Download the list of followers from your Mastodon account

The Problem

It recently came to my mind that it might be handy to have a list of all the accounts that I follow on Mastodon. I can surely see them on the web or in any decent client, but as a backup it would be great to have a list to store somewhere.

As I already played a little with the Mastodon API I decided to write a short script that downloads a list of user@instance values. And as I am using Python only occasionally, I decided to do this script in Python.

Prerequisites

Mastodon

Of course, we need a Mastodon account. And in this account we need to set up an application to access our account data with an access token. To do this, we need to go to the settings page of our Mastodon account and select the Development entry.

Mastodon Developer settings

We create a new application, the only access rights we need to provide is read access; I used the global read access here, because I might try to get some other data later as well.

Mastodon add an application

After that, select the new created application and copy the value of the access token. Keep it secret, don’t give it to anybody.

Mastodon access token

Python

You need python3 installed on your machine and the Mastodon.py library. You can install it with pip:

pip install Mastodon.py

The Python Script

The following python script reads the accounts you are following, the first parameter to be passed is the URL of the instance (for example https ://infosec.exchange), the second parameter is the access token.

#!/usr/bin/env python3
import argparse
from mastodon import Mastodon

parser = argparse.ArgumentParser(description='Download the list of accounts you are following')
parser.add_argument('api_base_url', help='The api url of your mastodon server')
parser.add_argument('access_token', help='The access token of your mastodon account')
args = parser.parse_args()

# Set up the mastodon client by passing in the access token and the api url of the server
mastodon = Mastodon(access_token=args.access_token, api_base_url=args.api_base_url)

# Get the id of the account
userId = mastodon.account_verify_credentials().id

# now get the accounts we are following and keep only the account names
accounts = []
following = mastodon.account_following(userId)
while following != None :
    accounts += list(map(lambda x: x.acct, following))
    following = mastodon.fetch_next(previous_page = following)

print(*accounts, sep='\n')

The script can be downloaded here . An example call from a test account where I just follow my main Mastodon account:

./mastodon-list-followers.py  https://infosec.exchange <access_token>
sothawo@digitalcourage.social

Perhaps this is useful to someone 😎