Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter and the subsequent announcements of sweeping policy changes on a range of matters has brought much turbulence in the platform’s community of users, and many of them are already migrating to the visually and functionally similar Mastodon.
Mastodon was designed as analogous to Twitter, featuring micro-blogging options, hashtags, mentions, and the equivalent of tweets, named “toots”.
Contrary to Twitter, Mastodon is an open-source, decentralized social networking platform, meaning it’s not centrally owned, managed, or operated by a single business entity or individual.
Moreover, Mastodon is free of ads, so there’s no profiling and tracking algorithm to log what each user likes to click on and what content has higher engagement so that personalized ads are served.
All “toots” are posted in a timeline-based feed, so there are no bias or promotion algorithms, and the ground for orchestrated misinformation isn’t fertile.
In theory, Mastodon’s design sounds great, but in reality, there are some privacy blind spots that users interested in making the leap should keep in mind.
How Mastodon Works
Mastodon’s decentralized nature relies on servers run by volunteers, called “Mastodon Instances”.
New users joining the platform must select one of these servers, to begin with, based on the interests, location, theme, and other factors like moderation policies that make each of the instances unique.
Users can still interact with others who access Mastodon via different instances, using the “Federated” option, and later switch to a different server if they like.
Can you trust the