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Name: Mastodon
Owner/Maintainer: registered nonprofit led by Eugen Rochko
Dates: 2016 – present
Type: federated social media
Fandom: multifandom
URL: many; for the "welcome page"
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Mastodon is a federated self-hosted social network service founded in 2016. It is one of the most well-known decentralised social networks, due to receiving a great deal of attention as an "up and coming" social network in 2017 and 2018. Many fans began experimenting with and migrating to Mastodon in the wake of the Tumblr NSFW Content Purge, as part of the movement towards federated fandom.

Another wave of fans investigated Mastodon as a potential alternative to Twitter in April 2022 as the news broke that Elon Musk had agreed to buy the platform. A much bigger wave migrated over to the platform in October/November 2022 as the sale completed and lay-offs began at Twitter, sparking serious fears that this was the beginning of the end for Twitter.

Fan Use

Unlike centralised social networks like Twitter and Tumblr, Mastodon is decentralised, meaning that instead of all users congregating on a single web domain, they are split up across individual "instances" or servers. Anyone can run their own Mastodon server, and the majority are run by volunteers. However, different instances can also communicate with one another, meaning that they are not closed-off communities, but rather a sort of "home base" that determines the community a user is mostly surrounded by (and what moderation standards that community adheres to).

Fans and fandom are present throughout Mastodon, and while many fans create and choose to join fandom-specific instances (see Fan Communities), fans also congregate via other means. Hashtags exist on Mastodon and are a popular way for fans to find each other and congregate around a topic across instances, especially as Mastodon is non-searchable by design (making hashtags the most reliable way to find content on a specific topic). Groups are another innovation that allow fans to discuss topics and form communities across instances.


Groups are not a native feature on Mastodon (yet - a native Groups feature is in the works, with a pull request added in 2022[1]), but the functionality has been built on top of Mastodon with tools such as Guppe and Through these tools, groups function akin to a user account that can be followed and @-mentioned by anyone who wants to have their post boosted to the group (these boosts are carried out automatically). Guppe groups have no owner or moderator associated with them, while groups do.

Fan Communities

Due to the nature of the fediverse, which promotes creating focused, smaller communities instead of large "all-purpose" communities, there are a range of fannish instances. Some are pan-fandom with no particular fandom focus, or cater to a broad set of fans such as SFF or anime fans, while others are fandom-specific.

Below is a list of known fannish instances, both past and present (inactive instances are marked where possible, but info may not be 100% up to date)

Pan-fandom instances

  • Baraag - an instance for sexually explicit works
  • - a diversity-focused pan-fandom instance (closed as of May 2019)
  • - "a community of fandom nerds. We talk enthusiastically about our favourite blorbos, create fanart, fanfic, fanvids and other transformative works.
  • - "A place for all fandoms and fans, big or small. Share art, writing, cosplay, or just enjoy characters!" (18+) (scheduled to close down in January 2023[2])
  • - a specifically queer, pan-fannish space that aims to be anti-racist and anti-ableist
  • - "Inspired by the Great Tumblr Exodus of 2018, is a small instance designed for fans, fandom, and fandom content creators."
  • - an adults-only panfandom instance running the glitch-soc fork of the software
  • federatedfandom - invite-only multifandom instance
  • - "Mastodon community made for fandoms of music, movies, gaming & all forms of entertainment. We are LGBTQ+ friendly and maintain a safe environment."
  • - "A poly-fandom instance for nerds to talk about nerd culture."

Anime/Manga instances

Furry fandom instances

  • - "A safe space for LGBT+ folks who enjoy spending their time with computers and have interest in the furry fandom."
  • - "Mastodon for those wanting a home in the Furry Fandom" & sister server for Scottish furries
  • - an instance for furry fandom, therians and otherkin (link no longer live)
  • - a furry fandom instance "open to all fluffies and scalies"
  • - "This instance aimed at any and all within the furry fandom, though anyone is welcome! We're friendly towards members of the LGBTQ+ community and aiming to offer a safe space for our users."
  • - "A chill instance run by some queer leaning gay dudes. Come enjoy the Petting Zoo. Fuzzies welcome." (18+)
  • - "a friendly and welcoming community of foxes and their associates, friends, and fans! =^^="

Pony fandom instances

  • - "Equestria Social Network is a Mastodon instance for all pony fans, created to federate people of the MLP FiM fandom wanting to join the "fediverse", and those already present."
  • - "a Mastodon-enabled social network for bronies, pegasisters, and all the rest of you horsefucker degenerates."
  • - "a friendly, welcoming mastodon instance for everyone who enjoys the MLP fandom or fur in general, everyone is welcome to join and discover the ponyverse!"

Sci-fi/Fantasy instances

Video gaming instances

Other fandom-specific instances

Meta Essays


  1. ^ Groups in the Fediverse, Fediverse Report, January 22, 2023 (Accessed January 28, 2022).
  2. ^ FANDOM.COMMUNITY WILL BE CLOSED IN JANUARY 2023. by @jyden via, December 18, 2022. (Accessed December 19, 2022) Archive link, archived February 11, 2023.