If this going to be one more thing Instance admins and mods can see, this seems to me just like a 'it's hidden, but it's not hidden really' thing that non-technical users won't understand.
If a setting isn't wholly 'what you see is what you get', it's going to lead to sudden distrust.
@Gargron on one hand I like the option of more control. On the other, everyone I have followed is someone that has a similar interests or we had a meaningful interaction. When I first started, I went through a lot of people's connections to find more people with similar interests. So hiding followers/following might hinder that process which enriched my early experience on Mastodon.
@Gargron Allowing anybody on the web to access your follows list is a way that they can create a profile on you passively without you knowing about it.
If someone selects this, no one except the person can see their follows/followers, or see the count. That way it is simple.
@Gargron I would hesitate.
Please be *very* careful about creating a sense of privacy that anyone using the right API features could circumvent.
"If it can be done, some Cambridge Analytica will do it."
A decentralised network makes it very difficult, especially if it is open, to hide basic elements of the communication taking place, especially who talks to whom.
@Gargron This would be awesome. I wish Twitter would have this feature. It is such a big attack point for various "analysis". But here is the problem: they are wrong.
»Follow unequals endorsement.
I follow controversial people. I follow hackers. I even follow scammers.
Why? - More information for you. But on paper it looks like i am such a big risk. This is dangerous. This shouldn't be possible.
»Show me yoir following list, and I say you, who you are.
For most of the normal users is this really dangerous. Everyone could run a variety of analysis.
You can't controll, who is following you. Is the new follower a scammer, a nazi or so on?
If you get followed by a bunch of right wing people, how does it look on paper? On paper you are kind of linked with them and you maybe don't even know about it.
Maybe it is just me.
@Gargron It seems like there's some underlying instinct that, since they're numbers, one must get them as high as possible as if they're RPG stats. I often feel weird because I don't chase that, and my follower:following ratio is less than 4:1, and makes me feel kinda weird about it.
Having it hidden would make me feel more like the people I'm following is my own curated list, and not a social meteor high score that I'm slacking on.
@Gargron Oh wait I misunderstood it. I like being able to see who someone is following (and don't mind others knowing who I'm following).
I thought this was just meaning hiding the number on the profile page.
I could do without the big list of people who are following User X though. Unless that's a private account, it's not something User X has much control over.