Rtoot: Collecting and Analyzing Mastodon Data

David Schoch and Chung-hong Chan



Mastodon is a free and open source software which allows to run a self-hosted microblogging service, similar to Twitter. Servers running Mastodon can interoperate, meaning that their users can communicate across different instances. Together, all Mastodon instances form a large decentralized federation of social networking sites. Mastodon was first released in late 2016 but has not attracted as much attention by users and researchers compared to centralized social media platforms such as Twitter. Previous studies on Mastodon classify it as an “alternative social media” platform, in contrast to “corporate social media” platforms such as Twitter. Due to the open source nature, Mastodon is also famous for being the technology behind far-right social media platforms Gab and Donald Trump’s Truth Social. These far-right platforms have also captured certain academic attention…

Mobile Media & Communication