when mastodon first started, activitypub didn't exist yet. the fediverse was a bunch of GNU Social instances communicating over the OStatus protocol. these instances were well-established, and they did not take kindly to the popularity of Mastodon and all the new users taking over their existing, quiet culture
the existing, quiet culture, by the way, was a bunch of channer shit and blatantly anti-gay and anti-trans memes. the instance we saw most often on the federated timeline in those days was shitposter.club, a place which virtually every respectable instance now has blocked. mastodon didn't really *have* blocks back then
bad instances have always existed and every good thing about the fediverse today was hard-fought and hard-won. making it better will mean more work, fighting, and winning
i’m tired of reductive takes like “the fediverse shouldn't be bad; the fediverse should be good” which erase both the history of struggle and the actual tactics used to get us where we are now
addendum to this: the fediverse is living software and the affordances it provides are not static or stable. i AGREE with the take that new communities need space to figure out how to make those affordances work for them, but i think it historically has been EQUALLY important that those communities have an active hand in actually creating and promulgating those affordances. when the fedi started it didn't have post privacy settings, much less CWs. the queer masto community applied pressure and in some cases actively developed these affordances to meet our needs. if we hadn't we would not have been successful here
@clacke this is a fair response; it probably wasn’t clear but my intention WASN’T to pin blame for this culture on the GNU Social software or OStatus protocol (which i actually generally respect) but more emphasize the fact that what we (or, some people) consider the “fediverse” today is a completely different set of technologies and instances compared to what it was in those days
i can say, subjectively, that the channer culture was established Enough to take issue with Mastodon and dominant (or talkative) Enough that they were most of what Mastodon seemed to be communicating with, but of course there WERE plenty of other, even older instances out there as well
the reason why i tend to write those very old instances off is because their “individualist hacker culture” mostly did not feel to me like a communal FEDIVERSE culture (but rather a bunch of individualist nodes which happened to talk to each other); this might be unfair but it seemed to me like the channer and later Mastodon instances had a sense of federated community which the predecessors did not (this may or may not be a good thing, depending on your outlook)
Can I quote a couple of things from it in "Mastodon: a partial history"?
- Lady's point about the anti-gay and anti-trans memes, and shitposter.club
- Claes' point about the timing of the channer-culture and freezepeach instances, the culture, and the lack of tools and roles?
Here's the current draft, I'm in the midst of reworking the 2016 discussions to have more context on the fediverse.
@clacke thanks! and Everything I wite on Nexus of Privacy is CC NC-BY-SA as well (and now that I think of it I'll put that explicitly at the bottom of the post too)
And, glad it was so interesting!
@clacke @Lady I added a new section on "Mastodon and the fediverse", see what you think -- https://privacy.thenexus.today/mastodon-a-partial-history/#mastodon-and-the-fediverse
A small, community‐oriented Mastodon‐compatible Fediverse (GlitchSoc) instance managed as a joint venture between the cat and KIBI families.