Mastodon has emerged as one of the most popular alternatives to Twitter following Elon Musk's takeover. 

The social media network has started a large wave of staff lay-offs as the Tesla boss overhauls Twitter’s blue-tick badge verification system among other controversial changes. 

The billionaire has openly criticised the previous management of the site and has even pledged to loosen moderation, allowing users to speak more freely. 

The move could even lead to the reversal of permanent bans on former account users including US president Donald Trump.

The changes have sparked concern from online safety groups who have argued that this could allow abuse and harassment to increase on the site.

While many users have been looking for alternatives to the platform which was originally founded in 2006. 

What is Mastodon? The emerging alternative to Elon Musk's Twitter

Mastodon is one such alternative that Tweeters have flocking to - a whopping 70,000 new accounts were set up on the day of Elon Musk's takeover, according to The Guardian.

The social media platform isn't new, it's actually been around for six years.

Named after the extinct tusked animal, the social network isn't controlled by a single corporation or individual because it's decentralised.

It was launched by disillusioned Twitter user Eugen Rochko as an open-source project

It has micro-blogging features just like Twitter and instead of tweets, users post 'toots'.

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How to sign up for Mastodon

Mastodon isn't as simple to sign up to as Twitter and users will have to learn a whole new language to navigate the sites.

Instead of one single website, Mastodon is a network of thousands of websites known as “instances” or servers.

These instances can communicate with each other without having to go through a central site because they are federated.

Mastodon users call the space where are the instances exist 'the Fediverse' or 'the Fedi' for short.

1. Download the Mastodon ap via Google Play or the Apple store. The network can also be accessed via your browser.

2. Choose a server ( you can opt for general, all purpose instances like or servers geared to specific interests like

There are some servers that you can join right away but you may have to join the waiting list for some instances.

3. There are some ground rules you need to follow within your server including no discriminatory or explicit language or posting any content that could incite violence for example.

4. Once you're in a server, you can set up your username and verify your email address.

5. You can then navigate freely, find people to follow and post your 'toots' those within your server and not the entire Fedi, unlike its Twitter counterpart.

For more information or to sign up for an account, visit mastodon.