The social network Mastodon seduces Internet users who turn their backs on Twitter

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The Mastodon social network seduces Internet users who turn their backs on Twitter

The Mastodon social network source code is freely available.

Since Elon Musk took over Twitter on Thursday, people have been flocking to app stores in the hope of finding an alternative social network. Result: Mastodon received some 70,000 new registrations on October 30 alone, according to a tweet from the company.

Mastodon was created in 2016 by German programmer Eugen Rochko, who said at the time dissatisfied with Twitter.

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The social network, halfway between the tweeting site and the Reddit forum, is devoid of advertisements, its software is freely available, and it does not collect the data of its users. In addition, Donald Trump's social network, Truth Social, is inspired by part of Mastodon's code.

There are microblogs, images, videos, polls and short messages (limited to 500 characters). These elements are gathered on decentralized servers – called instances –, which means that they do not depend on a single large company, but on various entities.

Mastodon users, known as mastonautes, can choose a server based on their interests (arts, technology, food, etc.) when registering on the platform. The server name then becomes part of the user's nickname.

These sites interact with each other, are accessible to everyone, but each has its own way of working, particularly in terms of moderation rules. In an interview with the British media The Guardian, the founder of Mastodon, Eugen Rochko, compares them to the emails of Hotmail and Gmail, which are hosted and controlled in a different way, but which are not incompatible.

Thus, if a server closed, and therefore as if an email provider went out of business, Internet users could lose all their contributions.

Mastodon also has its own jargon: instead of tweets, for example, it's more like toots. And you can repost messages from other accounts (boost), which is similar to Twitter's “retweet” function.

With this news wave of registrations, the social network now has about 2.8 million users and some 2,500 instances (servers) in operation. For comparison, there are 438 million daily active accounts on Twitter worldwide.

With information from The Guardian

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