This is just a quick post to give some brief thoughts on my experience using Mastodon and Pleroma. Hopefully, anyone who stumbles on this and is a Twitter user might learn something new and move over to one of these federated platforms.

Mastodon

Mastodon was the first federated social network I started using. It’s pretty well known and is the largest of the federated platforms. It’s also the platform that most people jump to when they eventually decide to quit Twitter.

The selling point for Mastodon is that anyone can host their own little Mastodon ‘instance’ and each of these instances can then communicate with each other, to form one giant network.

This means that unlike Twitter, there’s no one ‘central’ authority. Because of this, instances can be focused on niche interests or groups of people. And each instance can also set its rules and terms of service and enforce them as they see fit. Usually, this means that it’s easy for the community to police itself and ensure that its members can be safe.

Pleroma

Pleroma is similar to Mastodon, in that it’s an ActivityPub-based social network that can be self-hosted and connects to other instances.

Where it differs is that it’s a far more hackable backend and allows for much more customization and tweaking of almost every setting. It also runs extremely lightly in terms of system resources and can even be run on a Raspberry Pi!

What I Settled On

I run accounts on both Mastodon and Pleroma and enjoy using them both.

I do prefer using Pleroma though, as running my instance means I’m fully in control of every little aspect of my own social network. I’m also enjoying tinkering with a Debian server and learning the ins and outs of how to maintain a server. And that’s always a useful skill nowadays!


I’m publishing this as part of 100 Days To Offload. You can join in yourself by visiting https://100daystooffload.com.