Of Course Mastodon Lost Users

Scalloped growth is not evidence of a platform in decline.

A chart showing a scalloped, upward-trending curve. The curve is lined with mastodon icons. The x-axis is labelled with an upside-down Twitter logo. The y-axis is labelled with a trio of person-shaped icons.


Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover plunged the service into chaos: between mass layoffs, sweeping policy changes, reinstatement of known harassers and more ads in feeds that themselves were stuffed full of cackhanded algorithmic suggestions that displaced the posts from people you followed, there was cause for genuine alarm.

Even before Musk, Twitter had dabbled with enshittification, but under his low-attention-span, clownish management, Twitter’s enshittification engine shifted into ludicrous mode.

The enshittification of Twitter drove a mass exodus. Some users — who’d failed to learn the lesson of trusting in the beneficence of a benevolent dictatorship — fled to walled gardens like Hive and Post.

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