What if we had an "untrusted" notifications tab for interactions from unfamiliar users...

@Gargron because it makes no sense, and make notifications tab confusing

@Gargron it would be better to isloate dms and have a untrusted dms feature

@Gargron Doesn't that make too many tabs? Maybe a particular color instead?
Don't want to have 10 tabs in mastoson.

@Steve12L Different color won't save you from getting pinged which is the main annoyance from spam

@Gargron Yes i know. I don't know what is the best solution honestly.

@touk @Gargron I guess because if I forget to turn off the filter, then I might be missing notifications, where as if it is a separate tab, I'd probably remember more? That's just my $0.02

@touk @Gargron I mean, I see the arguments for both options, and neither is perfect.

The perfect option is Eugen sponsored death squads to eliminate the spammers permanently in meat-space. Eugen, if you put that as a Patreon goal, I will resub.

@sexybenfranklin @touk @Gargron i think it should be on by default (like notifs from boosts, faves, etc) but in the same drop down. just call it "show unfamiliar users" :blobcatthink: it's an interesting idea. overall i don't think it's something i would use as there really isn't spam on my instance and my weird replies are more amusing to me than anything else :blobcatsip:

@sugar @touk @Gargron all I know is if I had it on, I would have missed that rando calling me a fed.

@sexybenfranklin @touk @Gargron I've gotten a few weirdos trying to argue with me about how capitalism is the best economic system for providing housing to people, which is pretty funny; but most often "unfamiliar user" is just someone i haven't interacted with yet who's actually v chill

@Gargron Have you considered account age as a way to flag potentially spammy accounts?

@Gargron port over the notification options from the ios app (everyone / follows / followers / mutuals / no one)? or maybe just collapse it into two categories, "all" and "in your network" (which includes people who follow you or you follow, i guess?)

@trwnh I love that iOS app setting but if we're talking about spam, it's not a solution. I'm sure a lot of people won't want to set it to "anyone I follow" only and then you're on square one.

@Gargron or what about a content filter, like if an account sends essentially the same content DM style to multiple users (tunable thresholds) just automatically flag it as spam, and have an equivalent to a junkmail folder somewhere.

@seven Could work for rogue accounts in peaceful servers. That could be majority of cases. And for rogue servers there is some medicine already.

@dudenas Server age should be a thing... I can't think of a fair way to do that exactly, but I mean, if you make a brand new domain, then pop a server on it 10 minutes later, and then send a million follow requests and DM's it's probably a spam server...

@Gargron maybe something like filtering out a notification if it contains a link and no one follows that user locally? would at least stop link-spam

although idk i personally still think a widespread culture of human-reviewed signups is the best safeguard against spam -- anything beyond that is plugging leaky holes...

@Gargron i think i've said before that spam is a cost issue and that low social cost is easier to impose than high technical cost

@trwnh Any sign-up delay causes dramatic drop-off in onboarding. You might get rid of spammers but you'll also get rid of the majority of legitimate people trying the platform out.

@trwnh I think I've seen mentioned that glitchsoc uses that heuristic to some effect (until the spammers step up their game accordingly, as always).

@Gargron I don't really like the idea of yet another column in the UI just for notifications that probably are going to turn out being spam.

@Gargron Maybe as an opt-in feature. I'd guess that people that are new to mastodon would be confused by that feature if it'd be active by default + not everyone needs it.

@Gargron If you wanted to break notifications off into trusted and untrusted, perhaps just have an icon next to them or something. At least for me, I don't get enough interactions on my posts to warrant having two separate notifications tabs, it would just add unnecessary complexity to the interface.

I guess it also depends on how a user is identified as being "trusted". Is that people you follow? People from trusted Mastodon instances?

Making the feature optional/toggle-able would be nice.

@Gargron I am in favor of it, can you tell us more? "unknown" rather than "untrustworthy"/ what do you think?

@Gargron So ...

... I can see the sense.

I'm notafan of the name. "Unfamiliar" is more accurate, but wordy. "Strangers" seems too overloaded. "Public" or something like that, maybe. I'm thinking "vox pop" though that's also not right.

But I'll ask you "why?"

@dredmorbius @Gargron seems a bit like an afterthought to hide the fact that we couldn't fix the source of spam, IMO.

Adding captchas to sign up seems more appealing and I hate captchas.

@rune @dredmorbius CAPTCHAs don’t fix the source of the spam, I’m pretty sure most of the spam we deal with is manual. Putting unfamiliar interactions into a tab that doesn’t ping you would make spam pointless however.

@Gargron @dredmorbius I suppose I don't know how the spam is generated.

But surely the solution to spam isn't to put everything in spam unless you add the sender to your contact list?

@Gargron Possible alternate terms:


@Gargron or at least a filter a user could enable in the settings: "Do not show notifications about interactions with unknown users".

@rysiek Right.

I know this is a sore point for a lot of people and responses from unknowns (even if linked through mutuals) wrankles a lot of people. I see that as an expected side effect of discussing in public (and wish Mastodon and other social platforms had better ways of matching expectations). Many don't.

I'm not sure that further hiding the fact that discussions are public and global ... is the Right Thing to do.


I'd see it mostly as a tool to manage unexpected virality and other types of unwanted interactions. That something is public doesn't mean that you expect or want that sort of attention.
@rysiek @Gargron

@SteveKLord @gargron I would guess someone below a certain threshold of interactions (likes boosts or replies), or someone not followed by anyone you're following.

@gargron I would love this along with the ability to "always trust" posts from a given instance, so that new users don't necessarily have to overcome being untrusted

@Aleums @Gargron I guess it's tricky since this site is so unique to each person. What is the threshold of interactions then? I like your idea of certain instances being already considered trusted. I just wouldn't want to miss a friendly notification just because I was yet to interact with that person.

@SteveKLord @Gargron Unfollowed? Just a way to separate unexpected interactions from familiar interactions so that you can choose the time when you have the energy to filter through them.

Maybe it's worth a new category of people so that you have followed, allowed, unfollowed and ignored.
@Gargron @SteveKLord Actually maybe the smoothest UI is to use the existing lists/groups and be able to choose which ones ping you, plus being able to choose whether non-followed people ping you.

@clacke @Gargron @SteveKLord

Yeah 'unstrusted' is a weird way to put it as it's not like I particularly trust (or distrust!) the people I'm following...

@dajbelshaw @clacke @Gargron @SteveKLord I have two separate alts on fedi, one (this one) is public and I have no specific trust assumptions towards anyone who follows it; the other is followers-only, and yes I do make such trust assumptions towards followers.

I know I am not the only one.

@rysiek @dajbelshaw I certainly trust the people I follow to be more interesting to read than some rando, that's why I follow them.

@clacke @rysiek

Agreed, but "trust in being interesting" is a weird phrase to use implicitly for a UI?

@clacke @rysiek

For example, it was a revelation to me when switching instances to see how different the conversations were that I discovered on the instance tab.

@dajbelshaw @clacke nobody said anything about using that particular phrase in the UI.

@dajbelshaw @clacke @Gargron exactly. Or not following. I wouldn’t want an interaction like this to be lost in a filter is all and my personal experience with Mastodon has yet to see a need to distrust by default yet

@SteveKLord @clacke @Gargron

The only example I can think of this on a different platform is when someone tries to DM you (who you don't follow) on Twitter and months later you notice a notification and then ignore it

@dajbelshaw @clacke @Gargron Yeah it's a valid concern. I'm just thinking about losing friendly interactions that way or adding clutter to the UI

@Gargron if this is about spam then maybe the server can do some threshold flood check for duplicate content

@Gargron though concept of untrusted is interesting: mute notifications by default if ... conditions()

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