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Greetings, fellow crustaceans. I was wondering how many of you out there use the Mastodon microblogging platform, and thought I’d ask to see who’s on there and looking to interact with people there.

Mastodon appears to be very much what you make of it, and while it’s decentralized nature is very, very cool, it can for some people be rather quiet compared to birdsite, much as here can be compared to HN. As with HN, it’s often the case that there’s just a better SNR and nicer people :)

I’m @stevelord@mastodon.social, but I’d love to know who you are on there…

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      Relatedly, if you have linked a Twitter account on your settings page, you will be added to this Twitter list in a few minutes.

      If Mastadon has a similar feature, I’d take a PR for it.

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        Groups equivalents (bangs) are available on gnu-social but are sadly not yet implemented on Mastodon.

        Related github issue

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          Lists are being implemented though.

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          I agree with Gorgron. Hashtags should be enough. Subscribing to hashtags would be the next logical step.

          For everybody in here: Use the #lobsters hashtag ;)

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            Hashtags don’t really seem usable for this particular case; it’s not as if the people in the Twitter list pushcx made of lobsters users are going to tag every single tweet of theirs with the #lobsters hashtag.

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              I honestly don’t see the use in being able to see who uses what websites… is there a more compelling use case for groups/lists?

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                Lists are useful on Twitter because I can follow people I know or am interested in generally, and add other more specific accounts to a list. Because I don’t follow them they don’t show up in my main timeline, but I can (for instance) switch to viewing a list-as-timeline for my hometown list (mostly local news + some local businesses) or my “China journos” list (for when I want to see what’s happening with China news). I don’t want to see this content all the time, and I do want it silo’d; thus lists are useful (to me).

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                  it sounds like you’re using two different notions of list. the ability to view posts from only a certain set of people makes sense, but i don’t see why this couldn’t be implemented in a fashion similar to email clients (which can support any arbitrary filtering you like).

                  as for the ability to find people on mastodon who you also know on lobsters, implementing lists as a separate feature on mastodon seems like a poor solution. it still requires lobsters users to add themselves to the list, and there’s the unresolved problem of mapping lobsters id’s to mastodon id’s. the most sensible solution seems to be what people on lobsters already do: list your handles on other sites from your lobsters profile.

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              Mass-subscribing and mass-unsubscribing is not a good use case either? Well, I never understood why Twitter lets you subscribe to other peoples lists. Cloning lists would be useful, because then I can mass-subscribe and adapt it to my needs.

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            Subscribing to hashtags would be the next logical step.

            Just discovered that this is kind of possible already: Search for the hashtag, then “pin” the column with its settings top right.

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      Wow this really exploded! Just a heads up to anybody creating an account, use joinmastodon.org and find a different instance than mastodon.social, it aint really decentralized if everybody is on the same server!

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        I didn’t think much about it when I signed up. Is there a good way to migrate to other servers? I did dig up this github issue which AFAICT is unresolved - limitations of the protocol?

        Maybe I ought to just hop to another server before I’m too invested in my meager presence on mastodon.social

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          Go in settings and export your follow list, then import into your new account. I think thats all you can do right now, but I still recommend it, as mastodon.social tends to go down everytime there’s a big twitter migration.

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            Did that and it worked fine.

            I don’t care about keeping my old toots, though. I consider my social media stuff ephemeral. Auto-deleting is not implemented unfortunately…

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          kensanata also wrote a backup tool for all your toots etc. here: https://github.com/kensanata/mastodon-backup

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      Semi-active, but, the community is way more engaging than the Twitter void.


      P.S. It’s insanely frustrating to copy and paste these usernames on mobile, especially since they keep turning into mailto links. Could we please use profile links instead? Makes it easier to one-click follow, on desktop and mobile.

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      I’m on GNU Social, the distributed network of which Mastodon is one flavour of instances. @leeg@quitter.se

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        Keep in mind some instances will blanket block GNU Social because:

        1. It’s still on OStatus instead of ActivityPub, so privacy controls likely won’t work.

        2. Many instances of GNU Social are “free speech zones” of “red fediverse,” which causes “deep blue” fediverse to silence/ban (depends on how strict they are) them. (Matthew Skala’s article on it is interesting; somehow, the fediverse stays together!)

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          Huh. Thank you for that link. I’ve read it, and I don’t understand what Skala considers surprising about these events. It starts off by explaining some major factions, which certainly exist, but then what he describes doesn’t really have anything to do with the red/blue fragmentation.

          I’d love to see a write-up on the philosophical implications of fragmenting our communication platforms along ideological lines. I think we’re at a point in history where it’s inevitable, not due solely to political divisiveness, but due to the success of state actors who’ve worked to break the Internet’s original idea that we should have open communication regardless of national origin. And I think that’s very saddening.

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            Yes, filter bubbling isn’t good, and federated networks might end up making it even easier to build one.

            The good news is I think third party nodes can still federate with both parties unless one does something like whitelisting or reprisals for following “the enemy.” My node is in such a situation; and I hope to keep it this way.

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            The last election was the worst Ive ever seen filter bubbling thanks to how easy it is to unfollow or unfriend those that disagree. Im not sure how to counter it at this point since one is also fighting the algorithms and market share of the big compsnies.

            Temporary solution is just having several ways to support a point or policy that are tied to each of the prevailing audiences. There’s often overlap in interes. Trick is to focus claims on that while avoiding any words or points of your own political philosophy that are triggers for them. They just go into fight or flight mode if they spot one.

            Thing about this is there aren’t and won’t be enough people doing it. It might work focused on influential people, though. Then, the market or voter side gets pulled in indirectly.

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              My thoughts on this topic probably deserve an essay rather than a comment here, but I tend to procrastinate forever on writing essays, so I’ll answer briefly anyway…

              I think “filter bubble” is a suboptimal way to conceptualize the problem you’re talking about, as there are significant parts of it that it doesn’t include. I also think that fundamentally that what we see in the US is an urban/rural cultural divide at play, but not in most of the ways that have gotten the most headlines; it’s a lot more complicated than that.

              That urban/rural tension has always existed (it’s why the US has an electoral college at all), but the Internet made it more obvious to everyone, because people can’t really escape being put into contact with people from the other side of it, in the way that they used to be able to. And that either means being exposed to concerted hatred of everything they are, or to condescension and claims to know everything. (I’ll let you think about which sides are guilty of which of those offenses… It’s a useful thought exercise.) And people are right to want to step away from that, and to want a break.

              For thousands of years it’s been possible, even if costly, to just leave when you can’t stand somebody or their attitude. It isn’t any more, and humans aren’t built for that. And in that sense it’s not too surprising that we see ways to achieve something similar online, but the degree of fragmentation is still quite shocking to me.

              But that said, I don’t blame the fragmentation for the election. Quite the opposite - I blame the communication.

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          that’s up to them. If your instance doesn’t let you follow the people you want to follow you can switch to a different instance.

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            I don’t think the answer to the problem of toxic or poorly administrated instances is as simple as “people should just switch instances if their operator does something about other instances’ toxicity”

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              Legislation is the deeper problem. If I run an instance, I must not store illegal images on my server. Another instance in another jurisdiction might like to store images which are illegal for me. How can I keep those images away from my server?

              This is not about “poorly administrated” or “toxicity”.

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                They’ve already had to deal with that problem on Mastodon - you can set federation on another server to allow everything except media, supress except to followers, that plus no media, and completely defederate. (The case was Japanese servers allowing “lolicon” when that’s illegal in some jurisdictions.)

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              A lot of people are using Mastodon specifically because it allows them to create social networks that censor how they want to rather than how Twitter wants to. I don’t like any kind of censorship, particularly political censorship (and I view “toxicity” as a shibboleth of a specific cluster of political beliefs for speech they wish to make politically unacceptable, rather than as something universally bad), but that’s something that people running their own mastodon instance should feel entitled to do on their own instance. I would encourage people to be aware of the political biases of the people who run mastodon instances (of course, Twitter itself has its own set of political biases), and since my own politics are anti-censorship, I do actually think it would be good if people generally switched instances if the instance operator “does something about other instances’ toxicity”.

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                The whole concept is always weird to me, since I only see things from people I follow. I agree you need a way to block people from mentioning you (or even block all mentions by people you don’t follow) but that’s easy to support and isn’t really censorship

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              There’s a pretty wide range in how different instance admins define “toxicity”, and also a quite large range in how transparent and consistent they are, so if you encounter weird and poorly explained admin actions, switching instances to one that better matches your preferences can be a pretty reasonable course of action. I switched from mastodon.social to icosahedron.website in part for that reason (and in part because I like platonic solids).

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              Neither do I. Somehow, the idea of distributed status servers escalated to “someone on an instance running this software is undesirable, therefore anybody using that software should be blocked”.

              I understand that some toxic people use computers, and yet here we are on a computer.

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          I remember reading about GNU Social YEARS ago. Do we have any sense of the kind of adoption that network / service has seen as compared with Mastodon? I get the impression it (Mastodon) is taking off in ways that GNU Social and Friendica never did.

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            It apparently (through Gab?) became a sort of haven for people even Twitter thought were too extreme.

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              Oof. Googling gab.ai yields a face full of angry “alt-right” … stuff. (Must… Resist.. Judgemental… Snark…)

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            GNU Social doesn’t have that large of a userbase tho IIRC they are involved in the OStatus protocol and such.

            You can federate between Mastodon and GNU Social.

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      I know this is probably just a misunderstanding, but I don’t want it to keep spreading forever: The microblogging network that Mastodon is a part of is not called ‘Mastodon’. People aren’t ‘on Mastodon’ just like they aren’t ‘on Outlook’. The network itself is usually called the fediverse and there are at least 5 different popular implementations that participate it in it.

      Either way, I’m lain@pleroma.soykaf.com

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        Thanks that’s an important distinction I wasn’t aware of.

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      I host my own instance of Pleroma on Google’s free tier machine; I’m @otremblay@thezombie.net

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        It looks like I need to create an account to try to follow you at https://thezombie.net/@otremblay?

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          You’re not supposed to need that, I might be behind in my updates

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            try https://thezombie.net/users/otremblay, or search from your instance for @otremblay@thezombie.net

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              Ah, searching worked!

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      I’m on my own personal instance, @Exagone313@share.elouworld.org. I’m using Twidere on Android, available on F-Droid.

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      My self-hosted site:


      is intentionally OStatus-compatible, and will work with GNU Social, Frendica, and others. Mastodon hasn’t implemented enough of the spec to work for me, though, and I haven’t got around to putting in the needed changes to support their limited support yet.

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        Nice! Is the code for the ostatus stuff up anywhere? I am building mycete to do something similar - currently it lets me post from Matrix/Riot to mastodon, twitter and pnut - My original goal for it was to have it post to a “blog” kinda thing!

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          It’s mostly the pubsubhubub plugin and the salmon plugin (and also the diso actionstream plugin with some custom hacks, but that’s very optional)

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        I’m new to OStatus; is it possible to remote follow you from Mastodon?

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          Not from Mastodon yet, because they don’t implement the whole OStatus spec. Any fully-compliant implementation like GNU Social will work. Hopefully I’ll find the time soon to bend my implementation to Mastodon’s limitations.

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      Crikey, I didn’t expect this response! As /u/superpat mentioned, joinmastodon.org will help you find an instance that suits your needs if you don’t want to host your own.

      Discovery can be a little awkward on Mastodon, so search for hashtags of interest to find people, and have a look at who people are following. I’ve added everyone I can find on this page, and had a few follows too that I’ve followed back. If you look at my follows you should get everyone who interacted with this post.

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      I actually maintain a few different accounts for different purposes, like you said, mastodon is what you make of it

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        beerfactory.org is down. just returning the default nginx page

        EDIT: fixed link mastodon.beerfactory.org/users/superpat

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      @colindean@mastodon.social but I haven’t really done anything with it. More interested in namespace protection at this point…

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        Not having to care about namespace protection is kind of the whole point of a federated system. The way to get the name you want is to register a domain name and run an instance there.

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          While I have the know-how and the domain, I don’t want to spend the time or money to run my own instance. Since mastodon.social is the flagship instance, sticking a flag in it is enough for me.

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      I can be found at @tscs37@mastodon.social, though not very active since it’s my public non-shitposting account to some extend (I’ve been heavily using my shitposting account, should change that)

      Does anybody know of a good web client that supports multiple accounts?

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        Do you mind sharing your shitposting account? I’m honestly more interested in that than anything else.

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          that would be this one

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      Good idea, I was looking to expand a bit my main timeline :)


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      I’m @gerikson@mastodon.social. I don’t toot much, and I’m searching for a good console client. I’m using tootstream at the moment but it’s pretty flaky.

    17. [Comment removed by author]

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        Scratch that. Switching to @copacetic@social.tchncs.de for better federation.

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      @borko@mastodon.social - Just stuff

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      I have only one account, started using it more some days ago.


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      This just encouraged me to go & finally upgrade my instance to 2.0! I don’t use Mastodon as much (or rather, I have my off/on periods), but I like it very much. Hopefully this thread will enrich my timeline a bit. :)

      I’m at @nikola@mi.pede.rs.

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      Feeling inspired, and just signed up: https://mastodon.social/@jesper

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      I’m @sentry@mastodon.social but I’m still mainly on Twitter. I also haven’t checked out other err, nodes?

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      I’m @hjst@mastodon.sdf.org, where so far I’m mostly posting pics of food, but I’m looking to replace more of my Twitter usage with it. Hopefully this thread will help with that :-)

      (Tusky is a nice native client for Android, in case you’re looking.)

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      @pkubaj@mastodon.anongoth.pl (my own instance)

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        Hmm, I couldn’t remote-follow you for some reason. I get this error:

        “Security verification failed. Are you blocking cookies?”

        Other instances do seem to handle my cookie policy just fine (whatever it is, who knows anymore).

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      @feld@bikeshed.party - my own instance running on Mastodon-compatible Pleroma. Any BSD folk wanting to bikeshed with me in local are welcome to register. :-)

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        No remote-follow? It looks like I need to create an account to try to follow you at https://bikeshed.party/@feld.

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          Of course you can remote follow. You don’t need to click a Mastodon “remote follow” button to follow people in the Fediverse. Just search for me in your client: @feld@bikeshed.party

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            Yeah I eventually figured that out :) o/

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      I’m over at @Caius@scotland.computer when I remember to update it. Really should hook the bird site up to it, not that I remember to post there much either.

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      This is me.

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      I just set up mine a week or two ago, I’m bonzoesc@m.bonzoesc.net, probably going to end up as a typical shitpost zone.

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      I’m apparently @bmp@mastadon.social

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      Your post was the one that pushed me over the edge! Just created https://mastodon.social/@badtuple . Let’s see how this goes!

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      I’m boring and waiting for more biologists to show up :P

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      Thanks for posting this - a barrier to adoption for me is discovering people on there to follow.

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      Just joined up: @dmg@mastodon.social

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      I’m @mjn@icosahedron.website. I don’t use it as much as Twitter mostly because far more people follow me on Twitter, but I like it in principle.

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      I’m @feoh@mastodon.codingfield.com - really love what’s happening on Mastodon. Interesting to hear about folks not willing to take part in Mastodon’s growth due to protocol deficiencies.

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      I mostly post about mental health, especially dissociative identity disorder. If I ever start paying as much attention to it as I do to Twitter, I may also post about gender, type systems, civil rights, video games, and other things in that category (which is totally a coherent category and not one I just made up on the spot, wait, no).

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      I’m at https://icosahedron.website/@technomancy and have basically switched completely off Twitter. It took a while for me to find enough folks to follow that it didn’t feel too quiet, but at this point I like it a lot more.

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      Just created my account: @zge@icosahedron.website

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      @jamesog@mastodon.social although I’ve yet to post there. Honestly I keep forgetting I have it as I don’t have an equivalent of Tweetbot for desktop use.

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      right here - my node’s host hardware sometimes runs into trouble though, so it doesn’t always come back up.

      I need to write my thinkies on it.

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      Rants and raves broadcast straight to you from @rocx@mastodon.social. Not for the faint of heart or easily irritated.

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      @jordigh@mathstodon.xyz and @jordigh@icosahedron.website

      I’m still not quite sure what to do with Masto, but I like the interface.

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      \o/ :D

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      @algernon@trunk.mad-scientist.club. Even left Twitter in favour of Masto, and I’m only posting there nowadays. Mostly mechanical keyboards, their firmware, and parenting stuff. With an odd rant here and there.

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        (I should probably mention that I run @kbp@trunk.mad-scientist.club too, where I post keyboard (& keyboard related) pictures from time to time.)

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      I used to use Identi.ca quite a bit (the backend of which became GNU Social, which powers Mastodon) via the XMPP integration. Then that feature was turned off, and the whole backend was switched to pump.io, so I gave up :(

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        Not just the backend became GNU Social, it’s the evolution of the same codebase. The code for the XMPP worker is still kicking around somewhere… though it never worked amazing and certainly needs some love.

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      This is me – had to jump around to find an instance that is actively pro-free-speech: https://noagendasocial.com/@bobby

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      I’m one of two admins on wandering.shop; we were started as a friendly place for those interested in Science Fiction and Fantasy, and still have a large concentration of authors, but we’re open to everyone and have quite a lot of technologically-minded folk.


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      wow, when first saw this “post”, I wasn’t expecting this amount of responses. I’m @dethos@s.ovalerio.net btw.

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      I don’t really post much, and almost nothing tech-related. https://mastodon.sdf.org/@halfmanhalfdonut

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        Hello fellow SDF-er :-)

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          Hey! Love seeing other SDF-ers in the wild :D

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      I’m late to the party but just followed everyone. I’m @akkartik@mastodon.social.

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      The link does not work, so here is my handle @xhr

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