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"Decentralization is biodiversity of the digital world" - Reasons why you should care about how your social network is run and structured

blog.joinmastodon.org/2018/12/

Dear @Mastodon, I love your service, but I am troubled by the lack of the ability to completely filter out porn (not just blur the images). There are a lot of people out there recovering from sex addictions and other mental health issues who do not need to be snagged by these kind of images. Allowing them on the platform is debatable, I understand if some people are extremely averse to censorship. But please give those who need a little extra padding the right to ask for it. Thanks for everything. :)

@ram I would recommend hosting your own instance if you aren’t already. Then you can block any content you don’t like.

Pleroma is less resource intensive if that is a concern!

@cod3monk3y I'll have to think about that, thanks. I'm a little nervous about hosting stuff at home.

@ram

What makes you nervous about hosting at home?

There are always cloud solutions, I'm currently using digital ocean. Since pleroma is so efficient im pretty much just paying for bandwidth.

@cod3monk3y
Security. I was a security analyst in a prior life. I know all too well that where security is concerned, 99.9% of all software is utter 💩
Also, because my specialty was OS hardening, and NOT networking, I'm a little nervous about screwing up my firewall config, etc.

@ram makes sense. opening up a public port I guess opens you up to different things

@cod3monk3y
Yes, if I do host my own content, I will use port knocking, which keeps the system stealthed until the right sequence of ports are probed, at which point the system opens up its ports -- only to the ip of the one who knocked. It's freaking genius.

@ram woah, that sounds pretty cool. Are there any programs for that, or would you write that yourself?

@cod3monk3y There are pre-packaged utilities for it now, but I haven't set it up yet. There's a port knocking client on the f-droid app store.

@ram oh cool. F-droid is on my to do list to check out

@cod3monk3y
Oh dude, F-Droid is legit. I got an app from there that syncs with my Amazfit Bip (semi-smartwatch) that doesn't send the data anywhere but your phone.

I'm trying to use only the F-Droid app store now, and avoiding the play store at almost all costs. For one thing, the Google Play store has tons of copies of Free Software apps that have ads and crap added. F-Droid apps have NO ADS, and no evil features. Even the slightest "anti-features" are flagged in red in the app listing, and they'e generally innocuous, like flagging a youtube app as "connecting to non-free network services."

I've decided that my next phone is either going to be a Librem 5 (puri.sm/products/librem-5/), or an Android phone that is fully supported in LineageOS, so I can have an Android phone with no google software on it.

Oh, when you get F-Droid, also download G-Droid. It's a companion app that has a stronger search feature, and has automated ratings (based on downloads and such, not reviews)

@ram Interesting. I feel that going full free software on mobile might be easier for me than desktop.

I've seen the Librem 5, they look really cool. Very high on my list of possible new phone.

Thanks for the tips!

@ram
Mastodon is not a service.
You should be able to filter most of porn just by using keyword filters, I guess (but then you would not see posts like this). I might be wrong, cause I don’t follow accounts that post porn… Also, you can mute instances dedicated to sharing porn. I think that giving instance owners ability to create custom filters for users would be a better idea, I’m definitely against having pre-defined filters in source code.

@m4sk1n @ram A possibility would be to allow AI filters in the architecture of mastodon. Ex : An porn filter ai would be made in an instance, and people can opt-in onto providing the ai the data it needs. The AI can then learn how to recognise what is porn and what is not.

On the other hand, the instance would allow regular users to use the ai that they made, if they want to, to filter their feed.

Quite of a headache concept but it can actually work well if designed well.

@yimo @m4sk1n
That's a good idea, Yimo, although wouldn't it be easier just to not show the toots flagged with sensitive content? Then policing the unflagged toots that have sensitive content is fair game for anyone, and a part of the instance's own set of rules.

@ram @m4sk1n Oops, retooted by mistake.
Yes, it would be way easier to just do that indeed.

By the way, I noticed some profile pictures also show profanity.
It's disgusting.
Mastodon needs to get over this if it wants to prove as a viable solution for social media. We must not let others find flaws to point out.

The issue is, mastodon is shared over a lot of instances. How would the content be policed if it's decentralized ? Maybe a "flag as obscene feature?" but then people would abuse it :/

@yimo @m4sk1n
I'm pretty sure there already is that feature, because that is why some toots have images blurred out. All I want them to do is to give us the option of not seeing the entire toot, not merely blurring the images.

And the porn profile pics and backgrounds have got to be policed the same way.

@yimo @m4sk1n
Also, I believe the tagging is completely voluntary, and self-tagged (not flagged by others).
But from what I can tell, people are honest about tagging their own toots as "sensitive." I haven't yet seen any that aren't.

@ram @yimo sometimes people use NSFW flag to flag totally safe pictures, for example selfies
Hiding all pictures tagged as sensitive has no sense

@m4sk1n @ram I agree, it defeats the purpose of making "NSFW" as a red alert and not as a fun spoiler thing.

This definitely needs regulation tbh.
We've run into the problem of where censorship starts and where liberty lies.
Not gonna be an easy one

@m4sk1n @ram There you go, I said it kinda-unconsciously ...

_Hopefully_ no one reads the comment the wrong way *wink*

@m4sk1n
Literally all I'm asking for is an option that says "hide toots with sensitive content" (rather than just blurring the picture). That is all. I'm not asking for sweeping changes to the platform, nor am I asking for instance admins to change their ideological stance on censorship, etc.

@Mastodon Thank you for the beautiful article. It's probably a long shot, but I'd like to dream that someday / / will be a ruin, while projects like / / will be the new norm. Of course without the government persecuting us too with insane demands.

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