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Eugen @Gargron

People were worried when Mastodon went from 20,000 to 500,000 people too. I don't see why you would think 1mil -> 2mil to be any different. I really don't agree with the comments that suggest that Mastodon shouldn't grow.

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@Gargron ravelry, my #knitting community, went over 1 million, then over 2 million, and now has more than 7 million users, and it's still pretty cool and cozy on there. I think mastodon will be just fine! yay for growth!

I'm very grateful for masto, it's the first social media alternative to the big companies that actually works for me. can't wait to see more people joining!

@Gargron "my" meaning I'm on there and enjoying it, not that I made it 😂 #englishisdifficult

@Gargron Maybe it's not accurate to say that people don't want Mastodon to grow. Maybe it's more that they don't want it to grow in the direction that Twitter did it.
In my case, I wouldn't want it to grow in the direction of becoming yet another Nazi fest.

There's plenty of communities that we should reach out to that should be welcomed.

Giving a platform to nazis in the name of free speech and inclusion is the US centrist fallacy that we shouldn't fall for.

@h @Gargron
The fediverse has nazi hives already, some running mastodon (though most are not because of the major right-wing migrations being before mastodon existed). They're mostly defederated from this end of the fediverse, and circlejerk in their own corner.

@h @Gargron >Giving a platform to nazis in the name of free speech and inclusion is the US centrist fallacy that we shouldn't fall for.

Sorry, this is a distributed open-source platform, meaning it's for anybody and everybody. Nazis included. Whether or not you want anything to do with them is a different story, but they do have every right to use the Mastodon software and be part of the fediverse.

@tomey @Gargron
Sorry this is a discussion, and you are entitled to your opinion, just as I am to mine. Sorry, your opinion is not final.


If you don't understand the difference between a network and Free Software, I'm afraid I can't help you. I believe your interpretation is flawed at best, and that centrist Nazi enablers are in practice a worse problem than Nazis themselves.

You may be able to confuse feeble minds, but you're wasting your time with me. Look elsewhere.

@Johnny_of_the_swamp @tomey

Oh, you have powers of telepathy!
How did you read my mind?

No, really. Maybe I would take you seriously if you didn't spend your spare time on a monday night defending Nazis and defenders of Nazis.

No pasarán! 😃

@fl0wn You have to read between the lines of the manifesto. It's clearly what RMS meant to say.

@Gargron I don't understand people who don't want this to grow.

It is not a "personal club".

@mariadocarmo @Gargron except that it is... but thats the beauty of federation... run your instance the way you want... ya know?

@thegibson @Gargron If you want to stay away, do it, but let this grow.

We can have both here.

@mariadocarmo @Gargron exactly.

No one forces anyone to follow another, not any two instances to federate...

It will prune itself.

@Gargron would love to see mastodon hit at least 100mil tbh. that kind of acceptance of decentralized web would be revolutionary

@Gargron I don't see the worry either, unless the trend is still towards larger and larger instances, rather than more and more instances.

Might be an interesting pair of trends to track: avg size of instances over time, versus number of instances over time.

@Gargron absolutely want it to grow! I think best way might be if it could get and stay in the limelight in news, blogs and discussions. Until it's so big that toots will be directly referenced and embedded and people stop talking about Mastodon, but instead about what's happening on here. Going to only to users directly might be a bit inefficient. Megaphones in the right places could make a big difference

@Gargron I hope my last toot is understandable, I had too little sleep lol

@gargron Every platform is going to have an eternal September. People are always going to be people regardless of the tech.

@sophia @Gargron Was going to say that, you beat me to it.
Unfortunately, if we want to stay open, we _will have to_ play the cards we're dealt with.
Being open to good stuff means also being open to bad stuff too.
I like this quip from Doug Gwyn: "Unix was not designed to stop you from doing stupid things, because that would also stop you from doing clever things."
Yes, growth is dangerous and risky. Yes it means more bad drama. But that's not because freedom is bad, it's because humans suck.

@Gargron I'm not gonna say it shouldn't grow, but I can see concerns. I've seen what it is to be victim of a mass harassment campaign on Twitter, it's not pleasant.

Hopefully Mastodon handles that better, but the more "mainstream" it becomes, the more those "bad apples" become a substantial figure.

A lot of folks' fear is that when Mastodon grows it'll absorb bad people. I'm gonna say this. I think even if Mastodon literally grows to the size of current Twitter, the world will be better off overall just because of how Mastodon is structured and what values it represents and what tools it provides for dealing with those problems.


> I think even if Mastodon literally grows to the size of current Twitter

I can agree with the caveat that it'd be distributed, checked growth

unchecked growth -- well, think of any invasive species

adaptation at certain rates is fantastic

adaptation beyond certain rates, from what I've seen, favors some pretty horrible outcomes :/

@sydneyfalk @Gargron I concur to that. The size is not the problem, the growth rate is.

Moderators are in limited numbers. Huge waves of people joining can break things appart.

@Gargron Yeah, I guess "bad people" will gather in some instances that could be muted by the others.

@Gargron No one seems to really recognise that part of the great thing about Mastodon is that you can pick an instance as per your tastes, moderated as such. The issue with Twitter having bad people is negated on Mastodon by blocking accounts and servers; you aren't trusting only one central moderation team.

How do I fix this on top of my profile???

@Gargron what tools would prevent an instance of mastodon to be setup specifically for disruption or harassment?

@doolbneerg users can mute instances and instance admins can silence or ban other instances

@slipstream hmm, that is cool, but then it means that everyone needs to be more careful about how they select instances. I jumped on the first that had space.

@doolbneerg at least there's an easy way to move instances now

@Gargron shure.
But it's in any case also much about culture not just software.

the fediverse is a cyber space. The information that are shared have impact on ppl and ppl's behavior.

If we can continue to grow mastodon with mostly progressive ppl it will have in future a stronger cultural influence

Once it catches on to mainstream and many centrists, liberals, etc. get introduced to...well fediverse culture.

And yes there are millions of progressives who haven't joined yet

@paulfree14 @Gargron I have thoughts but it’s going to be later before I can write them up

@Gargron Isn't part of Twitter's issue is that there is extremely poor moderation of 'bad behavior' ? I feel like if Mastodon could maintain some rules, they may not have the same issues as a massive site like twitter.

@Unusualjuggernaut @Gargron - Mastodon as a platform has no rules. Each individual node and each individual user has tools to craft their experience as they see fit.

@gargron the very nature of federation almost certainly guarantees a better ratio of admins and mods to users, with fantastic self-moderation tools per-user.

@Gargron amen! That's the whole beauty I promote when talking about Masto!

@Gargron just joined. I have a couple questions about Mastodon.

@Gargron what is the purpose of Mastodon? Is it a Twitter alternative? Just FYI I was shut down by Twitter for libertarian anti big government views. I was never vulgar or indecent.

@SJNX You were shut down by Twitter for libertarian anti big government views??? Ah! They should kick off Trump then...😏 En plus, il EST vulgaire et indécent!

@Gargron There’s always the local timeline. If the federated timeline gets nasty, just hang out with the locals.

@Gargron I'd like to understand this; from a few months of use I don't understand yet. I don't think choosing an instance is it because you can't move.

.@Gargron Not to mention the incentives for dealing with problems.

@Gargron that and also you’re a better human being than Jack Dorsey. But that’s not saying much any decent human is better than Jack Dorsey.

@Gargron Thank you for creating this platform for people like us who want to escape the drama over there and just let us have a place to be welcomed.

@Gargron I see the worst thing happening is spamming, and name squatting.

but email systems showed us how we can handle that. Domain blocks lists (CBLs) are already becoming a thing in Mastodon, for example.

@Gargron @BartG95 If nothing at all else, federation means more mods per user, and I would hope that's to the point of not needing to rely on algorithmic moderation.

@Gargron I think as a community we should acknowledge their fear and make sure they feel heard. That is fundamentally what twitter has failed to do.

From a technical perspective we're not worried about shitlords ruining it but that doesn't mean that people who were traumatized on twitter share our confidence that the new system will protect them.

@foozmeat It's not twitter users who express that sentiment.

We need to be able to sort of culturate the influx, I think.
We can see historical breakdowns in usenet's eternal september.
I can't help but wonder what the critical mass is one way or the other
I think because mastodon is /so/ distributed though, it has a much higher critical threshold before disintegration kicks in.

@Gargron #Twitter became evil when its growth necessitated massive investments by venture finance type organizations. The challenge of growth for the #fediverse is going to be trying to spread users over more instances and keeping those instances smaller, instead of having most of them clump together in a few larger instances.

At large enough scale, the larger instances will face exactly the same pressures and choices that Twitter faced. There won't be enough #Patreon funders to sustain that.
@lnxw48a1 @gargron The challenge for fediverse growth is really more about sustainable admining. So anything which makes the job of the instance admin simpler will help, including things like having a recommended way to cover any hosting costs.
" #Twitter became evil when its growth necessitated massive investments by venture finance type organizations."

Or more specifically, when those VCs pushed them to adopt an ad-based model and then IPO.

Is it even possible for a company to sustain a user-friendly model long term?

@kelbot @lnxw48a1 If they charge for their product? Definitely. For one example, look at the game companies that just sell a game for $X and don't use microtransactions.

If they don't charge for it? I don't know.

I personally wouldn't mind paying a few dollars a month to use a good Mastodon instance, but it would be a really hard sell for people who expect social media to be free (in other words, almost everyone)

@lnxw48a1 @kelbot Then again, a monthly fee would lock out people who can't afford it, or are kids and would have to somehow convince their parents to pay for it. That wouldn't be good.

@maiyannah @lnxw48a1 @Gargron so much this. The larger the instance, the bigger the influence/power it has over the rest of .

However, I have a feeling Eugen was talking about Mastodon as the network, rather than just

@lnxw48a1 @Gargron They'll face the same pressures, but I don't see why they'd need to cave to them. Large instances might have economies of scale, so more efficient than smaller instances.

Users might also be willing to pay more for media uploads/downloads, opening up market for media-less instances (that likely cost less).

@Gargron Eugen, would you mind sharing the current numbers and growth rate? I'd like to get an idea how big / popular Mastodon currently is - out of personal curiosity.

@Gargron We're still lacking in quite a fair amount of accessibility here. There needs to be more focus on making it easy to use. Especially when grabbing the user on their first visit. Eg federated content can be quite confusing to the average Twitter user

@Gargron I think the best we've done so far has been apps like Tusky. They're clean, easy to use, and not cluttered

@Gargron "here's an alternative! but please don't use it!"

@Gargron Every growing community has people saying it shouldn't. They are nearly never right.