I'm just working on an extension to mastotool that lets you check how many of the accounts that you follow, or that follow you, are now stale accounts that haven't posted anything in a specified time period.

Spoiler: the numbers on the fediverse are staggeringly high 😐

@fribbledom And what's worse, my account is anything but stale but people won't follow!

@FimbulK @fribbledom idk, I have similar numbers and I don't feel the same lol
@fribbledom Any suggestions for what we could do to lower this stat?


I'm adding an option to mastotool that lets you automatically unfollow these stale accounts. It's the best I can do from my end.

@fribbledom it'll be your users who try it out but feel it's inferior because they've been conditioned by the algorithms in centralised services

@fribbledom Not surprised, considering that snouts is well and truly dead, but other instances still list accounts on snouts as entries on a person's follows, and followers lists.

There's also the ambient anti-blackness that permeates the discourse that ended up driving away BIPOC creators over time.

@fribbledom couldn't this be in part because people migrate to different instances?


If they point their old account to their new one ("moved"), then I'm already tracking that especially.

But yes, it certainly contributes to the "issue" (I'm not sure it really is an issue).

@fribbledom I've noticed that many also have several accounts for different purposes. Creating alts and then abandoning them could also inflate the numbers a bit.

@fribbledom In Mastodon's 'Follows and followers' tab, you can sort on 'Last Active' to see who of the people you follow/are followed by have posted for the last time, is this similar in idea?


I'm not quite sure what you're referring to? Can you point me to it?

@fribbledom Checked my .social account to make sure it's in vanilla Mastodon. It is.

@fribbledom In the simple view you can see it on the right hand navigation column as well. In the tweetdeck view you wouldn't, I think.


Oh wow, I honestly didn't know that exists. The sorting is a bit wonky for me though.

So this is similar, but not quite the same. Mastotool generates statistics for you and will also let you unfollow stale accounts automatically - should you wish to.

@fribbledom Cool. :) Just wondering about one thing: What about people who do log in to lurk but never post? Can you track those correctly as active too? Mastodon's can't.

@trinsec @fribbledom Yeah, the relationships menu is really useful for that.

@fribbledom can you\do you check how many of those are accounts that redirect to active accounts eventually, like migrated accounts? 2/3 of my accounts are accounts i've migrated from and they still follow people\are followed by people I think? :O

@fribbledom I would not call "not posting" stale. If there is nothing to say, why not just listen?


Fair enough, good point. I could take into account if the account has liked any posts recently, but I don't think I can query the API like that.

@globalc @fribbledom This. I enjoy reading a lot and sometimes won't post anything in days.

Btw I don't really care about numbers but my stale ones on TW are far worse 😅

@fribbledom So will there be policies (clear in sign up terms) that accounts not active for say six months will be deleted?

But accurate (or close to ) figures are essential for advocacy


This isn't anything that a server enforces. Mastotool is merely a command line tool that you can run yourself, against your personal account.

@fribbledom A ok, It is a good idea though.

I know or the instance i was on, has a policy of deleting accounts that appear to have become dormant and not logged in to for a while. .

@fribbledom this sounds like a good thing to me. Does it consider boosts or just origional toots?

@fribbledom ah. When i look i dont consider boosts. Mainly because i turned off boosts in my home feed too

@fribbledom same for muted accounts would be nice -- I expect the filtering of muted accounts to put some load on the instances

@fribbledom nice,I would subscribe to such a service. Recently I had a new follower who had last posted like 6 months ago

@fribbledom Mastoweb kind of shows this in newer versions too (via settings -> follows and followers -> account activity: dormant -> order by: last active). Presumably, that information should be accessible through one of the APIs?

I usually give up working through this after a handful of accounts, as I somehow feel compelled to check if the information is correct and if I had any kind of interaction with that person 🙄

@fribbledom I’m not a big poster, but I am very active at consuming the fediverse

Are stale accounts a load issue for servers? I do follow a few accounts which very rarely post (months in between), but that doesn't make them less interesting. So as long as there's no significant technical reason, I would rather keep a few inactive accounts in my follow list than abandon fellow mastodontists for not posting enough.

(also: if accounts are "free" there will be "throwaway" accounts, failed moves, etc... that's not unexpected)

@fribbledom I'm not saying much on the fediverse, but my account isn't stale... I just follow system programmers' toots.

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