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Mastodon: What new platform are some Twitter users turning to?

  • Kleinman’s son
  • Technology editor

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In the wake of Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, some users were looking for alternative platforms. Mastodon has been a big benefactor. But what?

The social network says it now has more than 655,000 users, with more than 230,000 joining in the past week.

Mastodon’s interface looks like Twitter, account users write posts called “tots”, which can be replied to, liked and reposted, and they can follow each other.

But its settings work differently than Twitter.

This is one of the reasons why it attracts new users, but it has caused some confusion for them.

The platform is six years old, but its current activity is unprecedented, and it is struggling under the weight of new entrants.

Here is a brief guide to using it.

What are all these servers?

The first thing you need to do when registering is to choose a server. There are many of them, and they are categorized into categories, many by country, city or interest, such as Britain, society, technology, gaming, etc.

It doesn’t matter much which one you use, because you’ll be able to follow users on all the other threads anyway, but it gives you a community that is more likely to post things you’re interested in too.

Some servers are currently working very slowly because of the high rate of access to them.

Ryan Weld, who runs the MastodonApp.UK server through his company Superior Networks, said he had more than 6,000 new subscribers in 24 hours and had to pause registration.

“I wanted to see what the hype was about,” he said.

“I shut down the server at 10pm on a Friday, and woke up the next morning to a thousand people I didn’t know were going to join.”

How do you find people? in the podium?

The server(s) you choose becomes part of your username, for example, I used my current Twitter name, “zsk”, and I chose the Britain server, which made my username [email protected] And that’s my address over there, what you’re going to look for to find me.

If you’re on the same server, you can search only using the person’s name, but if they’re on a different server, you’ll need their full address.

Unlike Twitter, Mastodon will not suggest followers that you might be interested in.

You can also search for hashtags.

Why are the servers there?

Well, this is complicated, but I will try to keep it very simple.

Mastodon is not a single platform. It is not a single “thing” nor is it owned by a single person or company. All these different servers are connected to each other and form a collective network, but they are owned by different people and organizations.

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A picture of the writer’s account at Mastodon

This is called decentralization, and fans like decentralized platforms for exactly this reason, they cannot be run from a single entity, whether they are bought or sold.

The downside to this, though, is that you’ll instead be saddled with the whim of the person or organization running your server. If they decide to give it up, you will lose your account. Mastodon requires server owners to give their users three months’ notice if they decide to close it.

By the way, the original founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, is working on a new network called Bluesky, and he has said he wants it to be decentralized as well.

How is mastodon supervised?

Currently, all servers have their own moderation rules, and some don’t. Some servers choose not to link to servers that are full of bots or contain a large amount of hate content, meaning they will not be visible to those on servers that have been blocked. Posts can also be reported to server owners.

If it’s hate speech or illegal content, these owners can delete it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s deleted everywhere.

It will be a big issue if this platform continues to grow.

There are already reports of people being targeted with hateful content.

Do you TFound ads?

No, there are no ads although there is nothing to stop you from writing a post promoting your company or product.

Mastodon also doesn’t offer a structured experience like Twitter, in terms of how you view posts, you generally see what your followers are saying, they say.

Is it free to use?

It depends on the server you’re using, some ask for donations, they don’t get paid, but it’s pretty much free.

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