What is Mastodon and Why is Everyone Talking About It?

Try it out for yourselves and see what you think

Mastodon is the name of a social network, whose operation is free and its structure is similar to that of the social network Twitter. Despite the great resemblance that Mastodon has with Twitter, its structure is 100% decentralized, which is the reason that it has managed to increase from approximately 1200 users at the beginning to currently about 200,000 users who have shared approximately 7,000,000 states.

It is not controlled by a single company or server but works using a decentralized federation of servers, all of them with free and open-source that is published within everyone’s reach. With this operation, it can be said that it works as a social network composed of various networks simultaneously.

Users can affiliate different servers, which are called instances or communities. These instances allow you to write messages that are not only read by their members but by others that can read them in all federated instances that make up Mastodon.

This social network was created by Eugen Rochko, who announced that his goal in starting the development of this project was clear: Offer an alternative to the problems of data leaks that are currently having famous social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.

Its operation occurs through several instances, that is, in this case, in particular, smaller communities are involved. They establish their regulations regarding the content that will be disseminated to their users.

Being autonomous, each instance is managed by administrators, usually, its creator, who use policies, manage resources, and allow accounts that are shown in the federated history. It also regulates interactions with other instances mainly due to cultural conflicts that lead to freedom of expression complications. It is also believed that multiple instances allow smaller communities that are easier to moderate than a single large community. As a general rule, instances prohibit toxic, offensive or Nazi-related content.

 A user chooses from a list of instances from which to create his/her account, the identification is similar to that of an email. The user can establish whether it can be followed publicly or with prior consent. Besides, contacts can be blocked so that posts are not displayed, except for other user’s posts and mentions. A user entering this structure chooses an instance list, after performing this process, its identification is similar to that of the email (alias + @ + instance. Example [email protected], the account of the founder of the social network).

Mastodon and its characteristics.

A giant mammoth with a mobile phone between its paws. That is the Mastodon logo, the social network that is competing with Twitter to reach the first place of popularity. It is an open-source platform that, like other social networks, has a wall where messages and multimedia content are evidenced chronologically. Mastodon is not built to sell your data to advertisers.

Anyone can see the code and make improvements because it is intended for all kinds of people. And it is still under supervision. The access and use of this social network are free. The publication of states is known as Toots. This acronym, that is, Toots is made up of the phrase “multimedia content text and mentions.”

A Toot can be evidenced or not within the history depending on how the user decides. These are 500 characters, or they can also be of some multimedia elements such as photographs, videos or gifs. Its structure, like Twitter, allows the mentions to other users. Similar to the privacy policy of certain social networks, the user will be responsible for predetermining whether he wants to be followed publicly or with prior consent.

There is also a contact blocking option, which prevents your posts from being displayed in case you choose this option. It differs from Twitter in being a decentralized federation of servers running open-source software and its code and documentation are available in the repository. That means users are scattered in different autonomous and independent communities called instances (servers) whose network called diverse (word game between federation and universe), but still through advertising to interact with each other.

It should be again noted that its use is free as in any social network and can publish states, characters or multimedia content, it also includes the use of tags and mention to other users. Instances can be accessed by the general public.

Finally, it is appropriate to mention that the main challenge facing this social network is to secure the communities and some details within its platform.

TCRN Costa Rica
SOURCEYohander Rodriguez
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