(2022-12-08) Mastodon Growth Numbers Might Not Mean What You Think They Mean Absolutely Maybe
Mastodon Growth Numbers Might Not Mean What You Think They Mean. Mastodon’s growth in the last month has been extraordinarily fast – but just how fast? Did the number of users jump up to 2.5 million or 8 million in the month or so since Musk took over Twitter? Both those numbers for current users are swirling around.
the numbers that are up around 8 million don’t really represent the Mastodon network that most of us are in
Since then, 1.8 million accounts have been added, bringing the total to 5.4 million accounts – and close to half of all Mastodon accounts had been at least logged into in the last month (47%). That added up to 2.5 million active users in the first days of December.
*An instance can then stand alone, for communication among its members only. The group could have a walled-off instance because they don’t want to join the network – or because the network refuses to have anything to do with them. Many instances let loose spam, trolling, harassment, or denial-of-service attacks on “Mastodon” users. As that emerges, “Mastodon” instances can limit (silence) or suspend (block) the instance. That can cascade through the network. Instances can also silence or suspend any other instance without adequate or compatible moderation practices to their own, as a prevention strategy.
All this means that for many of us in Mastodon, the size of “our” Mastodon varies, on any given day.*
The 2.5 million number comes from that Mastodon network. It’s the first of the 4 major sources in the table below, ordered from the lowest account tally to the highest.
From digging around in the data sources, I think that commonly limited instances aren’t being included either. If that’s right, a single instance explains a lot of the gap between 5.4 million accounts and 8 million. It’s a Japanese one, called Pawoo.net. It has almost 790,000 users, making it the second biggest Mastodon instance after Mastodon.social. Now, though, it has been “limited”, or silenced to us. It depicts young girl manga/anime characters in ways regarded as child pornography in other countries. In real terms, that huge instance isn’t part of the Mastodon we’ve joined.