What features should a community driven Mastodon fork have?

This is a #wiki post. Users with trust level 1 or higher can edit this post. Let’s gather features we want here:

… and let’s see which forks already have these features here:

feature Ecko Corgidon Fedibird Glitch-Soc Hometown Smalltown
character limit :heavy_check_mark: :terminal: :terminal: :terminal:
poll options :heavy_check_mark: :terminal:
local posts :heavy_check_mark: :x: :heavy_check_mark:
favicon :heavy_check_mark: :terminal: :terminal: :terminal: :terminal: :terminal:
blocklist :heavy_check_mark: :x:
YunoHost :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark:
doesn’t exist yet
watch posts
follow admins
find contacts
ext. timeline


  • (blank) = unknown
  • :heavy_check_mark: = available as admin setting
  • :terminal: = requires more effort by admin (e.g. editing config file)
  • :loading: = being worked on
  • :x: = doesn’t have it

This is indeed a shame, that Mastodon doesn’t have it.

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I think so too. When I hosted my first mastodon instance I thought for sure this was something the admin could choose for the instance and I was very disappointed when I found out it wasn’t.

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I just tried Glitch-Soc.
It allows local only post, but no change in character limit or change of favicon.
Poll options are set at 5.

Really? I am managing a couple of accounts on different instances and some have higher character limits than others(?) I am confused xD

Well yeah, but those are (slight) forks. The character limit can’t be changed from the admin interface.

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There’s another fork called Smalltown that has configurable status length among many other changes. GitHub - chandrn7/smalltown: A fork of Mastodon designed for civic communities looking to run their own social networks.

Then there’s my fork which is more process-based and is basically mainline Mastodon with all sensible open PRs merged. GitHub - weex/mastodon: C4 fork of your self-hosted, globally interconnected microblogging community I can say for mine, if increasing the 500 char limit is valuable, then a PR for that would get merged.


Cool. I added them to the list.

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I am fairly new to Mastodon and fedi in general, so I’m unaware of a lot of the pain points, but one of the things that brought me here was an interest in community and content moderation. I haven’t run an instance yet (maybe I need to start one!), and I am curious about others’ thoughts on the tools available in Mastodon mainline. Are there adequate roles? Would finer grained privileges and blocking abilities be desired? And is there sufficient power or gaps in inter-instance moderation? Some interesting discussion on federating blocklists and delegation on SocialHub here and here.


It’s a great question and I think the best resource for this, and I haven’t created a list or anything, but if you look at the issue tracker and search for moderation, blocking, blocks, you’ll find a lot, probably a few that would be good to highlight and attempt to describe better.


There are some Blocklists which can be used by instances to block instances which include for example harmful content. Some in this forum )for example myself) are the ones maintaining “fediblock”.


That’s awesome! What a cool public service :blush::+1:


I am confused because glitch-soc has editable post length but has a red X for that. Started a legend that needs a bit of clarification.

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Where in Glitch-Soc can you change the post length? I can’t find it.

The config file @ https://github.com/glitch-soc/mastodon/blob/main/.env.production.sample#L243

Also poll opt for that matter, unless the check should mean editable via UI. If Corgidon allows edit of char lim via UI, then that’s some code I want to check out.

Edit: Found it! https://github.com/msdos621/corgidon/pull/7/files

Feature: Watching posts

I have another feature, maybe hard to implement in intuitive way…

In Discourse and Github etc. comment threads are flat lists. You can only quote from above. Once you commented you are now watching the thread.

But on Mastodon discussions are trees. They are flattened (unintuitively) into a list as well, but depending which post has the focus you may see different branches (and these branches break when someone deletes their toot). What happens very often to me is that I find a super interesting toot, post a response to it and there’s some discussion. And then later on coincidence I find that their was way way more discussion… just not on the branch that I happened to comment on.

What I need is something of a Watch Post feature.

And I want that to operate in such way that watched post replies appear in my Notifications list, as if I were mentioned.

Update: Fedi poll here Humane Tech Now: "#Fediverse does this happen often to you too? Yo…" - Mastodon

Update2: The poll got some good replies already, and one by @macgirvin that led to Fetching a conversation and a Watch Post feature - ActivityPub - SocialHub


I’d love that feature too.


Feature: Listing Bots

The poll for the Watching Posts feature triggered some interesting discussion. But one thing that happened again was - and this is related to the forked discussions on fedi - is that people discussed stuff already addressed in other discussion branches. Hence I had to toot the same link to SocialHub topic 3 times.

I wanted to generate a diagram of the discussion thread. There’s a bot for that (created by @ColinTheMathmo), but I couldn’t remember its name and how to invoke. So I had to do some searches in my Mastodon history to figure that out. The bot invocation happened to be done via tooting “Calling @Chartodon@mathtodon.xyz”.

That got me to thinking this would be a nice feature:

Easy way to list available Bots

Now, there could just be another bot that handles this and I’d invoke something like “@Bots please”. But that would be very sub-optimal. It would pollute a discussion with my toot (even though on a sub-branch with only me mentioned), and someone would need to maintain the aggregator Bot. Plus there might be malicious bots in that list, or ones I’d like to blocklist for some reason.

Instead well-behaved bots might be Service actors that announce themselves on the fedi, and can be followed by (the Service actor of) instances, or by individual fedizens. Both the instance and fedizen now have a way to configure an allowlist of bots.

Only thing missing now is an easy way to consult the list. This might be part of the Mastodon UI now, that shows me a list of bot names + description + optional invocation instructions.

Update: I created a Poll to ask fedizens how they feel about this feature: Humane Tech Now: "#Fediverse would you like to have an easier way t…" - Mastodon

Was just going through the list and propose to remove Framapiaf, Soapbox, Florence and Smilodon.

Soapbox is a Pleroma fork. Soapbox-FE is Mastodon compatible but for the purposes of communities that are choosing from a Mastodon flavor, my thinking is it would be one which is a full replacement, not a component.

Framapiaf didn’t add or modify any functionality.

Florence’s repo is archived but is interesting for historical context. Maybe another thread on Mastodon history would be interesting.

Smilodon appears to have removed most features, opting for public-only interaction and hasn’t had any updates for a year.

I now understand the favicon request I think. Was that because Mastohost didn’t allow edits of any files at all on their platform? I’ve found replacing the file in /public is untouched through upgrades.


I switched columns and rows because there are more desired functions than forks.