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Current Affairs

Mastodon in India

Date: 09 November 2019 Tags: IT, Mobile & Computers

Issue

Mastodon is seeing a considerable influx of Indian users, who have labelled the platform as a more egalitarian social network.

 

Background

Mastodon, founded on October 5, 2016 by Eugen Rochko, calls itself a ‘federation’ comprising thousands of communities, similar to Reddit and with timelines much like Twitter.

 

Details

  • Users can create profiles, post images, messages and videos, all while following other users in Mastodon.

  • It has properties similar to Reddit, with the open-source properties. Expressing yourself works differently too , unlike Twitter’s 280-character count, Mastodon offers a 500-character space for users to express themselves.

  • Mastodon has undergone many changes over the years. The new version promises a “safer social media experience” equipped with effective anti-abuse tools to protect yourself and other users from harassment as well as servers with strict codes of conduct. There are also more moderators involved in the upkeep of the platform.

  • Its infrastructural features are also different from others. Twitter is centralised, meaning all interactions take place on a single server controlled by one company but Mastodon is decentralised, meaning it is a collection of many instances which communicate with each other to form a wider network.

  • Each instances have their own servers, which follow their own policies. This means that Mastodon works like a federation.

Working of Mastodon

  • Mastodon is comprised of individual servers, called instances, as opposed to a centralised server, the model used by platforms like Twitter.

  • Instances are not readily visible to every other instance. A pair of instances will communicate with each other only if there is a connection between a user on one instance and a user on the target instance.

  • Since complete freedom is given to owners to moderate the kind of content that is available to users of an instance, it naturally follows that users of a particular instance are usually like-minded, or know what they are signing up for when they join a particular instance.