Masto and other accounts April 25, 2022 7:57 PM   Subscribe

As we know, a depraved billionaire bought [some of, kind of] Twitter. This thread is for discussion of where else you are for social media, such as Mastodon instances—and if you want, to tell others where to find you.
posted by Fiasco da Gama to MetaFilter-Related at 7:57 PM (72 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

I was mentioning earlier in the linked thread that Mastodon's been the best twitter-but-not thing I've found for that particular mode of social interaction, and I like it over there. I've been there for a few years as @joshmillard on, but there's a whole big pile of different instances you can join ( is the official landing page) and they all more or less interact seamlessly so it doesn't really matter where, specifically, you are if you're just using it in a generalized twitter-like way.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:06 PM on April 25 [4 favorites]

The usual username on mastodon. Been there a while now.

Octodon has been closed for a while but current members can send invites if anyone wants one. Send memail. It’s a pretty chill and inclusive instance, except for nazis.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:14 PM on April 25 [5 favorites]

i restarted my mastodon account really recently after more or less ignoring it. I’m

I will mostly just post non sequiturs and small life updates, basically twitter before it was…..all…this…
posted by bxvr at 8:41 PM on April 25 [2 favorites]

oh, and I plan to post book thoughts on there as well, so hit me up if u <3 scattered thoughts about Pynchon
posted by bxvr at 8:43 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]

As Wobbuffet commented in the other thread Mefi has a Social Explorer which shows users who have put a mastodon social link in their bio; I'm there.

One of the nice things about the technology & the concept is that instances are run on the basis of shared interest, shared identity, geography, or whatever at all. You should be able to find one that appeals—and importantly, an instance that blocks other ones that really really don't; the distasteful, the offensive, the dangerous.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 8:45 PM on April 25 [6 favorites]

I am apparently @eyebrows on mastodon so, you know. And mostly I posted about how until I was in college I thought the Sound of Music ended at the wedding, I had NO FUCKING IDEA there was a Nazi subplot, because my mom always turned it off after the wedding so I wouldn't get upset. I thought Georg just didn't like the Nazi banners and pulled them down, he won, the end.

Also, fun fact, when the Stonewall Riots happened in 1969, Illinois was the only state where gay sex was legal, as we decriminalized it in 1962.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 9:20 PM on April 25 [7 favorites]

Yeah, I think I'll be trying to shift toward Mastadon (again). This time around I'm
posted by pompomtom at 9:35 PM on April 25

Mefi has a Social Explorer which shows users who have put a mastodon social link in their bio
Mastodon is one option for it to show - it has a dropdown list of a whole bunch of different platforms, along with the (known) number of MeFites on each. I'm thinking about signing up for an account on "Crazy Guy with a Bike", just so somebody is there.

I don't even own a bike.
posted by Flunkie at 10:37 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]

What's the difference between "Youtube" and "Youtube (Custom Account Name)", by the way? Besides the great disparity in number of MeFites.
posted by Flunkie at 10:39 PM on April 25

Just sorta tossing this out there... have we ever considered having a Metafilter Mastodon instance? Like, an official one? Where our usernames carried over?

Nobody would have to use it if they didn't want to, but by tying it to existing usernames, there'd be no risk of someone "claiming" someone else's name or presenting themselves as another user.

Admittedly, we do already have Official Metafilter Chat for people who want more interaction, but I think chat is fundamentally different than what you get from microblogging / .plan-file-ing / AIM away message-ing, because the latter is meant to be asynchronous, but still chattier than an actual forum.

Seems like the sort of medium this community would do well. (I'd like to see the weapons-grade snark it would produce.)
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:52 PM on April 25 [19 favorites]

The problem I had with is that instead of "Tweet" or "Toot" they have "Oot".
In Scots, Oot means Out so that just made no sense to me, I had to switch to
posted by Lanark at 2:29 AM on April 26 [2 favorites]

Not masto but someone asked in the FPP if MeFi has a Discord server and it does.
posted by womb of things to be and tomb of things that were at 2:59 AM on April 26 [1 favorite]

My main account is on one of the official instances, but I'll probably move over to my account on a comrade's instance if this boom holds. Most "I'm leaving Twitter!" booms fade in a week.

I've been around Mastodon since about 2016. If you've followed it, you might remember my well-circulated "ActivityPub could be the future" article which vanished with the blog it was on.
posted by Kye at 3:35 AM on April 26

My main general-purpose account is, though I have another one for microblogging about music I'm listening to and such, at

I have been toying with setting up my own instance, and perhaps in the light of recent events, might do so.
posted by acb at 5:42 AM on April 26

Nobody would have to use it if they didn't want to, but by tying it to existing usernames, there'd be no risk of someone "claiming" someone else's name or presenting themselves as another user.

Can Mastodon (or any other ActivityPub software) be tied to an existing authentication mechanism for user accounts?
posted by acb at 5:43 AM on April 26 [3 favorites]

I've had a masto account for about a year, and became more active there as of yesterday. The instance I chose is one specifically friendly to anti-fascist and/or queer folks. Feel free to find me and follow me there--Metafilter people get an automatic followback from me.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 6:41 AM on April 26

I am pianoblack on I think it was a similar "hey are you on Mastodon" MeTa thread back in (checks notes) 2017 or so that motivated me to join.

I'm not quite sure if/when I will get rid of my Twitter account in light of the Muskening, but I agree this is a good moment for everyone to take a look at their social media and see what serves them and what does not. I will probably be more active on my Mastodon instance and pare down (even more) my Twitter follow list. We'll see. I'm seeing a lot of "haha, you'll be back" tweets on my timeline and my first thought is "screw you, I thought you were cool". But, you know, These Modern Times...
posted by pianoblack at 6:41 AM on April 26 [1 favorite]

Tucker Carlson deleted the tweet that got his account to be suspended (one in which he had intentionally misgendered Rachel Levine) and is pretending he was simply magically restored due to Elon Musk and free speech.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:43 AM on April 26 [1 favorite]

I can't figure out yet another username to use! My late-90s self didn't account for this...
posted by cendawanita at 6:57 AM on April 26 [2 favorites]

I'm still Still rarely posting about bicycles, countryside, and weird off-grid solar problems.
posted by introp at 7:11 AM on April 26 - will probably feature a lot of pictures of cats.
posted by Artw at 8:43 AM on April 26 [2 favorites]

posted by chococat at 9:16 AM on April 26 [2 favorites]

Hurumph. I'm trying to sign up for, but it won't send the email confirmation. Tried multiple times with two different email accounts.
posted by team lowkey at 9:28 AM on April 26 [1 favorite]

I'm trying to sign up for, but it won't send the email confirmation. Tried multiple times with two different email accounts.

posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:46 AM on April 26

I'm trying to sign up for, but it won't send the email confirmation. Tried multiple times with two different email accounts.


As you may know that is the main instance. The mother ship so to speak. The founder/developer of the project. It is getting hammered with new subscribers and the admin is doing his best to keep up and to shore up the servers. Perhaps try another instance or just wait until they catch up.

Here is a recent post from the admin:

"Good morning friends, this server is once again suffering under a heavy load of traffic and I am once again working on making it work better. Please be patient :tiredcat:"
posted by Hey, Zeus! at 9:53 AM on April 26 [5 favorites]

I signed up for this morning and the confirmation email was delayed, but it did arrive after about an hour.
posted by Tehhund at 10:25 AM on April 26

This is probably a really stupid question, but what is the best way to understand Mastodon - like, for instance (ha), what is an "instance" and what is the difference between and I am a complete and utter noob and was thinking of joining Twitter until *all this*, so I am interested, but don't quite understand how it works. Not looking for anyone here to explain it (unless you want to) - just what is the best place to find a primer?
posted by sundrop at 10:43 AM on April 26 [1 favorite]

Guide to Mastodon
posted by Lanark at 10:47 AM on April 26 [1 favorite]

This was shared into my feed yesterday and I thought I'd pass it along, a curated list of accounts by topics should you want to flesh out your followings: as well as this list by @FediFollows:
posted by msbutah at 11:15 AM on April 26

I'm, where I post watercolors. I just switched from the other day, and I was delighted with how simple it was to bring followers along to the new instance.
posted by surlyben at 11:21 AM on April 26

If you're signing up for Mastodon, I'd recommend not using the "default" instance (, first because it's overloaded, and second because the point of Mastodon is to be a decentralized network—having everyone (or even just a very large subset of users) on a single instance is sort of counter to that goal.

All the instances that appear in the "instance chooser" list (this one) have undergone basic vetting: they have anti-harassment policies, do daily backups, have more than one person with access to the actual server, and promise to give notice to users before shutting down.

There are many more instances beyond those in the chooser, though. The SDF (better known for its free Unix shell accounts) runs one at, which is where I am (and it's free to use, but there are optional membership tiers for other stuff, including NextCloud, enhanced shell access, IRC, etc.).

Can Mastodon (or any other ActivityPub software) be tied to an existing authentication mechanism for user accounts?

Yes, the mainline Mastodon server can use LDAP for authentication. I have no idea if Metafilter uses LDAP (I'm going to go out on a limb and guess... not?).

But if it was my problem to solve, I wouldn't screw around with some sort of centralized auth. The Mastodon Server has a command-line admin interface that's easy to script. All you'd really need to do would be to dump a list of current Metafilter users and create them all in Mastodon to prepopulate the instance. I wouldn't migrate passwords (that would be hard) but would instead send a message to each MeFi user with a randomly-generated password that they could change on first login.

The command would be something like:
tootctl accounts create USERNAME --confirmed --skip-sign-in-token

IIRC the command outputs a randomly-generated password when each account is created, so you'd want the script to capture that output to a file so it could be sent to users out-of-band. (I don't know what sort of bulk-messaging features MeFi Mail has, so that's a question mark.)

You could always just create all the accounts in the Mastodon database as "disabled" by default, and then enable them on an individual basis when requested, I suppose.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:47 AM on April 26 [1 favorite]

Since nobody else* was using, I grabbed it.

*can't imagine why, it's such a totally excellent username...
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:21 PM on April 26 [1 favorite]

sundrop, one of the easiest ways to understand instances and Mastodon is to think of email. You might have a gmail account. Your friend might have a yahoo account. Another friend might use fastmail. But you can easily send email to any of them. But each one of those email providers (read: instance) has their own set of rules that people who get email addresses from them must abide by.

With mastodon, the instance admin decides whether their instance allows or doesn't allow hate speech. Or they may decide that no pornography is allowed. Or they may allow pornography but only if used with a Content Warning. These instances all publish their rules and before you sign up or request an invite you can read them.

There are tools for finding instances that match your values, such as the Mastodon Instance Wizard. It will walk you through such questions as: how many users max or minimum on the instance? (Some people like large communities, others prefer smaller ones), whether you want the instance to be English or another language. Whether nudity is allowed, not allowed, or only allowed with a content warning. Or even whether spoilers are allowed without a content warning. Or if you want a regionally focused instance versus a general interest or one for artists, etc.

If you join an instance and are looking for people who share your interests you can search based on hashtags (#knitting, #photography, etc) or you can look at sites like this one -- flash backs to Bird on a Wire blog collector in the late 90s) -- where people submit themselves to be listed on certain interests.

I am being long-winded now, but I hope that helped.
posted by Hey, Zeus! at 12:42 PM on April 26 [4 favorites]

Heads up for those signing up- whatever this format is doesn't seem to work so well with the Metafilter Social Explorer page and I'm assuming the links in the mefi user profiles as well. It makes it like I think the expected format would just be like which in my case at least made it a working clicky to my profile page...
posted by mcrandello at 1:09 PM on April 26

Thanks folks! If I end up signing up (and am successful at said signing up), I'll add it to my profile.
posted by sundrop at 1:34 PM on April 26 [1 favorite]

This is a list of all Mastodon instances which you can sort by size/rating and Observatory by Mozilla score (security).
posted by Lanark at 2:17 PM on April 26 [1 favorite]


It's a spicy anarchist space, which suits me fabulously. Feel free to follow me.

I made my account a year ago, when a few of us had a previous freakout about Twitter and activist spaces.
posted by spinifex23 at 2:28 PM on April 26


Dunno if I'm ever gonna use it; I don't Tweet.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:26 PM on April 26

What kirkaracha said ^^
posted by heyho at 5:20 PM on April 26

I'm which is a thing because people think it's the signal app's account and I get some follows and mention that are clearly not for me.
posted by signal at 6:05 PM on April 26

I just signed up - I'm for now (planning to move to another instance once I am approved by them, but I gather that won't affect followers/following)
posted by joannemerriam at 8:54 PM on April 26

posted by garrett at 1:32 AM on April 27

I will be completely honest I don't get it, I signed up for one group but then went to sign up for another group, but they don't overlap. I have read the FAQ but i don't get it... Can someone be nice and break it all down?
I don't tweet if that explains it
posted by Lesium at 4:38 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]

I semi get it - I'm But I want to see content from and, and not just from accounts I follow. How do I do that?
posted by Tehhund at 5:18 AM on April 27

Look at the local timeline on each server. Be warned that the one is a firehose.
posted by acb at 5:22 AM on April 27 [2 favorites] I don't say much, but what the hey.
posted by solotoro at 5:42 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]

Is there an alternative to Twitter that isn't so bureaucratic and opaque?
posted by Grangousier at 8:07 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]

I know I have an old account floating around somewhere but even after signing up and playing with it I was still confused. Maybe I'll give it another shot - I have been wanting to shout into the abyss more lately!
posted by brilliantine at 8:59 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]

I want to see content from and, and not just from accounts I follow. How do I do that?

I don't think you can, the local Timeline only shows posts from your current instance. The Federated Timeline shows all public posts from all users "known" to your instance. This means the user is either on the same instance as you, or somebody on your instance follows that user.

A lot of people think Twitter allows you to search across all accounts, and in turn be seen by all accounts, but that is not even close to being true, Twitter average over 350,000 tweets sent per minute and the Twitter algorithm controls who sees what. When you search a popular hashtag or phrase you are seeing a tiny proportion of what has actually been posted.
posted by Lanark at 9:44 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]

Is there a way to find people you already know? Or e.g. specific journalists you want to follow? I can't see that there's a way to search people by name.
posted by joannemerriam at 9:59 AM on April 27 [1 favorite]

I've been trying not to fall back into my old "cantankerous, overly opinionated tech dude" persona for several years. I really, honestly have been trying to grow past it. I gotta put my foot down somewhere, though.

In the last few years I've gotten very tired of commercial services and service providers that shit out from underneath me for various reasons, turning me from enthusiastic to disgusted: Spotify randomly removing tracks I love, Blizzard's decades long decline, Reddit going from sort of shitty but lively to... whatever the fuck it is now, Plex for losing their way, Microsoft for starting to turn the corner on decades of fucked up behavior only to put the brakes on detoxifying, Netflix turning into a TV channel, Sonos for giving up on even trying to be good at software, CentOS for pulling the rug out from under millions of customers, Google massively fucking over everyone who uses Google Apps for Domains, hell, even Facebook going from regular sketchy to Dangerous to Our Democracy. Now we have a shitposting instigator plutocrat aiming to make Twitter even more awful than it already is?

I've spent over a decade softening my stance as a free software and open internet bigot who wants to own his entire tech stack and you know, maybe this is it. Stallman was fucking right. Return to monke. Over the past couple of years I've been moving services I and my family use back into my area of direct control.

So I guess the next question becomes: should I stand up a Mastodon instance or is there one that I can actually trust to, you know, at least not be shitty during its lifespan?
posted by majick at 1:28 PM on April 27

I can't see that there's a way to search people by name.

That is by design to help avoid harassment. The only thing that is searchable is hashtags.
posted by Hey, Zeus! at 3:50 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]

should I stand up a Mastodon instance or is there one that I can actually trust to, you know, at least not be shitty during its lifespan?

Perhaps create your own instance?

I was running my own, with hosting by while I was trying to decide on a permanent home. If you run your own, you have all the control and can connect with whomever you want.
posted by Hey, Zeus! at 3:54 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]

I keep copying people's handles only to not find theme and eventually realise folks are misspelling mastOdon. :)

posted by Hey, Zeus! at 3:56 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]

And, yes, I made a typo in that comment... natch.
posted by Hey, Zeus! at 4:04 PM on April 27 [1 favorite]

Sigh... I fixed that typo in 2 of 3 places in my comment and then hit submit.
posted by Tehhund at 4:19 PM on April 27 [2 favorites]

I want to see content from and, and not just from accounts I follow. How do I do that?

Tehhund, does this tool do what you are trying to achieve?

You can view any public timeline from any mastodon instance.
posted by Hey, Zeus! at 5:32 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]

Many cool Mastodon-related tools can be found here,, including ways to embed your feed to your website, and even crossposting if that is your thing.
posted by Hey, Zeus! at 5:38 AM on April 28 [1 favorite]

I apparently created two different accounts the last time I used Mastodon, back in 2018. I have no idea why. Anyway, currently attempting to be active on I don’t have enough creativity to come up with a different username.
posted by DiscourseMarker at 9:28 AM on April 28

Is there a good app for mastodon, or are people just visiting via browser?
posted by curious nu at 11:19 AM on April 30 [1 favorite]

The browser version has worked very, very well for me on mobile. Other sites should look at Mastodon's site and copy whatever they're doing. With that said, they have official apps for iOS and Android. There are also several third-party apps on the Google Play store, and the most popular seems to be Tusky which is what I use. A search for Mastodon on the Apple App store turns up lots of hits but I haven't tried any of them.
posted by Tehhund at 12:32 PM on April 30

Tusky is also available on f-droid, for those folks who don't like having Google all up in all their apps (I use it on LineageOS).
posted by solotoro at 4:03 PM on April 30 [1 favorite] Feeling cute, might delete.
posted by condour75 at 5:17 AM on May 1

I have been testing all the iOS apps and there is no perfect one for me yet, but my faves so far are Mast and MetaText. Challenge is that both of them not being developed. Good news is they are open sourced... at least MetaText is. Tusky is Android only BUT there is a TestFlight version. I think that requires getting an invite.

MeMail me if anyone has questions wrt Mastodon or PixelFed. Happy to help, but not ready to openly disclose my handle here.
posted by Hey, Zeus! at 7:32 AM on May 2 [1 favorite]

BTW, I am seeing many people using the term "Twitter refugee" in profiles and intros and I wanted to warn that many folks aren't keen on that term as real refugees got through a lot of shit. Just a heads-up.
posted by Hey, Zeus! at 7:35 AM on May 2 [1 favorite]

* This doesn't mean you haven't gone through a lot of shit on Twitter.
posted by Hey, Zeus! at 9:19 AM on May 2

they have official apps for iOS and Android

N.B. that the "official" (developed by Eugen Rochko) Mastodon iOS app seems to have a serious bug, at least as of last week, that prevented it from being used with any Mastodon instance except those listed on Join Mastodon. It was reported on GitHub a couple of weeks ago but, as of today, it doesn't seem to have any action taken. Trying to sign into any Mastodon instance except those on the approved list results in an infinite spinning beachball.

The idea of having an official app that only works with a pre-approved list of very popular Mastodon servers rubs me the wrong way, and as a result I can't recommend the use of it. It might be fine for new users, but the point of Mastodon is that you can (reasonably) easily spin up a new instance for your community/friends/company/whatever, and might not want or be able to jump through the hoops necessary to get it listed on Join Mastodon.

I'd instead strongly recommend MetaText as an iOS Mastodon client, which I've been using for a while now and have found to be very stable and feature-rich. It is also free (as in beer) and free / libre / open source software (GPLv3).
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:32 AM on May 2 [1 favorite]

Yeah, and I have gone back and forth with Eugen about how just calling it "official" does harm to the project and is confusing to people who want to join other instances. That he may accidentally create a default Mastodon or that people will choose the official app and the "official" instance because they fear knock-offs. He doesn't agree with me. *shrug*
posted by Hey, Zeus! at 11:59 AM on May 3 [1 favorite]

For the record, it looks like the bug/glitch that was preventing the "official" Mastodon from being used to join arbitrary instances (and not just those in the Eugen-approved list) has been resolved. At least on my test device, I can now log into seemingly any instance I want.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:47 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]

I second and nth the Metatext and Mast recommendations for iOS. Tusky is...okay, but still a work in development. A hybrid of Mast and Metatext would be ideal, IMO.

As for following folks, the Trunk listed earlier is quite helpful, but so is The latter is quite new, but you can search by interest/hashtag and find various folks throughout the Fediverse.

One bit of advice: you can see Pixelfed and Misskey and Pleroma accounts while searching, regardless of the tool you use, and you can follow users across the Fediverse from Mastodon. It's not particularly smooth, and so far the only way I have been able to follow cross-Fediverse is by using the process at this link. To be honest, I'd bookmark the link and come back to it later, once you've settled on a name and instance.

Finally, I have followed a few of you here, and have updated my profile to reflect my current Mastodon account. My old one from 2017 was on, but I deleted it after non-usage. Devils Rancher, I may be sending you MeMail soon regarding invites back to that instance.
posted by stannate at 11:35 AM on May 17 [1 favorite]

And thanks to Devils Rancher, I'm back on MeFi profile also updated to reflect the new/old instance.
posted by stannate at 4:19 PM on May 17

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