Recent moves by Eugen Rochko (known as Gargron on fedi), the CEO of Mastodon-the-non-profit and lead developer of Mastodon-the-software, got some people worried about the outsized influence Mastodon (the software project and the non-profit) has on the rest of the Fediverse.

Good. We should be worried.

Mastodon-the-software is used by far by the most people on fedi. The biggest instance,, is home to over 200.000 active accounts as of this writing. This is roughly 1/10th of the whole Fediverse, on a single instance. Worse, Mastodon-the-software is often identified as the whole social network, obscuring the fact that Fediverse is a much broader system comprised of a much more diverse software.

This has poor consequences now, and it might have worse consequences later. What also really bothers me is that I have seen some of this before.

I go on to dive a bit into the history of StatusNet (the software), OStatus (the protocol), and (the biggest instance) on a decentralized social network “grandparent” of the Fediverse.

And draw an analogy to show why’s size, and Mastodon-the-software-project’s influence on broader fedi is a serious risk we need to do something about.

  • @rysiekOP
    155 months ago

    Yup. The problem is that these users will have trouble understanding how can it be “Mastodon” without being Mastodon, if you get my drift. Plus, ideally this would also be done by Mastodon-the-software project — “if you want functionality X, check out instances of this compatible-but-different software project.”

    But absolutely, doing so yourself in such cases makes perfect sense.