Strategic Priorities for 2023-24

We want our Association to be run by members like you, making decisions together! So, we’re figuring out our top priorities for the coming year and we asked for your input. We’ve already had a workshop, two office hours, and an online brainstorming chat.

After our Annual General Meeting (AGM), we opened a poll from October 4 to October 10, 2023. During this time, we asked you to vote for the three priorities that matter most to you.

Now, we’ll keep talking about how the Cooperative and the Board will use your chosen priorities to steer the Association’s work for the next year. Let’s do this together!

Here are the results.

Members can access the poll results and discuss in the members forum.

CoSocial Board Decision on Threads

Two weeks ago, the CoSocial board asked the membership to comment on the question of whether our Mastodon instance should pre-emptively defederate from the soon-to-be-released ActivityPub-enabled Meta community, Threads. The results are available under the hashtag #CoSocialMeta.

Only a few of the responses are in favour of pre-emptively defederating. The primary response is “wait and see”.

Based on this input, the board voted unanimously in favour of the following proposal: will not pre-emptively defederate from the Threads app fediverse instance by Meta. However, we authorise the Trust and Safety team to take all necessary steps to protect user safety on CoSocial.”

Our reasoning is this: CoSocial is a service that its members pay for. If the board and staff restrict that service in any way, it should be to improve the quality of the service for everyone.

We do block over 200 instances that have been set up intentionally for harassment and abuse, or that are so poorly managed that they are a haven for harassers and abusers. We think blocking those domains makes the experience of the fediverse better for all CoSocial members.

Until the Meta service is released, we won’t know what the impact will be on CoSocial members. Absent a very strong signal from our membership to do so, we should not preemptively block that server.

Individual CoSocial members will be able to block the domain. This should screen any incoming content from the Meta site for them, and keep anyone on the Meta site from following them.

First Operations Update

The board and core team leads meet most Tuesday evenings to move the co-op forward. Agenda items and team notes are gathered ahead of time and discussed live. We’re going to start publishing some basic updates around what we’re talking about and working on.

Special Topics

Blocking Meta’s new ActivityPub service

With talk of Meta joining, there are voices proposing to de-federate (a technical process with Mastodon to block connections for an entire server)

At this stage of the co-op, our approach is to solicit feedback from membership on whether we should de-federate, and then the board will vote next Tuesday. A server announcement has been posted, and we are encouraging members to provide feedback to the board by using the #CoSocialMeta tag.

Team Updates


Test Lemmy (Reddit clone) instance up at Early adopter members welcome to experiment, but ⚠️⚠️ currently undocumented and filled with bugs ⚠️⚠️. Follow #NewsCoSocial for updates, as well as the group.

Board previously approved a part-time sysadmin role, our first paid position. This will be a junior role, with only a few hours per month. First draft of a job description, to be posted next week.


First office hours / open working session hosted by Alka and Dawn. Tuesdays @ 4pm PST / 6pm CST / 7pm EST, watch for more posts and details.

Hosting some regular chat sessions on different topics. On deck: Tim Bray, next Wednesday June 28th, with the latest in hot fediverse topics, aka #HotFedi


Will be refreshing the info site here in the coming weeks. More content — and writers! — needed. Discussion on sharing basic info about the fediverse, both for new / prospective members, as well as for Canadian media who might be interested due to growing activity in the space such as Meta, Reddit, etc.

Want to help with comms, news, and documentation? Email


We have a bank account at VanCity! We’re still taking payments through OpenCollective, which has worked very well for us. Perhaps more important, we have cash on hand – member subscription fees, that’s all we collect – for many months of operations.

To-do: Review of OpenCollective setups, review of projected finances, updates from TechOps on hosting fees, and first paid role.

Trust & Safety

To schedule: a live review / tour of our test Lemmy instance. Moderation tools are very basic, manual block list. A vision for inclusive social networking in Canada

Note: This was originally published as a call to action on this site in November 28, 2022. We’re preserving it in our blog however some info may no longer be accurate, please visit the Sign Up or About page for the latest information on our coop and how to join!

The crisis at Twitter has led to explosive growth and interest in Mastodon, a community-run and organized alternative to Twitter. And this sudden growth has presented all of us with a unique opportunity to do social better, by providing Canadians with a safe, reliable home on the network.

We have the opportunity to reimagine social media as a force for justice, equity, and inclusivity in Canada and around the world. We have the opportunity to turn back from a decade of corporatized social media that divided and exhausted us with hate speech, misinformation, and information overload. We have the opportunity to create a new kind of online community in Canada—with your leadership and support.

Equally important, we want to create a stable and reliable place on the Fediverse for people to call home. A place for connection and conversation. A safe place were we can all come together and build a community.

Want to get involved? Sign up

Why Mastodon?

Mastodon is Open Source software (like WordPress) that allows people to access the Fediverse. Groups can create and manage their own servers for Twitter-like discussions, but with better moderation against hate speech, misinformation, and without ads and algorithms controlling what you read. That’s

Social media companies like Twitter and Facebook took the revolutionary promise of connecting people across boundaries…and turned it into something that feeds us a narrow and skewed perspective of the world around us. With Mastodon, you join an online community where you can participate in conversations, connect, and share with others.

What makes Mastodon different?
  • It’s a network of connected servers, called the Fediverse, instead of one site that a single company controls
  • Most Mastodon servers are small volunteer projects, non-profits or co-ops that are owned by their members
  • Each server can set its own rules to protect members and provide a unique experience
  • You can belong to (almost) any Mastodon server and still have conversations or get info from servers all over the network

Mastodon has unique features that make it more inclusive and more robust than any other social network. Instead of relying on a single company or person, Mastodon is a federation of servers that interconnect and share information. You can follow and read posts from anyone on any other Mastodon server, which creates the potential for a much richer social media experience than ever before. And Mastodon is just one part of what’s known as the Fediverse….so a Mastodon server is like a gateway to a galaxy that opens the door to an even larger universe of online conversations and information.

In just a few weeks Mastodon grew from less than 400,000 users to well over 4 million. At its current rate of growth there might be millions more active users by the end of the year.

But this growth could stall if people have frustrating or negative experiences because there’s no safe, reliable home for them on the network.  To harness the Mastodon moment, we need to do social media differently. We need to make an online home for Canadian Mastodon users that’s reliable, democratic and inclusive.

We can do social better

Most Mastodon instances are run by individuals as passion projects. But running a Mastodon server costs real money and real time. As Mastodon continues to grow, we expect big companies to set up their own servers with corporatized, ad-driven social media—just like it’s been in the past.

In order to do things differently, servers need to be managed professionally, and supported financially, by their members. There will always be people who will run their own servers, and this is a core part of what makes Mastodon unique, but to absorb the tide of people coming from Twitter, we can’t rely entirely on people who are donating their time and money to the cause.

We need professionally and ethically managed servers where members support the instance with their own money and time. We can’t go back to free social media services where people and their data are the product.

It’s time for Canada to take the lead again

We’ve never seen greater momentum for an Open Source, decentralized network—one that isn’t owned by any one person or company. We see an opportunity to do social media better. We’ve seen what went wrong with other networks. That’s why we want to create a Canadian Mastodon co-op, owned and run by its members.

Mastodon has strong roots in Canada. The protocol that connects the servers on the Mastodon network, as well as the larger “Fediverse”, was first developed by (led by CoSocial’s Evan Prodromou). As the birthplace of the Fediverse, Canada has a wealth of expertise on Mastodon’s core technologies, and the credibility to influence the evolution of the Mastodon community and culture.

Our population and geography are big enough to support a large community of users, but small enough to imagine social networking done right.

Join the community

We can only foster a democratic and accountable Fediverse if we as the co-op also operate in a way that reflects values of inclusivity, diversity, respect and kindness. As a result, we are a community service cooperative, in other words, a non-profit, with a small but mighty core team of members running our working groups and board.

Learn more about next steps to join!