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8. If you're blind or partially sighted, there's a guide specifically for screen reader users at https://www.starshipchangeling.net/mastodon

9. There is no overall owner of Mastodon, it's a collection of thousands of independent servers each with their own owner and set of rules.

10. There are no venture capitalists or cryptocurrencies or tokens or coins or web3 or anything like that on Mastodon. Servers are entirely owned and paid for by their admins, and they rely on donations to keep going. Please be nice to them, they're doing you a favour by building this lovely corner of the internet.
8. If you're blind or partially sighted, there's a guide specifically for screen reader users at https://www.starshipchangeling.net/mastodon

9. There is no overall owner of Mastodon, it's a collection of thousands of independent servers each with their own owner and set of rules.

10. There are no venture capitalists or cryptocurrencies or tokens or coins or web3 or NFTs or anything like that on Mastodon. Servers are entirely owned and paid for by their admins, and they rely on donations to keep going. Please be nice to them, they're doing you a favour by building this lovely corner of the internet.

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11. Mastodon instances and Mastodon servers are the same thing. It doesn't matter which word you use.

12. Don't worry too much about which server you choose, you can always move your account later (see here for details https://mstdn.social/@feditips/107939441820299376).

13. You can even set up your own Mastodon server if you like. You don't need any tech skills if you use a managed hosting service like https://masto.host or https://federation.spacebear.ee, who do all of the techy stuff for you.

14. You can find apps to use at https://joinmastodon.org/apps. You do not have to use the official apps, if you don't want to! There are lots of great unofficial apps which actually have more features than the official ones. You can see the unofficial apps on https://joinmastodon.org/apps by scrolling down to the "third party apps" section.

15. Servers listed on https://joinmastodon.org/communities have all signed up to a covenant (https://joinmastodon.org/covenant) which promises responsible moderation and reliable service.

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16. Write something about yourself in your profile and add a picture. You don't have to use a real name or photo, call yourself whatever you want and use any picture you want.

17. Write an introductory post about yourself and give it the hashtag #Introductions, so that people can say hello to you

18. Make sure you use hashtags in public posts so they can be discovered more easily. Most searches on Mastodon depend on hashtags.

19. Posts on Mastodon are also known as "toots" (because that's the noise an elephant makes, and the Mastodon is an ancient ancestor of the elephant 🐘 ), while retweets here are "boosts".

20. Another good beginner's guide is @noelle's "Increasingly Less-Brief Guide to Mastodon" at https://github.com/joyeusenoelle/GuideToMastodon

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hello my name is @redditorhere and yesterday I was permabanned from mastodon.social for the hate crime of simply posting a pepe. If you're a new user and signed up on that instance you might want to export your account to a different instance now before you accidentally trigger the living daylights out of a mastodon.social mod just by existing. #introductions

Hi! I'm new here. Using the iPhone app as I do not own a computer. How do I change my bkgrnd photo? There's an option to change my avatar photo but only that. TIA! 👋🐙
That's a really good question, and I don't know the answer! :o Do you mind if I boost this in case someone else knows?
Yes! Excellent! Please do! 🖖✨Thank you!
Happy to help however I can. :)
You could log into Mastodon through your iPhone's web browser and change the photo through the web interface?
I shall try that! Thank you!
My question is, let's imagine I want to have my own server, right?
I follow the steps and so on.
Now, here it is, having my own server is free, or should I pay for it?
Thanks.
There's a monthly fee, starting from about 6 euros or 6 US dollars for the smallest server. If you split that between a few users (you and some friends or family) and you're down to a dollar or two per person per month. On larger servers the costs are just tens of cents per user per month, it is not a huge amount.

Owning your own server means you control the server, you set the rules and no one is spying on you.

On Facebook, Twitter etc, it's "free" but they cover their own costs by spying on you.
That's ok. Thank you very much.
if you ran your own server with your own computers, then it's free..
If you're a techy person you can install Mastodon yourself using the official instructions at https://docs.joinmastodon.org/admin/prerequisites

An easier option is to use @yunohost to install it through the Yunohost operating system.

The easiest option though is to use managed hosting services for a fee.

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Content warning: Question About Mastodon

An instance can be physically any infrastructure that its owner chooses, so that might be lots of computers.

The "server" name for instances is not meant to be a physical description. It's used becuse non-technical people aren't familiar with the term "instance", but they might have heard of servers when using Minecraft or whatever.
Where are the timeline language filters on the web Mastodon? I saw them but can't refind them now.
On the web version they are at:

Preferences > Other > Filter Languages, select the languages you want to see and click "Save changes"

You should be able to access account settings on the apps too, I believe the official app has it in the "Boring Zone" of the settings page.
Somebody should probably go through that Trunk and update it. A lot of those accounts either don't exist any more or haven't been used in years. That's not a good first impression for newcomers looking for new and interesting people to follow.
I think @Mayana has been doing work to do that 👍
Sorry, I didn't mean to dump work on you, meant to say it hadn't been just neglected for years!
I have questions. A) I created a new account called Debose but I can’t sign into it because it signs into this old one instead. I was going to merge them but couldn’t finish the process. They use the same email address I’m guessing? B)I found that out because I’m in the Photog community and the local timeline never loads on the app but it loads on the website. I signed out and couldn’t get back into Social and the timeline still won’t show for Photog.
the onboarding process is the most confusing I’ve ever been a part of and I’ve joined twice apparently 😂
Believe me, it does get easier and will make sense if you stick with it 😁

Should also say the number of people joining Mastodon today is many times what it normally is, so timelines will be a bit wobbly anyway for the next few hours.

About your issue:

Every server on Mastodon is independent and has its own list of users. But the servers talk to each other and let their members interact across the entire network.

When you sign up on a server, you get an address that has two parts, your username and your server name.

The one you're posting from now is @ jeremydebose @ mstdn.social You can only use that account to sign in on mstdn.social, but once you're signed in you can interact with people from any server, including photog.social.

It's kind of like email: if you have a Gmail account you can communicate with Yahoo Mail addresses. You only need to sign up on one server in order to interact with other people on other servers.

Does this help? Feel free to say no 😆
It's also like telephones.

If you buy one phone from one provider, you can call anyone anywhere, regardless of which provider they use, even if they're in another country.

The server you join is the equivalent of your phone company. The other servers are like other phone companies.

Because Mastodon servers talk to each other, you only need to sign up on one server, and that is enough to give you access to the whole network.
Sorry to hijack!
I tried joining some other instances but it's saying my log in details for this acct are not valid.
Is this due to huge numbers making it buggy right now, or am I doing it wrong?
Your account is only valid on the instance you signed up on.

Trying to log in on other instances would be like trying to sign in to Yahoo Mail with your Gmail account.

You don't need to join other Masto instances to interact with them, in the same way you don't need to sign up on Yahoo Mail to send emails to yahoo addresses.

For example, I'm on mstdn.social and you're on mastodon.social but we are able to interact here, because Mastodon instances talk to each other.

I hope this is clear, let me know if it's not, I know this is a lot to take in if you're new here! 😄
maaaaaybe!

So if I want to have a look at say @mas.to, to see if I like it and want to hang there, I need to create an @mas.to account?

I'd like to check out other instances to find a cool place to hang out, but can't see into any of them other than @mastodon.social.
@mastodon.social

No no, it's exactly the opposite. The instances aren't separate forums, they're more like ways into a single common forum.

I'm not on mastodon.social, but you can see me and I can see you. Mastodon servers talk to each other, so it doesn't really matter if people are on different servers, they can still interact.

Here's another analogy: with one single mobile phone, you can phone anyone, on any provider, in any country. This works because phone providers have connected their networks together.

Mastodon is the same, but for social media. Even if we sign up on different servers, we can interact and join in with discussions together because the servers are connected into a single network.

If you want to find interesting discussions the best way is to search for hashtags, follow interesting people, post public posts with hashtags. If you're logged in through the website there's an "Explore" section with popular posts from 24 hours.
I think I might be getting the hang of it! (I'm old and slow). Thank you for your patience!
Not at all, really glad if I can help!

There is no such thing as a silly question here, please do let me know if I can help more 👍
yep. But I have 2 that show as on social. They saved into my iCloud passwords. But it makes me sign in with email and neither email address gets me into it. One is gmail(old account) and one is iCloud using hide my email (new). Somehow I think iCloud’s Hide My Email feature messed up my login and I have no way to find it.

Aahh ok...

If both of the accounts are on mstdn.social, the admin should be able to sort it out as they would have tools for altering user details etc.

DMing them would be the best course of action.

Mstdn.social is run by @stux, try messaging them. It may take a bit longer get a reply right now though, as there's an unprecedentedly large tidalwave of new members joining 😁
awesome, thanks for the help
feels like I went down the wrong wormhole and can’t get back out 😂😭
Honestly, it does make sense once you get used to it :blobcatgiggle:

The whole internet used to work like this, as did communications before it, because it is quite useful to be decentralised.

I did a little thread about this some time ago:

https://mstdn.social/@feditips/107083735491993183
Would love to have a Bookmarks section.
There is already a bookmarks section! 👍

If you log in through your server's website, you'll see it in the "Bookmarks" link on the right (on the mobile website you need to press the three line menu icon to see Bookmarks).

The unofficial (aka "third party") apps also support bookmarks.

You can add a bookmark to a post by clicking on the "..." and then selecting "Bookmark" or clicking the bookmark icon 🔖 if there is one.

The official apps don't yet support bookmarks, but I assume that's because they only launched a few days/weeks ago. There are a lot of features missing from the official apps which are in the unofficial ones.
Wonderful! Thank you! I have lots to learn!
🙏🏼😁
You're welcome! Let me know if I can help again 😃
Someone help I can’t find Gifs Galore on here.
The best starting point is probably:

https://joinmastodon.org/communities

There are thousands more servers out there, the above link is just a small selection of the most reliable ones.

("Servers", "instances" and "communities" are all the same thing.)
Hi - having issues following people as when I try it’s not accepting my profile name ie @seastoe Help?
Have you tried putting your full Mastodon address (including the @mastodon.social part at the end)?

Addresses on here have to include the server you signed up on.
yeah - seem to be going around in circles
Okay, if that's not working for you, try just copying the address of the person you want to follow, then paste it into the search box within Mastodon.

When you search for an address, it will bring up a profile you can follow.

This works whether you're logged in with apps or the website.
hey @waywardpython .. this might give you a good idea of things to bed in and find people to follow. It isnt a twitter like for like but good to explore
This is good except that, for me at least, most of the links don’t seem to work

(Some do, but it’s not clear how they are different)
Sorry to hear :(

Could you let me know which links don't work? And are you viewing Mastodon through the web or through an app?
The only links that worked in that post were numbers 1 and 3

This was using the Mast iOS app, which is one of several I’m experimenting with

It seems it’s the only one with that issue 🤷‍♀️
Okay, thank you for checking! 🙏

It looks from the app's listing as though Mast is not being maintained any more?

I can't find a website for the developer so it's difficult to tell, but unfixed bugs might explain the behaviour.
Ah, ok, that perhaps explains another problem I had with Mast

Pity, as it’s one of the prettier apps, with easy-to-read not-to-high-contrast text
You can't log into another server with your current server's details.

Servers are independent with their own member lists.

However, the servers talk to each other which means you can interact without having to join any other servers.

For example, I'm on mastodon.online while you're on mastodon.social. But we are able to interact as if we were on one network.

It's like email, you don't need a yahoo account to send mail to a yahoo address.
It's like telephones: if you wanted to call your friend, you wouldn't care what provider he uses, you'd just call him.

If you want to interact with someone on here, it doesn't matter what server they're on, you just interact with them.
can I get some help with this?

You don't need to put HTML code in there.

Just put the website addresses including https:// at the start, they will automatically turn into clickable links.
thanks, was hopping instead of a long link I could just hyperlink. Again thank you.