Looking back, I feel like the short-messages limit is fueling flaming statements rather than good discussions. I also see how constant enabled-by-default notifications and dark patterns made me addicted to new tweets ; on Mastodon I feel less pressure to keep up with the feed constantly.
Also, the project grew from a few to 100+ contributors in a few weeks, and apparently managed this transition quite smoothly. Development is ongoing at a steady pace, including new features and major architectural changes. Congrats to the team and contributors!
Looking back, I feel like the short-messages limit is fueling flaming statements rather than good discussions
For fully decentralized social networking (online or off-grid) I recommend: https://www.scuttlebutt.nz/
If you're running your own server, my understanding it's trusted by default by most servers - There is a blacklist of untrusted federation servers, rather than a whitelist?
In what way would you prefer it to be setup?
More of a p2p model, rather than a federated model?
I launched my private instance and started from there. I can say I'm very surprised, the system works very well, never had major problems and the communication with people with accounts on other instances (since I'm the only one in mine) works flawlessly.
This is how the Internet was supposed to work (not full of walled gardens). The good thing is that we're seeing some great decentralized applications and tools appearing recently and a renewed interest in this area, which is great.
I've been thinking about this a lot lately, lumped under my own umbrella term of "communal computing". Instead of one large instance, many smaller instances hosted by independent administrators and often targeted toward particular communities. Avoiding the scaling issues of the former type of service by shrinking things down to where individual operators can run them. Examples include Mastodon, shell services like tilde.town or sdf.org, old-school MUDs, chat servers.
As an aside, this will happen on all businesses too, not just web sites. As software, services, and robotics get better we will start to see solo operated versions of every business.
Once we start dropping the average corporation size below 1 (each person runs multiple businesses) most of capitalism’s ill effects will be blunted.
Mastodon is leveraging forces from many different directions: first by building towards the existing GNUSocial protocol and its userbase, and then as different communities come in, getting donations of their time and skills to operate instances tailored to their needs. Businesses have angles on this too: for example Japanese art site pixiv made their own instance and client app. The federated model allows some divergence but also the "loose ties" of a common protocol. There is the prospect of embrace-extend-extinguish occurring, but this historically only happens some of the time, and it requires the full pressure of a giant tech firm and all their marketing strength to make it work.
It sounds like they would be better off just being a Mastodon node.
That's what's keeping platforms like Twitter on top even though many of its prolific users now sound more like an abused spouse than anything else.
I still think the vast majority of this concern over abuse is a red herring though. People just don't like it when their curated bubble is pierced by information that contradicts it, and they confuse being corrected with persecution and social status games.
My recommendation would be to follow the admins of some of the more popular instances. You can find the admin on the about/more page of their instance. They're usually interesting people, and can act as a gateway to finding more people when they reply to others or boost other people's posts.
@Gargron from mastodon.social is always a good choice, as the creator of Mastodon and just being a pretty great person.
@Curator from mastodon.art is great if you like art, they boost a bunch of artist's posts.
Other than those two admin recommendations, you might want to check out the admins of the instances listed at the bottom of the medium article.
That’s not a fake news or partisan politics problem, it’s a human empathy problem.
This is only a mitigation, and there are plenty of ways one could get around this kind of limit. However, some action would be appreciated.
And you are not really siloed in - it helps if people with common interests are on the same instance, to find people in the beginning, but due to federation you can connect to others easily.
This doesn't happen often in practice, especially once they added a way for users to block instances on an individual level.
Early on, some instances just weren't a good mesh for a lot of the early users, and their aggressive, boisterous ways tended to push out and silence those early users. Blocking was the only way to keep the community from being overrun, but someone who enjoyed being screamed at by strangers didn't have a say in it without moving to another instance. Now that's not the case.
>> You can't take your account elsewhere. You're pretty much limited to creating a new account on a new instance, and then you have to communicate to all your followers that you've moved.
You can export a list of people you follow and import it on the new one. Most people will refollow you. People move to new instances all the time and don't seem to have trouble recovering their following.
>This doesn't happen often in practice, especially once they added a way for users to block instances on an individual level.
Not yet, but I think we can all foresee an instance or two becoming a haven for trolls, etc.
>You can export a list of people you follow and import it on the new one. Most people will refollow you. People move to new instances all the time and don't seem to have trouble recovering their following.
I feel that's something that doesn't scale well, though. And, how do they know it's me?
I'm not sure about the current status is, and whether Mastodon plans to implement it, but this could potentially solve this issue.
Given new solutions are developed to address the issues of centralization it gives one pause if basic issues around censoring, silencing and dis-empowering individuals has not been thought about.
Then Mastodon or anything else is pretending to be a solution but is actually just another actor cynically using 'decentralization' to jockey for influence and not really addressing the core issues of twitter.
And using Ruby which is known for not being user friendly for setup and installation is counterproductive to any goal of decentralization.
Personally, I don't consider a Jewish person being spammed with images telling them to get in an oven "curated bubble piercing". Same with lynching threats against black people and rape threats against women.
All of these things happen on Twitter daily. And very often, when these posts are reported, Twitter comes back and says "we found no problem". You might not experience this kind of abuse, that does not mean it does not exist.
But I believe the issue that RC is talking about is that the control is in the hands of the admins instead of the individual in Mastodon.
It allows something like GMail admins blocking their users to send/receive messages from HotMail, and then your only solution would be to create a second account in some other provider that doesn't block HotMail.
Control is in the hands of an admin, but not any particular admin, and that admin might be you.
A more apt comparison than Gmail/Hotmail would be if one of the e-mail providers was whitesupremacy.net. Or, we-allow-white-supremacy.net. The admin of my we-dont-like-white-supremacy.net e-mail provider might choose to block it, based on the content it sends out. Anyone on that provider is welcome to choose another one if they wish to e-mail me. But if it is important enough to them to stay where they are, then they will remain blocked.
Long story short, if you don't trust the admin, don't sign up for the Mastodon instance. I agree that there needs to be some work on porting accounts from one instance to another seamlessly, though.
And communities should be instance independent the same way mailing list works.
Most instances would federate with you immediately since they're on a blacklist model, but some instances (such as awoo.space) operate on a whitelist, meaning they'd have to vet you first.
That still leaves postgres, redis, your web server and all other system processes. Fitting those on the same server with a total of 1 GB of RAM available is a very, very tight fit. You will probably get OOMs regularly, and upgrading Mastodon, doing backups and things like that will be painful (building assets, for example, tends to eat a lot of memory).
hugogameiro, from what I understand, runs a lot of mastodon instances on shared infrastructure. That eliminates a lot of that overhead and if you look at just the instance-specific processes, 1 GB seems realistic. If you have existing infrastructure (i.e. something like postgres, redis, nginx) and can allocate about 1 GB of RAM to Mastodon, or use something like a Heroku 2x dyno, where these components are separated as well, that might work. Otherwise, I'd opt for 2 GB of RAM.
I did indeed hit OOM during the setup (`bundle install` and `yarn` steps). After the first one I added a 1G swap and made it all the way through the 1.6.1 install (although the webpack precompile step damn near used up the whole swap!). Anyway 1.6.1 idles around 600M without any attempt to optimize.
I next tested an upgrade from 1.6.1 to 2.0.0 and was able to get it done (with the precompile again cutting it close - it hit 1015M of the swap, hah!). No change in memory usage, perhaps a bit more even.
Off topic - the install process was easy enough but seems like it could really do well to be (much) more automated. Do you know if anyone is working towards this? I suppose that is what Docker is for...
So, for now, yeah it takes a little work in setting up your own single-user instance, but as another person posted already, mastodon supports that mode. Like all homesteading, it takes a little elbow grease. ;-) Cheers!
I haven't gotten outgoing email working yet, so it's effectively a single-user instance. And it works fine. I can follow people on other instances, they can follow me, conversations can happen.
Everyone is pretty much ready to federate with any new server until such time as said server starts being a problem; if you don't start acting like a 4channer then I doubt you're gonna get blocked.
It's not. If you're not a frequent target, however, it can be difficult to empathize with those who are.
"People just don't like it when their curated bubble is pierced by information that contradicts it, and they confuse being corrected with persecution and social status games."
Being constantly confronted with racial slurs is just "information they don't like"? Receiving death and rape threats is just "social status games"?
Right now, the patchwork app is really fun to play with, but still a toy, in my mind.
It takes time and self-discipline to follow that rule, but discussion is much better when we do and degenerates badly when we don't. HN's goal is to be interesting. Degeneration is always the same, so isn't.
But the argument I responded to was literally:
>I still think the vast majority of this concern over abuse is a red herring though. People just don't like it when their curated bubble is pierced by information that contradicts it, and they confuse being corrected with persecution and social status games.
Which boils down to the poster accusing people who claim they are being abused of doing it for social status, which is in essence a criticism of the weakest form of their argument. So you seem to be applying this guideline pretty inconsistently. Are you implicitly supporting the previous claim by calling out my rebuttal and not the post I was replying to? It certainly looks that way Dang.
I think I correctly inferred that the original post was dismissing very real harassment. I posted a somewhat loose counterpoint noting that many people claiming abuse are in fact the subject of death threats, which are not a "confus(ing) being corrected with persecution".
Lower in the discussion I took the time to point out California penal code, where twitter is physically located, defines death threats, regardless of intent as a crime. THis builds my point further, and I believe that the original post was not in good faith, or was not well thought out.
I know abuse happens. In fact, it happens on all sides, but gets downplayed if it happens to politically unpopular targets. Even some of the people who've profiled themselves as anti abuse specialists are more than happy to direct their own followers to targets, share their phone numbers, address, and so on. Even without that hypocrisy, the line between legitimate use and harassment is fuzzy.
Just recently for instance, there was that BuzzFeed article about Milo Yiannopoulos, and you could see the morality police mobbing and hounding anyone who was remotely in contact with the guy as being evil nazis. The same people who cry for Twitter to stop abuse. It's only bad when the out group does it, when the in group does it you're just sharing important information and leveraging the network effects of digital media. Guilty until proven super guilty.
There was also the famous case of Steph Guthrie and Gregory Allen Elliot in Canada where simply denouncing a feminist witch hunt was enough to get the guy a long and arduous harassment case he eventually won,
where his accuser claimed with a serious face he didn't have the right to defend himself against her. And he wasn't even the guy she was originally after.
Closer to home there was recently drama in the node community where, after failing to vote out a community leader for having shared the wrong opinion on codes of conduct, the persecutors themselves were found to be harassing people and advocating violence shamelessly... Which suddenly was not grounds for a reprimand.
To my knowledge, nobody is receiving hundreds of credible death threats. Rather, offhand comments like "I hope you die" or offensive memes are deliberately being spun into a moral panic because it's useful as tribal ammo. When the network effects and witch hunts go the other way, it's waved away.
The truth is somewhere in the middle, and not everything is what it seems. But I know I'm not going to get an objective assessment from the people who think it's ok to fire others for disagreement, especially not when they don't just summon social media followers, but instead recruit a cabal of journalists with much larger platforms to conduct their smears.
PS: Milo is an edgelord try hard, I don't like him. But all he is is the Shanley Kane of the right, with more talent.
While I think there is some overlap, I don't see that as being the whole story here. I've actually seen some of the threatening and terrifying things some friends and acquaintances have received. This has at times included specific threats and photos of where the target lives.
I don't see people who complain about abuse posting photo's of Milo supporters homes and encouraging people to go there and hurt them.
Great reframing here - now, it's not a discussion of how abuse on twitter is an issue, but a discussion of how abuse happens both from the right and the left. Good job of deflecting the actual point, very alt right of you.
> To my knowledge, nobody is receiving hundreds of credible death threats.
"Credible" - so, as long as the death threat is not "credible", it's ok. Uh huh. "I hope you die" does not contribute in any meaningful way to discussion. And hundreds of "I hope you die"s do not provide an abusive and suppressing environment? Suuuuure, bro.
> The truth is somewhere in the middle, and not everything is what it seems.
Everything is not what it could be, if it was different than what someone said something could not have been, when all the parties involved might or might not contribute to the problem, even if it's not an issue for all sides to understand equally when some parties are unconcerned with the facts as they lie in the instance of how it should not be in the world today.
In other words, I think your vague bullshit generator is working great.
California law even goes on to say that even absent intent, it is a crime. Which makes sense, because otherwise anyone making such a threat could argue that they were "joking", which happens to be a favorite defense of internet troll.s
Right now the policy is heading toward cheating by equating anything that looks like a threat with a threat. This is not writing laws with human beings in mind. Removing the requirement for intent is literally banning certain types of speech for the sole purpose of allowing for algorithmic/lazy enforcement. And because almost all of the time it's going to be a false positive it's going to selectively enforced against certain subsets of the population or used to hang someone for a different crime that didn't stick.
I don't buy the troll argument. If the message is coming from a troll it is almost by definition not a real threat and just a person trying to elicit a reaction or blowing off steam.
I'm all for going after people that make legitimate death threats over the Internet but not this way.
You don't have to for 2 reasons. 1. The law states that intent is irrelevant and 2. people already report these threats.
>Removing the requirement for intent is literally banning certain types of speech for the sole purpose of allowing for algorithmic/lazy enforcement
Not it isn't. The threat absent intent is still illegal. It is illegal precisely because it hard for humans to judge intent. And, often you can't establish intent until after someone has acted upon a threat, which does you no good. Death Threats have been illegal in the US and preceding common law systems for basically forever. It has never been protected speech in the US.
To reiterated, death threats are not protected speech and this isn't a free speech issue.
I think your definition is far too narrow, and makes distinctions without a difference. I don't believe it matters at all if the person legitimately intends to commit violence against me. It's going to have the same impact.
> I think your definition is far too narrow, and makes distinctions without a difference. I don't believe it matters at all if the person legitimately intends to commit violence against me. It's going to have the same impact.
I think both are OK. Context matters. It seems you guys would send someone to prison for life for something like https://i.imgur.com/w8H43aQ.png
No, we do not live in a world of absolutes. Remember, if it is a criminal matter, the "victim" cannot choose to not press charges. I do not trust our legal system and neither should you https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyrus_Vance_Jr.
...for their parents.
But the problem is that it is a social network, that depends on your social network and its embrace of mastodon.
Am i right?
Mastodon, and conceptually others like Gnu Social, are twitter-like alternatives, but that's not fairly telling the full story of their capabilities. These platforms bring with them decentralization benefits like classic email does. Remember when so many people's email addresses were not something like @gmail.com or @hotmail.com? When they used their own domain names (either personal, or for their organization, etc.), such as firstname.lastname@example.org, or jane@something .org, and lived on their own servers, though could still interact - that is, email - people from other domains, servers? Mastodon - and again others like Gnu Social - can, and in fact SHOULD live on separate servers and domains...though still allow for interaction. This is the bigger benefit, and personally, i believe what makes mastodon and other similar platforms pretty cool.
Now, the benefit of decentralization above may not be compelling enough for someone on a personal basis to set up/manage their own server...and for that, there certainly are several "largish" mastodon servers where you could create your own account...and STILL interact with folks on other servers, etc.
I acknowledge that i sound like a salesperson for mastodon - i assure i'm not. I'm just a fan of decentralized platforms, and admit that mastodon's UI is easy to use. But if you're curious, i invite you to start an account, and see for yourself. Worse case, you can always abandon it if you really dislike it. Visit https://joinmastodon.org/ and scroll down to the part that helps you choose which instance to join...if you're stumped, simply join the main/first one (https://mastodon.social)
I tried to quit twitter for Mastodon (because it felt more like an open effort than a facebook-esque megacorp) but I was immediately confused by the distributed thing. I thought it was going to be distributed in terms of how it operated, not in terms of the actual social networks being more or less separated. I understood I could follow people from other instances, but only if the instance was somehow connected to the other instance. This confused me even more. How do I pick an instance without ever running into the risk that interesting person X joins in the future and doesn't pick an instance disconnected from the group of instances I'm in?
Basically I just use twitter for news: I follow some big names and organizations and just read from the firehose of news coming out. I probably have a lower than 1/10000 read to write ratio.
Am I trying to use Mastodon like Twitter in a way it wasn't designed for?
In practice this is not a problem. You can pick any popular instance and it will work with everyone. All instances are connected with each other by default, instances are generally only explicitly "defederated" when they're havens for trolls, racists, etc. Besides, if you're trying to follow someone and the instance is defederated (something I've never run into, by the way), your admin is just a quick message away. Mastodon instances are small and the admins have a low workload, they're typically quite accessible.
>Basically I just use twitter for news: I follow some big names and organizations and just read from the firehose of news coming out. I probably have a lower than 1/10000 read to write ratio.
>Am I trying to use Mastodon like Twitter in a way it wasn't designed for?
The only reason this might be the "wrong" approach is the general lack of big name organizations posting news. Most instances are hostile to companies settling in - Mastodon is for people, not brands. That being said, brands could run their own instances and be federated with anyone who wants to follow them.
That aside, there's no wrong way to use Mastodon. Use it however you want.
It reduces failure risks of a centralized system. This is mitigated by using federated systems (like email) or decentralizing your centralized service (Twitter may be a centralized service, but their servers are, hopefully, decentralized so that an outage in one city doesn't impact them globally).
It reduces the risk of centralized control. If Twitter doesn't like you, you're out. If Facebook doesn't like your fake name, you're out. With Mastodon you could still be booted by a server (censorship), but you can always go to another server and continue there. Or even host your own. It's censorship resistant, not censorship proof.
It allows for local control which may be more suited to your community. Yes, this may mean censorship. But if I'm running a service that is aimed at or includes kids, I should be able to block content not intended for them. Is this censorship? Kind of, my users can't get to the content through me. And my users can't post the content through me. But they are certainly free to use other services that don't include those controls. And a decentralized system like Mastodon is better for this than Twitter. Twitter blocks a user? They have no practical recourse, they're out of the system. mastodon.jtsummers.blah blocks a user? They go to mastodon.gfodor.blah which has laxer policies.
If you want to be absolutely uncensored you are free to join one of the several instances that claim they are focused on "free speech". But everyone else who runs a Mastodon instance is free to block those servers from federating with them when it turns out that "free speech" mostly consists of behaving like Cartman from "South Park".
Or host your own. Your instance, your rules.
Of course, other instances are still free to block you.
The probably more important part is that it allows instances to follow national laws better and conform to their culture (see: Japan) instead of having to conform to Silicon Valley culture.
You can always join a place where the credo is "we connect with everybody", while people who want a very filtered experience can join places that are a lot more nonchalant about blocking other instances. A lot of people probably do (and want to be in a place that does) something in the middle.
You could even have multiple accounts on different instances that you use in different contexts. Most mobile clients support this more or less well, though the default web UI does not.
I liked twitter even with the short comings. It's like a big irc room. But it's not going the right way it seems. Maybe people will migrate (happened beforeà)
Given the flagship's stances on free speech (https://mastodon.social/about/more), if I am a user on the flagship instance (we'll call it A) and I want to follow an account on another server (let's call it B) that posts content that wouldn't be allowed on A, would my act of following that user on B pull the content to A? And would that content be removed? or does it only get removed if it is post to A in the first place?
My concern is that users on the flagship instance would only see a curated feed of the things they follow, even if following content on server that don't have such strict content policies.
Silence: Posts from users of these instances are only visible to users following that user directly, but not in public timelines.
Suspend: All posts from users of these instances are always removed, even if you follow them directly.
I would suspect that most admins stick with the first option for almost all bans. That said, users who are concerned about this should stick to instances with a broad interpretation of free speech.
I wouldn't mind seeing a guide to various popular communities to choose what to pick.
Also, I found a solution for the language issue, by adding a regex filter:
A while back there was a lot of noise about how it was a popular place with those uncomfortable topics that twitter had banned: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15053064
I clicked gingerly on the links to communities at the bottom of the article - octodon.social, social.tchncs.de, mastodon.art, mstdn.io, mastodon.technology, mastodon.rocks - and many of them have a live feed of posts.
I've gotta confess I couldn't quite tell what communities there were, but I'm not an insider and I don't know how to navigate it.
However, as you'd expect, you might not talk strictly about cats on toot.cat, but you'd be talking with other cat lovers. It might be difficult to discern the community from the local timelines. Also, some of the ones that you mention are just general social instances.
Each instance has an about page that you can look at to get a better idea of what it is organized around. 
It's one of the reasons I like Mastodon; I'm not forced to follow US culture.
If I try searching for tags or topics, I generally come up with zero results -- I'm never quite sure if it's because they don't exist on the instance I joined on or whether there just aren't enough users to have that tag/topic out there in the federation.
Discoverability seems very, very low out of the box and that seems like the one thing that would keep me from staying on Mastodon.
Another issue I ran into was that after I tooted a few times, I started wondering if I'd chosen a "bad" server (low activity) and started looking for ways to move my account to another server -- it feels like a waste to go and start up another account and leave my toots behind. :/
I really wish it were possible to just browse other instances' public feeds. For example, I'd love to see some stuff from mastodon.art, but I can't yet figure out a way to just browse over there short of making another account.
Account migration is still the top issue on GitHub. I was a bit disappointed when I saw that they announced 2.0 without it.
...But by the virtue of mastodon being only one open source platform that works on the overall federated universe and employs the OStatus protocol, there isn't anything stopping such a service as you described from being built...well, except for twitter eventually deciding to block access to their platform...but i'd guess that would turn the federated universe into a sort of social network martyr.
Anyway, sorry i digress...To answer your question a bit more concretely, there are options for what you asked about:
I'm sure there are more options; try googling. Cheers!
These are sample links to mastodon.social:
If you scroll down, the default home page will show you a tiny snippet of the timeline - but it only shows the "federated" timeline, made of public toots from every other instance this one knows about, instead of the "local" one of public toots from this instance, which maybe kinda defeats the point of being a sample of what you'll get if you join this particular instance...
We're looking for a Slack alternative (edit: with channels). Regulations prevent us from using external SaaS products.
You may also want to consider matrix (see matrix.org)...which is a chat-based, decentralized, open source platform...which yes can also be setup in an isolated fashion (and not phone home anywhere)...and there are also bridges between matrix and other platforms such as slack, irc, etc.; see https://matrix.org/docs/projects/try-matrix-now.html#applica... I encourage you to try the main matrix.org server first using the riot.im UI/client...and if it seems like it works, you would want to proceed standing up your own matrix server within your corporate network.
The reference server most people install is synapse; see https://matrix.org/docs/projects/server/synapse.html And while it is quite performant, and somewhat the de facto thing that most people install, my guess is that the future (ref. servers) will likely be:
* the Go-based Dendrite: https://github.com/matrix-org/dendrite
* the Rust-based Ruma: https://github.com/ruma/ruma
I've set up my own matrix server using synapse - admittedly for my own family - and its pretty straightforward installation, and quite rock solid for being such a new platform. There are so many people building stuff for it - such as these bridges - and using it, that's it quite exciting. Again, though, matrix is for chat (e.g. irc, slack, mattermost, etc.), and mastodon/gnu social is for social network messaging. i hope that helps, cheers!!!
Try a Jabber server, like prosody or ejabberd. There are web jabber clients, as well as native clients for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS.
You can require TLS on all connections, optionally log all conversations and chatrooms on the server, and easily federate servers to scale. Most Jabber servers have LDAP integration if you want to push user auth out that way. All of them can be configured to never talk to any other server outside of your control.
It's really a twitter-like though, not a chat system, so it isn't necessarily a Slack replacement.
If every instance is decentralized, how can you be sure the instance you use is actually running the Mastodon code? How can you be sure it hasn't been modified to collect user credentials, for example?
Is there some sort of signature verification for Mastodon instances?
That said, what "user credentials" would an instance collect? The only people logging into it would be user registered at this instance, "capturing" that makes no sense.
The security model is very much like the one of e-mail: To protect your data, you have to trust your provider, and for communications both the senders and the receivers server have to be trusted to handle the communication contents as expected.
And if you centralize (like to Twitter or Facebook), how do you verify it has the security and/or privacy policies they claim it does?
I feel safe in saying that users being able to sell their own data for their profit, instead of Facebook's, would get people to jump ship.
Obviously the model I describe will not generate Facebook-scale wealth for any individual player, but I believe there is still good money to be made in addition to the positive externalities that come from standardization and decentralization.
> Being told right up front that you should irrevocably attach your social life to a server run by some rando.... is not a welcoming way to start using a new service.
I still think Mastodon is best-in-class in terms of UI for open social projects, and hope the development team will consider tackling this problem. Until then, I still cannot endorse using Mastodon/GNU Social as a platform in its current state.
This problem is easily fixable code-wise, but there's hesitation to diverge from the standards upon which Mastodon is based, and the original standards body behind this particular issue has long since disbanded. Other than monkeypatching Mastodon (and potentially breaking GNU social federation), the solution would be to re-convene a working standards body to implement a "correct" spec for this problem. Since nobody seems willing to do that, monkeypatching Mastodon to make an order of magnitude more users comfortable with switching to it is probably my recommendation.
The world needs more protocol standards bodies and more engaged, engineering-minded parliamentarians.
Still can't get over it.
Definition 2 on Wiktionary: "A fart; flatus."
Believe me, I've tried.
Nothing's stopping you from making your own fork and fooling around with it though. Well aside from "not wanting it badly enough to spin up a local Mastodon instance and spend some chunk of the precious few hours remaining of your life on it".
1: https://www.google.com/search?q=mastodon+github+twitter will find you a bunch
Also, my bet on what platform will (eventually) replace IRC is matrix; see https://matrix.org/#about
Of course, that's just my opinion.
Open issue "Browse Other Instances' Public Timeline" -
Is geared towards math topics. That made the rounds here earlier this year.
1. Search for a mastodon instance/server which might already cover this community, and then join up. Besides searching for servers via google, you can visit the following "Join Mastodon" page, and search for a server: https://joinmastodon.org/#getting-started
I see 2 servers when i searched for "scholar", though may not apply to what you want/need: https://scholar.social/about and https://tusk.schoollibraries.net/about
2. You can join almost any mastodon server, and then search for and follow users - regardless of which server they actually "live" on. Much like the concept of email, you can follow anyone, regardless of their "home server". I think someone else here has already stated, that in masotodon, you follow people, and not necessarily servers/sites.
3. You can set up/run your own mastodon server/instance that would focus on "discussing research / scholarly publications"...Again, you will eventually gain a following of users who would be interested in your topic, even though they won't need to live on your server.
I hope that helps!
EDIT: Not sure if it was clear, but in my option 2 above, my assumption is that you could follow users who would be interested (and perhaps already involved) in "discussing research / scholarly publications".
You can walk through the "help wizard", or click "list" link in topnav to see all of the known instances.
EDIT: I failed to mention, that you should not feel like joining one instance excludes you from the greater federation of networks...you can join one instance and follow people from anywhere else. And, if you begin to dislike the instance that you joined, simply move to another one...or even better - though a tad more work for you - set up your own personal instance, do whatever you want, and still be able to follow anyone on any other instance.
john@ google dot com can be a different person than john@ yahoo dot com
If you're looking for term clients - on the above web page - look under the "Other clients" section; I assume "CLI" refers to terminal clients. Happy tooting, and cheers!
Your home timeline is empty! Visit the public timeline or use search to get started and meet other users.
Double checks, yes following people, checks again... closes tab, goes back to somewhere else.