I'm trying to keep track of the mass migrations to Mastodon that have happened.

I think it started with:
- early adopters, programmers, FOSS people
- tons of peeps in Japan
- furry community moving off Twitter
- LGBTQ+ folks leaving twitter
- people who saw that polygon article (me) or heard about it when it started getting mentioned on hackernews
- comics/artists leaving twitter
- NSFW blogs leaving Tumblr
- sex workers
- and now, Indian politics Twitter users

Am I missing any big moments?

@abbenm please point me to tumblr porn handles :3 if you'd be so kind :owi:


Well I don't think I follow many or any of them here. I think trying the tags are good places to start though.

I think once you find one or two people it'll be easy to find the rest of that community

@abbenm Academics, like from my own university, but also,, and Qoto from @freemo? And of course the huge amount of obstacle runners on my hugely succesful instance over on :')

@abbenm You got it right. The right wing politics (Indian Nazism) has affected twitter india. India is under a grip of majoritarian madness and it sure has affected twitter india moderators. The exact reason I have migrated to mastodon is because of twitter's arbitraty policy of blocking users who stand for 'reason' and allowing so many users who continuously spew hatred against the minorities in India. Sooner or later these right wing folks will move to mastodon and I dread that day.

@cprogrammer I just hope the tools are resilient enough that Masto is ready when that happens. It will be a question of having the tools/resources to filter out the massive flood of accounts and posts. There are already good tools in place, and many individual servers that are selective about who they allow on. Fingers crossed

@abbenm Interestingly even though QOTO is STEM specific it seems we are getting a pretty big surge from the indian community lately too. I suspect this is because india is such a big center for tech and naturally twitter users will be a good portion of tech users.

So yea #QOTO is definitely enjoying the recent surge.

@abbenm Tons of Japanese? Do they have a manga community here? 😍

@aju000 I think something like that. I know they made up a huuuge segment of masto users for a while and still do

@aju000 There's some Manga, though Loli were a bit more of an issue -- that's problematic in many areas outside of Japan.

Might try I don't recall the other large instances, though is now run by a Japanese firm.


@dredmorbius @aju000 @abbenm searching for .jp on is a decent way to find japanese instances if you’re looking for something specific? (obviously you’ll miss a few, like pawoo that don’t use japans country code, but it’s a decent place to start)

@abbenm also journalists, activists, lawyers and researchers in India are moving to @Mastodon from because the RW eco-system has taken over the platform using money power

Nice initiative, but do you have dates or years of mass migrations to Mastodon ?

@zorglubu not off the top of my head, although that would be good to have. I arranged the ones I knew of chronologically, and I think the polygon article was from 2017 if that helps.

@zorglubu I could look into that for more precise dates though

@zorglubu the tumblr ban on NSFW content was december 2018

@abbenm Twitter users seem to be leaving in several stages in a predictable fashion. You could almost forecast group withdrawals from Twitter by the hate speech of a loud mouthed Cheeto.

In between FOSS and Japan, if I remember correctly, there is some people leaving Twitter for advertising, then change in chronological timeline.

Before Mastodon, there were mass migrations to #gnusocial for some singer, or something. I have seen maybe 3 mass migrations to GNU Social before Mastodon existed.

@abbenm The early French move from twitter at the beginning? At the time Twitter changed their commenting system if I remember correctly.

@abbenm You're also forgetting the Gab move. Although not a lot of instances federate with Gab, it's also a pretty large move to Mastodon.

I think I just wish the gab move never happened

@abbenm Well. It was just a matter of time, anyway for these kind of things to happen. And I'm glad the software and network was ready for it. So overall, I think it's proof that Mastodon is well engineered and gives me confidence on where it's heading. It's not perfect. But it can survive such a hostile take over attempt.

@abbenm I was watching a lecture called "There is No Algorithm for Truth" and the presenter mentioned the site off-hand and I immediately jumped into looking into it... Really loving this place so far!

Source -

@abbenm do you know why tumblr got down NSFW images, couldn't they have done something similar to what is done in mastodon or any of the .social networks ?

@shirishag75 Tumblr did it because the Apple app store was going to remove their app.

Tumblr decided to get rid of NSFW content in order to comply to Apple rules

@shirishag75 As far as whether they could do what is done on .social networks, do you mean tag things as NSFW and hide them from view?

Apparently that was not good enough for Apple.

@abbenm Ironically, I got on Masto first (probably a Verge article, can't remember the search term) *then* made a Birdsite account :blobcat:

My birdsite account is "replies only" (for interaction with artists on there, and achieving the true purpose of social media as a self-curated newsletter) though.

@Parnikkapore yeah I mistakenly said Polygon when it was Verge.

I LIKE that order of operations though. Masto first, birdsite second. as it should be

@abbenm I wouldn't be surprised if there's a Polygon article on Mastodon though!

@abbenm protesters against army of #turkey invading northern #siria caused by #facebook massive ban which follows #usa list of terrorist organization but cannot distinguish #pkk #öcalan #ypg #ypj #kobane #afrin #kurdistan #kurds in general

Wait, what does that have to do with the history of Mastodon migrations that I posted about?

@abbenm we assisted a migration from #facebook and #twitter to #mastodon due to proprietary social network shutting down pro #rojava accounts

here #italy btw

@diorama Oooooh kay. That makes way more sense to me now. So if I'm following, there's at least some Turkish protestors on Masto?

@abbenm kurdish and supporters against Erdogan's military intervention in Rojava after Trump's retreat


you mentioned that you assisted pro accounts to migrate to . There seem to be some accounts in English, Spanish, Italian and French on Mastodon, but there seem to be no accounts in Kurdish (Kurmanji, kurmancî, Sorani) or even Turkish (türkçe) language. I wonder why they do not migrate to Mastodon. Do you have an answer?


@GerryT I have no answer but thanks for asking this valid question I wish it were addressed :)

@abbenm @Erik It’s all steps helping momentum. Good list 👍🏻❤️

@abbenm there was a bump when Twitter introduced their non-chronological timeline plans, before they admitted they would provide a toggle to turn it off¹. I created my account during that wave. Wish my reasons had been more interesting.

¹: kind of, not really, only temporarily

@abbenm @extinct not sure if it was a big moment, but there were quite a few people leaving Facebook earlier this year... (I’m one of them)

@abbenm There was a big wave of people from Grazil who IIRC were angry about Twitter not allowing photos of celebrities as avatars, or something.

@abbenm Some of that is covered here:

The Japanese influx was inspired by a major tech blogger in Japan who'd set up his own instance. I forget his name, may have been nullkal?

The G+ shutdown saw some folks move to Mastodon. #GooglePlus

There was the July-August 2018 migration from Twitter that brought, then hounded out, Wil Wheaton.

A few Generally Annoying Bunches who've tried to elbow in, largely rejected.

@abbenm brought me and a few other people I know. Don't expect was as big an infusion as some of those other moments, and I also don't know where it fits chronologically, because I don't pay enuf attention. But would be interested to learn...

@jeroenpraat @abbenm Before Mastodon days, maybe in 2015, there was a noticeable migration to driven by some certain Spanish personality that had been suspended on Twitter, but it largely petered out as that person was reactivated on Twitter.

@abbenm @vfrmedia I joined during a wave in November...2016? 2017? Just before Japan and China.

@abbenm A bit off on the beginning: I don't know if these three groups came in a specific order, but even before large communities-unto-themselves of programmers and FOSS people,
the initially community was early-adopters/people hacking on Mastodon itself, queer people, communists (okay other strains of leftism too), and furries.

For a bit there was a joke, "Welcome to Mastodon! Here is your fursuit and your copy of The Communist Manifesto".

There was also a wave of Spanish (and Portuguese?) from, various places in South America, I think?

@gaditb Thanks. I came a bit late, so I'm somewhat fuzzy on when FOSS arrived compared to LGBTQ+. I am gonna gather the feedback and do an updated post

@abbenm The japanese came after the LGBTQ+ communities iirc. There also was a French migration (for no real reason), with even a government-backed instance still living at

@lertsenem from the feedback I'm getting it's clear the french migration was a notable one that I've omitted.

Also I'm glad that now (finally), some people more informed than me are chiming in on this timeline. I was somewhat surprised that my top-of-the-head formulation was new/helpful info and that that history, such as I know of it, was *already* lost to such a wide swath of people here.

@abbenm From what I gathered, there is (was?) a tendency for each new Mastodon newcomers wave to erase the previous ones.

This seemed not to be the case for this last Indian wave, but the French one had a hard time noticing there were LGBTQ+ people here before them, that some more or less tacit rules existed, and that we needed to respect them (or get blocked).

This is kinda baked in Mastodon DNA since it's just part of a bigger whole : the Fediverse, with many other different softwares.

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