Why Twitter’s rival social network Mastodon trending in India  

Some of the Twitter users have accused Twitter of discriminating against the marginalised and claimed that they have already created Mastodon accounts for saner conversations

Why Twitter’s rival social network Mastodon trending in India  

IANS

Mastodon, a little known micro-blogging platform first released in 2016, has suddenly sparked interest among disgruntled Twitter users.

Some of these users who have accused Twitter of discriminating against the marginalised claimed that they have already created Mastodon accounts for saner conversations.

"I have mentioned my #Mastodon account here. If you have a Mastodon account please follow me. Let's get out of this toxic Twitter," said one user.

"Because @TwitterIndia is suppressing dissent, selectively suspending liberal accounts, throttling the reach while taking no action against those who are spreading hate/violence, many folks have migrated to #Mastodon," wrote another user.

Mastodon allows users to do many things that one can do on Twitter - publish posts and follow others. But compared to Twitter's over 300 million users, it has just about 2.2 million users.

But getting into this decentralised and open-source network is not as easy as opening a Twitter account.

Created by Eugen Rochko, who is now 26 years old, Mastodon is made up of many servers and all of them can have their own rules.

As Rochko explained in an interview to web and podcast network magazine Slate last year, Mastodon is a "federated platform" - a collection of servers and websites.

"Centralisation is not just centralisation of power, but centralisation of data as well. So the more data a platform like Facebook collects it's all in one place. It's easy to access and to analyse," Rochko was quoted as saying.

"With Mastodon, the data is separated. Every server stores only the data of its local signed-up users and the data that they subscribe to from their friends. If you take the data just from one server, you don't have a lot," Rochko added.

The interest in Mastodon increased in India after Twitter found itself in the midst of a controversy surrounding its rules.

The row started after the accounts of a number of Twitter users, including the account of senior lawyer Sanjay Hegde, were suspended or curtailed.

Apart from Hegde, senior columnist Dilip C. Mandal got briefly restricted. But Mandal continued the tirade against Twitter. As others joined him, a flurry of tweets followed under #CasteistTwitter, #JaiBhimTwitter and #cancelallBlueTicksinIndia over the course of this week.

Twitter India on Thursday said that it is an impartial platform and does not take action based upon any ideology or political viewpoint.

"There's been a lot of discussions this week about Twitter's perceived bias in India. To be clear, whether it's the development of policies, product features, or enforcement of our rules, we are impartial and do not take action based upon any ideology or political viewpoint," Twitter India said.

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