Unless you’ve stayed away from social media and the news the past few days, you’ve undoubtedly heard that Elon Musk bought Twitter. Frankly, if you haven’t heard, you probably don’t care. Many that do care seem to be taking part in a mass exodus. After the Twitter deal was finalized, the servers at competitor Mastodon hit a traffic surge, and Twitter employees started asking questions.
Twitter Users Appear to Jump Ship for Mastodon
Elon Musk just made an epic business move – and it has nothing to do with Tesla or SpaceX. The Twitter board announced on Monday, April 25, that a deal was reached for Musk to buy the social network for close to $44 billion.
This was immediately upsetting to many Twitter users. Musk’s views about Twitter are well-known. He doesn’t believe there should be as many restrictions on free speech, and users fear that former users who were expelled for breaking the rules will be invited back.
This news caused one of Mastodon’s main servers, mastodon.social to slow down. The site is very similar to Twitter in the way messages appear; however, Mastodon is constructed of multiple servers that work independently of each other but can still interact with each other. The system has been compared to the way multiple email servers interact.
Eugen Rochko, Mastodon’s founder, posted on Monday, “Hi! mastodon.social is being slow right now, as far as I can tell because there’s twice as many people using it at the same time as ever have; I’m working on making it go fast again, but in the meantime, do remember to invite people to join mastodon.org instead of directly on mastodon.social. People don’t have to be on the same server to follow you! Thanks!”
Truthfully, this increase in Mastodon’s traffic did not begin on Monday – it started earlier this month when Musk initially bought a controlling amount of Twitter stock. He was offered a seat on the Twitter board but refused, only to make the offer to buy the site.
Later on Monday, Rochko posted to Mastodon again, writing, “I’m stressed out. I just want to play Dota. But I realize this is a kind of ‘do or die’ moment.”
Twitter Employees Ask Questions
Twitter employees have just as many questions as users. They threw up many inquiries during a meeting with CEO Parag Agrawal and Board Chair Bret Taylor on Monday after the sale.
The Musk Twitter deal isn’t expected to be completed until later this year. Agrawal told the employees not to expect big changes until then. “Between now and closing … we will continue making decisions as we’ve always had, guided by the principles we’ve had,” he announced.
“That doesn’t mean things won’t change; things have been changing,” he continued. “I have been talking about driving positive change at the company, and I will continue doing so because it makes us better.” However, it’s difficult to see how there couldn’t be changes afoot with the user exodus.
Musk’s deal and what it could mean for Twitter’s “commitment to responsible, ethical” AI and machine learning were questioned by one employee: “We’ve been viewed as industry leaders in this field and have attracted some of the field’s best and brightest minds, but it would seem that new ownership’s values are not in alignment.”
Agrawal said they “need to continue doing the work,” as it’s “critical for Twitter to be able to serve our customers.” He added, “If we work with each other, we will not have to worry about losing the core of what makes Twitter powerful, which is all of us working together in the interest of our customers every day.”
His view is that Musk “wants Twitter to be a powerful, positive force in the world, just like all of us.”
Musk spoke up as well about the deal. He said in a statement, “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square, where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.”
He added, “Twitter has tremendous potential – I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.”
Do you want to leave Twitter and join the exodus? Read on to learn how to delete anything on Twitter, including your account.
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