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Mastodon pilot has a chance to win open source award

The social community platform Social.edu.nl has been nominated for the European Commission's Open Source Observatory (OSOR) award 2023. This Mastodon platform of, for and by Dutch research and education is competing with 21 other projects and initiatives for the annual award. You can vote now!

What is social.edu.nl?

At the beginning of this year, SURF and its members started the pilot project social.edu.nl. There is a growing need for a social community platform of and for the whole of Dutch education and research. At the same time, we want this platform to be based on the public values we ourselves advocate.

To this end, we use the global Mastodon platform. Mastodon is a community platform based on values such as justice, humanity and autonomy, it is open source and uses open standards and open protocols.

Although the Mastodon software itself has successfully existed since 2016, SURF has worked to make this social network more accessible:

  • All students, researchers and staff of institutions can use Mastodon via single sign-on with their own institution account.
  • Group accounts allow you to use Mastodon as an organisation, faculty or (research) group.
  • We guard European, public and academic values when it comes to security, privacy, countering disinformation and trolling. However, you still have the freedom to participate in the platform with a pseudonym.

Naturally, SURF has again made the software and technology to enable these new functionalities open source available so that other sectors, umbrella organisations, federations or commercial and public organisations can also apply, reuse, adapt or expand it.

Vote on social.edu.nl!

Why this award?

The European Commission's Open Source Observatory (OSOR) has organised this award to honour and highlight the best open source solutions and initiatives by or for the public sector in Europe.

The Awards are a recognition by the European Commission of the most impactful solutions and initiatives. The best entries will be invited to present their projects at the OSOR conference on 21 November 2023 in Brussels.

This year, an expert panel selected 22 projects and initiatives from 101 entries from 23 countries. SURF is one of the organisations competing for this award. The nomination is a nice compliment and recognition to the entire sector in which education, research and education umbrella organisations such as UNL have worked together within SURF to create a community platform based on public values.

Currently, 32 institutions are already using social.edu.nl and all their students, researchers and staff have easy access to this community platform as part of the global Mastodon network.

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