ITP Camp 2017

Don't Tweet, Toot: Understanding Mastodon and the Federated Social Network

Session Leaders: Allison P.

Tags: #social #twitter #mastodon #federation #internet

Created By: Allison P.

Originally released in October 2016, Mastodon—an implementation of GNU social—has recently attracted attention as a potential alternative for centralized social networks like Twitter and Facebook. With hundreds of thousands of new users in the past few months, Mastodon (and other software like it) has the potential to shift the landscape of online community. Mastodon is open source and federated: anyone can run their own instance. In this session, we'll talk about what "open source," "federated," and "instance" mean, and talk about why users are eager to use this software instead of its proprietary alternatives. In particular, we'll focus on the creative potential of a customizable social networking platform (e.g.,, and take the first steps toward starting our very own Mastodon instance.


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