Twitter drama too much? Mastodon and others emerge as options

Since Tesla CEO and billionaire Elon Musk took over, Twitter has been a bit of a mess. He has cut the company’s workforce in half, changed the platform’s verification system, gotten into arguments with users over jokes, and admitted that “dumb things” might occur as he restructures one of the most prominent information ecosystems in the world.

He issued a warning to the company’s remaining employees on Thursday amid the departure of senior executives in charge of data privacy, cybersecurity, and regulatory compliance, saying that Twitter may not survive if it can’t figure out a way to generate at least half of its revenue from subscriptions.

It’s unclear whether the drama is driving away many users; in fact, some people may find it entertaining to have a front-row seat to the mayhem — but lesser-known sites Tumblr and Mastodon are also emerging as fresh options. Take a look at a few of them below.

(Oh, and if you’re leaving Twitter and want to save your tweet history, go to your profile settings, click “your account,” then “download an archive of your data,” and then follow the on-screen instructions.)


Mastodon, which takes its name from an extinct creature that resembled an elephant, has become the front-runner among people who are interested in life beyond the bluebird. It and Twitter have certain parallels, but there are also significant distinctions, not just the fact that its term for tweets is “toots.”

A decentralized social network is Mastodon. It is therefore not owned by a single corporation or multi-billionaire. Instead, it consists of a network of servers that operate independently but can link to allow communication between users of various servers. As Mastodon is supported by donations, grants, and other sources, there are no advertisements.

Unlike Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or Twitter, which all use algorithms to encourage users to spend as much time as possible on a website, Mastodon’s feed is chronological.

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A little intimidating, trying to join Mastodon. Since each server is managed independently, you must first decide which one you wish to join before going through the process of creating an account and assenting to the server’s regulations. There are generic ones as well as ones centered on interests and locations, but ultimately, it won’t matter. Once you log in, the stream will look familiar to Twitter users. Along with seeing a public feed, you can write (up to 500 characters), upload pictures or videos, follow profiles, and post your own content.

According to Mastodon’s website, “We provide a vision of social media that cannot be purchased and owned by any billionaire, and aspire to establish a more resilient global network without commercial motivations.”

According to founder Eugen Rochko, the site currently has over a million users, with over half of them signing up after Musk assumed control of Twitter on October 27.

Another choice is Counter Social, which likewise operates a user-supported, chronological social platform. According to Counter Social, it restricts access to Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, and Syria in order to stop foreign influence operations. It says that it provides instant translation into more than 80 languages. According to its website, there are more than 63 million users per month.


Do you recall Clubhouse from when we were all on lockdown and unable to communicate in person? It’s the popular audio-only software that was slightly overshadowed by Twitter Spaces, a ripoff that also allows users to converse (imagine a conference call, podcast, or “audio chat”) on interesting subjects.

Once you sign up, Clubhouse allows you to start or join discussions on a variety of subjects, including electronics, professional sports, parenting, Black literature, and more. Only people’s profile photographs and voices are present; there are no postings, photos, or videos. Intimate conversations, like a phone call, or large gatherings of people listening to speakers in boldface, like a conference or an on-stage interview, are both examples of conversations.

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These websites resemble the early 2000s blog era the most for longer reads, newsletters, and general information consumption. Both are free to read, however certain authors, artists, and podcasters only offer premium content to paid customers.


Tumblr, which was all but written off, now seems to be seeing a little comeback. The thoughts, photographs, art, and video website has a passionate following and has hosted irate posts from famous people like Taylor Swift. When Facebook outlawed porn and “adult content” in 2018, which made up a significant portion of its highly visual and meme-friendly online presence and caused a significant decline in its user base, it infuriated many users.

The site has a somewhat nostalgic, cozy vibe that will appeal to those who miss the early days of social media, and onboarding is straightforward.

T2 or TBD?

In order to improve Twitter, Gabor Cselle, a former Google employee who worked there from 2014 to 2016, is committed. He says the Web domain name he bought for it,, cost $7.16 and that he is currently calling it T2. Although the website is not yet operational, T2, which may or may not be its ultimate name, is presently accepting waitlist signups.

“I believe Twitter has always struggled with decision-making and knowing what to do. And I kind of kept that in the back of my mind constantly, Cselle told The Associated Press. “On Monday, I made the decision to just do it. I saw nobody else actually doing it.

One concept is to use text similar to Twitter and videos similar to TikTok. According to Cselle, in order for this to be effective, the text must be “amped up” so that the videos don’t overpower it.

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Building a better Twitter or public square now will be easier and more effective, in Cselle’s opinion, than fixing Twitter’s long-standing issues.

Of course, Cselle is not the only one who seizes the chance. For instance, Project Mushroom says it has garnered 25,000 pre-registrations for their upcoming platform and plans to provide a “safe zone on the internet — a community-led open-source home for creators seeking justice on an overheating world.”

According to Jennifer Stromer-Galley, a professor at Syracuse University who specializes in social media, “my hunch is that things are going to further splinter into more ideological platforms, some will perish, and then we’ll see some new consolidation develop over the next couple of years.”


The ability to quickly locate information has been one of Twitter’s most useful features. Just an earthquake, then? Twitter will let you know. Certainly, it did.

While there isn’t a perfect substitute for Twitter, it’s simpler than ever to stay up to date on regional, governmental, and global news. Both Apple and Google provide news services that compile content from a variety of publications (Apple offers a premium subscription service that gets you access to more articles, while Google shows free stories first.) Flipboard is another option; it functions something like a customized magazine based on your interests.

Of course, there is also the option of signing up for particular newspapers (or downloading a free news app like AP News from the AP).

Yes, some of them might cost money, and no, your subscription won’t come with a blue check mark.


Originally posted 2022-11-12 17:08:18.



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