Is Mastodon the ultimate Twitter alternative?

Mastodon could be Twitter’s twin at the usage level. But there are key characteristics that are very different from Twitter — and that are more relevant than ever, especially given Musk’s eventual acquisition.

The news that Elon Musk, the richest person in the world, was able to buy a large social network like Twitter not only made headlines, but also caused displeasure among some fans of the platform. They ask themselves, do I have an alternative? Critics fear that Musk’s promise to make the platform a place where “more freedom of speech” will prevail again will lead to hatred and hate speech taking place there instead of constructive free opinions. Also the question of whether ex-US President Donald Trump will or may tweet againis currently the subject of much discussion on the internet.

The hottest Twitter alternative right now? mastodon

A previously unknown service called Mastodon is attracting the most growth and attention in this debate as a possible alternative to Twitter. At first glance, the social network resembles Twitter, but instead of a bird, it features a primeval proboscis from the mammoth family: a mastodon. So instead of chirping, you hear horns here. And instead of 280-character tweets, you read 500-character “Tröts”. If you want, you can even give your posts on Mastodon an expiration date, after which they will be deleted automatically. Another feature that is different from Twitter is the two timelines. Here, users can give likes in the form of asterisks instead of hearts. There are also hashtags and trends here. The user profile is similar to that of Twitter.

When asked about the founder or founder, many people have pricked up their ears to some extent as a result of recent events. The platform was launched in 2016 by the Thuringian software developer Eugen Rochko. Now in his late twenties, he was a Twitter user himself, but was frustrated by the restrictions on programmers. He also found the concise ads and data collection on the US network annoying. For this reason, the construction of his social network differs fundamentally from that of Twitter.

Behind Mastodon is not just one company, no, it consists of many individual companies that all want to or have to make money. The Twitter alternative thus houses thousands of small mastodons under one company roof and is therefore decentralized. These are called “instances” and are operated on different servers by users with programming skills. They can be found in various interest groups and regions and call themselves,, or, for example. In addition to IT specialists, authorities from the EU and data protection officers of the federal and state governments also operate instances. These different actors can in turn set their own behavior and group rules, for example whether “nudity” is allowed or how to discuss without hate speech.

This is how you can become a Mastodon user

© Mastodon (click on the image to get a larger view)

Unfortunately, the app is not yet as simple and intuitive as Twitter – registration and access to the content in particular is a bit more complicated here. Anyone who has downloaded the app and wants to get started with the “horns” must first decide on an instance. The website provides a good overview of this. The app is available for Android and iOS, but logging in is a bit more confusing on the standard cell phone screen than on the website in the browser. If you then have your own user account, you won’t see anything at first. There is no address list that can be read out to find new contacts. So you have to become active yourself and find interesting people who you want to follow.

here you can register yourself with mastodon.

Known Twitter users who are now on Mastodon

Mastodon now has four million users – and most recently also the satirist, podcaster and moderator Jan Böhmermann. The founder Rochko even dedicated a welcome trumpet to Böhmermann. And the IT security consultant Mike Kuketz has been a Mastodon member since 2018 and is now happy about the addition. For him, Mastodon is part of a movement against surveillance capitalism, which he says is operated by Facebook and Twitter with their data-driven business model. Kuketz means:

I find decentralization and the federal principle of Mastodon very important. There is no manipulation of the timeline by algorithms, there is no commercial pressure, no advertising and no psychologists are employed to ensure that users stay on the platform as long as possible.

Freedom of expression without spreading hatred and discrimination

Through Mastodon’s decentralized organization, the social network provides other ways of dealing with hate speech or racism on the platform, for example. Since individual instances each have their own administrators, the posts and comments are more manageable. For example, right-wing extremists have already been blocked by the administrators in one instance. However, with restrictions: You could then still communicate with each other, but no longer with people in other instances. Administrators also have the option of removing individual users entirely – Donald Trump would therefore probably have no future on Mastodon. It remains to be seen what that will look like on Twitter in the near future – at the moment he is no longer a user there, involuntarily.

Mastodon could therefore be a start and an alternative to making social networking more independent of large tech companies or individuals like Elon Musk, who can afford it and may even get away with taking over an important social network and using it according to their own wishes to form, to make. But a single Twitter alternative is certainly not enough for this.

More Twitter alternatives

Reddit: Reddit is very different in format to Twitter, but users can also discuss with each other in forums. On Reddit, users have the opportunity to communicate in the form of text, photos, videos and website links, the content is then upvoted or downvoted by other users. This mechanism is similar to the Like button on Twitter.

Tumblr: The platform has been around since 2007 and users can publish multimedia and short blogs here. As with Twitter, users can follow other users’ blogs. Everyone can decide for themselves whether their own blog should be public or private. Tumblr also functions as a social network and has many well-known features, including instant messaging and comments.

Source: by

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