I'm seeing a few new people cautiously say things like "let's enjoy this place before the bad people get here" and I just want to say:

Don't worry! They're already here! But thanks to the heroic work of your instance moderators and admins, you will never see them. And if they do show up then your mods will get rid of them: unlike Twitter, the reporting functions here are reviewed by real people who don't care about turning a profit, and instead focus on enforcing community guidelines

Also, I know a lot of the new folks will be interested in Fediverse antifascism, so @isolategab is a great account to follow. Gab is a USA-based fascist website that recently made their own version of Mastodon; Isolate Gab keeps everyone in the know about what they're doing so that instance admins can keep their users safe, and as well works to get companies to withdraw their financial supporr of Gab and its hate speech.

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@melissasage also if you are not happy with your instance admin or response there are a lot of instances here with great admins who people will likely find to their taste.

@whiskeysailor this is very true!! Nearly everyone starts out on, but if you're not enjoying it there for any reason, you can move to any other instance. Especially since Mastodon 3.0 now has automated account migration!

@melissasage @isolategab I used think "Oh gab cant be that bad" till I joined it for 3 days. I posted one time about a great place to grab breakfast in Arkansas. Literally the first comment from someone I didnt know was "Trump is the greatest pres ever! If you dont agree you are a socialist". I deleted my account in less than 60 seconds. Not that was a "nazi" thing to say but I dont do politics. Especially when Im talking about food.

@unklebonehead @isolategab it's really funny to me that they just refuse to be normal people, even on something so innocuous

@melissasage @isolategab Exactly! Politics has sucked the air out of everybodys lungs over there. I just want live and enjoy my life as much as I can with the little time I have left and to bring joy and inspiration to others without hurting them in the process. Its possible to do with love and kindness. Hate is a dirty, stinky black hole that will suck down everything it crosses. Gab=hate in my opinion. Nothing free speech about it.

@felix @melissasage @isolategab Just to see with my own eyes. Not that I dont believe what people tell me. Im just the kind of person that you can say dont run this command in a terminal. Ill do it just to see what it does. Lol.

@melissasage Now there are a few thousands of users. A worry is whether the moderators will still be able to handle it when the number of users grow to hundreds of thousands, and the number of trolls also grow proportionally.

@tintin1107 size is definitely a real problem, and I know that they're looking for new moderators partially for this reason, but if gets too big, or starts doing a bad job, people also have the option of moving to a different, smaller Mastodon instance. A lot of people do this - I started out on before moving here to

@melissasage (and followers) please ask your admins if they would sell out for large sums of money that people in power might offer them. After all the network of all instance admins could be the most frightening IT cell deployed and employed with minimum hassle.
I'm being sarcastic because most admins are the nicest hosts across the fediverse but hey! servers need money to run and optionally upgrade for smooth operations. 😀

@dpreacher hah! i mean, I'm sure the Five Eyes are watching somehow.

More seriously, it's a good thing to note that nothing on Mastodon is encrypted, not even DMs. Your admin can theoretically read them, so it's important to be on a server where you trust the admin.

@melissasage i don't recall that about DMs but to your point, I'll add that in case you need to DM a lot, be the admin or join an instance whose admin you might as well know personally or join an instance with so many users, it's a insurmountable task to find and read your DMs unless they are focussed solely on you.

@dpreacher i mean, you can just look it up in Postgres. There isn't a UI for it, but anyone with database access can access any of the information on any instance

@melissasage is that true for instances that outsource the heavy lifting of actual server configuration and provisioning to services like

@dpreacher iirc on, the third party is whoever owns idk off the top of my head- but in that case instance admins can't see DMs at all, since there isn't a UI for it.

but, Mastodon has to run on a computer somewhere, and so anyone who can run a Postgres shell on that computer can look into the database, since there is no encryption on Mastodon toots.

@melissasage personally i like the transparency and unless there is zero knowledge encryption, I wouldn't want any kind of hiding or locking of any kind. I guess I have the irc generation mindset. I hope most of us find our own safe spaces to express our true selves as happily as possible without getting into DMs unless say it is to admins (in the sad case that you feel threatened or unsafe).

@melissasage @dpreacher shouldn’t DMs be encrypted for privacy’s sake atleast ? maybe it’s part of the roadmap ?

@Fx86 @dpreacher as far as I know, I believe encryption is being discussed for the ActivityPub protocol (the protocol that lets different Mastodon instances talk to each other and other open source social media like Pleroma, Peertube, Pixelfed etc.), but finding a way to implement encryption that doesn't also break federation isn't trivial.

@melissasage @Fx86 @dpreacher Encryption has long been the bane of the current system, it's a constant privacy topic for certain. Everyone has different ideas about what that solution should look like. Further, the new influx I'm certain will bring some talented people with experience on the subject to the project with new ideas on how to approach that problem.

But for now, trust in your server administrator is basically critical, and most admins with users beyond themselves take that very seriously, especially if they want to keep those users. It would get around rather fast if they violated that trust, and probably find their instance being blocked across the fedi...

@Fx86 @melissasage @dpreacher Or may be it is better to integrate something like Keybase. Why re-invent the wheel?

@sakivwarla @Fx86 @dpreacher Keybase is already integrated for identity verification, but like I said, integrating encryption without breaking federation is a hard problem.

If you have the technical knowhow or a hunch on how it could be done, you can open an issue on the ActivityPub repo:

@melissasage @sakivwarla @Fx86 the second para is necessary to tell that even if I don't agree about encryption of DMs, if anyone got ideas or skills to bring in encryption knowing how varied the content on ActivityPub servers can be, they should contribute.
There's no guarantee or evidence that birdsite encrypts their DMs, so what do we compare it to? Messaging apps? Why

@Fx86 that's subjective or rather a choice. I would not use fediverse for anything critically confidential. I'd usually use DMs as literally "Direct Messages" which means I want to specifically converse with a person (or more) and it won't make sense to rest of my followers or fediverse. Like branching out from a public discussion into discussing specific instance of the current topic relevant to just one or few people. Even the admin has no frontend tool. @melissasage

@dpreacher @melissasage I’d rather have that choice as a checkbox in my settings. Why should it be available (unless shared) to anyone else, including the admin.

@dpreacher @melissasage if an admin sells out, all the users would go to other instances in a heartbeat.

@felix @melissasage most of us who came to mastodon for mastodon itself rather than running out of birdsite. I'm trying to bring awareness to the new people about the control they have even as individual users about their overall freedom and experience in the fediverse. Lots of new people need to know so many masto things.

@melissasage Yep! Also mention proper reason and proofs so that it is easier for them to decide.

Also, please don't report people if you hate/dislike them personally, just block//mute them.

with minor psa about older internet fora 

@melissasage This is also how things used to work in the age of fora before social media. Especially for newer generations of folks that didn’t get to experience it, it’s worth a reminder that the bizarrely toxic, enforced-by-bots, nihilistic social media context is the anomaly, not the norm.

Local admins can just ban the shitlords. No appeals process. No zillions of extra accounts if their instances are configured properly. It’s that simple.

with minor psa about older internet fora 

@melissasage I mean, we still had interpersonal strife, but not monetizing eyeballs solves so, so much.

with minor psa about older internet fora 

@Goldkin @melissasage we had our drama unmonetized, uphill both ways in the snow, because somebody pissed off somebody else for an exceptionally petty reason and then it became a whole big thing usually with at least one faked death, AND BY GOD WE LIKED IT THAT WAY

with minor psa about older internet fora 

@wigglytuffitout @Goldkin @melissasage oh, i'm not the only one who remembers USEnet then

with minor psa about older internet fora 

@thamesynne @wigglytuffitout @melissasage Saaaaame, and I got a chuckle out of this.

The drama is legendary. But it was a hell of a lot easier to swallow without regular injections of bot-campaign-pushed, bad faith nihilism that I do not miss from corporate media. And I’m grateful to instance admins for not letting that fly here.

with minor psa about older internet fora 

@thamesynne @wigglytuffitout @Goldkin @melissasage Can we get a rousing chorus of "The Lurkers Support Me In Email"?

LiveJournal was perhaps the boundary layer in between - it was (is) corporate-owned, but lacked brigading and, for the most part, the rest of current "social" media's toxicity. But, they wound up not giving a toss about their base, and all but handed over the baton to the newbie on the block, Tumblr, with plenty drifting to Twitter as well, finding they didn't /actually/ have all that much to say anyway. =:/

with minor psa about older internet fora 

@porsupah @thamesynne @wigglytuffitout @Goldkin @melissasage dreanwidth and the other LJ clones?

with minor psa about older internet fora 

@Goldkin @melissasage
I saw this just a moment ago and thought about how how nice it is to have this little furry instance I'm in and how unlike twitter it is

with minor psa about older internet fora 

@Goldkin @melissasage well, unless the mods have a suspiciously right wing bias

@melissasage Hold on there... You're saying we can enjoy this peaceful social engagement ... *gulps*... forever??

@Ezaz unfortunately yes. if you want to have a bad time on social media, you can still use twitter and facebook. it's not too late to prevent yourself from actually having fun online

@melissasage all this positivity feels vaguely unsettling. Might take some time to recover 😔

@melissasage the aim of the group switching #mastodon here achieves aim of objective analysis and discussion without fear of trolls. Can we ensure stopping fake news and inflammatory posts ? #birdsite has access by many and it will now become another huge wassup group for pushing agenda.

@VNKalaDevi I've never seen fake news be a problem here, since there's no benefit to farming fake outrage here. if you run into someone acting in bad faith like that though then yes, your mods will probably take action.

@melissasage what makes you so sure you are one of the “good people” ? :)


> Don't worry! They're already here!

for the record this is not the ideal way to start a reassurance but

...and community guidelines are defined by the community instead of some anonymous company 😱 😄 (...and may differ between communities!)

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