Most of you reading this are here because /r/GenZedong was quarantined. While this place is very similar to Reddit, it also has a major difference that can make it a bit confusing, which is the Federation part. Without wasting anyone's time, I'll explain things right away.
# 1) What is Lemmy?
Lemmy is a link-aggregator, similar to sites like Reddit and HackerNews. But unlike Reddit, it isn't really a website you can visit, it is just a source code. But that code is Open Source, meaning anyone can see it, edit it, and use it. It was designed in such a way that you can easily take the code and create your own website with it (with some technical knowledge of course). So you can buy the domain FuckRedditLibs.com right now and make it a Lemmy website, or as we call it, a Lemmy "Instance".
# 2) What is Lemmygrad?
As you can all deduce by now, Lemmygrad is a Lemmy instance. Someone took the Lemmy code, bought the Lemmygrad.ml domain, and hosted the code there. The admins of Lemmygrad.ml only control Lemmygrad.ml, they have no authority over other instances. But that means that *no one* has authority over Lemmygrad.ml except Lemmygrad.ml admins. If you create an instance, there is no higher power you have to adhere to like in Reddit. You are the captain now.
If you look at Lemmygrad.ml as a standalone website, a rival to Reddit, you don't have to understand what Federation means. You can create a user account, create/join a community (subreddit), post links/images/text, basically most things you expect to do. So unlike what some might think, Lemmygrad isn't just GenZedong. GenZedong is just a community there ([!firstname.lastname@example.org](https://lemmygrad.ml/c/genzedong)). There are other communities obviously, like [!email@example.com](https://lemmygrad.ml/c/communism) , [!firstname.lastname@example.org](https://lemmygrad.ml/c/shitliberalssay) , and [!email@example.com](https://lemmygrad.ml/c/memes) . You can see a list of all the communities [here](https://lemmygrad.ml/communities).
# 3) What does Federation mean?
Though as said before, you can look at Lemmygrad as a standalone website. But you aren't really supposed to. What makes Lemmy powerful is the federation aspect. So Lemmygrad.ml exists. Lemmy.ml also exists (it is the instance created by the Lemmy developers, but that doesn't make it anymore "official" or important than other instances, all instances are equal). The cool thing is that all the instances are connected. If you create an account on Lemmygrad.ml, you can also view and participate with communities from all other instances! Don't believe me? Check my username. It should say [@MarcellusDrum@lemmy.ml](https://lemmy.ml/u/MarcellusDrum), which means I have created my account in Lemmy.ml, but I can post here in [!firstname.lastname@example.org](https://lemmygrad.ml/c/genzedong) , which is a Lemmygrad.ml community.
This is difference between the "Local" and "All" filter you see at the top of the home page. "Local" means posts from communities in your instance, and "All" means posts from communities from all federated instances. You can see the name of the instance after the usernames/name of the communities.
But as we said, even though they are federated, all instances are standalone sites. So [!email@example.com](https://lemmy.ml/c/communism) and [!firstname.lastname@example.org](https://lemmygrad.ml/c/communism) can coexist, with different moderators, posts, users and rules. They are completely independent places.
As such, if you created an account by going to Lemmygrad.ml, your account is linked to this instance. You can't go to Lemmy.ml and login using the same account there. Accounts aren't federated. So everytime you have to login, you will have to go to Lemmygrad.ml (or the instance you created your account on). If you are using an application like Lemmur, you have to specify which instance your account is linked to.
Same with communities, account names are only unique in an instance. Someone can use your exact username in another instance.
If you have any questions, please let me know!