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Mastodon’s 29-year-old CEO wants his Twitter alternative to ‘replace’ its rival some day, but he’s taking an anti–Elon Musk approach to growing it
Eugen Rochko, the 29-year-old German software developer who six years ago created Twitter rival Mastodon out of frustration with the U.S. social network, has had quite a month. The chaos of Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover in late October has led millions of users to look for an alternative, and Mastodon has provided many with a familiar—though not identical—life raft. The influx of users is fueling Rochko’s ambition of Mastodon one day matching Twitter in size, but the founder and CEO is taking a decidedly anti-Musk approach to growing his decentralized platform—forbidding hate speech, banning ads, eschewing revenue, and abdicating hands-on control of the network. He remains Mastodon’s sole full-time employee.
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