What is Mastodon?
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What is Mastodon?

What is Mastodon? Mastodon is an open source social network. Similar to Twitter or Tumblr, users can make
profiles, post messages, images or videos, and of course follow other users. Messages follow a 500 character limit and
are displayed in a chronological order. Unlike other platforms, however, Mastodon
is decentralized, meaning that there is no one server, company or person running it. While other social media platforms are owned
and operated by a single corporation who has full control over everything, anyone can create
and run their own server of Mastodon. How does this work? When someone creates their own version of
Mastodon, this is called an “instance”. Since Mastodon is open source, anyone can
create their own instance of Mastodon with their own set of rules. Because of this, all instances are owned,
operated and moderated by the community that creates them, and not some large corporation
which tracks your data to sell to advertisers. In most cases, Mastodon instances are crowdfunded,
not financed. But how do these instances communicate with
one another? While users within an instance can, of course,
follow each other, they can also decide to follow users within other instances. So, while each instance of Mastodon is privately
operated, their users can still communicate with members of other servers seamlessly. Of course, communities who want to remain
private don’t have to communicate with other servers; this is in the hands of its users. Mastodon also offers effective anti-abuse
tools to help moderate instances as users see fit. Ultimately, Mastodon is a social network which
puts the user first. Unlike traditional social media, Mastodon
can’t go bankrupt, it can’t be sold, and it can’t be completely blocked by governments. Users are free to join whichever community
they want, and communicate with whomever they want. With over a million registered users across
multiple different languages, Mastodon is growing fast. Not sure which instance to join? Click the link below to find one that’s
right for you.

99 thoughts on “What is Mastodon?

  1. Awooooo!!!! I love Mastodon! Its a breath of fresh air when compared with the closed silos we find everywhere!

  2. Would only like to add that Mastodon is not the only part of this social network. In fact, it's a part of something called the "fediverse", where every instance shares the same way to "talk" to each other (ActivityPub and/or OStatus). For instance, GNU Social (ex-StatusNet, known for Quitter) and Pleroma are part of the same network, and you can all follow each other, see what you're doing, etc.

  3. Ever since first joining Mastodon, I have deleted all my other social media and my life has improved so much! Mastodon is a great place and at least from my experience with it, lacks all of the toxicity of Twitter and such.

  4. hate to be the party-pooper but a majority of internet users are not going to understand this or be able to crowdfund an instance. Maybe after capitalism is dismantled. Good luck to all of us.

  5. Sounds great, except nobody I follow is on there, and I'm not popular/important enough to drag followers over by not posting on twitter or other services any more.

  6. Very interesting. I'm curious of a few things. Pretty ignorant of how things work online (Truly… correct me where I'm wrong, I very well may be lol) I'm knocking around ideas looking into the potential issues in the future with a pessimistic lens…
    1st.) – Is it the case that individuals manage the rules to abide for their "instance", or is it that the each server determines their own "rules" to abide by, which is managed by a collective of "instances"?
    –Assuming the later (perhaps wrongly), IF a server has certain rules determined by the owner or group, and they boot violating "instances" from their server (likely moving to other more tolerant servers), but the accumulated "instances" that willingly abide their rules eventually grows, doesn't that create a bubble/echo chamber? (for better or for worse)?
    2nd.) – If a privately owned server/"instances determines its own rules, and maybe deems another server, or individual on it to be incompatible with their server's rules; can they ban either one as they choose? What of someone who wants to communicate with them, but cant because of the group they're in that banned them..
    3rd.) – The free market capitalist in me sees viability of the idea that "bad" or poorly managed servers of "instances" will fall, and better servers rise where no centralized government makes the rules.. but the potential issue I see is a decentralized servers clustering into countless bubbles based on ideological community standards.. whether pro/anti free speech/ prejudice/ political party/ racial segregation… CAN you control who privately owned servers/SHOULD you?
    E.g. – Edge Lords on this server, and SJWs on that server… Unable to communicate..
    4th.) Obviously larger servers with more free communication standards between servers/instances will exist… I do realize maybe I'm nit picking.. but in the long run, I see potential for bubbles forming like sediment jars of social media groups..
    5th.) Will privately owned "Mastodon" servers be unilaterally held to a principle of open/free communication between all servers? or is that violating the idea behind decentralizing the whole thing?
    – Lastly – My general understanding is that "bubbles" is the whole idea of the thing, but with privately owned bubbles rather than centralized standards that creates one specific bubble… like we see with Twitter, and Facebook.. Privately owned and privately managed… is Privately owned, and publicly managed the case here? I'm not clear on specifics.. just inquiring about them basically..
    – Thanks 🙂

  7. Overall just a bad Tweetdeck wanna be

    where all your stupid twitter friends prefer to use for no fucking reason
    Thanks Mastodon……………

  8. Anyone who has dealt with power hungry moderators of discord channels or IRC or whatever else knows how this will end up…. instead of being controlled by some large corporation, now you are at the whims of some random guy with a personal ax to grind.

  9. Sounds interesting will check it out at some point. It was mentioned on the killstream as a possible alternative to the social media problem right now

  10. I like that there is an instance where the letter 'e' is not allowed.
    And then there is that instance where ONLY the letter 'e' is allowed!
    Good stuff! xD

    Im kinda hoping that more decentralized networks reach technical majority sooner rather than later. Could mean that things become less datagrabby and more diverse/chaotic again (and possibly more free) like in the 'old internet' (reddit is to blame for the term ;))

  11. In my mobile plan I have unlimited facebook, so I may use mastodon if they can have some plan because I'm all day in my smartphone and don't wanna finish my data so fast

  12. I wonder if i can create my own little instance on a raspberry pi.. If it's powerfull enough to support an instance of a couple of people it just might be worth trying.

  13. I see youtube are deliberately slowing down this video, obviously taking their clue from the Chinese authoritarians.

  14. please donate if you can, so Mastodon has a chance of seriously challenging the corporate giants (Facebook, Twitter). $1 per month per fan would be a game changer 😊

  15. What a cute animation! I'm looking forward to using this as Tumblr alternative.
    I'll donate as soon as I'm done with school and find a job.

  16. Mastodon is chit! So many porn and gay people there and all public and exhibitionists.
    And when you say something about that official. You get deleted. wan- kers!

  17. You have a admin problem on your site Far left fringe assholes are constantly targeting right wing and centrist users on the platform. They are corrupting communities and reporting them when they get busted being communist. You might want to fix your own bias before going after other peoples preferences. A friend of mine just got attacked twice once by a community owner and the next by a mystery case, there is little info on the incodent as per usal with unjust banishments and she has reason to belive the owner of fandom.ink is rrsponcible for attacks on her since she muted the admin for blindly obvious reason of she does not like Athoritian bullshit and this is on both ends of the spectrum. Because of her views that Athoritianisum is Toxic vile and Degenerative people like to consider her a free speach extreamist when in truth she makes a living humiliating CEO's in court that think they can bully disabled americans. She does not care for politics but when you pull Athoritarian crap out of your mother fucking ass with her 100% of the time your going down hard dude. I just agreed to be one of her choice weapons in this matter. I suggest you real in you big admins and start supporting your pryor claims about the platform. Waifu has a nasty wrath as a certin art teacher from her child's school discovered the hard way.

  18. Mastodon servers are modded by FAR RIGHT WING. They ban everyone who speaks out against Neoliberalism. They ban Socialists & Lefties. They ban snowflakes.

  19. I here people talking about Gab and Minds but never bring up Mastodon. I wonder if the youtube political sphere know about yall.

  20. I think calling Mastodon "Open Source" is a poor choice of words, given that it's licensed under the AGPL. Calling it Free/Libre Software would've been both more accurate and maybe even introduce users to the concept of software freedom.

  21. this is a good idea at first, but even if government can't block you, it still allow mastodon to block you, so this concept fails. No point moving from facebook/twitter that ban ppl for wrong speech to mastodon that does it even more

  22. Sneaky Torba is at it yet again. Gab made a kind of new design for mastodon. They did that for just $3,000,000 (…) they extorted from their users 2 years ago.
    Now they are asking people to invest $1.4 million dollars (!!!), AGAIN. Gab should maybe build a patreon clone using wordpress and existing plugins!!!
    YEAH! Free Money! I mean Free Speech!!

  23. So basically instead of having facebook sell our information to other companies, Mastodon instance owners will do that? Oh well 🙂

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