There’s a new social network in town and it’s coming for Twitter.
Mastodon Social — a decentralized, text-based social media platform where people can chat in interest groups or “servers” — hit a new milestone of 2.5 million monthly users following Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter.
According to a blog post written by the platform’s founder, Eugen Rochko, “the network recently exploded in popularity;” it only had 300,000 monthly users in October.
“We are excited to see Mastodon grow and become a household name in newsrooms around the world, and we are committed to continuing to improve our software to meet new challenges associated with rapid growth and increasing demand,” wrote Rochko in the mail.
Mastodon’s sudden growth came when Musk bought Twitter in October and took the company private. Since then, he has attempted several controversial changes, including accounts banned (including those of journalists) that link to competitors such as Mastodon. According to CNNthe policy was suspended less than 24 hours after it was passed following allegations that Musk backed down on his stance on free speech.
“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 chart hostage,” Rochko wrote in his blog post. “At Mastodon, we believe that there should be no intermediary between you and your audience and that journalists and government agencies in particular should not rely on a private platform to reach the audience.”
It’s unclear how many Twitter users have left the platform since Musk’s acquisition — the company hasn’t released any new stats since July. It reported 238 million daily monetized users at the time.
However, several notable figures have announced their departure from the app as a result of Musk’s leadership, including Elton John, Jim Carrey, and Shonda Rhimes.
All my life I have tried to use music to bring people together. Still, it saddens me to see how misinformation is now being used to divide our world.
I’ve decided to stop using Twitter given their recent policy change that allows misinformation to flourish unchecked.
— Elton John (@eltonofficial) December 9, 2022
I’m leaving Twitter, but first here’s a cartoon I made with my friend Jimmy Hayward. It’s based on my painting of a crazy old lighthouse keeper, standing naked in a storm, summoning the angels and shining his lamp to guide us through a treacherous night. I love you all so much! ;^j pic.twitter.com/Cqmp74A87r
— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) November 29, 2022
Don’t hang around for whatever Elon is up to. Bye.
— shunda rhimes (@shondarhimes) October 29, 2022