Colourful Illustration of the Fediverse network structure

Mastodon is part of the Fediverse.

Mastodon for all uni­ver­sity employ­ees

The communications team at the University of Innsbruck is further expanding the use of the non-profit and data protection-friendly microblogging service Mastodon and is now also opening the service to all of the more than 5,000 employees of the University of Innsbruck following the organizational units. Mastodon has been connected to the university's own login system.

Mastodon is a non-profit and data protection-friendly social media platform that functions like former Twitter. In autumn 2023, the instance was created on the university's own servers as part of a joint project between the IT Center (ZID) and the Public Relations Office (BFÖ). Access is linked to the university's own login system and is open to all organizational units and all of the University of Innsbruck's employees. The communication team uses Mastodon primarily for institutional science communication and recommends the use of the platform especially in the university context. Mastodon is part of the so-called Fediverse, an association of open-source, decentralised, non-commercial and privacy-friendly services. The Fediverse is a non-profit network and does not follow a business model: there is no advertising, no filter algorithms, no tracking, no marketing of data, and transparent, jointly organised forms of (content) moderation. The University of Innsbruck welcomes this approach and therefore not only utilises this infrastructure, but also aims to contribute to the positive development of these alternative online structures through its presence. The first step in this direction was taken last autumn with the opening to organizational units has already been taken: University of Innsbruck focuses on Mastodon.

The active use of platform X will be stopped and limited to monitoring.

Access for all employees via Single Sign-On

The main purpose of Mastodon is the public dissemination of short messages; its functionality is reminiscent of X (formerly Twitter). Users can share not only texts, but also images, videos and links. Mastodon allows up to 500 characters per message and the posts in the timeline are sorted chronologically rather than by algorithms. The instance is open to all organisational units (faculties, institutes, working groups, project groups, etc.) and all employees of the University of Innsbruck. Organisational units need a corresponding functional account with E-mail address and employees need their personal account (C-Kennung). Registration is done via the university's own Single Sign-On. All details on registration and use can be found in the Uniwiki: (access for employees only).

Basis: Open Science Communication

The focus on the open platform Mastodon in the Fediverse is based on a fundamental commitment to freely accessible and non-profit structured media. In addition to this social media channel, the communications team will also increasingly rely on Wikipedia for science communication in future. This approach is part of a long-standing "open source tradition" at the University of Innsbruck, which is also reflected in other areas, such as the use of the Big Blue Button video conferencing system or the Matrix/Element chat system, to name just two examples.

The idea in regard to science communication is set out in a position paper on "Open Science Communication".

General information: Mastodon at the University of Innsbruck

Moderation and Community-Management: Communications team (Melanie Bartos and Christian Flatz)
System maintenance: ZID (Hansjörg Pehofer and Matthias Prantl)
Data security: Matthias Weiler (ZID)

Contact and support:
(Melanie Bartos, phone: +43 512 507 32021)

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