Bigshoulders.city welcomes all sexualities, gender identities, races, levels of mobility, and ages; we embrace a user base as diverse and vibrant as nature’s metropolis, Chicago.

If a user posts a message that mocks, harasses, endangers, threatens, or otherwise puts at risk any other person on the basis of the criteria above, they will be banned from bigshoulders.city. Decisions to ban do not have to be justified or detailed by the admins, nor will they be.

When in doubt, follow the Midnight Amendments.

Bots can be fun and useful under the right circumstances. Partner with the admin if you’re interested in adding a bot account to bigshoulders.city.

Mastodon’s robust support for content warnings (CWs) is a valuable part of the platform. Please consider using CWs for images that might be considered “not safe for work”, for video in general, and for film/tv/game spoilers. We do not have formal rules around CWs, but repeated posts of sensitive content without them may result in a message from an admin.

bigshoulders.city implements Dzuk's "BLOCKchain" to block interactions with instances that might put our community at risk. Detailed reasons behind each ban can be found on the list's GitHub page.

bigshoulders.city

bigshoulders.city is a Mastodon instance for Chicagoans current, former, and future.1 Its name comes from Carl Sandburg, who once compared ships pulling out to “mastodons, arising from lethargic sleep.”2

Our goal for bigshoulders.city is to build a community of friends and neighbors across the Windy City. Toot your pho place recommendations, meet-up ideas (like at the mastodon exhibit at the Field!), pothole gripes, creative dibs, and cross-town baseball taunts—whatever you want, as long it abides by our short and sweet content policy.

For now, membership in bigshoulders.city is subject to approval. if you don’t have an invite or referral, email our admin with a Toot-length intro.3 Proof of your Chicago connection is required.

Membership is also free: hosting, administration, and domain registration are provided by our admin. Right now that runs about $100 a year, not counting labor. You can buy him a coffee if you like.

Boundless credit to our sister instances in Portland and Philadelphia for inspiration.


1. For the purpose of inclusivity, bigshoulders.city includes greater Chicagoland in its definition of "Chicago," though you personally should never do that.
2. From “Docks,” in Chicago Poems, 1916. Rejected URLs included noketchup.dogs, woptheb.am, dibs.team, and malort.report.
3. No more than 500 characters.