Mastodon or how to escape from Twitter… and its new owner

Mastodon is one of the alternatives that users are managing in the face of the purchase of Twitter by Elon Musk, the changes that the billionaire is pushing for and the general perception that the social network is not going to improve in capital matters. why many of us who started with it have abandoned it: hate messages, hoaxes and misinformation.

Twitter is going to change and not for the better. Although young people are mostly betting on TikTok and Instagram, the microblogging site remains the most influential social network on the planet. Musk is a billionaire, he has taken Twitter off the stock market and in principle he can do whatever he wants since he does not have to answer to investors. Or not as much as if it were a listed company, since there is significant financial backing behind it, such as the $13 billion provided by Morgan Stanley.

Musk is at the helm of big businesses like Tesla or SpaceX, but it is unclear whether he will recover the huge investment in Twitter or sink the platform in the face of his inexperience to lead something so politically sensitive and administratively more complicated than the rest of how much he has. Laying off half the staff may convince financially, but dispensing with so much talent doesn’t invite positive thinking to begin with. In fact, they are re-hiring some of them… Neither are the shenanigans at Twitter Blue and paying a subscription to access the verification system that, from what we are hearing, will be the way to “be somebody” on Twitter.

Last, but not least, the promise of “freedom of speech” if it does not carry a thorough check on messages, hate and misinformation, will cause a real chaos and the shooing away of users. who don’t want any more garbage. We will see what happens. Like everything else, your life does not depend on Twitter and there are alternatives. Or you can consider taking a break from social networks as those of us who started with them have been doing for a long time and have ended up exhausted…

What is Mastodon?

Mastodon is, essentially, a Twitter clone. It offers many of the same features of a microblogging and social networking site found on Twitter, including the ability to mention other accounts; post content that only one’s followers or the general public can see; sharing of multimedia content such as images, videos, animated avatars, custom emojis, and even the creation of polls. In addition, Mastodon offers its users access to their followers’ posts in a feed chronological news feed, which addresses one of the complaints of Twitter users.


If at first glance you can do the same as in Twitter, its operation is radically different since it is a decentralized network where communities have much more freedom to build their own network, large or small corners with moderation of their own. Although these communities exist on a wide range of servers, Mastodon makes it possible for servers to coexist in a unified environment, meaning that a user can follow and view the content of others spread across multiple servers using a single account.

How does it work?

Mastodon is a platform for open source and free access. Users can access through a large number of third-party mobile applications (some of which are free and some of which are paid) and each of which offers a variety of functions.

Mastodon can also be accessed from the desktop and through a web browser on a mobile device if you don’t want to install any clients. Based on open web protocols, Mastodon can talk to any other platform that implements ActivityPub. With an account you will have access to a whole universe of social applications: the fediverse.

In addition, anyone can start their own server, assuming you have the funds and the technical know-how, and create a community on it, which offers a kind of flexibility and a range of possibilities that go way, way beyond what is available on Twitter. Accounts are created on one server, although there is the option to move them to a different one.

Independently, users can view the content and interactions of users who created their accounts on a different server assuming that instance is federated with others, so despite its decentralized nature, Mastodon functions as a platform where everyone can participate. Many servers are created around particular themes, technology, film, art, music… There is a lot to choose from. That said, not all servers are open to the public which limits access and some even require interested users to join a waiting list to (possibly) gain future access to the communities.

Most of the communities you can find on Twitter are also found on Mastodon. Its managers say that there are currently more than 3,600 servers on the network and 655,000 active users. Too few for Twitter’s millions of users (238 million), but growing at a great pace. As with other large applications that have taken over the market, it is very difficult to move users.

Advantages of Mastodon

What we like the most about this platform is its decentralized design and the flexibility of use it brings to the user.. Its managers say that “instant global communication is too important to belong to one company. Each Mastodon server is a totally independent entity, capable of interacting with others to form a global social network.”.

With thousands of servers and more to come, anyone will have the opportunity to find a group that interests them and offers the type of experience they are looking for. It is not mandatory to isolate yourself, and you can participate in any communities you wish except for those discussed which are not open to the general public.

Another of its advantages has to do with its open source nature and the right to investigate the code, use it, copy it or adapt it. With this, any developer can create their own application to access the platform, so users are not restricted to a single official one that can be deleted or have errors at any given time. The apps are available on all major platformsincluding Android and iOS, free and paid.

And control by the communities, not by the company.. Mastodon puts the decision making in your hands as each server creates its own rules and regulations, which are enforced locally. Each offers something different, so users who want a less moderated experience have the opportunity to find like-minded communities.

The organization behind the (non-profit) platform explains that this local moderation allows communities to operate the way they think is best rather than requiring them to follow a general set of rules. Another element to appreciate is that it has no advertising, plus there are no algorithms deciding what you see and where you are. “We will never run ads or advertise profiles for you to view, which means your data and your time are yours and yours alone.”they explain.

Some less positive points

The decentralized nature and local moderation of Mastodon. are a double-edged sword. While it offers communities more freedom compared to Twitter, it means that some servers are also quite toxic and include the kind of racist, sexist, hateful and negative content and comments that are not even allowed on centralized platforms, no matter how much Musk lets the “little bird fly free”. Mind you, it is as simple as avoiding these online destinations, as there is no central company to moderate or delete content.

Another issue is that the Mastodon experience can seem overwhelming initially because of the way the servers, called instances or nodes, function as small islands. Each instance has its own source of posts and, depending on the software you are using to access the instance, it can be difficult to switch between streams of content on multiple instances.

Finally, the platform has also been criticized for. focusing too much on trying to clone Twitter. and less on leveraging its differences and advantages, which may make it less appealing to the masses. Even user posts are called “toots,” which is clearly a play on the term tweets.

How to get started with Mastodon

Because Mastodon is defined by an ocean of instances (servers), there is no single place to register. Instead, you should first find a server that you find attractive and create an account on it. Perhaps the most popular server is, but there are many others to choose from. You can also start with the official web portal and search for servers. When you find one you like, assuming it allows you to join, joining the platform is as easy as joining the server and creating your account with name and password.

You can do it from a web browser, as a progressive web app with push notifications just like native software. You also have mobile clients available, iOS, Android or SailfishOS. When you go to create the account, you will see the rules applied by that particular server.

The aforementioned, as an example, prohibits racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and the like, does not allow its members to promote or call for violence, prohibits misinformation and other things you would commonly find on a conventional social network. After accepting the terms presented by a Mastodon server you will be able to choose the name by which other users will see you and which will be the same for the login. For the example, it will be attached to the suffix “” and you can use it as something similar to a URL for others to connect to you.

Other alternatives.

Twitter is unique by operation and number of users. And it’s hard to replicate, but those tired of Twitter, in addition to Mastodon, can look for a new home on other platforms such as Reddit, CounterSocial or even Discord. Of course, you can follow on Twitter or you can give body, mind and soul a good rest. and disconnect from all of them… at least from time to time. You can live without Twitter, really, and we can tell you that after having used it for the first time in the summer of 2006 when it was launched and using it as a professional MC medium with more than 42,000 followers.

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