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Mastodon, refuge for dissatisfied with Twitter, hits 1 million active users


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The acquisition of Twitter by Elon Musk generated a new rush to Mastodon, the social network founded by the German Eugen Rochko.

This Monday (7), the developer announced that the platform reached just over 1 million monthly active users. There are almost 500,000 more users since October 27, according to Rochko.

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In the last wave of subscriptions, in April, the network gained 176,000 new monthly active users. On the 14th of that month, Musk began the long process of buying Twitter, which ended on October 27th — one day before the deadline.

The numbers, however, are far from the tech giants. Mastodon has nearly 4.5 million users in all; Twitter, according to Reuters, had 238 million active users at the end of October.

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The alternative social network was named after the mastodon, a prehistoric animal from the mammoth family, and is not for profit. The platform allows the publication of videos, photos and texts of up to 500 characters in a timeline that can be visited by other users, a functioning similar to that of Twitter.

From the beginning, the purchase of Elon Musk was the target of criticism – one of them from the creator of Mastodon himself. Rochko said that one of the things that motivated him to look at decentralized media in 2016 was “the rumor that a controversial billionaire might buy Twitter.”

Musk, who describes himself as a free speech absolutist, plans to take Twitter private to implement the changes he wants, which include reviewing content moderation policies. The idea, according to him, is to make the network the “platform for freedom of expression around the world”.

Mastodon, in turn, gives more power to the user and enables the creation of communities.

Because it is open source, everyone can see and download the website’s “recipe”, that is, the instructions that make the social network what it is. In addition, Mastodon is federated — the platform shares part of the code with other social networks that are also federated, ensuring communication between them.

When registering, the user must choose a server, which is the service that maintains a website on the air. Your username is linked to that group, called an “instance”. They are kinds of thematic communities (Brazilian, LGBT or liberal, for example) created by moderators who want to open a space for debate.

Each instance has its own rules., for example, a Brazilian community, vetoes prejudiced speeches, violent language, apology for totalitarian governments and intentional disinformation.

Open source also allows other types of instance customization. Some of them block the sending of messages to users in other instances, or allow the editing of texts in bold or italics, for example.

In an interview with Sheet in May, Renato Cerqueira, founder of the Brazilian instance, said that he met Mastodon in 2017, during one of the Twitter crises. “At the time, I was leaving Facebook for disagreeing with the handling of data.”

In his opinion, the fact of being federated changes the user’s relationship with the network. Most servers are small, which facilitates the work of instance coordinators and makes responses more agile.

“Moderation is closer and problems tend to be resolved more quickly,” he said. “For the same reason, it’s easier to isolate problem servers.”

According to him, extreme right groups, for example, exist, but they are banned by most federation servers and are isolated.

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I am Frederick Tuttle, who works in 247 News Agency as an author and mostly cover entertainment news. I have worked in this industry for 10 years and have gained a lot of experience. I am a very hard worker and always strive to get the best out of my work. I am also very passionate about my work and always try to keep up with the latest news and trends.

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