Nearly 500,000 people have rushed to Mastodon, a decentralized alternative, amid uncertainty and criticism following Elon Musk’s takeover of social media behemoth Twitter.
Mastodon is an open-source network made up of tens of thousands of servers that function as individual social media platforms. It was founded by the German non-profit Mastodon gGmbH in 2016.
Since Elon Musk, the inventor of Tesla and SpaceX, officially took over Twitter, the network reports that its average monthly user base has more than doubled to 860,000, sparking a series of debates and reports about impending paywalls and other changes.
Users can post to news feeds using hashtags, re-posts, and likes on Mastodon’s servers, including mastodon.social, mastodon.online, and mstdn.social. These servers have layouts resembling Twitter.
Mastodon, however, aims to set itself apart from Twitter and other social media platforms. The platform provided by the network is free of algorithms, adverts, and paywalls, referring to itself as a social networking server that’s not for sale.
In addition, rather than Twitter’s top-down approach, independent groups and individuals in charge of the network’s more than 3,600 separate servers will be responsible with establishing guidelines and moderation for the sites.