Sometimes I wish I could go around, grab every single one of those who have joined since the #TwitterTakeover
by the shoulders, shake them and tell them, now listen here, #MastodonIsNotTheFediverse
. Tell them there's more to the #Fediverse
until they understand why my "toots" look so weird. Also tell them it isn't worth fighting for Mastodon to include certain features. There are more microblogging services in the Fediverse, and they all have these features already, and they all connect to Mastodon.
So you want quote-tweets? Stop pestering Eugen Rochko for including something in Mastodon which he firmly rejects. Go join e.g. #Akkoma
instead, and you've got your quote-tweets. And you can always reconnect with all your Mastodon friends just the same as on Mastodon.
Many are positively surprised when they learn that. They've spent some four months in the Fediverse, thinking Mastodon is all there is to the Fediverse. It feels like a whole new world to be explored.
But I've come to the realisation that millions of Mastodon users don't want any of that. They don't want to know about other projects in the Fediverse. It confuses them. They've spent their entire online lives in monolithic, centralised, corporate data silos like #Facebook
. It was hard enough to wrap their minds around Mastodon's decentralised architecture with lots of independent #instances
, now called #servers
All they wanted was a Twitter clone without #ElonMusk
, but otherwise identical to Twitter. When someone showed them mastodon.social (which isn't even the official Mastodon website; this is
), they expected to find just that. And then they first had to learn what instances are and afterwards choose one because mastodon.social didn't let them in. They're still shell-shocked from that. In fact, many of them still wish there were no instances, and Mastodon was a centralised silo like Twitter, for that'd make things easier.
Worse yet, there isn't that one fully-featured mobile app on Apple App Store and Google Play Store that bears the same name as the whole project. There is one, but it sucks, and everyone urges them to use a third-party app that isn't even named Mastodon. So they have to pick something again, and then they have to remember the name of their Mastodon app because it doesn't have "Mastodon" written under the icon.
And then folks like me come along and tell these people that the Fediverse is #NotOnlyMastodon
. That some of the instances out there aren't on Mastodon, but parts of wholly different projects. Now, they've just gotten used to the Fediverse being decentral and made up of lots of independent instances of Mastodon. But then someone overthrows this hard-to-grasp world view once again by mentioning that it is, in fact, not only Mastodon that the Fediverse is made of. Worse yet, that someone starts rattling down name after name of other Fediverse projects.
Nope. Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope. That's too much. Too much information for someone who came to Mastodon expecting an iPhone app for another black-box internet platform.
Mastodon had just started feeling cosy to them. Well, except for too much #Linux
technobabble. And except for still being hard to use with all these instances and a lack-lustre official mobile app. In fact, except for this lack-lustre official mobile app being the only available iPhone app for Mastodon until recently because everyone only made apps for Android for reasons that don't belong here. They feel like they finally know the Fediverse, that they don't have to learn anything about it anymore, and they've come to love what they know.
But all of a sudden, all these other Fediverse projects burst into their lives. All at once. More nerdy tech information is being shoved down their throats. And the Fediverse doesn't feel the same anymore, now that they know that not everything is Mastodon.
Again, yes, some may look at me in curiosity, their chin resting on their palms, and say, "That's intriguing, tell me more!"
But many others reject this entirely. They cover their ears and go, "La la la la la, I don't want to hear it!" They're those people who speak of the Fediverse as if it's only Mastodon, whom you tell that the Fediverse is more than Mastodon, and who then continue speaking of the Fediverse as if it's only Mastodon. They want it to only be Mastodon because that's easier to understand, and they ignore everyone and everything that says otherwise.
Truth be told, they may have an additional justification. And that's the kind of people who are in the Fediverse, but not on Mastodon, and whose posts come "flooding" into Mastodon. Weeaboos, furries and other weirdos on #Pleroma
. Worse tech geeks on #Akkoma
than even those on Mastodon. On top of that, even worse tech geeks in the shape of the "supremacist" old guard from #Friendica
who play key roles in all rallys against centralised services that'd make Mastodon easier to use for former Twitter users.
A closer look may reveal that all their projects are "unusable" for someone who is used to Mastodon, even more so for someone who freshly comes over from Twitter or Facebook. And yet, all of them even claim that what they use is better than Mastodon. Another reason to not like a not-only-Mastodon Fediverse.
Another reason, in fact, to want the Mastodon-only Fediverse "back" that never even existed in the first place.
However, you can't really protect these people from the parts of the Fediverse beyond Mastodon, even if you want to. For a user of something that isn't Mastodon, this is even more difficult. In particular, you can't pretend to them that you're on Mastodon when what comes out of your instance clearly doesn't look like it came from Mastodon. And I'm not necessarily only talking about character counts. You can't help but go on confusing them. That is, unless you want to sacrifice all the extra features of the project you use and move to Mastodon itself.
In all honesty, I expect a campaign for fediblocking everything that isn't Mastodon to emerge before the end of the year. And no, the campaigners won't want to hear that this is nigh-impossible. They'll want it to happen, no matter how.