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Supported federation protocols and standards

Supported FEPs

ActivityPub in Mastodon

Mastodon largely follows the ActivityPub server-to-server specification but it makes uses of some non-standard extensions, some of which are required for interacting with Mastodon at all.

Required extensions


In Mastodon, users are identified by a username and domain pair (e.g., This is used both for discovery and for unambiguously mentioning users across the fediverse. Furthermore, this is part of Mastodon's database design from its very beginnings.

As a result, Mastodon requires that each ActivityPub actor uniquely maps back to an acct: URI that can be resolved via WebFinger.

HTTP Signatures

In order to authenticate activities, Mastodon relies on HTTP Signatures, signing every POST and GET request to other ActivityPub implementations on behalf of the user authoring an activity (for POST requests) or an actor representing the Mastodon server itself (for most GET requests).

Mastodon requires all POST requests to be signed, and MAY require GET requests to be signed, depending on the configuration of the Mastodon server.

Optional extensions

Additional documentation