November 26, 2022
Chicago 12, Melborne City, USA
Tech

What Elon Musk Can Learn From Mastodon—and What He Can’t

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Freedom never comes Free. In the case of Twitter, the value was $ 44 billion, which would allow the Elon Musk platform to be relieved of its responsibilities as a public company and transformed into a free speech Xanadu. The algorithm of the Musk platform is open source, wants to banish spam bots and allows people to tweet whatever they want “within the law”. To him the spots are nothing less than existence. “I have a strong sense of intuition,” he said in an interview with TED last week.

Musk’s outlook has sparked uncertainty about the future of Twitter. But many of these ideas are already working on another social network, which has attracted thousands of people in recent days: Mastodon.

Mastodon emerged in 2016 as a decentralized alternative to Twitter. This is not a website, but a collection of federated communities known as “instance”. Its code is open source, which allows anyone to create an “example” of their own. For example, there are metalhead.club and koyu.space for german metalhead, “excellent community for kite people”. Each instance operates its own server and creates its own rules. There are no detailed instructions on what people can and cannot say across the “federated” or “federated universe”. In Mastodon, the community police themselves.

More than 28,000 new users joined a Mastodon server on Monday, according to network creator Eugene Rochko. Since March, when Mask first started making noise, the network has seen about 49,000 new accounts. For a service with 360,000 monthly active users, this is a significant flow. “The Mastodon server I run has seen a 71 percent increase in sign-ups and a 36 percent increase in monthly active users,” Rochko said via email. “Many people have returned to their old accounts after the news.”

Rochko once found himself in a mask-like position: he was a Twitter power user with some grips. The problem, as Rochko saw, was concentration. A central authority means that the platform bends to the will of its shareholders and the rules may change without caution. This means that a platform could become extinct, as Rochko gained experience with MySpace, FriendFeed and a German version of Facebook, SchullerVZ. A server owned and operated by those who use it will allow for more control, including self-governance.

Unlike Kasturi, Rochkor did not have billions of rupees to burn. Instead, he was a 24-year-old college student, a few months away from graduating from a university in central Germany. So Rochko decided to create his own social network. In his spare time he built structures for Mastodon, receiving grants from benefactors to Patrion, who were similarly interested in the Twitter alternative, which would return power to the public. In 2016, shortly after graduating, he launched Mastodon to the public.

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