This week, announcements stating Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s offer to acquire Twitter pushed several more users to try its rival networking provider, Mastodon. Eugen Rochko, the founder of Mastodon shared a screenshot on Thursday, April 14. The screenshot showed how user signs on Mastodon.social server shot up hours post Musk’s announcement of his intention to buy Twitter for $43 billion. This surge was evidently higher than the first rise witnessed by Mastodon more than a week ago. This was when the Tesla CEO announced him buying 9.2% of Twitter Inc’s stake.
However, Mastodon still crucially functions as a decentralised social network, somewhat like email. As a result, Rochko can only access statistics of Mastodon.social server. But, the founder of the provider suspects that other servers across the network can also see this significant wave of new users. Clearly, some of them are turning to Mastodon owing to the fear of the upcoming changes in Twitter which Musk could make. On Thursday, Musk indicated that he wants Twitter to relax its content moderation in a TED Talk.
“I do think that we want to be, just very reluctant to delete things. Just very cautious with permanent bans. You know, time-outs would be better than some permanent bans,” he said during the interview.
The billionaire CEO did not exactly specify how he would control hate speech and disinformation on Twitter Inc. However, his agenda of the social networking platform is for them to prioritise free speech and transparency. This would include open sourcing the content algorithms of the social media company. Musk had offered to buy 100% stake of Twitter Inc at $54.20 per share or $43 billion total. He made the offer in a letter to the chairman of Twitter, Bret Taylor.
On the other hand, Mastodon had taken to Twitter to criticise the efforts of Musk to buy the social media giant. It posted a tweet on the platform saying,“At Mastodon, we present a vision of social media that cannot be bought and owned by any billionaire. Your ability to communicate online should not be at the whims of a single commercial company!”
Mastodon still remains a relatively a small social network when compared to Twitter. Twitter ha 217 million daily active users, whereas Mastodon has around 250,000 active users every months out the 3 million registered users. Rochko’s estimates revealed these figures highlighting the current position of the network.