what is it with mastodon not letting me register a new account with äöü in it? -.-

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@wonderland it's not documented anywhere outside of github issues, but eugen made the decision to limit account names to "latin characters" (which ones specifically that is, i have no idea - ASCII probably) over concerns about impersonation and it being harder to mention others' account names pretty much the entire fediverse has agreed that the handles should be a restricted subset of ASCII (iirc letters, numbers, dashes, underscores; you can use upper and lower case but they are treated case insensitive). i think this is limited by what webfinger supports, but i haven't checked

technically dots are allowed, but i think most server softwares (at least misskey and mastodon do this) will only "hand out" user names with dots in them to system accounts. see e.g. accounts such as or you can use umlauts in your display name later though of course...

@Johann150 yeah but i think it shoiuld be possible for everyone to have their own name as handle (if it is still free in the instance). not just in the display name. Quite a lot people do have names that are not made out of ascii characters.
Also it classifies languages and implies languages that are not using ascii as less worth. This is a problem in my opinion! i did check and my best guess is that this restriction comes from the acct URI scheme defined in RFC 7565 § 6 and how Mastodon implemented it. Handles have to be part of an acct URI to be able to use webfinger, e.g. acct:wonderland@plural@cafe. That comes with the baggage of URIs and having to be ASCII.

From what I understand it would be technically within the RFC to have percent-encoded stuff in there. But the allowed characters in handles seems to be well agreed on so I don't want to know how many server softwares would vomit into their log files if you actually did that.

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Plural Café

Plural Café is a community for plural systems and plural-friendly singlets alike, that hopes to foster a safe place for finding and interacting with other systems in the Mastodon fediverse.