Someone called the dot social instance the bourgeoisie of mastodon, but I originally picked it precisely to avoid playing the elitism game of positioning with the right group, the right instance, etc.

Mastodon's federated structure looks a lot more like human social relations, which makes it more honest, but "lots of centers" isn't the same thing as "no centers" and community is still a deeply toxic dynamic, especially when given direct powers.


I see a future where mastodon's instances work very much like communities in the radical scene -- with runaway unaccountable scene patriarchs who maneuver into controlling the core infrastructure.

It's a mistake to think of "social capitalists" as accumulating only one universally fungible sort of social capital. Social capitalism can function in harsher ways in smaller communities.

I'm super skeptical about "crypto" solutionism in a lot of contexts. But the current inability to port one's followers between instances on mastodon(ie gnusocial) is a deep failing because it incentivizes the creation of groups (instances) with strong pressures to continue existing, and as a consequence immense power in the hands of a few (those able to seize control the instance itself).

If your account identity functioned as a token that you could transfer association between hosting providers (instances), then with a little network discovery elbow grease it would be possible to strip instances of perverse incentives to balkanization, organizationalism, and micronationalism.

@rechelon you can export/import your followings. Thats more than you can have in any other network.

@rechelon i have seen people changing instances and it worked pretty smooth. the active followers will move with you. so for all practical purpose i see not a big problem here.

@benni Well the "active" followers switch if they notice your posts about changing. But there's a lot of space between "active" and "sees every post" in a healthy network.

@evemassacre @kathrinpassig Ah yes! A redirected field would be a good move, could be auto detected and make crypto identities basically unnecessary.

@rechelon I guess the advantage of mastodon in this case is at least you can start up a new instance/move to a different one while remaining in contact with (most of?) the other people in the federation if you want which gives individual users that bit more power to move around.

@captainbland That "remaining contact" goes only one way tho, because people don't auto follow or auto discover your new profile.

@rechelon yeah that's true. That'd be a tricky problem to solve. It could possibly be done with cryptographic identities (maybe you rsa sign your account or something, not sure on the specifics of the scheme) which could exist as multiple accounts on separate nodes while still representing the same identity and people would follow that global identity rather than an instance account. No idea if that's even vaguely close to being on a roadmap.

> runaway unaccountable scene patriarchs who maneuver into controlling the core infrastructure.

- which is the reason why, at, we're trying our best to run the instance as a cooperative: each member has equal rights and duties

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