It’s funny, many of the “what you need to know about Mastodon” or “how to learn about the fediverse” pieces are focused on the technology and the implementation, when the hardest thing for people to understand about this context, if they’re used to traditional social media & tech, is that here we have an expectation of _consent_. Consent if you want to be included in a conversation, consent about being amplified, consent in the form of CWs on topics that you want to manage, etc. That’s it! 🎯

@paninid @anildash Exactly! That was exactly the group of ppl I thought would have the hardest time with this concept.

@DrSuzanne @paninid @anildash would you be interested in helping to write a page of cultural ed for Twittermigrationers? my idea was to ask feditips to include it.


@anildash Spot on! _consent_ is the keyword for me here. Thanks for pointing this out. This is - to me - about Culture, not Code.

@anildash Yeah it reminds me of that Today show clip of them trying to get their heads wrapped around email. There is a vocabulary mismatch and expectation mismatch. Have to get better at presenting it for the masses.


@hankg @anildash I think this is doable. Pedagogically quite feasible. This recent spike in users will propel forward (new) voices who weigh in on this, and where the different target audiences will be able to understand it in their terms/terminology. This Does represent a shift, and that shift away from billionaire-owned infrastructures is significant. But yes, to explain this to people who for instance do not grasp federation; it will be done. Well.

@anildash I've been fascinated with the same thing - watching folks migrate over from Twitter and fumble along, trying to figure things out, so focused on the tech and completely missing the difference in culture. Any sociologists watching this must be in heaven.

@javaelemental @anildash that’s pretty true of all eclectic collections (be they irc, iqc, Usenet, forums, or social media). You balance being you and being the you in a new place. It’s like a new job. You’ll say the wrong things, but as long as your heart is there (and the boss ain’t a total waste of air) you’ll be alright.

Maybe I studied social anthropology for while…

@javaelemental @anildash Academics will love the “shock” of the shift of hundreds of thousands of users wholesale to a different social media network.
I’m trying to create a little non-“we’re not in Kansas anymore” content but I’m not always successful.

@javaelemental @anildash Isn't it more common that the people who contribute content to a network also have influence to the culture?

@elba013 @javaelemental @anildash it depends on the content, and whether pple want to consume it. The old chicken and egg, nature vs nurture...

@javaelemental @anildash As an educator who studies online community building, it is fascinating.

@anildash thank you for sharing. You don’t have to teach me, I’ll learn eventually. But if I may - how does “consent about being amplified” work? (I don’t have a following, so it’s not a concern, just curious). You’d ask before boosting?

@iluxan @anildash That's exactly as you said! You can ask before you boost (cool post! Mind if I boost it?), or you can see if the person is requesting boosts, or check their profile! Some instances even have emoted for that: :boost_requested: :boost_denied:

Specially for sensitive matters, sometimes the poster is not looking to reach a huge audience. This is specially relevant when we remember that boosting can be used to get around silenced instances, etc.

mastodon meta, consent 

@iluxan @anildash
One thing that happened and people complained about was people new to the Fediverse writing themed public lists of people to follow, and the thought of "oldtimers" was that they should not include anyone on a list like that without asking them first.
(For example, a list of "Awesome Black Women Bloggers" could easily be used by racists as a list of people to target with harrassment)

mastodon meta, consent 

@Anke @iluxan @anildash makes sense, yes. And I really truly hate that it does. 😢

mastodon meta, consent 

I believe the term “amplify” is what is causing the confusion. For previous Twitter users to amplify meant liking and retweeting a particular tweet to bump it’s notice, not sharing someone’s account information/location for a purpose. It’s an intentional cultural difference based on the way the technology works. I’ve seen a number lists personally and they have all been opt-in and made a point of saying that up front. I hope other new people notice.

mastodon meta, consent 

@dawnfry Ah. So it sounds like, say, boosting an interesting post on Mastodon in itself is generally acceptable unless otherwise specified or clearly sensitive?

It's fair if the cultural expectation is to ask before ever clicking the boost button on anything (I'll adapt) but it does seem like that'd get pretty cluttered and cumbersome. I haven't really noticed *that* level of permission being normative.

mastodon meta, consent 

Boosting open access toots is welcomed, otherwise they would restrict access to the toot (which is easy enough).

But I am finding a lot of news and journalist accounts and bots who are not using a CW for politics or sensitive topics. It would be great to be able to fix that oversight with a general marker of why the toot has a CW, so people will know whether it’s likely okay to click or not.

@iluxan @anildash yes I had the same genuine question. All of the stuff I have seen on Mastodon has basically been to the tune of “there’s no algorithm so if you like it, boost it.” Is there more to know in this regard?

@Chanders @iluxan @anildash
I'm so glad you've asked this because I would also like to know. If a toot is shareable (boostable?) does that imply consent, or should we request permission first? If the latter, I have some apologies to compose!

@iluxan @anildash That would mainly be the "visibility" settings on a post, and also the lack of built-in "quoting" feature: You decide for each post how far you want it to spread, and others are expected to respect that, not try to find ways around it!
That's why some instances entirely block instances that are known to crawl the network and gather all the data they can find: it's a breach of boundaries.

A bit of a rant in favor of CWs 

@anildash I am a bit surprised how many people who seemed cool over on twitter are pushing back against Mastadon culture. Like, how is "You have to look at the stuff I want you to look at whether you want to look at it or not. You have to listen to what I want to say even if you tell me explicitly you dont want to hear it" a position that any reasonably thoughtful person would try to defend? In 20effing22?

A bit of a rant in favor of CWs 

@paprikapink @anildash

One of the things I keep seeing is "Why can you just mute or unfollow me?!" The cultural norm here is that users should proactively demonstrate sensitivity to their audience. The norm in birdland is that individual users and the platform ownership are responsible for building that safe zone.

re: A bit of a rant in favor of CWs 

@paprikapink @anildash Mastodon doesn't have a "culture". Mastodon instances may have their own cultures, certainly, but the Fediverse as a whole is way bigger than Mastodon as a whole, much less any particular instance!

A bit of a rant in favor of CWs 

@paprikapink @anildash 💯 I want to boost this toot over and over. Mastodon: the best lesson on consent you'll ever receive.

@anildash I think it gets more complex with the political CW where intersectional privilege comes into play. Like if I as a white person wanted anti-racist content behind a CW that restricts the visibility of the message, surely that's centering the discomfort of the more privileged party to the detriment of broader equality and inclusion..

@sue @anildash Somebody posted yesterday about being conscientious about applying CWs to your own content and tolerant of how other people manage theirs. I think that applies in the specific context of your personal position on CWs on that topic.

The term "content warning" can be unhelpful here and some people call them content wrappers for that reason.

@sue oh absolutely. Though my honest feeling is… those who were gonna ignore it were going to do so regardless

@anildash Sigh I feel like some level of default visibility must have helped awareness and understanding around racism, trans rights etc over the years on twitter, maybe that's wishful thinking 🙃

@sue @anildash That’s a really good point. The widespread distribution of videos showing police violence, for example,might not have been seen by such a large audience if they had been behind CWs.

@mosugerman @sue

This has been a constant argument by people on this platform and, frankly, I don't buy it; frankly, I think @anildash is right that those who were going to ignore it with a CW will ignore it regardless. But those who want to help/are-interested but retriggered by violence have to just bear it. It's shifting priority away from some marginalized people to those people who I doubt are going to be swayed just by not having to click a button to view.

@mosugerman @sue @anildash

If "video, racist violence" CWs are showing up all over the place on Fedi, human nature indicates that people are /probably/ going to click on it, if only to see what everyone's talking about.

The diff. is that disabled and traumatized people and others actually get an opp. to accliment to the forming reality and time to process how they can/are-able to do something rather than, now, trying to get under control their reaction to a sudden flood of violent visuals…

@WammKD @mosugerman @anildash Over the past couple of days a number of accounts from people of colour have been shared expressing concerns with being told to add warnings to content about their own experiences of racism, based on that it seems there is a problem with inclusion here regarding CWs.

@sue @mosugerman @anildash

And, as a POC, I don't know how to express that a personal experience does not suddenly change the way trauma is triggered when reading about it (including for members of your own marginalization…).

CWs are inherently a system which cannot be perfect: you can't possibly know everyone's needs for every post, personally processing an experience may be easier without a CW, etc.

So there are certain exceptions acknowledged within the culture.

People will put things

cursory black death and sex. assault mention 

@sue @mosugerman @anildash

they don't CW in their bio. to let people know.

That's inherently different than saying that a subject is excluded from a baseline expectation.

When George Floyd was murdered, I hadn't heard about it yet and logged in to be bombarded by that info. without any chance to consent to how I wanted to engage with it because no one was bothering to CW.

Someone close to me is a survivor of sexual assault; they would absolutely

cursory black death and sex. assault mention 

@sue @mosugerman @anildash

/not/ like to see that suddenly show up on their feed, regardless of if it's that other person's personal experience. But, if someone just puts a note in their profile that that won't be CWed, they can still decide whether to mute or block that person for their own safety.

Personal experience isn't magically processed differently than other subjects; and creating exceptions for certain subjects is not the solution.

I'm must be stupid, but I don't know what the abbreviation "CW" means.....

@discoveringnature @anildash

CW = Content Warning

(You can think of it as folding a post to with a subject line visible until it's expanded)

@discoveringnature @anildash CW is Content Warning, so it's much easier to hide potentially disturbing content. Much easier to be considerate of others. (E.g. I'll be putting my Wordle posts behind CW so those who use screen readers can avoid them)

@discoveringnature @anildash
you're not stupid when you're new here and don't know that CW stands for Content Warning.
It'sa box that you can tick above your toot.

We use them for anything that can make other people feel miserable when confronted with it out of the blue, like politics, or mental health problems, or a picture of that juicy steak you enjoyed so much.

@StroomAfwaarts @discoveringnature @anildash
How could anybody know, what is the trigger for others? It could be anything. If I write FOOD on CW is not that a trigger?

@stane @discoveringnature @anildash maybe so, but then they can filter the word "food" out of their timeline, so they won't even see your post.
Brilliant, innit?

@discoveringnature "Content Warning" . It lets you hide a toot, leaving only a subject visible (so people can decide if they want to see it or not.)


CW = Content Warning It's Headline that you click on 

@discoveringnature @anildash Like this! Now you can see the toot. It's used to give a notice about violent content, but also used for NSFW, lewds, jokes, long threads, food (for eating disorders, meat for vegans). It's used to make a decision if you want to opt in to a discussion that may be triggering. But, honestly, having a constant stream of watching George Floyd die over and over, like on mainstream media, is not good for anyone.

@anildash Thanks for pointing this out. It makes total sense and is a very helpful (for me) criterion in difficult cases. I also realize I owe some people some apologies.

CW rambly/metaish/newbstuff 

@anildash I admit content warning is a thing I'm still figuring out. I've been watching what Masto users have been putting them on and it's a broad range including mostly benign things, instead of just things like the obvious (nsfw, disturbing topics/imagery) and the unusual (eg, a topic outside of someone's usual habits) or excessive length.

Also I only recently figured out on Friendica the "abstract" tag is the equivalent. (Hey, did it work? The preview doesn't seem to show it)

One thing I wonder about is why keep the CWs inside of a thread? If I'm looking at a thread, that kind of implies I want to see the content.

CW rambly/metaish/newbstuff 

@closetweeb @anildash I think the CW needs rebranding. “Content Warning” invokes a NSFW label. And there will be pushback to that. If instead it was marketed as Headlines, or Buzz Words it would feel better to the author to use and would give the user clarity/ consent before opening. I could scroll past fashion and cute puppies others politics or US news

CW rambly/metaish/newbstuff 

@anildash @monkeyes2 Yeah, that pretty much covers what I thought of it.

CW rambly/metaish/newbstuff 

@anildash @monkeyes2 @closetweeb I think that’s a really good observation and I’m going to start thinking about CW more as a headline.

@anildash I don't think underscores placed before and after a word turn them into italics

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