Hundreds of thousands of Twitter users have moved to the Mastodon application since Elon Musk completed his acquisition of the platform and took over its management, as reports indicate that the platform lost more than 1.3 million users between October 27 and November 1 only.
Musk’s management of the Twitter platform witnessed many changes, including: mass layoffs of employees, a series of changes in content moderation, which led to an increasing spread of hate speech across the platform, the issuance of new features in the account verification service (Twitter Blue) and withdrawing them on the same day, and others. Lots.
The company (Bot Sentinel) tracks the fake behavior of Twitter accounts via artificial intelligence technology – by analyzing more than 3.1 million accounts and monitoring their activity daily – and it found that between October 27 and November 1, about 877 thousand users closed their accounts, and half a million were suspended. Another account, that’s more than double the usual number.
Bot Sentinel founder Christopher Pozzi said, “The rise in the number of accounts closed via Twitter is partly due to the spread of hate speech due to Musk’s policies, and that this step is a protest from users.”
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Some users who left Twitter move to the Mastodon application, and the application witnessed a significant increase in the number of new users during the month of November, as (Eugene Roshko) founder of Mastodon said: “The application has obtained more than 489 thousand new users since October 27 It now has over a million active users.
What is Mastodon and how is it different from Twitter?
(Mastodon) Mastodon is an open source decentralized social network that works like Twitter, where you can post (toots) instead of tweets, Boost instead of retweets, (favorite) instead of likes, you can also follow people, companies and institutions, and block and reporting others, exchanging messages, creating lists, and other usual Twitter features.
Mastodon was launched by German developer (Eugen Rochko) in October 2016, with the aim of providing a decentralized social network that is free and open source, and is a better alternative to Twitter. Unlike Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, or any other popular social networking site, Mastodon is a non-profit organization; Which means that its first goal is to benefit the public and not satisfy the investors.
Being an open source social network, its original code is available to all and can be redistributed or modified. Independent developers can contribute to the development of the code, find and fix gaps and problems, add new features and translate the interface into different languages, which gives Mastodon users freedom and independence. And more transparency compared to Twitter users.
And unlike Twitter, which provides a social network for blogging that the company controls only, where the company can set a usage policy, ensure the safety of content, and so on, the Mastodon application consists of thousands of social networks all working through different servers that can communicate with each other through a system called Fediverse. Fediverse also has other social networks, such as: PeerTube for videos, Funkwhale for music, PixelFed for photos, and NextCloud for files.
Therefore, Mastodon users can control the content that is published and set the rules for its use. The most famous example of Mastodon is the (Truth Social) service, the social network of former US President Donald Trump,
How to join the Mastodon app?
Since Mastodon is an open source decentralized network, anyone can own a private copy of the service and set rules and policies that apply only to this copy or version, which is called (Mastodon server).
For that you will need to register with a specific mastodon server, and the servers can be based on a specific geographic location, interest in a specific topic such as climate change, a professional background, or literally anything else the server admin can think of. For example, people in a server (dolphin.town) are only allowed to post the letter “E”, while literature buffs in oulipo.social are prohibited from using the letter “E”.
When you first create your account, you can choose the server that suits you best, which will appear in your personal account address, for example: if you registered for Mastodon via the Climate Justice server, your account address will be: @[your name]@climatejustice.
But no matter which server you sign up with, you’ll be able to communicate with users on any other server, just like how you send an email from Gmail to a Hotmail user, and vice versa. But some servers may block other servers, which means you can’t communicate with anyone from the blocked server.
Mastodon servers are run by individuals, groups, or organizations, each with its own set of rules regarding how users sign up, as well as its own content moderation policies. Some servers allow anyone to join, while others depend on how they send out invitations to others, or Requiring administrator approval, for example, a server for professional scientists requires applicants to include a link to their papers to prove that they are indeed professionals.
You can create an account with Mastodon via the Mastodon website by clicking on the “create account” option, where you will be taken to the server list page to choose from.
Find and join a server that interests you, and if the server requires administrator approval, you may need to wait a bit. Once you join the server of your choice you can start finding people to follow, regardless of whether they are on the same server or not.
Choosing which server to register your account may seem cumbersome, but it is possible to transfer your account later to any other server so you don’t have to worry. In addition, you can follow people no matter what server they are on.
As mentioned earlier, you will find everything you do on Twitter in Mastodon, such as: tweets, replies, retweets, and bookmarks, but under other names, but Mastodon lists work a little differently from Twitter, as you cannot add people to the list unless you You already follow them.
You can find a server to join at Joinmastodon.org, where the site currently offers 106 servers that are bound by the Mastodon Servers Agreement, which is an agreement to enforce rules to moderate what is posted by server, back up the site, and give at least three months’ notice before shutting down any. Servant.