What's Mastodon? Mastodon is basically Twitter, except with less trolls and Nazis. And longer tweets.
It’s also Twitter without a whole bunch of VC investment that it needs to try and pay back by monetizing your eyeballs and keeping you on the site for as long as possible, regardless of whether that's by making you happy or enraging you.
And finally, the last big difference is that instead of living on a bunch of computers run by people working for Twitter, Mastodon lives on a bunch of computers run by whoever feels like running an “instance”.
Each instance can set its own policies. If you really want to be a jerk to people, you can find or start an instance that’ll let you! But people on other instances can very easily filter out not just you, but your entire instance. The hope is that this will keep things more civil than what Twitter has turned into. The reality is that there are probably exciting new failure modes somewhere in the future.
The policies of this particular instance can be found here. The TL;DR version of them is "Imagine you have a cool queer aunt. Don't do anything that'd probably piss her off."
Imagine you have a cool queer trans aunt who is a cartoon dragon sometimes. Don't do anything that'd probably piss her off.
We hope to make this Mastodon instance a chill place to talk with other people, from the same instance and around the fediverse. We also hope to play with the idea of what Mastodon "should' be; it started life as a Twitter clone, but we're not sure that's the best model to emulate - thus our visual downplaying of boosts, and our choice of a post limit that should let you share short essays rather than single paragraphs. We miss Livejournal and wonder how much of that is nostalgia, and how much of that was genuinely good ideas that nobody else has cloned.
This is an experiment. We currently make no promises as to the safety of any data you post to this site, nor to its persistence.
We may make these promises in the future. Probably once we open a Patreon to start paying for hosting instead of taking it all out of @anthracite's hoard.
We do, however, promise not to try to monetize your attention with advertisements. We also promise not to share your private data with any other people, government agencies, or corporate entities. Well, we might share your data if the government comes knocking with a big pile of lawyers. We haven't had that happen yet.
We also don't want to dig into your private messages. That said, if someone is claiming you're harassing them in PMs, we will have a look at them. Please try not to make us have to look. Also, keep in mind that private messages are not encrypted, and other servers are not guaranteed to respect the 'this is private' marker. I would not advise talking about anything illegal here until the Mastodon project solves this.
It's up to you if you trust us to keep these promises. "Us" is currently just @anthracite, a trans lady in her mid-forties.
This is a major problem most social media has had for the past few decades once it grows to a large enough size to be useful. Programmers need to pay their rent, hosting isn't free. But right now it costs me about twenty bucks a month plus the occasional day of my time to run this place. Which is basically pocket change to me right now. If this changes then I'll start asking y'all for financial and/or admin help, rather than looking to corporate wallets outside the community.
Until then, if you want to pay me back, then commission crazy porn of one of my fursonas, or make a donation to the Southern Poverty Law Center or your local chapter of the Democratic Socialist Party in my name. Or just take some spare money out of the bank and give it to someone near you who needs it more than either of us. ♥