How to sign up for Mastodon: A guide to using the Twitter alternative

Twitter under Elon Musk is still up and running despite massive layoffs and a series of erratic management decisions.

Many long time users, however, worry the end is near or that platform is no longer a safe or welcoming place for them, and they’re looking for a new home online. That search had new urgency after Twitter banned several reporters on Thursday night, causing both U.S. and international officials to condemn the decision.

While a number of new and existing companies are jostling to become the next Twitter, open-source option Mastodon has seen a large influx of people. The site can be tricky for new people to understand, and might not be what fills the Twitter void in the long run. But at least for now, it has many of the same posters and experts sharing their toots (we’ll get to that).

If you’re interested in trying Mastodon out, here is a simplified guide to getting started quickly.