@yogthos
link
273M

When somebody starts a project that they put time and effort into because they have a particular vision for it then it is their right to run the project the way that makes sense for them. If their vision diverges from what a significant number of people want, then people should put in the effort to make their alternative vision a reality. They can even leverage all the hard work that was put into making the original project since Mastodon is open source software.

This sort of thing regularly happens in open source world. GNOME forks like Cinnamon and MATE are great examples of this. The original project started getting too bloated for a lot of people, and they got together to fork it and move things in the direction they wanted.

Another option is to make a separate project entirely. Pleroma is an example of an alternative to Mastodon that was made because people wanted to do things differently.

Personally, I agree with the reasoning in the reply to the issue on GitHub and I do think it’s valuable for the official client to prioritize the needs for new users. The underlying functionality for supporting local and global timelines is not being removed, and it’s possible to make an alternative client that leverages it. Tusky for Android is the client I’m using, and it supports this feature.

On the other hand, I am ideologically opposed to partnering up with entities like EUnomia, but this being a social media platform the posts are already public and I don’t think anybody should be using such a platform for anything they want to keep private in the first place. Ultimately, you’re trusting server admins for any instance and you have no idea how they use the data collected by the instance.

@porkloin
creator
link
43M

On the other hand, I am ideologically opposed to partnering up with entities like EUnomia, but this being a social media platform the posts are already public and I don’t think anybody should be using such a platform for anything they want to keep private in the first place. Ultimately, you’re trusting server admins for any instance and you have no idea how they use the data collected by the instance.

Does anyone have more details on the partnership? I’m trying to make heads and tails of some of the grievances in the letter and haven’t been able to track down much on that particular point.

Very well written response, btw – you captured a lot of things I’ve been thinking about far better than I could have 😝

@yogthos
link
43M

Thanks, and I’d be curious to know more about that as well. On the surface, the whole EUnomia thing doesn’t sound good, but based on this explanation it sounds like it could be a legitimate use case. So, I’m reserving judgement until we find out a bit more.

@Niquarl
link
22M

There are some flavour forks of Mastodon. And some outright alternatives that still work in the same fediverse.

There was that Florence thing with the former mod/project leader that Eugen employed (I think for a couple months) but it doesn’t seem to go anywhere though. I guess they just don’t have enough actual devs.

I honestly wonder if Mastodon could even survive Eugen quitting.

@yogthos
link
12M

Yeah, I can’t see anything positive coming out of Eugen quitting the project. I think Pleroma is probably the most featureful alternative right now that’s actively developed.

Raavan
link
113M

i never watch federated timeline, it is most of the time just anime fest. but local timeline is very important. as it carries the toots of the instance of ehich we are a member. otherwise it will just become a follow to follow type of thing.

@libre_warrior
link
23M

I think instance owners just hasn’t figured it out yet. I think the federated timeline can become very enjoyable.

@weex
link
113M

“Forks and alternatives would have more visibility control than Mastodon, leading to privacy issues.” Does anyone care to expand upon this as a problem? FOSS means forks are an option but I’m missing where the privacy issues come from.

@xarvos
link
53M

I have the same question, and also what it means to “have more visibility control”.

poVoq
link
8
edit-2
3M

I think this refers to the fact that Activity Pub as a protocol was not designed with privacy in mind, but rather pubic content. So Mastodon could add some visibility features in their UI, but other ActivityPub speaking software would not necessarily understand or also add these features to their software and thus expose supposedly more private (or rather less visible) content from Mastodon users.

They explain it in the next sentence:

They won’t know that they can post publicly to their followers without their posts showing to everyone using the unlisted visibility.

@scribe
link
103M

After reading Eugen’s response, I think he is in the right here.

@porkloin
creator
link
83M

Got a link to it? I’d love to read it.

poVoq
link
12
edit-2
3M

I think this is a reference to this, which is a response to the iOS app issue and not the open-letter itself.

@porkloin
creator
link
103M

Thank you! I was hunting through his mastodon posts trying to find it, but that makes sense. It’s nice to see that the response does address the fact that local and federated timelines are being treated as more of a “superuser” feature – but I do wonder what it will mean for the Fediverse overall if the number one “sponsored client” for Mastodon doesn’t expose those concepts at all.

In UX tests with randomly selected, non-technical people, stumbling upon local or federated timelines has predominantly led to frustration either through language barriers, spam, or not safe for work content. I know that we might disagree about the size of server we have in mind or what constitutes a big server, but I think you’ll agree that even on a small and perfectly moderated server at least 2 of the 3 issues are likely to occur, if not in one timeline then another. And, unless you advocate for an “upload filter” type system, no moderation will be able to prevent exposure to spam and offensive content at least temporarily, at least in an open system which is what we’re focusing on.

These are all pretty reasonable points, for sure.

@Liwott
link
103M

The only thing one may be worried about in this whole EUnomia story is that no privacy warning was attached to the registration form to eunomia.social which apparently was sending private data to mailchimp and google. Note that an appropriate privacy policy was added since then. The letter does not even complain about that, rather about the fact that he sold public data.

poVoq
link
53M

“Sold”? I don’t think that is the right term in this context.

@Liwott
link
23M

My last sentence was a reaction to

Eugen is literally selling out Fediverse users to data collection agencies, not exclusively limited to users on Mastodon instances as they scrape public posts.

I don’t know how true the latter statement is, but even if it is, I don’t see what’s wrong with scraping public data, even for commercial reason. If the data was sensitive, it would not be public.

poVoq
link
8
edit-2
3M

The statement it total hyperbole. Eugen accepted a paid job as a social media spokesperson and Fediverse advisor on a tiny university project that has some questionable goals and funding. Personally I would have not taken this offer in his place, but to be honest the goals of this university project are rather mainstream and in line with other such mainstream efforts to monitor social media for “extremist” content. And they would have probably scraped the public content anyways, so this way Eugen at least got some direct insight in how they are planning to use it.

@bashrc
link
82M

Telling someone to resign from their own project is rather silly, and revealing of a grandiose sensibility. Free software developers can typically work on whatever projects they want to, and are usually not subordinates taking orders from superiors. They should listen to the concerns of users, but ultimately follow their own conscience.

That said, the points about Eunomia and contradictory sponsorship claims are valid. As far as I can tell Eunomia is an EU NGO gravy train hitching on the coat tails of a moral panic around “fake news”. That panic is already past its sell by date, and I don’t expect Eunomia to have any substantial consequences.

Kinetix
link
52M

I’m glad to see there’s actually very few signatures, and I hope Eugen ignores it. What a bunch of entitled brats - if they don’t like what’s going on, they can fork the project. Or they can write their own IOS app with all the goodies they want on it.

The letter’s kind of all over the place, too… more like trying to smear dirt and it’s not terribly focused.

Maybe the signatories and the originator should be contacted with a note stating “Why do you think this hasn’t gone anywhere?”

I mean, really, how insulting to Eugen.

r3d_f0x
banned
link
22M

I agree. The only issue I really disagree on is that he doesn’t want to add groups to Mastodon which is a pretty important feature of social networking sites.

@bashrc
link
22M

I’m old enough that I remember when the same sort of smear tactics were deployed by certain companies against anyone writing popular open source projects.

@Echedenyan
link
1
edit-2
2M

Just a point: their own project?

It is true that Eugen Rocko is the main developer and the one who more contributed but Mastodon is not their project itself.

Edited: it is even set in the copyright notice.

Dessalines
admin
link
93M

Side question, does anyone read those timelines? There’s like hundreds of posts an hour all in different languages, and even the local timeline would be a full time job to keep up with.

If you are on a community based instance you don’t have this problem

@yogthos
link
63M

Personally, I don’t read either local or global timelines. I find noise to ratio is too high for me. I just follow people who post interesting content and use that as my timeline.

Ephera
link
53M

The experience will differ strongly between instances.

On instances with relatively few active users, there’s often hours between posts to the local timeline. You’ll be able to read all of those without problem.
You can even pretty much hold conversations via the local timeline without tagging people directly, and you probably know all active users on your instance.

On instances that federate with fewer other instances, the federated timeline can also be a lot less fast-moving and may lean more into certain topics, depending on what instances you’re federated with.
I additionally filter out a ton of people and words, but yeah, I can often keep up with posts on the federated timeline on my main instance.

And last but not least, you can specify what languages you understand in the settings. Then it will filter out posts in other languages relatively reliably.

@Reaton
link
53M

I really like to read those as It can be used to get other points of view on a topic without having to follow people you don’t agree with, thus breaking the circle jerk system that is the nature of traditional social media. Also I can discover some pretty cool things/accounts there.

I read them a lot, sometimes when I am bored I just look at the public timeline. Now and then I mute a bot that I don’t care about, so I mostly see posts by actual users there.

@Echedenyan
link
4
edit-2
3M

While I was using it… I read them…

Federated timeline use to be the messy one. I chose instance because of the collective so I was interested in the internal posts mostly.

@Liwott
link
32M

the local timeline would be a full time job to keep up with.

It’s definitely not something I try to keep up with, but it’s a nice scroll from time to time to discover things.

b6_
link
22M

Yes, but I also deliberately chose an instance that aligned with my interests. As for static on the federated timeline, sure, there’s a lot going on. But I’ll take that over the platform trying to play nanny any day. Mute and block exist for a reason.

@ttmrichter
link
33M

I sometimes scan them for things that might be interesting enough to subscribe to. That’s about it.

@porkloin
creator
link
83M

One of the interesting grievances listed is the intentional removal of the local/federated timelines in the official mastodon app. I was a bit disappointed to see that they weren’t in the app as well.

@ArtilectZed
link
93M

The stuff I’ve seen on the local and federated timelines would likely make Apple deny the app. I stopped even looking at them, it was a nonstop porn stream at times.

@porkloin
creator
link
33M

Fair, especially for local timeline on the bigger instances like .social, but I can understand why LT is really important to people who use small or medium sized instances.

poVoq
link
23M

Yes I agree, local timelines are important for small instances, but this change only effects the iOS app, not Mastodon itself, and you are free to use another app or web-interface with Mastodon. Furthermore small communities are probably better off using a alternative Fediverse software anyways, as Mastodon is a very resource heavy software and not aimed at small instances.

@Deadnaut
link
1
edit-2
1M

deleted by creator

@Deadnaut
link
1
edit-2
1M

deleted by creator

Dessalines
admin
link
73M

Also does anyone else find it strange they would do a native iOS app before android? Not only is the apple store more locked down and iOS more restrictive against open source, but also far less people use it worldwide.

@yogthos
link
133M

Tusky has been around for a long time and it works really well. I really don’t think of anything to improve there to be honest. Since there’s already a good and popular Android app it probably does make sense to make an iOS client if there wasn’t one.

Dessalines
admin
link
73M

Makes sense. Tusky is quite good.

@nutomic
admin
link
2
edit-2
3M

I assume its because ios users donate more money to the Mastodon project compared to android users.

Edit: or maybe because Apple users are overrepresented among Mastodon donors.

poVoq
link
19
edit-2
3M

No, Eugen has previously stated that he does not want an official app at all and is happy with the 3rd party ones available for Android. He then later changed his stance somewhat to recognizing that there arn’t really many 3rd party developers interested in making iOS apps and therefore developing a high quality app for iOS is more important than having yet another one for Android.

Personally I think Apple and Apple users can go f*ck themselves, but if Eugen wants to put his time into developing a good iOS client that is really his business alone.

@dreeg_ocedam
link
6
edit-2
24d

deleted by creator

@Echedenyan
link
63M

I received comment of a person that the sponsors they referenced were not listed in https://joinmastodon.org/sponsors.

The fact is that they are listed, but some of then are only as little square logos without a name and just the link around the image pointing to the website.

@Niquarl
link
12M

Wow! I never realised they had gotten so many sponsors now. I wonder why they do sponsor Mastodon for the most part honestly.

@Niquarl
link
12M

Wow! I never realised they had gotten so many sponsors now. I wonder why they do sponsor Mastodon for the most part honestly.

@Echedenyan
link
12M

Duplicated comment.

@Niquarl
link
12M

Oh indeed. Must be using the app.

@humanetech
link
53M

Thanks for bringing to attention. I informed the SocialHub community in Discussion: Mastodon and the Fediverse.

@humanetech
link
3
edit-2
3M

I created a topic in !fediversefutures@lemmy.ml to brainstorm on some related topics: Discussion: Mastodon and the Fediverse

Future Me
link
43M

Does the iOS app have no timelines at all? Not the local one, not the federated one?

poVoq
link
3
edit-2
3M

It seems to only have the subscribed time-line and at least according to the explanation given this is mainly to avoid being kicked off the Apple app-store.

I can kind of follow some of the other concerns being raised, but at least this one is really mostly Apple who is to blame with their overly prudish and otherwise questionable policing of their app store (and of course them preventing other means to install apps on the device you own).

But to be honest, I really don’t understand why people who raise these kind of concerns are using a Apple device in the first place… seem like a huge cognitive dissonance at play there.

@gwynne0190
mod
link
43M

EUnomia

Mastodon App is just the tip of the iceberg of Eugen’s mismanagement. In 2020, he has allegedly taken over €60,000 to partner with the European digital surveillance data collection firm EUnomia. EUnomia’s operations are better summarized by this post by paulfree14 on librenet.de. Eugen is literally selling out Fediverse users to data collection agencies, not exclusively limited to users on Mastodon instances as they scrape public posts. EUnomia has in the past sold this data to large advertising companies, namely Google, as well as law enforcement agencies. This poses a risk to marginalized groups who are targeted by police on a daily basis.

Jesus christ, I’ll have to get the hell out of mastodon.social soon

@gohqoi
link
123M

It took them 2 sentences to go from “has allegedly taken” to “is literally selling out”. It’s important to keep in mind that most of what you publish on fediverse is public data and can be scraped by any interested party without paying anyone.

@gwynne0190
mod
link
12
edit-2
2M

deleted by creator

@xarvos
link
43M

Is it clear if he sold data from federated servers as well?

@Deadnaut
link
10
edit-2
1M

deleted by creator

@Thann
link
13M

Anyone complaining about Eugen needs to fork off, and STFU

A community dedicated to fediverse news and discussion.

Fediverse is a portmanteau of “federation” and “universe”. It is a common, informal name for a federation of social network servers whose main purpose is microblogging, the sharing of short, public messages.

Getting started on Fediverse;

For devs;

  • 0 user online
  • 5 user / day
  • 21 user / week
  • 61 user / month
  • 250 user / 6 month
  • 2K subscriber
  • 281 Post
  • 2.26K Comment
  • Modlog