Twitter has long been a source of first-hand information for most users and has enjoyed wide popularity. However, things have changed dramatically since its new owner, Elon Musk, took over.
From charging a monthly fee for the sought-after blue tick and firing half of Twitter’s workforce to issuing an ultimatum asking employees to either commit to a “hardcore” work environment or leave, the billionaire has drawn criticism for his abrupt moves that have impacted many.
This has triggered an exodus of users from the microblogging platform, as many think Twitter might soon shut down.
As users search for an alternative to Twitter, Mastodon, an open-source microblogging platform, has witnessed significant growth in its user base.
Among those migrating to Mastodon are journalists who have joined a server named journa.host on the social media platform. Mastodon is a decentralised platform that has different user-managed servers.
Journa.host is one of the servers which, according to its description, is a “reliable home for journalists on Mastodon.”
It was created on November 4, 2022, and currently has 2,200 active users.
The server hosts retired and working journalists, academics “focused on the media”, and those engaged in journalism or related professions. “A volunteer group of journalists provides oversight,” the description of the server says.
Unlike Twitter, Mastodon has different rules on every server, which its moderators control.
Journa.host’s moderators include Adam Davidson, founder of the podcast Planet Money and staff writer at The New Yorker and the New York Times Magazine. Others are Zach Everson, staff writer at Forbes; Todd A Price, a reporter for USA Today; Evan Urquhart, founder of Assigned Media; and investigative journalist Steven I. Weiss.
According to the New York Times, Adam Davidson proposed starting the journalist network on Mastodon.
Talking of Elon Musk’s decision to give the blue tick to anyone paying the $8 monthly fee, Mr Davidson said it was a crisis for journalists.
“It felt scary to imagine a world where false verification would reign,” he said.
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