Brands & Bots

We encourage you to be yourself on vmst·io. We understand that not every account on social media is a person, even if there are technically people behind them.

Centralized platforms require all different types of accounts to be in the same place. Decentralized platforms like Mastodon offer an opportunity for each instance to set policies on the types of accounts that they allow.

Personal Accounts

You identify as you, with your name and face. You speak in your voice, you participate in the community and the wider fediverse as you. These is the primary accounts we want on

You can post about life, work, hobbies, ups and downs, memes, whatever you'd like (within the rules.)

Corporate Accounts

Corporate brand accounts are currently not permitted on vmst·io

We feel that brands and companies should be setting up their own instances under domains they're identified with and control. This not only benefits the brands in terms of verifying that their accounts are self-verified, but helps users control their interactions with those brands.

Examples of the types of accounts prohibited under this policy would be accounts identifying as the official account for VMware, Digital Ocean, Fastmail, Chipotle, Delta Airlines, etc. Unofficial or parody accounts for brands are prohibited by our account impersonation policy.

This policy in no way prohibits members of from interacting or boosting content from brands, nor prohibits brand accounts from interacting or federating with our instance. It only prohibits such accounts from being hosted by

Groups & Associations

If you are an "on-topic" non-profit organization, community group of or other association we may permit your account. If you are unsure if you qualify please contact @vmstan or file a GitHub issue.

Examples of accounts allowed under this policy would be the non-profit @WestportObservatory or the hypothetical "Kansas City Anker Power Cable User Group" where there may be a loose affiliation with the brand but is otherwise run for fun or user networking.

Open Source Projects

If you are the maintainer of an open source project, and want to maintain an account distinct from your personal account, you may be permitted to do so. If you are unsure if you qualify please contact @vmstan or file a GitHub issue.

Examples of accounts allowed under this policy would be a hypothetical official account for the Pi-hole project. Accounts that may be prohibited by this policy would be ones where there is a direct financial relationship or major sponsorship with a corporate brand.

Bot Accounts

While bot accounts are not strictly prohibited, they are discouraged on, unless they provide some clear purpose or value to either the community or wider Fediverse.

We have a couple of internal bots, for example one that post whenever someone signs up as a recurring patron of

Bot accounts that repost content from other social networks or sites, without the consent of the content owners, are prohibited.

Development Accounts

If you are the developer of a Mastodon client or another ActivityPub/Fediverse project and would like to use an account on to test the functionality of your application, please contact @vmstan or file a GitHub issue before doing so. While we are generally supportive of such things we like to know ahead of time should it cause disruptions in service to other members.

Accounts allowed by this policy would be a test account for a hypothetical Mastodon client called "Ebony" that wanted to test integration with our advanced search implementation.

Development accounts designed to scrape and or index user data via our API or other means, are prohibited.