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.
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 :-)
@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.
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.
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.
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.
Server run by the main developers of the project It is not focused on any particular niche interest - everyone is welcome as long as you follow our code of conduct!