One week ago Elon Musk closed the $44 billion deal on his Twitter, Cassie LaBelle, a writer in the transgender Twitter community, started a Discord server. “I don’t know if Musk is going to buy and destroy Twitter,” she said Written, but she hopes her server will be an interesting experiment. Alternatively, the server of time could become a safe space for the transgender community she has fostered for more than a decade.
“Nothing can replace it,” LaBelle said. “Nobody has what Twitter has.” For her, Twitter is a place for transgender people to meet, date and post anonymously if they fear harassment or are still discovering their identities and don’t want to share photos or videos. With Musk’s takeover, LaBelle isn’t leaving — she needs the platform for her work — but she’s rebuilding a smaller version of her community on a forum that feels safer. .
“Discord isn’t really going to become Twitter,” LaBelle said. “I’m going to grab all the people I have in my circle right now and run in the other direction as quickly as possible because we’re being chased by the fascists.”
LaBelle is one of many who fear Twitter could descend into chaos under Musk’s rule. There has been harassment on the platform, but one of Musk’s stated reasons for buying Twitter is to restore the censorship rules. For people like LaBelle, who come from marginalized groups, it feels like an invitation to trolls to sow more hatred and harassment.
Musk has said he will reinstate former US president Donald Trump and allow any content that doesn’t break the law, even though he tweeted today that no major decisions will be made until he has convened a panel of people with “broadly diverse views” on censorship. And some Twitter users are fleeing to protest because they don’t want to give free content to the platform owned by the world’s richest man.
Instead of rushing out and deleting their accounts, many are apprehensive that Musk’s takeover is planning something similar to that of LaBelle’s. They are providing information for followers to find them on Discord or Mastodona decentralized microblogging platform that most closely resembles Twitter.
Mastodon has benefited from speculation about Twitter’s new owner. Eugen Rochko, CEO of the platform said about 18,000 people signed up for Mastodon accounts between October 20 and 27. As of October 28, it had 381,113 active users. Rochko says that Mastodon’s Twitter handle is also being used a lot on Twitter by people announcing the new Mastodon account.
Many people who tweeted Friday morning #TwitterMigration said they weren’t ready to give up Twitter entirely but had set up Mastodon accounts in case of sweeping changes. Some of the academic or tech communities on Twitter put their new Mastodon profiles in their bios or Twitter names. “It looks like #Mastodon is trending on Twitter as more and more people announce their new profiles,” the company said. Written Thursday.