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Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. This page is a candidate to be merged with: GNU Social

Pleroma is a free, federated social networking server built on open protocols. It is compatible with GNU Social, Mastodon, and many other ActivityPub and OStatus implementations.

The project consists of several components: Pleroma is the server implementation, and comes bundled with PleromaFE, the default frontend. Other useful utilities are also provided, such as an ActivityPub relay.

Source: https://pleroma.social/

Why are all the GNU Social instances running Pleroma now?

Simply put, GNU Social was a trainwreck. It was an inactive project written in cryptic PHP using a database library older than old grandpa Judd. Its default UI, while JS free, was akin to wading through waste deep mud in practice, and its only real alternative before Pleroma came around was Qvitter which was practically required for the instance to be usable. GNU Social was known for being a gigantic pain in the admin's ass since it never worked quite right, especially its queue, which lead to instances "time travelling", where they sent and received posts so slow it was like they were in another point in time, shitposter.club was particularly notorious for this as many users of the age will tell you. Mastodon unintentionally(?) had a habit of effectively collectively DDoSing smaller instances which choked out some small ones, leading a few instances to block Mastodon entirely. Ostatus documentation was complicated and at times near non existent. People had been writing alternatives in Java, Clojure, and Common LISP for a long time, some tried to fork GNU Social to try and make it not suck. Ultimately, Pleroma was designed by people who didn't have as many brain cells as fingernails so naturally it started dominating easily. There is no reason to make a GNU Social instance at this point, just stick to Pleroma.

Why use this over Mastodon?

Pleroma is more lightweight, can be implemented easily on a server and it's very customizable allowing many themes to be made.

Where do I sign up?

Just like GNU_Social and Mastodon, Pleroma is part of the fediverse, meaning that anyone can host their own instance There are many instances up for public registration such as: