Why are Twitter users migrating to Mastodon?

The network named after an extinct elephant-like mammal, has begun to suddenly gain popularity with a jump in new users from India | Twitter/@MastodonProject

Mastodon, an alternate ad-free social network is overtaking Twitter in India as a large number of users are shifting to this new open source platform founded by Eugen Rochko in 2016.

The network named after an extinct elephant-like mammal, has begun to suddenly gain popularity with a jump in new users from India. This comes after Twitter recently suspended the account of Supreme Court lawyer Sanjay Hegde for allegedly violating the micro blogging site’s rules against using hateful or sensitive content. One of Hegde’s tweet was labelled as hateful, as it had a picture of a German worker named August Landmasser who is famous for not performing the Nazi salute in 1936.

After sending a legal notice to Twitter, Hegde then announced that he would be joining Mastodon and posting his views there. Later on, journalist Shivam Vij, musician Vishal Dadlani, and social activist Kavita Krishnan and others too moved to Mastodon.

What is Mastodon?

Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Mastodon is not owned by any single company or any entity. Anyone can create their own server of Mastodon. Every new server (or version) of Mastodon that is created is called an ‘Instance’.

There is an advantage that comes with using the Mastodon. Here, one’s data is not owned by any single corporation, with the risk of it being sold to or used by advertisers.

Mastodon is a social app where users can make their profiles, follow friends and other people, post their opinions, photos or video. Mastodon allows for a 500 character limit, as opposed to Twitter’s 280 character limit. Instead of tweets, the social platform has toots.

To set up a Mastodon account, one can visit their website and tap on ‘Get Started’ to sign up and confirm your email. The site will then review your application.

After signing in, you can choose to join a particular server. There are various servers based on multiple categories like journalism, technology, art, etc. One can join them or create their own.

As of now, Mastodon has more than 2.2 million users, while Twitter has more than 300 million users.