Mastodon was launched as a Twitter killer in 2016 but never could manage to attract the kind of follower count that Twitter has.
Mumbai| Unless you’re on a Twitter detox, you might have heard about Mastodon. It is trending on Twitter since Friday morning. A lot of people are wondering what is Mastodon?
It is a new small-time social media platform which has seen a sudden jump in new users from India this week. The reason behind this is Twitter, which recently suspended the account of Supreme court lawyer Sanjay Hegde over some flagged posts.
Several activists and journalists demanded that his account should be reinstated. #ReinstateSanjayHegde also trended on Twitter for the last few days. Many also complained of Twitter’s alleged biased policies and censorship.
Finally created my account on #Mastodon 🙂
For anyone that'd like to connect, I'm [email protected]
— Saket Gokhale (@SaketGokhale) November 8, 2019
Some Twitter users in solidarity with Sanjay Hegde made a call to boycott Twitter. However, later some said that they are leaving Twitter to join Mastodon.
Many account holders on Twitter are calling the platform out on its bias and recently joined a 24-hour boycott of Twitter. Many popular names like AltNews co-founder Pratik Sinha and musician Vishal Dadlani have joined Mastodon already.
But the question is Why are so many Indians suddenly moving to Mastodon?
The search volume for Mastodon has grown significantly in the last week on Google. Its users, who call Twitter “bird site”, are asking Twitter users to move to it.
Mastodon says It is “Publicly traded for-profit corporations which has one interest alone that is keeping their shareholders happy. Twitter doesn’t care about transparency, and it certainly doesn’t care about meaningful change that doesn’t translate to increased dividends.”
Publicly traded for-profit corporations have one interest and one interest alone: keeping their shareholders happy. Twitter doesn't care about transparency, and it certainly doesn't care about meaningful change that doesn't translate to increased dividends. #SuspendTwitter https://t.co/Vi2xB7XvVE
— Mastodon (@MastodonProject) November 7, 2019
— Retweet Sarkar 💯 Krishna kumar (@GoSlowplz) November 6, 2019
Mastodon’s tweet came after Twitter tried to justify its stand when it received a legal notice from lawyer Hegde for suspending his account. Twitter has said, “There’s been a lot of discussions this week about Twitter’s perceived bias in India. To be clear, whether it’s the development of policies, product features, or enforcement of our Rules, we are not partial and do not take action based upon any ideology or political opinion.
Mastodon vs Twitter
Mastodon is an open-source decentralized social network platform that went live in early 2016. It was launched as a Twitter killer but never could manage to attract the kind of follower count that Twitter has. However this week, Mastodon has seen a sudden uptick in new users.
During the Boycott period, we will not access twitter. At all. https://t.co/jHlVYL0R61
— Kavita Krishnan (@kavita_krishnan) November 6, 2019
The idea behind Mastodon is familiar to Twitter. A short message could be a post called “toots” with a 500 character limit as opposed to Twitter’s 280 character limit. Toots will appear on the feed in a chronological fashion and you can reply to another user’s toot or boost it, which is equivalent to a retweet on Twitter.
How to join Mastodon?
But Mastodon’s implementation is different. It allows users to host their own server called an “Instance”. These individual servers are connected as a federal social network, allowing users from different servers to interact with each other.
There’s been a lot of discussion this week about Twitter's perceived bias in India. To be clear, whether it's the development of policies, product features, or enforcement of our Rules, we are impartial and do not take action based upon any ideology or political viewpoint.
— Twitter India (@TwitterIndia) November 7, 2019
By allowing each user the ability to create their own server, Mastodon lets you to apply your own rules to your server and gives the community the ability to moderate it as well. If a user disagrees with the policies of a server, they can leave it without losing access to Mastodon.
To join Mastodon, you need to head over to the official website and sign up by creating a username and password. Mastodon does not have an official app on iOS or Android, but you will find a bunch of client apps such as Mast Legacy and Toot! on iOS and Tusky and Subway Tooter on Android