Thousands fled to Mastodon after Musk bought Twitter. Are they still ‘tooting’?

  • April 18, 2023
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The decentralized social network has seen user numbers drop in recent months, but tech-savvy users remain passionate

When Elon Musk bought Twitter nearly six months ago, bringing back white supremacists and booting journalists who had criticized him, many users felt it was the right time to leave the platform.

Thousands of tweeters – myself included – fled to Mastodon: a scrappy social media project designed from its start in 2016 to be resistant against takeovers by billionaires. Mastodon is decentralized: instead of a single website, it’s a network of thousands of independently run servers – each with their own moderators and users – who can interact with each other’s posts, called “toots”, using an open protocol called ActivityPub. Other social media services can connect to ActivityPub as well, so no one app can monopolize the broader network that Mastodon is part of, called the “fediverse”.

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