Thanks to my friends having the forethought to set up a friendly Mastodon server for their podcast community, I’ve gone all-in on the platform1Well, and this blog, too, obviously. But for idle thoughts too mundane even for this blog to tolerate.. I really like it so far; it’s got almost everything I wanted from Twitter — “almost” because the chances of getting into a conversation with a non-tech celebrity I’m a fan of are about zero2Whereas on Twitter, I got responses from Neko Case twice! — and eliminates most of the things I hated about Twitter, aspects that were present long before some asshole bought the platform and made it impossible to keep using it in good conscience.
So I’ve gotten invested in Mastodon and how it functions. Instead of just re-inventing Twitter, this seems like the chance to take the lessons we’ve learned from other social media, and do it right this time. But it’s not just a question of technology, or even ownership, but of social engineering: being more mindful of how we use social media and what we’re choosing to put out there.
In particular, there’s the issue of quote-posts or quote-toots, or QTs so I don’t keep having to say “quote-toot.” They were frequently used on Twitter, but were deliberately not implemented in Mastodon, because of the potential to be used for harassment.
It’s a frequent topic of conversation on Mastodon, from people insisting that it should obviously be implemented, and people are going to do it anyway, so what’s the problem?
And there’s a definite undercurrent of arrogance that suggests the higher-profile proponents are obviously thinking of it as a publishing platform more than any sense of community. Objections to the feature are just dismissed as overblown or unimportant. There’s an automatic assumption that those of us don’t want QTs on Mastodon have to come up with a satisfying justification for why the feature shouldn’t exist, but there’s no sense that proponents are obligated to justify why the feature is necessary.
Personally, I’m not even completely opposed to QTs. If implemented correctly and used responsibly, they could be fine. My annoyance comes from people not taking the time to stop and think about these things and their implications, or how they fit in with the “core values” of the platform and what other users are trying to achieve. Anybody voicing an opinion on this one way or the other needs to at least demonstrate that they’ve put some thought into what QTs actually are, what they’re doing in a social setting, and how they will subtly or not-so-subtly affect how people interact with each other.Continue reading “You Can Quote Me On This”
- 1Well, and this blog, too, obviously. But for idle thoughts too mundane even for this blog to tolerate.
- 2Whereas on Twitter, I got responses from Neko Case twice!