Is 'Cesspit Of Hate' Driving The Exodus From Twitter? Here's How Many People Are On Twitter Alternative Mastodon

Zinger Key Points
  • Since Elon Musk became CEO of Twitter, some users have looked for alternative social media platforms.
  • The suspension of a rival on Twitter may have led to a spike in users searching for that particular platform.

Social media platform Twitter has changed since Elon Musk took control of the company and made himself CEO in October. Some are happy with the changes and others have headed for the exit door. Here’s a look at one alternative that has seen a sharp rise in usage.

What Happened: Musk completed a $44-billion acquisition of Twitter, making him the CEO of Twitter, SpaceX and Tesla Inc TSLA.

Since taking control of Twitter, Musk has unbanned the account of former President Donald Trump and also suspended an account that tracks his private jet and the accounts of several journalists.

The suspension of the jet tracking account also led to Musk temporarily suspending the account of Mastodon, a Twitter alternative and social media platform, due to the sharing of the Mastodon account of the jet tracker in question. 

Between October and November, Mastodon monthly active users grew from 300,000 to 2.5 million, according to a blog post from Mastodon. The company had 1 million monthly active users on Nov. 7, according to a post from TechCrunch.

The increase in users coincides with Musk taking over Twitter. Mastodon is a decentralized social media platform and the company has spoken out previously about Musk taking over Twitter. Mastodon founder and CEO Eugen Rochko discussed the recent suspension in the aforementioned blog post.

“On Dec. 16, Twitter suspended our account after we shared a link to the newly registered Mastodon account of @ElonJet, an account that broadcasts public flight path data of Elon Musk’s private jet, which was previously suspended from Twitter itself,” Rochko said.

“This is a stark reminder that centralized platforms can impose arbitrary and unfair limits on what you can and can’t say while holding your social graph hostage.”

Rochko said that centralized platforms like Twitter can put “unfair limits” on what can be said on the platform.

“At Mastodon, we believe that there doesn’t have to be a middleman between you and your audience, and the journalists and government institutions especially should not have to rely on a private platform to reach the public.”

In an interview with TIME, Rochko previously said that he doesn’t agree with many of Musk’s decisions or behaviors.

“I think that buying Twitter was an impulse decision that he soon regretted.”

Rochko said free speech depends on each person’s interpretation.

“If you allow the most intolerant voices to be as loud as they want to, you’re going to shut down voices of different opinions as well. So allowing free speech by just allowing all speech is not actually leading to free speech, it just leads to a cesspit of hate.”

Related Link: Elon Musk's Twitter Suspends Rival Mastodon's Account Over Jet Tracker Profile Promotion

Why It’s Important: Musk’s ownership and leadership at Twitter has led to several notable celebrities and large accounts leaving the platform.

Mastodon is seeing a spike in users due to Musk’s new control of Twitter and it could be using the brand awareness and bold moves by Musk at Twitter as ways to demonstrate its value offering.

A look at the Google Trends for the term Mastodon shows that the term saw a spike in search volume during the Nov. 6-Nov. 12 period. The term also saw a rise in the recent days after Mastodon’s account was suspended on Twitter.

So with the suspension of the Mastodon account on Twitter by Musk, he may inadvertently have given the competitor huge free brand awareness that led to more searches.

Among the search terms associated with Mastodon are “what is Mastodon social,” “twitter alternatives” and “Mastodon twitter alternative.”

In November, Mastodon also launched Movetodon, a new tool for Mastodon users to find former Twitter friends easily.

Along with Mastodon seeing growth, The Verge names Post and Hive as two Twitter alternatives to which users are flocking.

Read Next: Some Celebrities Leaving Twitter, Other Notable Names Returning To The Platform 

Photo via Shutterstock.

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Posted In: NewsSocial MediaTop StoriesGeneraldecentralized networkDonald TrumpElon MuskEugen RochkoFree SpeechMastodonSocial Media Platformstwittertwitter alternatives
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