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    Will More Indians Swarm to 'Discriminatory' Twitter's Rival #Mastodon?

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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Little known social networking site Mastodon, which was launched in India in 2016, has reportedly witnessed a trend surge in the country and claims to have more than 2.2 million users.

    According to media reports, a few of India's most eminent Twitter users may shift to little-known network Mastodon amid an outcry over Twitter moderation methods.

    Twitter India recently drew flak for suspending the account of Sanjay Hegde, an advocate at India's top court, who uploaded an iconic photograph of Nazi Germany in which German national, August Landmesser, refused to salute Adolf Hitler.

    A few days later, Netizens started a campaign accusing Twitter of being caste biased, demanding that the social media site disclose its policy of verifying accounts. The Twitterati alleged that people with little or no followers had a verified account but those with a huge following did not.

    However, Twitter denied the allegations and claimed to be 'impartial'.

    Soon after, Mastodon was trending on Twitter in India as users claimed that the little-known platform was a “liberating” one.

    ​These two incidents sparked a huge debate on how Twitter moderates its content, with many accusing it of tolerating rhetoric against minorities.

    But it remains to be seen how many people have actually created an account on the platform and how many of them will abandon Twitter in favour of the rival platform.

    A recent report from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) found that Twitter removed nearly a million tweets and blocked around 100 accounts in India as part of its "country withheld" policy.

    Mastodon is an open-source network that allows users to post, follow other users and comment and publish images like other platforms. There is no single entity that runs the network as it is a decentralized platform.

    However, amid a movement against Twitter, many sided with the social networking giant in pointing out flaws in Mastodon.

    While ​rumours have also emerged about influential people joining Mastodon, prominent Indian politician Rahul Gandhi tweeted about a fake account being set up on Mastodon under his name.

    Twitter in India has nearly 30 million users.


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