Time to announce this plan: I am working on a redesign of the server picker. I am also planning to switch out the data source from to my own API. The main reason for this is the addition of a new guarantee that I would be able to give when linking to servers from That those servers would meet certain standards and enforce some basic rules of conduct.

Below is a screenshot with old, uncurated data as placeholder.

I will be taking submissions over e-mail at first (I do not expect a lot to come quickly).

If you are a server owner, and you have:

1) A server policy against racism, sexism and transphobia

2) Daily database backups

3) At least one other person with emergency access to server infrastructure

4) Commit to giving users at least 3 months advance warning before closing down your server

E-mail with the subject "Server submission". I'll try to figure out the blurb/category

If these are too strict, I want to hear about it, but "safe against major data loss" should not be an unattainable goal...

Everyone who is hosted on, all the requirements except the first one are automatically met

@Gargron Looking good. Interested in what basic rules of conduct you choose.

@Tyrent The crux is in the screenshot already. Some extras would be: Daily backups, at least one extra person with access to the infrastructure (bus factor), and a committment to announce server closure at least 3 months in advance (no overnight disappearance)

@Gargron @Tyrent those seem like super good rules! glad you are thinking about this!

Hey, @hugo. Do you have any comments about the technical side of what @Gargron said for @mastohost -hosted instances, please?
Specifically, about #2 and your part about #4?

@masoud @hugo @Gargron

Both 2) and 4) are applied in Mastodon.

I have daily databases running in a remote server of everything both media and databases, It's a nightmare to run but I have it and it works (I tested it).

About four, obviously I will give time in advanced for people to move to a different hosting.

@mastohost @hugo @Gargron
Thanks for your response, this is definitely reassuring 😀
What about #3? From my part, I can (and will) find an emergency person as a substitute for my role as the instance admin. But do *you* have such person for the server infrastructure?

@Gargron These are not strict at all, IMHO. It is the base line for a reasonable and reliable Mastodon instance. I like it.

@Gargron I'm not sure if "at least one other person with emergency access to server infrastructure" is possible in my case, since nobody else in my house knows how to computer

@Gargron although people who meet the requirements to join my instance (living in the same basement as me) probably don't need to find out via a website

@ben Online friends? What happens if you go on vacation and have no ssh access and something bad happens on the server?

@Gargron one time the internet at my house went out for an entire week

and if I don't have SSH access, I also don't have email or phone access because all of those can be done via all of my devices.


Just my personal take on this, but home hosted devices, not because they are hosted at home, but because they are usually not properly secure (i.e. no security around 24/7) and as you mentioned no "guaranteed internet connection" (in worst case) will provide a bad experience in some cases and should rather not be added to this list.

Maybe @Gargron wants to extent the policy for that.

Please consider adjusting!

1) A server policy to recognize the inherent human dignity of every person.

Reason: history shows labels (e.g. homophobia) are misused, often thrown around recklessly against those of opposing political or religious beliefs.

2) through 4)

Overkill as a rule for startup and other small instances. Unenforceable. Better: require instances to *state* their policy for administration, backup and shutdown notice.

@WAHa_06x36 @gms why does it need to be anything more complicated than a list of gargron and crew's "approved" instances?

1 - simply having a server policy stating XYZ doesn't mean anything unless an admin personally goes through as many posts as possible, or users actively self-police. (even "private" messages that aren't really private). but again it really doesn't mean anything just to have a public notice somewhere saying "we promise to be nice"

2 - how is Gargle supposed to verify our daily backups? do we need to install a rootkit? make a git repo of sqlite dumps? (besides part of the point of fediverse is that if an instance is temporarily down, users and posts can still circulate)

3 - again... how is this possible to vet , why is it even useful. if the primary admin is afk or in jail or whatever, nothing makes it certain that a secondary admin can put out fires. two is such an arbitrary number

4 - also again it doesnt mean anything for an admin to say "we promise to give you a 3 months heads up before we close". good admins will already do this when possible. neutral / unlucky / bad admins pull the plug when it's time to pull the plug, shrug, and move on,

good federation and resiliency doesn't just mean letting your users export/import their own following lists, it also should make it trivial for users to dump their own tweet history, this arbitrary "have 2 admins and give people a 3 months heads up, and claim you won't tolerate racism someplace" are really silly

why not have a policy against untagged NSFW and spam .... and why are only racism and sexism prohibited, why are scams or death threats or gambling not forbidden, etc etc

Gargle and friends should just make "list of our best buddies :)" and have one URL listed per line , and dump the stupid pretense of these 4 arbitrary requirements

@pox Take your personal beef elsewhere, please. I have no interest in your weird internet anger.

@WAHa_06x36 not sure why you are calling this "beef" im simply pointing out that a list of instances that the team likes doesn't need to be anything more complicated than that.

these 4 "requirements" to join literally don't mean anything -- me pointing this out is not "weird internet anger" or "personal beef" it is engaging in open discussion, which is the point of fediverse :--) just because someone has a dissenting opinion does not make them a troll or "hater" or bully, this is children's mentality

@gms It's not enforceable but it's not meant to be. If someone deliberately lies about having backups that's on them.

@Gargron @gms I like the idea of displaying it, however.

What about cllecting that criteria ina JSON and then you ust filter out the ones, you like? This way, you can still change the criteria/run tests or so.

@Gargron a server should just have good moderation policies in general, no?

@Gargron On (2), is it vital that's it's daily? My DigitalOcean droplet does weekly backups, and I'm not sure if there's an easy way for me to up that frequency.

ping @tierce and @Ilja We should work on daily backups and code of conduct, then we would be fine :)

@Ilja Nope, there is a daily db backup, but it stays on the server, so that's not what I call a real backup. And for the CoD, it's on your todo list : 😅


@Gargron As long as you can commit the money. Iirc the terms were kind of clear on instances going down if you stop paying for the service. (?)

@habmala @Gargron
Not saying they do this, but imo the best option here would be to make instances read-only if unpaid, with deletion after 90/120 days. Gives everyone a chance to download their archives.

@Gargron I noticed open registrations is not on that list. In the past, hasn't been eligible for because we have a sign up process. Am I understanding correctly that is no longer a barrier?

@datatitian I can put you in the database but to *show up* registration must be possible. Approval-mode is acceptable. I don't know if that would work for your coop.

@Gargron oh awesome I think that approval mode serves exactly what we were trying to do with our registration process.

@Gargron I think it's also the case for the instances hosted on your infrastructure @CobaltVelvet?

@rubenwardy @Gargron

Or just replace it with "Hateful conduct towards any individual or group" which should cover much more actually.

@Gargron Those are very sensible requirements that I doubt most admins satisfy. Most users seem to be picking their admin solely on domain name funniness and that can't work long-term... Can't wait to see the server picker changes!

hell yeah. thank you for that. you might like to read my stance on the @purism so-called "code of conduct" here

I like this new interface. Its a good way to showcase instances and that users can trust they are decently maintained.

@Gargron Is there a chance that you will not be the only one to decide whether or not an instance is listed on joinmastodon ?

@DarckCrystale @Courgette @Gargron
Coders are unwitting dictators. This is why we need to promote algorithmic constituency tools such as Gherkin. Look up DDD ; Democracy-Driven Development.

@Gargron I think it might be better to have an additional (and maybe by default selected) checkbox saying "curated servers only", and allow other instances to be listed when it's not checked. That way people could still discover all instances that they'd see on the page today.

@Gargron I really don’t think we should do this.

In place of this useless feature maybe can you look at something submitted more than 2 weeks ago which is actually needed by users?
Here is the link:

@Gargron very nice, this provider onboarding is important! One thing I can recommend from our experience with @nextcloud Simple Sign up: only show one provider by default, with e.g. "change provider" below. That happens at, with the provider being based on which is closest to you.

@Gargron you’re keeping the “you can follow and talk to anyone from any server” thing in bold? That’s literally fake news! I’m actually gonna report you to EUnomia!!!
@Gargron joinmastodon said the first thing when I joined your instance and it was really frustrating to find out it wasn’t true :blobsad:
@Gargron said the same thing* (about being able to communicate with all other servers)
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