Mastodon WTF timeline - Ansuz - mskala's home page
« The Well-Rounded Total | Home | North Coast May update » In the last few days I've been fortunate to witness an interesting chapter in the Internet's history, and I'm trying to compile a timeline of what has happened while the memories are still reasonably fresh. This is incomplete and a work in progress; I'll be updating it, and not necessaril...
That is quite a bit of drama that I was entirely unaware of. How much of this type of stuff do you see on your end, Mike?
It's an interesting read and a long one at the same time. Let me quote one notable paragraph for those who don't have the time to read it all:
April 28: Mastodon 1.3 is released. It has serious bugs and instances that upgrade immediately suffer problems as a result. A fix for the worst of the bugs (1.3.1) is released almost immediately. However, Mastodon 1.3 also has some changes to its privacy options which highlight the previously-existing issue that non-Mastodon software will not necessarily obey privacy instructions given by Mastodon in proprietary extensions of the protocol. Even in a purely Mastodon network, an administrator can subvert the privacy instructions. So if you write a message and you intend it to be seen only by a few specific users on other instances, that message may be federated to another server that shows it to everybody. There are also non-obvious interactions among settings: for instance, you can easily set your postings to be visible only to followers and also allow everybody in the world to follow you without needing further permission, which will not really keep anything very secret at all. Where messages will travel, who can read them, and who is "trusted" in the security sense of being allowed to have discretion over the rules, is not at all obvious to end users, and the additional warnings built into 1.3 to help inform users largely have the effect of making users more worried and confused. Given that instance admins already distrust each other, and especially Mastodon admins distrust admins of GNU Social, the increased awareness of the complicated privacy situation adds fuel to existing fires.
I'm aware of most of the story and the overall influence of Japanese pedophilia on Mastodon (that's without question the driving force behind that network's growth), but hadn't seen the detail of the interplay between the factions involved. It's a good read.