Let’s say that Mastodon’s biggest instance, Pawoo, decided to close down tomorrow. That’s over 600 thousand users who need to find a new home. Luckily Mastodon allows its users to migrate to other instances, which is great. But many instances would not be able to scale quick enough to support those kinds of numbers. Potentially causing a DDoS of our own network and bringing the entire thing crashing down.
I think that in that case the whole network would be at risk, if Pawoo closes and shuts down letting time for its users to migrate, then yes the other instances would welcome its users, if it suddenly shuts down, then most of its user base would just lose interest in Mastodon, because so many posts losts, all people they follow and those who follow them, I think the Mastodon Network would lose most of those users.
What can we do to help?
The short answer to this question is; use other instances to truly distribute this network of ours. This will help prevent the centralisation of mastodon.
Kev, in that way yes you spread the risk of one instance going down and letting too many users with no home, but a small instance with 5.000 users is at a higher risk of going down than mastodon.social.
I think there is less risk in Mastodon.social going down than in some other going down, because Eugen is behind it. Anyway as everything in life, every direction has its pros and cons.
To me the final solution is just like with email, to own your domain and host your instance or use a hosted solution, just like you said.
starting your own, you’re not missing out.