Mastodon founder Eugen Rochko is building a Nazi-free alternative to Twitter.

People Are Fleeing Twitter for Mastodon. We Talked to Its Creator.

People Are Fleeing Twitter for Mastodon. We Talked to Its Creator.

Decoding the Logic of Silicon Valley
Aug. 29 2018 4:11 PM

Twitter Without the Nazis

The founder of Mastodon on how he built an alternative social network, and why people are flocking to it.


Photo illustration by Slate. Images by Thinkstock and Twitter.

Listen to If Then by clicking the arrow on the audio player below, or get the show via Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play.

On this week’s If Then, Will Oremus and April Glaser discuss reports that big tech companies are lobbying in favor of a national privacy law. They’ll talk about what their motivations are. (Hint: It’s not just altruism or civic duty.)


The hosts are also joined by Eugen Rochko, the founder of Mastodon, a social network that’s becoming an increasingly popular alternative to Twitter. Rochko likes to say that you can join Mastodon if you want social networking without the Nazis and white supremacists. We talk to him about exactly how it works, and the daunting obstacles that every social networking startup faces.

15:00 - Interview with Eugen Rochko

31:00 - Don’t Close My Tabs

Stories discussed on the show:


Don’t Close My Tabs:

Podcast production by Max Jacobs

If Then plugs:

You can get updates about what’s coming up next by following us on Twitter @ifthenpod. You can follow Will @WillOremus and April @Aprilaser. If you have a question or comment, you can email us at

If Then is presented by Slate and Future Tense, a collaboration among Arizona State University, New America, and Slate. Future Tense explores the ways emerging technologies affect society, policy, and culture. To read more, follow us on Twitter and sign up for our weekly newsletter.