service in the basics. Like Twitter, Mastodon displays a virtually endless stream of messages from people you follow. These appear one above the other in chronological order. You can also share and favorite messages.

But there are also important differences from Twitter. Mastodon is the umbrella service that connects individual servers. When you start with Mastodon, you choose which server you join. This is your starting point, then you can also just see posts from people who are members of other servers.

Still, choosing a server is not completely unimportant. Everyone is free to set up a server and make their own rules for it. In 2019, Mastodon made headlines when the far-right network Gab created its Mastodon server.

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People who are members of a server on which far-right posts are not welcome will not see those posts if all goes well thanks to the moderators of their server. But how professional the monitoring of Mastodon is unclear. By the way, Twitter also has to abide by the law. Therefore, incitement to violence and racism is also not welcome under Musk.

As a platform itself, Mastodon is not responsible for the content on various servers. That means there is more room for all kinds of messages. With proper moderation, certain currents are excluded, though. The official Mastodon page only redirects to servers where racism, sexism, and transphobia are not welcome.

Mastodon has been around since 2016, but never managed to attract as many visitors as Twitter and Facebook. Since Musk took over Twitter, more people know how to find the network.

Mastodon reported on Twitter last Sunday that 70,000 new people joined on Saturday alone. That was the day after Musk's acquisition was completed. German Mastodon founder Eugen Rochko writes that the past few days have been very tough. "It is nice to see that your work is finally taken seriously by the general public. But the 12- to 14-hour workdays to keep everything on the track were anything but pleasant."

The increase in new users also created quite a bit of pressure on Mastodon's servers, the app reports. Monthly, Mastodon now attracts more than 496,000 users.