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Making bots on Mastodon

I made a Mastodon bot this past weekend. It’s called Why, and it tries to answer the perennial question “Why?” with responses from public domain texts from Project Gutenberg.

I built this for Mastodon, rather for Twitter, for a couple of reasons:

  1. I was curious about the Mastodon API and the tools that are available to work with it.
  2. I was also a bit discouraged with Twitter. Twitter has implemented a bot approval process intended to exclude certain bots. While I understand that they want to improve the quality of users’ timelines, the new sign-up process has driven away some bot makers.
  3. Mastodon has instances that are specifically bot-friendly, like botsin.space.
  4. Perhaps most importantly for me, Mastodon is generally very welcoming. This openness makes it fun to build projects there.

Going forward, I’ll be building bots on Mastodon rather than Twitter.

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