On the night of December 16, Twitter restricted the @joinmastodon account, the official representative of the decentralized Mastodon social network. In addition, Elon Musk’s company no longer allows you to publish links to a competitor’s servers. What is the matter and what is Mastodon?
Mastodon is like Twitter, only decentralized
The key feature of Mastodon is decentralization. In fact, this is just open source software that is easy to deploy on your server to anyone. The owner of the server (instance) can set separate rules on their site, choose a thematic focus, and even add additional functionality. There are about 8800 Mastodon instances currently running.
At the same time, Mastodon has all the features familiar to a social network: profiles, a feed of posts, comments and likes, subscriptions, search, and so on. Separate servers are not in an information bubble: users can read posts and follow people from other instances.
The absence of a specific leader has drawn to Mastodon those who have become disillusioned with Twitter’s management policy after Elon Musk’s acquisition of the social network, says 4PDA. In early December, Mastodon reported reaching the 8 million user mark, gaining a million new accounts in a week and a half.
So why Musk didn’t like Mastodon?
It is unlikely that the new owner of Twitter decided to eliminate a competitor: the weight categories are too different. The number of monthly active users of Mastodon is 2.1 million people. Twitter alone has a daily audience of over 237 million.
But one can recall the period of Twitter’s blocking previews of photos from Instagram. A few years ago, the social network asked users to post pictures directly to Twitter, rather than giving traffic to a competitor.
Mastodon’s account and links were banned after @joinmastodon shared a link to @ElonJet’s page. It tracks the location of Elon Musk’s private jet based on information from open sources.
NIXSolutions notes that @ElonJet fled Twitter for Mastodon the day before. Two months earlier, Musk promised that he would not touch the “stalker”. But the entrepreneur’s opinion changed after a car with his child was pursued by a man. On the same day, Twitter’s policies were amended to prohibit the posting of “real-time information about a person’s location, regardless of whether the information is publicly available.” And the @ElonJet account and the profile of its owner were blocked.
However, Musk was able to turn such harsh measures into a show. More precisely, in the voting: the owner of Twitter asked the subscribers when to unblock the accounts following him.