Mastodon is struggling to keep up with the wave of Twitter defectors

Mastodon, an open source social network that markets itself as an alternative to Twitter Inc., which has seen a surge in new signups in recent days, overwhelmed the site and its founder as the tiny operation struggled to keep up.

Since Elon Musk took over Twitter on October 27, Mastodon has amassed 489,003 new users, bringing the total monthly active users to over 1 million, founder, lead developer and CEO onion Eugen Rochko said on its own Mastodon account on Monday. That’s a fraction of Twitter’s 238 million daily active users. But Musk’s acquisition appears to be the impetus the German nonprofit has been waiting for since its founding in 2016.

“I don’t think Mastodon or felt hats have received this much attention before,” Rochko wrote on his account two days ago. “It’s a great opportunity for people to finally see that social media can be done in a different way, that it can be a protocol that is not under the control of any one company. “.

Search Mastodon skyrocketing on Google following the Twitter acquisition, especially in Europe, where the social network is headquartered. All the new interest has caused tension on the platform, with Rochko saying he’s paid too much. “While it’s great to see your work finally being taken seriously in the mainstream, the 12-14 hours of workday that I have to drag to process everything is anything,” Rochko posted today. October 31.

Rochko lamented that he was handling software development, accounting, customer support, project management, product design, public relations, and moderation. He apologized to users for “processing delays until I can use more hardware. Sorry!

On Monday, some people on the site complained about not receiving a confirmation email when signing up. Rochko said he’s running into a daily email limit with the company’s supplier.

Rochko did not respond to a request for an interview.

Mastodon’s claim that it’s committed to keeping chats on the site free of hate speech and bullying may appeal to users concerned about Musk’s free speech initiatives. Slurs and racist mees emerged on Twitter, highlighting the challenge Musk faces to balance his promise to restore people’s ability to speak freely with maintaining politeness on the platform to appease advertisers. In an open letter to advertisers, Musk said that he does not intend for Twitter to become a “free hell scene for allwhere anything can be said without consequences. ”

Mastodon calls itself an affiliate social network. Instead of signing up for an account on a website, users opt in to a “server”. Each server is independent, hosted by an individual or organization, and may have its own rules of moderation.

Users can follow other Mastodon accounts, no matter which server they use, and anyone in the network can change servers whenever they want. Mastodon said it will only promote servers that are “always committed to censorship to combat racism, sexism, and phobias.”

But it remains unclear whether the migration to Mastodon will have a lasting impact, either on that website or on Twitter. Many people have also greed on Twitter about Mastodon’s confusing and laborious background. Musk himself is keep an eye on site and engage with a satirical message for Mastodon.

For now, Rochko seems to be moving forward.

“Would you believe me if I told you I was extremely tired?” he posted on Sunday. “But the release candidate for Mastodon 4.0 ended up falling out of favor, and I think it’s very neat.”

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