Mastodon is emerging as the most popular alternative to Twitter with many Indians switching to the "ad-free" social networking platform. It has positioned itself as a "decentralised alternative to commercial platforms". Like Twitter, users can publish links, pictures, text and videos on Mastodon, which is an open source and community-owned platform. After the many Indians switched to the new platform, Eugen Rochko, the 26-year-old German who developed Mastodon wrote, "I heard Mastodon is becoming popular in India now, that is great news. Welcome everyone."
Mastodon: Here are 5 things to know about micro-blogging platform
- Mastodon is free, non-commercial, decentralized, and optimized platform. This means that a company or server is not running the data of the entire network.
- The servers on Mastodon are connected as a federated social network and can interact with each other in what is called a 'Fediverse'.
- Every new server that is created on Mastodon is called an 'Instance'.
- The published content on Mastodon is called a "toot". It has a character limit of 500.
- Mastodon was first published in 2016 and claims to have 2.2 million users.
Unhappy with Twitter's policy on suspensions and verification of accounts, users started switching to Mastodon recently.
After joining Mastodon, author Nilanjana Roy tweeted, "Mastodon is quiet like Ancient Twitter; we're all early(ish) adopters. It's so civil and so free of haters that it's a shock to the system. A reminder of how abuse on socmedia has been normalised, like pollution."(sic)
"Back on Twitter after an enjoyable 24 hours on Mastodon. Will be slowly moving to Mastodon," another Indian user announced on Twitter.
The users started switching to Mastodon after Supreme Court lawyer Sanjay Hegde's tweets about Nazis were blocked by the micro-blogging site without warning. Union Minister Amit Shah's son Jay Shah's Twitter account got the verification without posting a single tweet, a report said, triggering another row on the website.
After the uproar on social media, Twitter clarified its position.
"We are committed to serving an open public conversation in India and we will continue to be transparent in our efforts," it said in a series of Tweets.
"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," it added.