Accessibility in the Fediverse (and Mastodon)

By Eric Eggert: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Many people think about moving or at least establishing a presence in the so-called Fediverse. The Fediverse is (and this is probably a very shortened and incorrect) a collection of distributed web applications that can talk to each other. The most well known software is Mastodon, which is installed on many servers.

Now, because it is such a distributed system, the accessibility around the Fediverse is not super consistent either. But there are all the important foundations there, including the possibility to add alternative text for images.

Mastodon is a good place to dive into the Fediverse as it mimics Twitter quite closely: Followers and Following, Boosts (like “Retweets”), and Stars (like “Likes”). If you want to sign up for a disability/accessibility friendly instance, I can recommend, which tries to be as inclusive as the underlying software allows. There is also, which is run by blind admins1 .

I, personally, have used in the last couple of weeks, which deliberately does not support most of the standard Twitter functionality. I can’t even see who follows me. My profile still exists, and I’ll likely keep it (because it looks like it is easier to find for people), but it looks like it won’t be my primary way of posting in the future.

Should you join the Fediverse?

Yes, but not for the reasons that you might think of. It’s important to have options. And locking oneself into one social network is never good. Options are. Twitter has helped the web community to grow together like no other social network before. But it is in the end a closed system, which is antithetical to the web.

By opening a profile on Mastodon or somewhere else in the Fediverse, you can participate in more diverse places than before. And they all communicate with each other. It’s powerful, and if there is a new boss in your instance who brings a sink into a building for no reason, you can switch to another instance (with some issues).

Some accessibility people on the Fediverse:

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