Influx of users from Twitter

I have observed a lot of discussion among Twitter users who would like to switch to a Mastodon instance but are concerned about things like:

  • the longevity of the server (will it just disappear when the admin runs out of money for the server)
  • privacy concerns regarding DMs (yes, Twitter admins can read those too in plain text, but they are seen as being more accountable because it’s their literal job)
  • federation/neutrality (how can I be sure the admin will allow me to connect with all my friends on different instances)

So far, the proposed solutions I have read about were to join a very large, established instance or to conceptualize a giant, donation-funded instance that can be a sort of reference implementation.

But isn’t this where Librehosters could step up? Because it wouldn’t be a bunch of random servers, they could commit to certain values and provide stability. What do you think?

We (LibreOps) have a Mastodon instance, so we definitely share some of these concerns.

Not sure how Twitter handles this, but on Mastodon there is no interface for admins to read other people DMs. So someone with shell/db access could only do that, which is a bigger hassle than just browsing DMs. In theory, the group of people with that kind of access could be smaller than the group of people who have admin/mod access to the instance.

Can you elaborate on this? You mean cases where instance admins block an entire other instance?

Yes. It’s not something I’m personally concerned about as I’m already a happy Masto us, but it seems the concerns are:

  • As you said, blocking an entire instance because of e.g. pedos or nazis (not a problem for me, but would maybe still benefit from some kind of servers-spanning code of conduct for clarity (not at the whim of just one admin)
  • More personal reasons such as having had a fight with the admin of another server and blocking them for that reason (personal reasons / spite)