So the first thing that I want to make clear is that Mastodon has a history of being inhospitable to marginalized users. This history is born out, as I’ve learned, through the marginalization and eventual shuttering of instances of color, of instances that were dedicated to hosting and supporting sex workers, of harassment of disabled users and so on. So Mastodon– while its federated model was premised on, well, the activity protocol, if I understand the history correctly– it was built in some ways to produce affordances that would avoid the kinds of harassment on Twitter. Things like quote tweet pile ons, things like other kinds of usage of the quote tweet or the comment or the reply feature to do violence. What that hasn’t done is prevented the violence. In fact, it’s given the kinds of bad actors who would do violence an opportunity to say, adjust to the new affordances because it’s not simply identities that are enabled by means of a digital environment, it is oppression that is enabled by means of a digital environment. So the oppression that one experiences on a platform like Mastodon will necessarily be different than the oppression that one experiences on a platform like Twitter, because of the different affordances of the platform.

The Whiteness of Mastodon

I’m recommending to read the entire article of course, but this specific paragraph reminded me of an idea I had, to let instances subscribe to other instances’ block lists… With an option to sort the blocks by category, and to display followers-only comments? @BonfireBuilders #bonfire_feedback

Eventually an entire extension would be ideal, just like I could reply to tasks, I’d like to be able to reply (if the instance policy lets me do it) to instance block announcements, if possible directly, as a mod, from the social extension; I’d like as well to be able to share these instance blocks to different circles by boundary, as usual, and for example to let a large circle of instance roles follow my instance blocks, and a smaller circle of instance roles comment or interact with these instance blocks (otherwise than by clicking on the "block" button).

The main difference would be, I suppose, that these boundaries would be set by a specific role on behalf of the instance and that you wouldn’t manage the permissions user by user, but instance role by instance role, e.g. if you have moderators and new_followers_monitors on instance A and B, then you let all the moderators on instance A follow the instance blocks, but you’re free to assign different permissions to the moderators on instance B.

We've talked about doing something like this in the past. Of course it would be much more useful if we can agree with other fediverse apps on a standardised way to do it.