Mastodon sees surge in user signups after Musk buys Twitter stake

Elon Musk’s decision to buy a stake in Twitter and his appointment to the company’s board of directors appears to be spurring some users to try rival social networking provider Mastodon.

On Tuesday morning, Mastodon founder Eugen Rochko posted, “Registrations have really increased since the #elonmusk news.”

Rochko’s post included a version of the “distracted boyfriend” meme, which features a man staring at another woman while his girlfriend looks on disapprovingly. Except this time, the meme was edited to show the boyfriend checking out Mastodon while ignoring Twitter.

Rochko did not quantify the increase in registrations; Mastodon’s website says it has 4.4 million users.

The interest in Mastodon, a decentralized social network, is likely due to concern from some users who believe Musk will make major changes to how Twitter works. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO now owns a 9.2% stake in the social media platform, making him the company’s largest shareholder.

On Tuesday, Twitter also announced that it was appointing Musk to the company’s board. In response, Musk said he looked forward to working with Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal and the rest of the board “to deliver meaningful improvements to Twitter in the months ahead.”

One change Musk seems to be asking for is an edit button, which many users have requested over the years. Monday, his Twitter account tweeted a poll, probing whether people were in favor of the button or not. Currently, more than 73% support the edit button. In a surprise move, Twitter later confirmed that it did test an edit button, but will roll out to paid Twitter Blue subscribers first.

However, there are also concerns that Musk will oppose Twitter’s efforts to crack down on misinformation. Last week, he expressed some disapproval of social media’s stance on content moderation when he tweeted: “Free speech is essential to the functioning of a democracy. Do you believe that Twitter strictly adheres to this principle? »

“Given that Twitter serves as the city’s de facto public square, failure to uphold the principles of free speech fundamentally undermines democracy. What should be done?” he added later.

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Meanwhile, some netizens and Republicans are urging Musk to restore the account of Donald Trump, who was banned from Twitter for the former president’s actions regarding the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill.

Mastodon, on the other hand, scoffed at the news. Monday, the official Mastodon account on Twitter tweeted: “Mastodon: The social network of which Elon Musk does not own 9.2% (we are a non-profit association).”

If you’re interested, you can check out our guide on how to get started with Mastodon. The decentralized social network is currently available on the web and as an iOS app. An Android app should be released soon.

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