When Richard Hendricks, the protagonist from HBO’s satirical sitcom Silicon Valley created Pied Piper’s algorithm — a utopian, decentralised Internet — it seemed like a distant future. Yes, Hendricks’ dream is still fiction, but we’re closer than ever to building an internet for all. Case in point — Mastodon — a social media platform with features similar to Pied Piper. This little known platform with just a little over two million users has taken India by storm and emerged as a refuge for those seeking respite from Twitter India’s increasingly divisive, hate-filled environment.
Created by German coder Eugen Rochko in 2016, Mastodon is an open source social networking site touted for its effective anti-abuse tools. Blocking of an account doesn’t warrant hundreds of reports, just one. The implementation of guidelines is strict, and there are moderators on every server, which they call ‘instance’. The platform is decentralised and federated. But that’s not why thousands of Indians (or 20,000 in three days to be precise), are migrating from Twitter to Mastodon.
The mass exodus was prompted when Supreme Court lawyer Sanjay He