How to Verify Your Mastodon Account with Keybase
At the time of this writing, the decentralized network Mastodon has recently surged in popularity out of relative obscurity. Anyone can spin up their own mastodon instance on their own domain, with their own rules. The collective of all inter-connected instances is being called the Fediverse. There is a great list of Mastodon instance here.
As with any newer social network, there is the question of identity verification. Do you need to create your preferred username on all instances in order to prevent abuse? How are you to verify yourself?
Keybase does not have an in-built option to verify one’s Mastodon account yet. Chris Coyne, Keybase founder, tweeted about whether or not he should wait to implement it, in case there are major structural changes to Mastodon in the oncoming weeks. That seems to be a reasonable concern.
For the time being, you can simply sign a message with Keybase to verify yourself.
Create your Keybase proof
Make sure you have installed the keybase cli.
keybase sign -m "Hi! I'm @firstname.lastname@example.org on Mastodon."
For example, here is mine:
keybase sign -m "Hi! I'm @email@example.com on mastodon
Take the result, and make a post on your Mastodon account like so.
Verify a Keybase proof
Take the contents of a posted proof, and place it in a file.
keybase verify < keybase_proof_filename
The results should appear something like this:
Alternative Keybase Proof
Another method you can use, it to post a public proof using the Keybase filesystem, KBFS
You can post a variant of
I am <username> on Mastodon
cd /keybase/public/username/ touch mastodonproof.md
Would be visible at
You can also add
index.md to your
/keybase/username/ folder and it will be accessible at
For example, here is mine.
Thank you @todb for this idea, and thank you @seabre for pointing it out to me.
Find Your Friends
If you want to “import” a few of your Twitter followers at the start, there is an unofficial app hosted on Heroku, Mastodon Bridge. It goes without saying: use at your own risk.
Someone has put together a followbot, if that is your thing.
If you like Mastodon, don’t hesitate to toss a few dollars to the developer, Gargron. Here is his Patreon page. There are also plenty of issues to be resolved, if you want to help that way.