Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi and politburo member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Kavita Krishnan engaged in a war of words over open-source social networking service Mastodon. Singhvi sparked off a debate when he objected to people announcing on Twitter that they were joining Mastodon. He reckoned that this would not serve the purpose as the trolls would follow the people to the new social networking avenue. Krishnan responded to this and claimed that their objective was to teach Twitter a lesson. She added that the new platform provided transparency.
People joining #Mastodon to avoid toxicity on Twitter is understandable. People advertising #Mastodon on Twitter before the very trolls that you're sick of is giving an open invitation to them to come and respond to you there. Don't see a point.— Abhishek Singhvi (@DrAMSinghvi) November 8, 2019
You don't get the point. The point is, we're FINE with trolls migrating to Mastodon. I hope everyone migrates there and leaves Twitter high and dry. But #Mastodon moderators are not Sanghis who will ban us while allowing hate speech handles to flourish. @MastodonProject— Kavita Krishnan (@kavita_krishnan) November 8, 2019
However, Singhvi did not buy Krishnan's logic. He maintained the key issue of people using abusive language on social media was not solved. Furthermore, he pointed out that abusers were on all sides of the political spectrum.
How is that logical Kavita. Either they are encouraging hate spewers or chucking them out. Either they are leftist or rightist. Either way, doesn't solve anything—abusers are on all sides of the pol spectrum and discourse must be the emperor of democracy.https://t.co/andaZtZiDQ— Abhishek Singhvi (@DrAMSinghvi) November 9, 2019
With over 2.2 million users, Mastodon is rapidly gaining popularity in India. This has been precipitated by Twitter’s policies where handles have been selectively blocked. While it is similar to Twitter, it stands apart as Mastodon is a decentralised platform. No one server or company is in control of its operations. A 26-year-old German national Eugen Rochko is the creator of this service.