he founder of Mastodon has said Twitter has a “real chance of disappearing” under Elon Musk’s administration which has seen the social media platform’s workforce of engineers decimated.
Eugen Rochko, a 29-year-old programmer from Germany who created Mastodon as a decentralised different to Twitter in 2017, known as the billionaire CEO’s leadership model “erratic”, saying it confirmed “incompetence”.
“I would say it shows incompetence and a lack of understanding of the industry that he’s entered and the platform that he’s now in charge of,” Mr Rochko told BBC Newsnight.
“I would call (Mr Musk’s leadership style) erratic, and frankly I’m not a fan of it.”
He went on to say that the sheer dimension of Twitter was not sufficient to insure it against failure.
“There are examples from history of social media platforms which were also immensely huge, like MySpace, for example, and they lost their relevance. Perhaps they’re still around, but they’re no longer popular or the place that you go to. And even though Twitter is very large, it’s still not even the largest social media platform out there,” the Mastodon founder said.
“I definitely think that with the issues that it’s having right now, and with new management under Elon Musk, that it has a real chance of actually disappearing, because, well, it takes a lot to run a social media platform like that, that deals with real-time data and, you know, losing most of its engineers is not a good thing.”
The billionaire Tesla proprietor sacked half of Twitter’s 7,500 international workforce per week after taking over the company, ended distant working and set an ultimatum for remaining employees to agree to longer, extra intense working patterns or go away.
Mastodon, which has seen a dramatic uptick in new customers since Mr Musk took over Twitter three weeks in the past, has no central proprietor or company accountable for the entire network.
“You can think of it as a framework that allows anyone to start their own social network in a cooperative and interoperable way, creating a cohesive, almost seamless social network experience like you could expect from Twitter,” Mr Rochko explained. “But without there being a single point of failure.”
In an interview with the US tech journal Wired earlier this week, Mr Rochko said some 800,000 new Mastodon accounts have been created, overwhelming fashionable servers and flooding present customers’ timelines with introductions, questions, and complaints.
With a lot of Twitter’s workforce now gone, there may be a lot hypothesis that the location will crash through the FIFA World Cup – one of many web site’s busiest traffic occasions.
Social media professional Matt Navarra told the PA news company that the chances of Twitter being knocked offline have “dramatically increased” up to now 24 hours due to the newest exodus.
He said he believes any imminent blackout is unlikely as a result of sure locks forestall adjustments to the platform’s base code whereas Mr Musk reorganises the agency.
“There’s a code freeze in place and Twitter is kind of running on autopilot at the moment with its IT systems, and that a strategic move by Elon Musk to protect the stability of the platform while he figures out the next move,” Mr Navarra said.
It comes as a commerce union representing Twitter staff within the UK wrote to the social media large expressing its considerations over Mr Musk’s restructuring of the company.
On Friday it emerged that Twitter had closed its workplaces to staff till Monday amid the turmoil whereas many customers are sharing hyperlinks to different platforms they plan to use ought to the location be knocked offline by the continuing uncertainty.
Trade union Prospect, which says it represents a 3rd of Twitter’s UK workforce, has now written to the company elevating its considerations concerning the treatment of the agency’s employees, how its redundancy consultation process will work and has requested for a gathering with Twitter to talk about them.
Mike Clancy, general secretary of Prospect, said: “We are deeply concerned by further reports of the treatment of Twitter employees.
“From removal of remote working, demanding commitment to long hours and unsustainable working practices, and now locking employees out of their offices, we will not let these makings of a digital (cruise company) P and O pass unchecked.
“We are urgently seeking a meeting with Twitter UK Ltd to discuss how it will manage its collective redundancy consultation, ensure a fair and transparent process, and meet its duty of care and legal obligations to employees, including those with particular needs.
“Prospect will continue to do everything we can to support our members at Twitter.
“Big tech barons are not above the law and we will hold Twitter to legal account where possible.”