Challenge Project

Confediverse Helvetica

To boldly tröt where no journalist has tweeted before! 👽

Image: Can Mastodon be a reasonable Twitter substitute for journalists? created by Nightcafe

At the Rethink Journalism hackathons, we take a look under the hood of tools like wepublish, take questions and ideas from newsdesks and go for a test-drive, get to know their tech teams and primary users.

On participant request, a short workshop on publishing in the Fediverse was hosted at the Bajour office. Some of us continued work on setting up a Mastodon instance, with the Press Codex as governing principle. We researched some governance models that help to create thriving communities around discussing the news.

Our initial hypthesis, is that the Fediverse can provide not only a viable alternative for promoting content, but also to facilitating online discussion, and even as infrastructure for crowdsourced and investigative journalism. The combination of these previously disparate processes into one powerful cross-platform medium, should empower individual journalists and newsdesks in years to come.


We set up an alpha instance of GoToSocial (a new, Mastodon-compatible project) at the hackathon, and a few days later set up a second server with an installation of the official Mastodon server. A domain name ( was reserved, and an open wiki (GitHub) set up to collect ideas and initiatives from the community.

The Challenge

People are shifting from Twitter to Mastodon, and if I'm correct, it's like a protected space where we can set rules and manage issues together. If people sign up and post to a protected instance for journalists, they should have a Code of Conduct (Presserat Codex) that sets rules and trust levels for people who join. The questions we would like to explore at the hackathon are:

  • How to use Fediverse for journalism?
  • What is the potential of it? How is the social space governed?
  • Do not reproduce The Bird, use the open tools!
  • How does the ActivityPub protocol work, that allows people to follow across networks and services?

Presented by ^miriam ^samuel

 On stage


  • Miriam is working for Netzcourage.
  • Samuel is a journalist and technologist with Bajour.
  • Oleg supports events and infrastructures at


We are setting up a beta test environment with Fediverse (Mastodon) news products. We will introduce this service for journalism, and invite others to join the beta test environment. We have used federated services and protocols, and will share our experience as well as helping to connect useful tools and data sets to the needs of journalists who wish to create an online presence, or run investigations and content curation in the Fediverse.

Swiss Fediverse in 2022


We ran a workshop on Friday with the group of journalists at the hackathon and explored a number of issues, suggested lots of starting points. These are documented in the Readme tab above and can be expanded on in our pad:

Ansible console

On Friday night we tried to install a Mastodon server using Ansible and Heroku. Both did not work out of the box. We tried to look for a simple, up to date, one-click solution to deploying Mastodon. With all the people trying to run an instance, this seems to be a gap. We tried:

There is a list of "dedicated Mastodon hosting providers" at

We thought it would be quite fun to run Mastodon on a Raspi, and flashed an SD card on a Raspberry Pi 4. However we had issues getting a screen connected and let this idea go.

On Saturday we branched out a bit: Miriam did some research but had to leave at lunch, Oleg did a bit more work here but mostly helped other teams, and brainstormed infosec topics - then briefly presented our status.

Since Sunday, we have an alpha instance is up and running at - based on:

Ask Oleg for an account and instructions if you would like to try it!

Fediverse Workshop "all your tweets are belong to us" @ Bajour

(Oleg & Miriam)

1. Einführung und Overview

Fediverse (Big Picture), seine Tools und Services

Fokus Mastodon: Kleine Einführung

Wie sich verbinden? (Deutsch) (Français) (English)

Welche Server gibt es, wie finde ich sie, wie zügeln?

Welche Services helfen cross-posting zu einrichten?

Der Weg zu meine Community finden

  • Tools für Migration und Kontakte übernehmen
  • Volle Adresse in Displayname, als Link, oder Pinned tweet
  • Debirdify (Welchen Server nutzen meine Twitterkontakte?)

2. Brainstorming

Regeln, Codex, Massnahmen? (Alle)

Was bedeutet das für Journalismus?


Gute Quelle für zensurfreie Informationen, verifizierte Quellen, Verifizierungsmöglichkeiten, Berechtigungen auf Beitragslevel möglich


Sozialer Dialog verloren, Fakenews Verlorene Inhalten und Behaviors (likes usw.)

Übergeordnete Regeln


Journalistenkodex (CH)


Weitere Regeln?

3. Call to Action!

Folgt uns, bitte :) - Ihr werdet alle zurück gefolgt und boosted!

Trete heute der Alpha Instanz bei und sieh es dir an. Hier können Experimente durchgeführt und ihre Vorschläge implementiert sein.

Wir teilen unsere Erfahrungen und Empfehlungen in einem Präsi und Webseite mit.

4. Nächste Schritte

Beta-Test aaS aufsetzen (Info, Kosten, ..)

Wer macht im Betatest mit? Weitere vor allem journalistische und institutionelle Partner gesucht. 

Wir organisieren weitere Workshops, an Hackathons, Winterkongress, usw.

X. Parkplatz/ Links

Wayback Machine: Beispiel von einem archivierten Tweet*/ Twitter Archivist — turn your tweets into a non-linear personal web notebook

Y. Further thoughts

I follow you, you follow me, we are troot troot family 🎶 A small animation to explain ActivityPub Mention open data projects like Hypercore, IPFS, Solid, harvesters, DCAT which federate content at various degrees of formality. A Mastobot to share new data sources, respond to "data tips" from the community. This is not your grandpa's soapbox forum. Fediverse unifies readership responses, allows threads to develop across articles and across publications. Big media, but also traditional business models, fear this loss of control. Do you? We need incentives for community moderation badly. Twitter, Facebook, Mastodon, all sink under the weight of info-spam and hate speech. Let's continue this urgent, critical conversation - and HACK solutions together!

This content is a preview from an external site.

Edited (version 47)

13.12.2022 13:52 ~ loleg


Edited (version 45)

12.12.2022 23:32 ~ loleg

Edited (version 40)

29.11.2022 21:25 ~ loleg

Our test server is up and running! This evening I gave it a fresh attempt, using Go instead of Ruby and Docker instead of Ansible, I am much more comfortable with the solution. See details in the project page.

27.11.2022 20:15 ~ loleg

Event finished

I'm running into errors, something with nginx libraries missing, deploying the Ansible script to a clean Ubuntu 20 server. See my rejoha branch. Besides that, thanks for all the ideas in the pad. Keep em coming, and have an ✨🥁⏱️ excellent day II!

26.11.2022 09:34 ~ loleg


Edited (version 21)

25.11.2022 23:50 ~ loleg

Repository updated

25.11.2022 23:45 ~ loleg

Edited (version 16)

25.11.2022 23:45 ~ loleg

After a rigorous workshop - thanks for your attention & insights! - I'm researching issues of journalists in the Fediverse, while trying to suggest some basic improvements to the UX

25.11.2022 19:12 ~ loleg

Edited (version 11)

25.11.2022 13:04 ~ loleg

Edited (version 7)

25.11.2022 12:37 ~ loleg

We will have a get-together at Bajour at 16:00 (UTC+1) to introduce Mastodon and shortlist burning questions.

25.11.2022 12:37 ~ loleg

Joined the team

25.11.2022 12:36 ~ loleg

Edited (version 2)

25.11.2022 09:53 ~ loleg

chore: consistent playbook command (@danielroe)


Event started



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