Transparency Report (Q4 2023)

This report covers the San Francisco Bay regional Mastodon instance, with general statistics, financial details including income (donations) and expenses (hosting costs), moderation efforts, and changes made and being considered.

General Statistics

As of the end of September 2023 we tallied roughly 39,000 friends on This is an increase of about 400 new users during the quarter, the same as we saw the prior quarter.

Financial Details

We are very fortunate in that financial contributions are covering the monthly hosting costs with some to spare. We are continuing to build reserves to sustain the community long-term.

Expenses are mainly monthly hosting costs with Linode/Akamai and some additional cost with AWS:

We also expensed the last team dinner of the year ($444).

Our very simple balance sheet:

With our projected burn rate, the running costs of the instance are covered for almost eight months. Our target is to maintain more than 6 months of runway.

As always, donations are gratefully accepted at:


Moderators work to make sure that the local feed posts follow rules. Our moderation efforts rely on users promptly reporting posts that go against our server rules, which helps us quickly deal with issues as they come up. In general, folks at follow the server rules well and report users who do not, which the moderation team appreciates very much.

As always, we encourage our users to actively curate their Home feeds using Filters and the Mute and Block tools and to promptly report any content that violates the server rules.

The Admin/Mod team handled 378 reports in Q4, roughly on par with what we had in Q2.

Nearly all reports are resolved within a day, but issues involving more detailed investigation may take several days.

We actively address bad actors on the federated network by:

  1. Defederating instances with poor moderation standards or a history of lax enforcement. You can see a list of defederated servers on the about page (under “Moderated servers”). Servers marked as “limited” cannot communicate with our server by default, but users can follow and communicate with specific accounts when they know the full account address. Servers marked as “suspended” cannot communicate with, with no exceptions.
  2. Monitoring the hashtag to identify servers that may warrant investigation on our part, before they become an issue for our users.
  3. Monitoring and limiting IP address ranges that produce lots of spam accounts. This does not impose any restrictions on existing accounts, but new accounts from these sources are approved manually. We believe aggressively blocking spam sources is one of the reasons the number of reports has decreased.


@EverydayMoggie has joined the team as a moderator, and has already been a huge help. As always, we identify all of our team members on the SFBA Hub.

If you would like to become a member of the SFBA team, please reach out to us on Mastodon. We are always looking for more help with moderation as well as new ideas on how to engage our community and make the SFBA community thrive.


We would like to create more opportunities for our members to meet each other– such as the Club Fugazi event in February and the SFBA in the park meetup in August last year. Please let us know if you have any ideas at!

Technical Infrastructure

Maintenance and Upgrades

  • Datacenter migration: as announced in our last reports, to prepare for the datacenter migration by Linode, we had to undo our IP failover mechanism for the database cluster. After the migration is completed, the plan is to restore it using the different IP migration feature available in the new datacenter (based on BGP instead of ARP). We are still waiting on Linode to finsh the datacenter migration. It’s going to be one year soon…
  • Upgraded to Mastodon 4.2.3: this was a major upgrade to the Mastodon software. Read more about it here

In Progress

  • Updating the information hub: continuing work on the instance info site, including an on-boarding guide to help new users get going quickly. As always, changes will be announced via
  • Updates to Terms of Service: overhauling our terms of service and related policies to clarify appropriate uses of the site and content.
  • Testing of other ActivityPub enabled software such as BookWyrm, PeerTube, and Pixelfed.


We look forward to the next quarter—if you would like to contribute, please donate to

And we always welcome comments!

Your Admin & Moderation team:

@seb @cd24 @moritz @ingurido @neuralgraffiti @EverydayMoggie