Whenever there’s conversation about proposed features like Quote Toots, fediblock lists, full-text search, etc., there are always those that vehemently oppose those things and cite inadequate safety controls as a primary concern regarding basic elements that most fediverse apps are missing. A lot of those safety concerns revolve around DM privacy and preventing dog-piling, “reply guys”, and other malcontents from interjecting themselves into conversations and hijacking them for their own ends. There even large groups of people that migrated from thriving communities on Twitter before the meltdown, tried Mastodon, and then left for places like Bluesky where the community seems to be thriving and lively discussions are happening without the apparent interlopers and thread hijackers that are making things difficult on Mastodon. Solely by way of example, two communities where I have heard these stories has been #blackmastodon and journalists.
This is really interesting to me because it seems that Bluesky has a lot of cryptospam and moderation problems and Threads is, well, Meta. I’m super curious to know what those platforms might have that Mastodon, which has been around for much longer, doesn’t have (or the developers refuse to add, as the case may be) which allows these communities to feel safer and also to thrive on these platforms that are seemingly much less safe (from the outside, at least).
For the purposes of this discussion, I’d like to exclude talks of the actual controversial features that generate these safety concerns themselves. There’s no reason to get into a debate on whether QTs are good, bad, or necessary or whether full-text search is dangerous or not. I’m interested in knowing what basic features you feel are lacking that would make Mastodon safer for you and allow you to be comfortable being part of the fediverse.
In other words, what I would like to know is what features would AP-based apps (primarily Mastodon) need to have “out of the box” in order for you to feel like you could not only build a community here but also recommend it to others in that community as a legitimate, safe alternative to something like Bluesky or Threads and most definitely Twitter or Facebook?
For example, a couple I can think of that I’ve heard people talking about:
- The ability to limit replies to posts (or turn them off completely)
- Easy and complete account migration anywhere (I know Firefish has made a lot of progress in this area, but I don’t think it’s as yet “1-click easy”)
- Better or more complete filtering/muting/blocking
I’m also interested to hear if there are some fediverse apps that have already implemented some of these features. That could be helpful to those experiencing safety issues to know that there are other fedi platforms that can give them what they need to really enjoy being part of the fediverse long-term.
So, talk amongst yaselves! I’m looking forward to hearing what y’all have to say!