From Twitter to Mastodon

2 minute read

A lot of people are leaving Twitter right now, and there’s a lot of hyperbole to go with it. I don’t think it’s going to disappear overnight, or go down in flames (there have been a lot of very talented engineers working on Twitter for quite some time after all). That said, I grew tired of the doom-scrolling and perma-anger in the circles I follow, so the furore was a gentle push to fix that.

A few months a go I moved to Mastodon, and after settling in found a home on I kept my Twitter account, partly as a defence against it being taken by someone else (because @spikeheap is such a desirable username 🙄), but mostly because I wasn’t convinced things wouldn’t recover.

In the end, a couple of things pushed me to delete my account:

  1. Gutting of the safety and moderation teams, alongside prominent right-wing hate-speech peddling accounts being reinstated. I’d love to say this was the clincher, but really it just fuelled my rants until…
  2. Banning of journalists and users critical of Twitter’s new direction, particularly around the elonjet account. This coincided with a ban on accounts telling followers where they’re moving to (or where they also post content), and we saw accounts with Mastodon links suspended.

I don’t fancy spending my time on a platform that legitimises hate speech under the guise of “freedom”, and while I think Twitter will end up having to moderate these users to comply with the law in many countries, preventing people from exporting their followers in the meantime just feels petty.

So that’s a bit of a rant. It doesn’t bring anything new that hasn’t been said thousands of times in the past month or so, but I wanted to write it down so I can reprimand myself if I find myself reaching for it again.

What I will say is that Mastodon has the potential to be a much calmer, happier place. Just before the Twitter exodus there was a pleasant level of positivity, with negative and triggering things hidden behind content warnings so I could scroll past it.

The “local” and “federated” aspects of Mastodon have received a bit of criticism, but I’ve enjoyed having a local feed which mostly contains Ruby and content from Ruby people. It feels more like a community than following hashtags.

There’s a period of readjustment as a mass influx of new users come from Twitter, many hoping for it to be approximately the same. I’m hopeful we get past the “my outrage doesn’t need a content warning because it’s important”.

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