Who are Mastodon? Atlanta heavy metal band trends as it shares name with Twitter's microblogging rival

The heavy metal outfit shares its name with the social media platform which bills itself as a 'free, open-source social network'

Who are Mastodon? Atlanta heavy metal band trends as it shares name with Twitter's microblogging rival
Mastodon (Troy Sanders, Brann Dailor and Brent Hinds) attend the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 03, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)
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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA: Mastodon released their eighth studio album 'Hushed and Grim' back in 2021. However, the Atlanta band, which was formed in 2000, got a thorough name check boost courtesy of the other Mastodon in town. The heavy metal outfit shares its name with the social media platform called Mastodon, which bills itself as a "free, open-source social network" and is marketed as a rival to Twitter. 

According to CNN, the number of users registering for the niche social network Mastodon has increased dramatically in the week since Elon Musk acquired control of Twitter. Mastodon, which has been around since 2016, might not be a name you are familiar with, but it is presently expanding quickly. 

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Back in 2017, when the social network was just starting out, Mashable noted that the band had even then derived mirth out of this co-incidence. They tweeted quotes from famous people who had posted about the new platform while also promoting their then new album ‘Emperor of Sand.’ One tweet read, "To be fair, we made Mastodon happen a long time ago, but welcome to the game,” In fact, they went so far as to tag Jack Dorsey, the man who founded Twitter, with the message, “Hey @Jack, we swear we have no intention of harming you. Not sure why people keep saying that.”

Mastodon, created by programmer Eugen Rochko, was first made available in 2016. The key draws of the social media platform were that it was open source, decentralized, and represented the founder of Twitter's ideal for the company. Users of Mastodon choose "servers" that host their data and grant them access to the same platform, rather than being managed by a CEO or centralized moderation team. Servers on the network are organized by broad or narrow categories, such as "Furry," "Activism," and "LGBT+." Some allow anyone to join, while others demand that people join a queue. In accordance with Mastodon's regulations, anyone can propose a server for review. Instead of using an algorithm as Twitter did, the network doesn't have ads and displays its timeline in chronological order.

People on the internet seem to enjoy this little co-incidence. Jason Isbell, an American singer wrote on Twitter, “Trust me I’ve been trying to join Mastodon for years now but those dudes play FAST.” Another user on the platform wrote, “Lol, when Mastodon was trending I immediately thought of the band.” Mastodon is now trending on Twitter in part because of discussions about its advantages and disadvantages. As you might anticipate, it has certain similarities to and differences from Twitter, which has caused some people to embrace and others to avoid the network.

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