If you have been on Twitter lately you will notice 'Mastodon' trending on the micro-blogging site. Mastodon is an open-source decentralised platform or network - which means the founders of the platform do not get to control it.
Let's decode this further. Much like your email, Mastodon runs on multiple servers. Every server has its distinct set of policies, so whatever set of policies you are comfortable with, you can switch to that server and can talk to people by subscribing to profiles. Much like Twitter, you can share posts in the form of photos, videos, and texts and also follow other people.
In fact, well-known Twitter handles and publications like Livelaw, MediaNama, and Legally India can be found there.
Now, what made Mastodon trend? It all started when Supreme Court lawyer Sanjay Hegde called Twitter hateful and posted a picture that didn't go down well with Twitter and his account was suspended twice. This was followed by a backlash, with several activists and journalists accusing twitter of being biased in India. Twitter did not restore Hegde's account and in fact, tweeted yesterday “There's been lots of discussions this week about Twitter's perceived bias in India. To be clear, whether it's the development of policies, product features, or enforcement of our rules, we are impartial and do not take action based upon any ideology or political viewpoint.”
Apart from the so-called bias, many believe that Twitter has failed to curb hate speech on the platform. Those pushing Mastodon claim it is the next best and clean alternative. Mastodon was first released in October 2016 and the network claims to have more than 2.2 million users.