What are Original Pages in Mastodon and the Fediverse?

Every account and post on the Fediverse has an original version of itself on the server it comes from called an “original page”. This page shows the latest and most complete version of a profile or post. These original pages can be really, really useful for many different reasons.

Finding a profile or post’s original page

On Mastodon, here’s how you can see these “original pages”:

  1. Log in through your server’s website
  2. Go to a profile or post and click on ⋯ or ︙
  3. Select “open original page”, which will open the original page in a new browser tab

Once the page is open, the original page’s web address will be visible in the browser’s address bar at the top.

Using original page addresses to interact with posts and profiles

If there’s a profile or post that you can’t find by searching on your server, you can use original pages to force your server to notice people and posts it hadn’t noticed before, including pages from other types of Fediverse server. Just copy and paste the original page’s address into the search box on Mastodon, and it will make that post or profile appear within your own server, where you will be able to interact with it directly.

The process is cross-platform and works for any Fediverse server type. For example if you know the web address of a PeerTube video or Pixelfed photo, you can paste it into the search box on Mastodon and the video or photo will appear within Mastodon. You will then be able to interact with it as if it was a Mastodon post.

This process works in a very similar way to account addresses.

Sharing Fediverse content using original page addresses

Original pages are also useful if you want to share a profile or post with people outside the Fediverse, as you don’t have to be logged in to see them. Just give people the original page’s web address and it will open in any browser.

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