Why Host Your Own Mastodon Server

You might be wondering at some point is there any good reasons for you to host your own instance of Mastodon instead of relying on a large established one? Here is my thoughtful advice on why it is imperative for you to host your own.

What the Fediverse is and isn’t

I guess the first question many will ask is just what is the Fediverse? The name somewhat gives it away, it is a federated network, following a simple set of guidelines on how to communicate with one node to another (an application programming interface or API).

Simply anyone can create a server/client program that as long as it follows some simple protocols on how to send and receive messages, will operate on this federated network. It is an additional layer on-top of the internet, for many accessing it, via the HTTPs network layer. Under the hood, the common protocol as it stands today is ActivityPub. Almost all federated social networks use this protocol.

It is not however a peer-2-peer decentralized distributed network, where each node is meshed together and can find one another without a central node (think DNS lookup). You as a user, are relying on the hosts for control. Mastodon allows you to move your account from one instance to another but as long as you as a user is active on a mastodon host not yours, you play by their rules.

Which leaves me to the inevitable, someone somewhere will not be a neutral as they claim, perhaps with malicious intentions. It will not be if but when this happens and what effect it will have on Mastodon.

Just your daily thoughtful reminder.

Interested in hosting your own? Read my post on how to setup and host your own.