Here is a thread where I give my point of view on Mastodon. In fact, I'm fed up of Mastodon dramas about moderation, Gab stuff... Don't get me wrong; fascists, racists, white-supremacists (non-exhaustive list) should go eat their shit and die.

Structurally, Mastodon gives too much power and responsibilities to instance administrators. Instead of putting them in a position of power, Mastodon should give more power to users by allowing them to organize the way they want and enforce their own moderation rules. For me, a Mastodon instance should be a computing resource (a server) meant to host user contents and no more.

Mastodon instance should put power on users, not on the administrators. Mastodon should make people able to create public and/or private groups in which they are free to enforce their own social rules (moderation, visibility...). Mastodon instances should be tools like hammers, not services. A software should not enforce social rules by default because social life is not data driven.

A software like Mastodon should give people power; the power to organize by themselves, power to be themselves. I dream of a social network where I can visit a friend and then go to a party without having to take public transportation. Social networks have to break real life gates, should invent another way to be social, should put power on each individual.


So Mastodon and the like are federated systems. It sounds like what you want is peer to peer. I do too :-)

@0x0x not necessarily. I do not care about the technical solution.

@U039b Right, but the nature of the game is constrained by the technical solution. For example, in a federated system, the admin will always be able to cancel your account, or limit what servers you can talk to. In a p2p system, you control the communication endpoints.

@0x0x Theoretically you are right but I think that the first baby step to improve Mastodon is to allow people to create private groups and give less power to administrators. P2P have other limitations i.e. the equivalent of the federated timeline would not be scalable as well as social network wide search.

@U039b Yes, you're right. It's all about trade-offs. And private groups would certainly be a welcome addition.

Heh, I gave Esther the exact same answer the other day. :)

Sounds about right :-) although the open protocol aspects of systems like ActivityPub and Matrix are important.

OTOH, Mastodon give the admin the power to establish a democratic system if they want to. By writing some voting software around the existing ban mechanism, one could achieve that.

I refuse to put such trust on a single person who already has to much power.

Well, though I strongly believe in self management, I don't think imposing it is wise.

To clarify things, I believe self management can only work through consent. So if people don't want to manage themselves, you cannot force it onto them. They will be more comfortable in a somewhat constraining environment.

@ScriptFanix that's the exact idea behind the possibility to create private groups.

It does not necessarily give that power to a single individual who has all powers, all depends on your instance's rules.

Your instance's management is legally responsible for what is stored on it, so they at least need to be able to limit and manage what comes or is created there. What they do with these tools is up to them. It's the user's responsibility to choose an instance with clear and acceptable moderation rules.

It is not the structure of Mastodon, but the structure of the whole web. As the content shown on your screen and the code executed by you browser is loaded from the web server, the administrator has the power on what you see, what your browser show you, who you talk to. He may also impersonate your identity.
In such a case a private group means, trusting all the administrators of the intances which are part of it.

@U039b isn't there different roles for moderation and administration on instances? Or are you pointing out the imbalance between the two roles?
I have no idea what the situation is, so just asking because I'm genuinely curious! :)

@stragu those two roles exist. As I said in my thread, I think that admins have to much power and Mastodon does not give people a way to enforce their own social rules by creating private groups.

For groups it would need some développement, but if we did setup anyone to be admin on an instance, would it be like expected in terms of governance?

I am not sure to understand your point. As far as I know, the software does not allow users to create something like inter-instances private groups. Am I wrong?

Yes, at the moment we have no way to make groups, but the feature has been discussed for months on github

@U039b the user-level moderation power and the idea of giving tools for organising really resonates with me, as I get more and more fed up with the direction some ~fully decentralised network projects are going. I'm specifically thinking of LBRY, which give _no_ moderation tools whatsoever, and is therefore becoming a fascist "free speech" haven – opening the door to unrestricted harassment. What a surprise, from what looks like a team of 100% American cis men into crypto...

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