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Mastodon User Count Bot

A bot which counts users from all instances listed at https://instances.social then posts statistics to Mastodon.

My copy is currently running at https://bitcoinhackers.org/@mastodonusercount

Dependencies

  • Python 3
  • gnuplot version 5 or greater, for example: sudo apt install gnuplot5-qt or sudo apt install gnuplot5-x11 will work
  • Mastodon.py: pip3 install Mastodon.py
  • A recent version of requests is needed for socks5h proxy: you can update with sudo -H easy_install3 -U pip, pip3 install requests --upgrade and pip3 install pysocks

Usage:

  1. Create a file called config.txt to specify the hostname of the Mastodon instance you would like to post statistics. It must be in json format, see config.txt.example.
  2. Fill out client id, client secret and access token in config.txt as follows:
{
	"mastodon_hostname": "mastodon.social",
	"client_id": "<your client ID>",
	"client_secret": "<your client secret>",
	"access_token": "<your access token>"
}

To get these values, create an account for your bot, then run this script:

from mastodon import Mastodon

# change this to the apprpriate instance, login and username
instance_url = "https://mastodon.social"
user_name = "youremail@example.com"
user_password = "123456"

Mastodon.create_app("My User Count", scopes=["read","write"],
   to_file="clientcred.txt", api_base_url=instance_url)

mastodon = Mastodon(client_id = "clientcred.txt", api_base_url = instance_url)
mastodon.log_in(
   user_name,
   user_password,
   scopes = ["read", "write"],
   to_file = "usercred.txt"
)

Your client id and secret are the two lines in clientcred.txt, your access token is the line in usercred.txt. (Yeah, I know I should have automated this step -- but hey, the above script is better than having to figure it out by yourself! ;) )

  1. Use your favorite scheduling method to set ./crawler.py and ./publish.py to run regularly.

The ./crawler.py handles all the data:

  • regularly queries https://instances.social and merges the received instances into list.json
  • visits all available instances and saves their data into snapshot.json
  • records historical data in mastostats.csv

./crawler.py ideally called four times an hour: it tries to reach each instance over http, https, clearnet and darknet.

./publish.py was designed to run once in every hour, and it draws a graph and publishes it at Mastodon.

Note: The script will fail to output a graph until you've collected data points that are actually different!

Tips

If you like this project, help to keep it alive! Thank you for your support!

tippin.me

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User statistics bot for Mastodon

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