There’s a meme currently floating around that Pleroma, the Elixir-based microblogging platform that competes with Mastodon, is now directly sponsoring the project. While this alone would be considered a great joke, the Mastodon’s project sponsor page now officially highlights the project.
It’s not the most uncommon thing in the world to see open source projects occasionally sponsor one another’s development effort, and the notion of two competing platforms in a space supporting each other is a welcome change of pace from some of the animosity that has crept up between both groups in the past year.
Lain, head of the Pleroma project, had this to say:
I always said that Gargron (Eugen Rochko) isn’t getting rich from his work on Mastodon…He made good software that’s useful to many people, so I’m happy that this sponsoring is made in Pleroma’s name. We all have to live together in this fediverse.
Kaniini, another dev from the project, chimed in:
We did it on purpose actually. there are some who want to have closer collaboration with Gargron.
Eugen Rochko, Mastodon’s creator, has yet to offer an official statement on the new sponsorship, but all signs indicate that this may be treated just like any other ordinary donation to the project, opting for monetary contributions to have little bearing on the developmental directions that Mastodon takes. Earlier this month, he decided to refund donations from Keybase to remove conflicts of interest surrounding a new code push offering integration between Mastodon and Keybase.