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Migration from Twitter to Mastodon

Many people (I don’t like this phrase) are leaving Twitter these days, and looking for a new social media home. One of these places is Mastodon. This blog post aims to summarize the steps necessary for a migration, and includes pointers to websites which can help with said move.

 

Image & CC: https://www.pexels.com/photo/3-grey-elephants-under-yellow-sky-68550/

 

What is Twitter?

Twitter: @ascherbaum

Twitter is a Microblogging service. Users post short texts with maximal 140 280 characters, optionally including media attachments. Tweets (that’s the name for the posting) are public by default, however Twitter implemented the ability to protect accounts (make the content private to followers only), or recently implemented functionality to target specific user groups for Tweets. In October 2022 Elon Musk completed the acquisition of Twitter, and took over as CEO. The following weeks have seen erratic and dramatic changes, which are not well-received by all users. Quite a number of users decided to leave Twitter. In addition, as a consequence of the turmoil some companies stopped doing advertisements on Twitter. The future will show if the users and advertisers will come back.

Users have a unique username on the platform, mine is @ascherbaum.

 

What is Mastodon?

 

Mastodon: @ascherbaum@mastodon.social

Mastodon is a Microblogging, which in contrast to the centralized Twitter, runs on decentralized (federated) instances (servers). The instances communicate with each other. The software is open source, and the project started around 2016.

Postings in Mastodon are named Toots, not Tweets. Or Trööt in German. Please let me know the word in other languages, I will update this posting.

After Elon Musk took over at Twitter, users started to migrate to Mastodon as an alternative, and every controversial announcement shows a new wave of users leaving. This will likely keep going for quite a while.

Mastodon users have a unique username on one instance, however the same username on a different instance can be used by someone else. There is no universal verification across instances, instances might implement their own verification. For example the social.bund.de instance is only open to other federal agencies of the German government - therefore every account on this instance is already validated as a government account.

My Mastodon account (the one I’m currently using) is ascherbaummastodon.social. The software allows users to move to new instances and migrate followers over, check the profile settings of your instance how to do that.
 

 

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Remove duplicates from Huginn event stream

One of the things I'm using Huginn for is monitoring for Twitter keywords. Some of them might appear in pairs, as example people like to tag Tweets about PostgreSQL with both #postgresql and #postgres. When I was using IFTTT this always created two emails, one for each hashtag. With Huginn I can deduplicate the events, and only notify about the first occurrence.

I need the following agents for this scenario:

 

 

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Enable Huginn Twitter integration

Huginn comes with a number of Twitter agents, but before they can be used you need to authenticate them. That process requires multiple steps, and they are not well documented.

The basics are described on the "Configuring OAuth applications" Wiki page.

For the Twitter integration one must know that you are using a single Twitter app for all users, but every Huginn user can (and should) have this app authenticated against their own Twitter account. Therefore if you want to use multiple Twitter accounts in Huginn, you need multiple Huginn users.

 

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Huginn: Filter Retweets

A while ago I started using Huginn, as a replacement for IFTTT. That's going quite well. Huginn offers more features, integrations, and especially your chains (scenarios) can be as complex as you wish. IFTTT is quite limited in this area.

I use the Twitter integration to find certain Tweets. Now this does not only find native Tweets, but also finds every Retweet made for a native Tweet. Obviously I am not interested in duplicate content.

Huginn offers a way to filter out Retweets.

 

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