Thousands of disgruntled Twitter users have been flocking to rival social network Mastodon in response to Elon Musk’s takeover announcement.
The platform, which is often seen as an alternative to Twitter, gained nearly 30,000 new users on the day the Tesla billionaire had his $44 billion (£34.5 billion) offer for the microblogging site accepted.
It also led to a number of ‘woke warriors’, Left-wing organisations and Musk’s business rivals threatening to quit Twitter, although the vast majority are yet to delete their accounts.
The influx of new users caused a problem for Mastodon, with the domain becoming unresponsive on Tuesday.
Thousands of disgruntled Twitter users have been flocking to rival social network Mastodon in response to Elon Musk’s takeover announcement
MASTODON: TWITTER RIVAL NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD OF
Off the back of the news Elon Musk is buying Twitter, tens of thousands of users have switched platforms.
Many of them have found their way to Mastadon, but it isn’t a straight switch.
It launched In March 2016, and is a collection of self-hosted social services, not a single, central platform like Twitter or Facebook.
When you sign up, you select a network to join, each with its own rules and guidelines.
Although its appearance is similar to Twitter, the decentralised social network actually holds more similarities with Discord.
Users have to find specific Mastodon instances to join, rather than everyone being in the same place.
While each user is a member of the specific community, they can interoperate as a federal social network – so each group can interact with other groups.
It was launched as a place for Twitter users to move to, after complaints of abuse and hatred on the platform.
Each post has a 500 character limit and its Tweets are called Tools.
Users can also set a post to private, visible to select people, which is a feature not available on Twitter.
Mastadon is actually free open-source software, that groups can run and share to the main app and website – some have Twitter-like microblogging features, others don’t.
Eugen Rochko, Mastodon’s German-born founder and CEO, later admitted that there were performance issues.
‘I was working all day on fixing performance issues on the Mastodon servers I operate due to the influx of new and returning users following Twitter’s acquisition by Elon Musk,’ he told Motherboard.
Rochko said that Mastodon had seen an increase of 41,287 active users, including both returning users and new users.
When factoring in new users alone, 28,391 people have joined Mastodon in the past day.
Mastodon is not a single website like Twitter but a network of users in independent communities that can set up their own guidelines.
Although its appearance is similar to Twitter, the decentralised social network actually has more in common with Discord, in that users have to find specific Mastodon instances to join.
It was launched in 2017 for Twitter users sick of the abuse and hatred on the platform.
The network has a 500-character limit on ‘toots’ — its version of tweets — and allows users to set posts to private, which Twitter does not.
It also had a feed that is quite different from Musk’s new acquisition, because Mastodon has a chronological, ad-free, and non-algorithmic approach.
The company is registered as a non-profit and development is supported entirely by donations, meaning there is no advertising.
Musk, who on Monday sealed a $44 billion (£34.5 billion) deal for Twitter just three weeks after starting the process, tweeted: ‘I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that is what free speech means.’
In a statement, he said that he wanted to make ‘Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans’.
Musk added: ‘Twitter has tremendous potential — I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.’
But naysayers, most from the Left, were angry and have said they will quit, although most have not followed through with the threat.
Amnesty International tweeted: ‘Two words: “toxic Twitter” while Rob Reiner, star of 1970s sitcom All In The Family, said he feared ‘criminal’ Donald Trump would now have his account reactivated, although the former president has ruled out a return and says he will stay on his own ‘TRUTH Social’ platform.
Rivals of Tesla have thrown their toys out of the pram, despite Musk insisting his acquisition is about free speech over profits.
Henrik Fisker, the Danish CEO of the electric vehicle maker Fisker, deleted his Twitter account shortly after the company confirmed that Elon Musk acquired 100 per cent of the company.
Mastodon, which is often seen as an alternative to Twitter, gained nearly 30,000 new users on the day Elon Musk had his $44 billion (£34.5 billion) offer for the microblogging site accepted
He Henrik tweeted: ‘Please follow me on IG (Instagram) from now on if you want any updates. Thanks’, using the hashtag #love.
Amazon boss Jeff Bezos questioned whether his fellow billionaire Musk could be making Twitter vulnerable to pressure from China, as a result of Tesla’s extensive business liabilities in the Asian nation.
Bezos and Musk are noted for their rivalry in space, with both men dedicating large chunks of their fortunes to exploration.
The former has dismissed his rival’s plan to colonise Mars using his SpaceX rockets as unrealistic, while Musk has been scathing about the orbiting space station Blue Origin founder Bezos proposes.
How Musk will put his mark on Twitter: New boss wants to ditch ads in favor of subscriptions, introduce longer tweets, turn HQ into homeless shelter, fire woke staff and kill bots
By James Gordon for Dailymail.com
Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter will see substantial changes implemented on the social media platform with everything from longer tweets and paid subscriptions using ‘joke’ cryptocurrency Dogecoin all within the realm of possibility.
Musk is said to favor temporary ‘timeouts’ for users who break the new rules, rather than permanent bans such as those given to Donald Trump.
Details of his immediate plans are slim, but the Tesla chief portrays himself as a free-speech absolutist.
Other mooted changes include blue verification checkmarks for anyone who subscribes to Twitter’s premium Blue service, which costs $2.99 a month.
Musk is said to favor a subscription-based model over advertiser funding, as it would make Twitter less beholden to advertiser pressure. He has even suggested users could pay with cryptocurrency, including joke currency Dogecoin which Musk has long had an affection for.
He’s also likely to fire many of the firm’s woke staff. Workers have been told the transfer of ownership will last around six months, after which Musk is likely to wield the ax.
The firm’s downtown San Francisco could also be turned into a homeless shelter at Musk’s behest, with the California city engulfed by one of the worst homelessness crisis in the United States.
Musk has also teased at other new features including an ‘edit’ button to adjust previously posted tweets and also making the platforms algorithms ‘open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots and authenticating all humans.’
That would enable people to see exactly why Twitter had chosen to make some tweets more visible to users than others.
A top priority for Musk is to eliminate ‘bots’ which frequently generate spam and run scams.