Mastodon: Your DMs can be read by the admin(s) on your specific instance.

Twitter: Your DMs can be read by the entire Twitter Corporation.


@tinker That last part almost certainly isn't true and I think we all know it.

A better argument is: "But you can be your own admin, meaning only your third party might lose your DMs, you're in exactly the same boat as twitter."

@Elucidating @tinker how about "by the Designated Agents of the Twitter Corp"

Who knows what rules they use to decide who gets to be in that group? Certainly not me

@riking @tinker I think this isn't a fruitful argument, because any argument you can make about Twitter you can make about the admin of a 3rd party instance, only moreso.

@Elucidating @riking @tinker No, not really. Your Twitter DMs can be read not only by any employee with database access, but also by the NSA and other spying agencies who have partnered with Twitter.

You absolutely cannot say the same about every single instance in existence.


@riking @tinker

How and why should anyone trust that statement? I'm not saying this to be contrarian, I genuinely think it's mostly the same thing.

@trwnh @riking @tinker

An example: lots of instance admins acted in unison to identify and ban instances and users who spread child pornography last year. They did this for their own reasons, but as a sum total of action it was largely indistinguishable from a centrally managed action.

I've implied elsewhere that nothing stops dishonest actors from starting Masto instances. The cost of failing is insignificant. There is no penalty for being revealed a fraud.

@trwnh @riking @tinker
Again, I think that this is more of a category error and we should label it as such. Mastodon's condition is at worst, just as bad as twitter. At best it's substantially better.

That's progress and we shouldn't cede the point to folks who want to try and claim Mastodon is uniquely bad in this fashion.

@Elucidating @tinker I would say it essentially is true. Everything you write on Twitter is readable by everyone the corporation allows or directs to read. That is already a lot of people, and you have no choice in the matter.

Mastodon is NOT a private platform either of course. Tooters should have minimal expectation of privacy. However their is a much greater measure of control in who sees your messages, plus it isn't driven by surveillance based marketing.



I mean, all it'll take is one (inevitable) fash psyop and we're going to have to have better taking points.

@msh @tinker

I mean, seriously. We're going to see someone run a Masto instance under false pretenses and get traction. It's gonna be a dire challenge to the narrative Mastodon users want to project.

Let's just hope it's to the detriment of the fash not on their behalf.

@Elucidating @tinker this has already happened to a certain degree...remember the attempt by Hiveway to somehow tart up Mastodon with blockchain and raise capital for their "new thing". Also, though not overtly fascist, caters in some ways to such a crowd with their antisocial federation policy and tone.

The nature of federation brings back the kind of self regulation/containment that existed in pre-internet publishing, where crackpot ideas were recognizable and limited in reach.



I agree. I'm more concerned about people misrepresenting their intent and capturing identifying details about users in a kind of Honeypot scenario.

@Elucidating @tinker that sort of self - containment works to limit damage in those cases too. An instance's rep can quickly turn bad when it is caught doing evil. It isn't perfect of course but you won't as easily get Cambridge Analyitica type scenarios where things like honeypot "quizzes" can reach tens of millions of people.

There are many more mitigation options in a distributed scenario. I have my own server for a reason. And alts like #pleroma making self hosting more accessible helps.

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