FediRoster is a web application for hosting an opt-in public list of fediverse accounts. Its purpose is to assist communities to more easily find people with shared interests on Mastodon and other connected platforms. People are able to add themselves to the list via proof of account ownership.


FediRoster is a slightly more heavyweight alternative to David Adler’s Sociologists on Mastodon software. It is intended to function as a public list of Mastodon and other fediverse accounts, geared primarily towards academic communities, but suitable for others as well. It offers functions for following listed accounts individually or in bulk. The main novelty here is that you can add yourself to the list through an authentication process instead of all the work falling on a list maintainer. You can sign in through your Mastodon account or send a message to the list’s bot to verify your account ownership. This also means that the hosting process for new lists is a bit more involved (it’s a Python/WSGI application).

It was first developed for the HCI Directory, a list of human-computer interaction researchers on the fediverse. It has since been released as an open source project that can be self-hosted. Its current state is stable, but not quite ready for widespread use. Administrators willing to experiment and to keep up with version upgrades can now get a head start.

Project Philosophy

One of the more commonly observed obstacles for people getting started on Mastodon is connecting with their communities and finding interesting people to follow. This is a difficult problem with no one-size-fits-all solutions. Academic communities in particular have seen some success alleviating it through public opt-in account lists for various fields of research, augmenting the network’s discoverability by building lists of people working on related issues who want to be easily found by kindred spirits. FediRoster is a tool to help streamline this process.

The design of FediRoster is guided by the two core values equality and consent, which are commonly emphasized in fediverse-adjacent projects. The main manifestation of equality is that FediRoster eschews information such as credentials, experience, or formal titles, instead relying mainly on names and areas of interest to connect people. The project is intended to facilitate connections between humans more than self-presentations by experts.

Regarding consent, this software inherits a “no exceptions to opt-in” stance from the Academics on Mastodon meta project. It postulates that the only person who should decide whether an account appears on a public list is the owner of that account. Through its strict account authentication, FediRoster ensures that only the person in question can add themselves, edit their information, or remove themselves from the list. While manual data entry by list administrators is possible (at the end of the day, someone still owns the hard drive), the software contains no affordances for e.g. bulk additions.


This is a visual demo for FediRoster. The following list, displayed just like a real installation of the software would be, contains a number of fictional people and their interests. You can try out the sorting, filtering and exporting functions, as well as take a look at what happens when you press the “Add” button. In this demo, you will not be asked for your personal information, nor will anything you do be saved or transmitted anywhere. Feel free to experiment!

Want to edit or delete your own information? , then click on your entry.


If you use Mastodon, you can sign in through your server to prove your identity.

Please select your server:


For any other ActivityPub platform, you can enter your information first and then verify it with a direct message to our bot.

Enter my information first, verify afterwards

If example.com is a Mastodon server, you can sign in through it to prove your identity. Please make sure you are logged into the correct account.


If example.com uses any other ActivityPub platform, you can submit your edit or deletion request first and then verify it with a direct message to our bot.

Submit request first, verify afterwards

How to import this list into your Mastodon follows

Use one of the download buttons to get this account list (in full or in part) as a CSV file. When logged into your Mastodon account, click “Preferences” in the main menu.

In the Preferences view, click “Import and export”, then “Import”. Make sure the import type is set to “Following list” and that “Merge” is checked and not “Overwrite”. Then click “Browse...” to select your CSV file, followed by “Upload”. Done!

A screenshot of the Mastodon import view in the preferences. The buttons that need to be clicked in the import process are numbered in red.

Custom Icon Creator

Need an icon for your self-hosted FediRoster list? Feel free to use this icon creator to generate an icon in the style of the original. You can use one of the provided topic icons or supply your own image file (16×16 pixel resolution recommended). The three people sprites are randomly assembled for you and their components can be shuffled.

Privacy notice: all file operations happen locally on your device, your data is not transmitted anywhere.

All the provided pixel art assets were created by Nina and can be freely redistributed. Depending on availability, Nina is happy to be hired to create bespoke icons for you.