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Mastodon Features and Reviews

Mastodon is a decentralized social network that offers similar features as Twitter.


Mastodon is a decentralized social networking service created by a German developer, Eugen Rochko, that lets users create private networks. The platform offers its users the choice of hosting smaller Twitter-like platforms called “Instances” and the creator can only admit desired people. 

Mastodon started after Twitter blocked the account of a Supreme Court lawyer, Sanjay Hedge because his posts about Nazis got blocked. The lawyer, Hedge announced that he’s going to start posting on Mastodon and many individuals also quit Twitter in solidarity. 

Mastodon, as a microblogging platform, offers many features like Twitter. Users can post messages (toots), images, and videos.

Product Details 

Mastodon operates as a federated open-source platform. The social network isn’t run by a centralized company. There is no overarching entity or company with access to the user’s entire data and as such, data can’t be sold, traded, or monetized. Mastodon hands users the control. According to Eugen Rochko, the platform was developed to hand control of data back to the user and create platforms that will remain forever. Decentralization is the biodiversity of the digital world, the hallmark of a healthy ecosystem. In a decentralized world like the Fediverse users from different interfaces, software, and forms of government would co-exist and cooperate. 

Mastodon permits private networks. It is akin to users owning their own Twitter. Users can run or host their own platforms or servers on their own rules and this is called Instances. The creator of such a platform is at liberty to determine whoever joins the community. Users on the platform have set up thousands of websites since its launch. Some of these platforms include generalist forums, interest-based communities. It is a network of thousands of communities operated by different organizations and individuals that provide a seamless social experience. 

Mastodon encourages feedback requests from users. The platform ensures that users are satisfied with the features on the platform based on their recommendations. According to Rochko, the platform’s roadmap was nonexistent at the beginning but with constant use and interactions from users, the roadmap was developed. An example is the implementation of focal points on the platform which is based on a recommendation of an artist. She mentioned that her vertical paintings were butchered off by thumbnails. Users can use custom emojis, hide contents behind spoiler warnings and choose users who can see or interact with their posts. 

Mastodon allows interoperability with compatible websites. Users of Mastodon can communicate with other platforms without leaving their accounts. This is the possibility of a user commenting on a post or following an account on Instagram if both platforms use the same protocol. The platform’s interoperability with other websites depends on the software. The software of the other platform should support the same subset of the ActivityPub protocol that allows for creating and interacting with status updates. Every website that can communicate with each other via ActivityPub is called Fediverse. 

Mastodon is a non-algorithmic platform. The platform allows its users to consume contents they truly enjoy and not invade their timeline with unwanted content either from other users they follow or that follow them. On Mastodon, there is no “based on the users you follow,” “Based on suggestions,” or” Trends based on locations.” Feeds are chronological, ad-free, and non-algorithmic. Users decide what they want to see. 

Mastodon offers complete modification to anyone. The platform offers anyone the complete autonomy to modify, change, run, inspect, contribute and reuse the Mastodon source code provided they guarantee the same freedoms for any derivative work. Individuals are free to contribute features to Mastodon or publish a modified version of Mastodon that includes different features. 

Mastodon allows its users to choose preferred service providers. This software can be used to power any other website. To this, its users can choose a service provider from existing Mastodon websites or create theirs if they so wish. These websites might have their moderation policies such as requiring users to use tags on potentially sensitive content and some may not. Across all websites is the pledge to actively moderate against hate speech, take daily backups, have at least an emergency admin, and give three months prior notice in case of a shutdown. 

Mastodon offers users several ways to hide unwanted content. Unlike most centralized platforms where users see unwanted content, Mastodon offers its users ways to hide unwanted content. The block function hides notifications and contents from a user not followed, messages that mention the user, and messages from the user shared by other accounts. Users can also tune out topics and conversations with the text filter feature. This feature matches keywords or phrases in a post and hides such posts from users. Users can also hide messages under content warnings. Unlike Twitter, where tweets are tagged sensitive and such tweets can’t be seen by people who haven’t opted to look at sensitive content, Mastodon allows its users to hide media uploads in specific posts. 

Users can also report other users they believe are breaking the servers’ rules. They can do this by optionally specifying the message or the posts in the report. Where the user resides on a different Mastodon server, a user can anonymously forward a copy of the report to the admins of that server. 

Mastodon allows users to discover interesting content. The platform provides a way for users to discover and browse all public posts while blocking unwanted contents as well. When a user browses the federated timeline, they can see all public posts available on the server they are on. However, the filter feature allows users to streamline the contents on the federated timeline with the local timeline. The local timeline feature applies to servers and not a geographical location. 


Mastodon is a decentralized social media platform that was built as an alternative to Twitter. It allows its users to interact with other social media platforms with the same protocol, build their own websites, interact with smaller communities, and generally express themselves without having to worry about data appropriation or illegal censorship.