Elon Musk wakes up to journalists’ exodus from Twitter: ‘Judy Hall monitors live on other platforms’

Mastodon, a social media alternative to Twitter, has reportedly become a source of awareness and journalistic “gatekeeping” to the amusement of media critics and Twitter CEO Elon Musk himself.

Musk began implementing new policies on the site, including reinstating banned accounts such as former President Trump’s, after several prominent people announced they were moving to Mastodon in protest. As more journalists flocked to the site, there were more reports of users being blocked, attacked, and outright banned over political issues.

In one case, former Slate podcaster Mike Pesca was suspended from Mastodon “instances,” or servers popular for verified journalists, after linking to a New York Times story on the negative consequences of puberty blockers on children. Transgender blogger Parker Malloy attacked Pesca and complained that “anti-trans material” was not removed from the network. According to the New York Times, Pesca was soon informed that, “he was suspended for referring to Ms. Molloy as an ‘activist,’ which was dismissed.”

Many journalists turned to Mastodon in response to Elon Musk's Twitter acquisition.

Many journalists turned to Mastodon in response to Elon Musk’s Twitter acquisition.
(Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Elon Musk mocks media neutrality claim after freakout: ‘It has to be fact-checked’

“I have to join Mastodon in being called a bigot by @ParkerMolloy because I said a well-reported NYT article complicates a common claim around puberty blockers,” Pesca tweeted on Saturday.

Malloy was later suspended from journal.host for calling transgender journalist Evan Urquhart a “bootlicker”.

With so many similar stories of arbitrary decision-making by self-proclaimed moderators, Twitter users are joking that Mastodon has become a den for “hall-monitor” journalists.

Digital media consultant Heidi N. Moore tweeted on Sunday, “One of the many troubling things about Mastodon is that it enables journalists chasing status to gatekeeper their peers whether they have enough clout or want other Useful for people to climb the career ladder.” Articles on journalna.host.

FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver replied, “Mastodon sounds like a honeytrap for hall-monitor personality types. Honestly if Elon gets all the hall monitors to move to Mastodon it would be for the good of humanity.” That may be his biggest contribution.”

Musk himself responded to Silver’s post, tweeting, “What could be more fun than a social network complete with hall monitors!”

In a separate tweet, he wrote, “Hopefully all judges hall monitors will remain on other platforms – please, I’m begging you.”

Many on the left are sounding the alarm about Elon Musk's Twitter acquisition.

Many on the left are sounding the alarm about Elon Musk’s Twitter acquisition.

“Mastodon Woke Lib Jarno is the circular firing squad hell pit they’ve always wanted Twitter to be,” the Twitter user comfortably mocked Smug.

Journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted, “Above the Mastodon — the obscure refuge to which liberal journalists are fleeing in fear of free speech, even if they can’t figure it out — they already ban each other over the most trivial of constraints.” It’s like a laboratory for studying how censorship-happy rats behave.”

Katie Herzog of the Blocked & Reported podcast tweeted, “Kind, polite Twitter is equally rife with drama,” while her co-host Jesse Singal said,[T]His meltdown really reinforces all my preconceived notions about this whole censor crew. Let them take their silent mastodon example to leave the rest of us alone.”

“Mastodon is already a [colossal] failure, with all wake reporting and suspending each other,” wrote researcher Eli David.

“Mastodon is Hell. And it’s a Hell in which every moderator can read your DMs and ban you if they think you’re talking behind their back. It’s the inverse of Twitter, where people You can publicly mock @elonmusk and not get banned for it,” declared journalist Ian Miles Cheong.

Elon Musk pokes fun at CBS’s short-lived Twitter hiatus after network re-tweets less than 48 hours later

Several reporters and media pundits offered “final” tweets late last week, in the belief that Musk’s policies and mass firings would lead to a shutdown of Twitter. CBS News even announced on Friday that it would be suspending its use of Twitter due to the “uncertainty”. The media outlet got back on the account less than 48 hours later.

Billionaire industrialist Elon Musk took over Twitter in late October and promptly fired several top executives.

Billionaire industrialist Elon Musk took over Twitter in late October and promptly fired several top executives.
(Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto, CARINA JOHANSEN/NTB/AFP via Getty Images (photo illustration))

However, some journalists have continued to defend the Mastodon as a viable alternative. The New York Times’ Joseph Bernstein reported that many members claimed the site was like Twitter without the “sleaze”.

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Bernstein wrote, “Many journalna.host members use the service no differently than they use Twitter, sometimes posting the same text simultaneously.” “In fact, at times, journal.host looks a lot like Twitter, without all the non-journalism and most of the craziness.”

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