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For new people wondering why Mastodon is on thousands of servers instead of one:

-It helps protect us all against Elon Musk scenarios. It's very difficult for anyone to buy a network made of thousands of independently owned servers. (It's the same reason why no one owns the world's email network, because there are so many independent providers out there.)

-If your server misbehaves (or sells out to a malevolent billionaire), you can move your account to a different server, or even to a brand new server. Decentralisation means you're never trapped on a site you hate.

-Mastodon is an open platform where anyone can start their own server, and they don't need tech knowledge if they use a service like masto.host or federation.spacebear.ee

...and there are lots more good reasons too, to do with servers using alternative Fediverse software etc, but I'll save that for a future post 😁

@feditips I know reposting is a faux pas for some here, but I passed on the explanation for some twitter newbies, on twitter.

twitter.com/nonlinear/status/1

@jimrecht @feditips I dunno, some people here get very particular when you crosspost from mastodon to twitter and vice versa, somehow (I don't follow them and I don't partake their preferences)

@nonlinear@mastodon.social @jimrecht@mastodon.green @feditips@mstdn.social it's not about linking Twitter posts, it's when people link their Fedi accounts to their Twitter accounts and all we see is their Tweets.

@evelyn @feditips @thatonecalculator @jimrecht I think people can do whatever they want in their feed and if you don't like it, don't follow them.

So what if people repackage content? Let them have it.

@nonlinear@mastodon.social @evelyn@misskey.bubbletea.dev @feditips@mstdn.social @jimrecht@mastodon.green Actually, no, because

1. It invades local/social/global timelines.
2. It encourages using fedi as nothing more than a backup to twitter.

You haven't been here a while, so it may take you a while to learn what's generally fine and what isn't, and that's okay. But you can't come into a space and tell the people who are already here that we're using our platform wrong.

@nonlinear@mastodon.social @thatonecalculator@stop.voring.me @jimrecht@mastodon.green Someone crossposting their twitter account to their fedi account creates an interaction between the two in which the twitter account is primary, and people on fedi who follow them out of genuine interest must suffer seeing badly formatted retweets leaking through the inbetween. It's genuinely frustrating to see this. Of course, I cannot prevent people from doing this, but I don't see why I should have to pretend that I don't have any feeling on it.

@feditips I am new here and like the idea of de-centralization but I saw a huge problem comparing to centralized one and curious how can I solve it, I saw a lot of fake company accounts ( ie: TechCrunch ) and those accounts are sharing fake links which directly affected my opinion on credibility of the environment. If the rea TechCrunch joins mastodon how will I know that they are real one ?

@typhoon

There are a few methods for verifying identity, the easiest one is if a company hosts its own instance.

If you look at the full address of an account, the last part tells you which server it is on. This can prove whether it's official.

For example the European Union has an account at @EU_Commission which is on the europa.eu domain owned by the EU. This proves it is an official EU account.

Another alternative is to add a special code to your own website which proves that you own a specific account. This will cause your website address to turn green, verifying that you own the site, which in turn verifies your identity.

For example the Tor Project at @torproject has verified that it owns torproject.org, which is the official Tor Project site, so the account is also official.

@typhoon

If TechCrunch joined Mastodon, I would expect them to either set up their own server at techcrunch.com or verify their website address as techcrunch.com, or both.

This would show they are the real account and not a fake.

@typhoon

You can verify your ownership of a website by going to Edit Profile > Profile Metadata, add your website address, copy the verification code and paste it into your website's page code, then click "Save Changes" on Mastodon.

Your website address will appear on your profile and it will be green to verify you own it.

@feditips Thanks for the answers! I hope the real TechCrunch joins to this platform soon.

@typhoon Part of the problem is that the flagship Mastodon instance (mastodon.online) does not actively filter out the "bad actors" instances that host the fake accounts. Hence, you are seeing those fakes.

On a well moderated instance, this would not be an issue.

@feditips

@feditips Oh I totally see the reason, I'm just having the damnedest time figuring it out.

@feditips That's all very true, thank you.
Just one point: Google controls a big enough part of the emails of the world that its anti-spam policy makes it hard for small servers to function. When all my mail are classified as spam, even though there's only my own address on this server, Gmail is enforcing its monopoly position...

@feditips@mstdn.social mastodon does not define the fediverse so "alternate fediverse software" does not exist, rather all the other platforms define the fediverse on the same level as mastodon does, or conversely mastodon too is "alternate fediverse software"

@robflop

I'm trying to keep things simple for new people 😁 so yeah, it's not strictly speaking accurate.

Yes, Mastodon is just part of a much bigger Fediverse. I was going to do a new thread about that later in the week, to encourage people to try PixelFed, PeerTube etc.

@feditips@mstdn.social Please include direct alternatives to Mastodon like Misskey or Pleroma in that thread too

@robflop@misskey.io @feditips@mstdn.social I don't think this is ever going to happen, they constantly talk about fediverse as if it were one and the same as mastodon. Fedi belongs to Gargron in their heads, and this is what they tell new joiners. why even have an open protocol, what's the point, this is just depressing

@robflop@misskey.io @feditips@mstdn.social when I explain AP to people I talk about the parallel with email. It's fairly intuitive, acting like users won't get this stuff is an obvious charade and it's reprehensible but hey what can I even do.

i agree, it's always mastodon this and mastodon that. What mastodon wants, mastodon gets, and the rest can go fuck themselves, so to speak.

@robflop @feditips especially when pleroma and misskey server admins can choose to not require emails for registration, while for mastodon this is impossible.

@robflop@misskey.io @feditips@mstdn.social only including masto to me also seems quite western-centric. ignoring the fact that at least misskey is common (more common than mastodon i assume) in japan is not really nice towards that part of the world.

@robflop bigest part of the fediverse is Mastodon actually but, of course, there are other softwares to complete it @feditips

@feditips So is that why for all of those multiple servers we need multiple accounts...?

@Demonic_Akumi

No, you don't need multiple accounts. One account is enough to communciate with other servers.

I'm on the server mstdn.social, you're on the server mastodon.online, but we can interact.

You only need one phone to make calls, you only need one email account to send emails, you only need one Mastodon account to interact with Mastodon.

The servers talk to each other, so when you use Mastodon it looks like you're on one network.

@feditips Ah because originally my friend had made an account on social but I couldn't follow him when I was on online so he had to delete his social account to make an online one so we could follow each other.

@Demonic_Akumi

You can definitely follow people on mastodon.social from mastodon.online.

You didn't need to delete your account.

@feditips I'm very puzzled then as when they linked me to their account I tried to hit follow but it said I was not signed in when we tried.

@Demonic_Akumi

1. Sign into Mastodon

2. Copy and paste your friend's Mastodon address into the search box

3. Your friend's account will apear in the search results, click on it and click follow

@feditips @Demonic_Akumi so what makes one unique is your id (or handle) + server name it belongs to? In email terminology , emailID + Email server? But I can have same ID on Google and Yahoo and both can talk to each other. I assume that’s not the case here because there is some centralization where “a service” checks for uniqueness of ID (regardless of server)??

@Iampatelrp @feditips @Demonic_Akumi I'm new to all this, so hopefully someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but likening it to an email address is exactly right. The same name can be used across servers by the same or different people.

Email:
someone@gmail.com
someone@outlook.com
someone@yahoo.com

Mastodon/ Fediverse:
someone@mastodon.online
someone@mast.to
someone@mstdn.social

@Iampatelrp @Demonic_Akumi

@speeb is exactly right, that's exactly how it works.

There is no central service checking stuff (unless you count the domain name system used by the internet in general).

There is no "fediverse" or "mastodon" central authority, just like there's no "email" central authority. It's just thousands of independent servers talking to each other.

Each Fediverse server has its own domain name and own set of users. The uniqueness comes from the combination of the username and the server, because only one person will have that username on that server.

@feditips @Demonic_Akumi @speeb thank you. It makes lot more sense now. Will move on to creating my own server now

@Iampatelrp @feditips @Demonic_Akumi Ha. I did the same, but I'm not entirely sure that's the right move because it might limit discovery. Really not sure yet.

@speeb @Iampatelrp @Demonic_Akumi

The discovery issue can be somewhat helped by relay servers, but I don't know much about them as they're more of an admin thing.

@feditips @speeb @Demonic_Akumi so there is nothing centralized DNS? Or are you saying it’s hard to be discovered? I don’t want to be discovered 😀😀as much as I want to connect with other servers

@Iampatelrp @speeb @Demonic_Akumi

I meant that if you start your own brand new instance, you won't see anyone and no one will see you. You then have to follow people and hope they follow back, and it can take time for new servers to get visibility on the Fediverse.

Relay servers make this process more quick by letting you federate without having to be followed directly. However, I have never used one so I can't say more than that!

@feditips @speeb @Demonic_Akumi interesting. I thought we can discover other server just as easily on personal servers as much as on mstdn for example. Thanks for clarifying

@Iampatelrp @speeb @Demonic_Akumi

If you know someone's account address, or someone else knows your account address, there is no problem. You just enter the address and click follow.

But if someone is looking for you in a search, they will only find you if someone else on the their instance has followed you at some point.

People can still follow you, you're not blocked or anything, but it will just be harder to discover you if no one follows you.

Equally, if you're alone on a brand new server and you're not following anyone else, there will be no results in any of your searches.

That's the discoverability problem that relay servers try to help.

The discoverability problem goes away anyway (even without relays) as you follow more people and more people follow you, but it can take time.

@feditips and for all the German speaking People there is @markus from weingaertner-it.de/ to help you setup your own Instance of #Mastodon, #Pixelfed, #Funkwhale, #PeerTube, #Matrix and more. 😉

@Iampatelrp The focus is on the German market. But I also have customers in Italy, the Netherlands etc. The English version is in preparation but will take a while. @kranzkrone @feditips

@feditips One of the best things about this is that you can modify the code as you wish (but you also have to publish your source) so you can add features or change things you don't like.

(Open my profile on my instance for an example)

@feditips New here. At a glance it feels like Discord servers with social media profile/feed mechanics.

@MH1982

I think Discord is centralised and closed source?

The servers here are all independently owned and run.

@feditips Aye, but the enduser experience is identical on the surface until someone 'above' attempts to exercise control.

@lps @feditips I just commissioned some art of my pup lmao, so now I have to check-in to micromanage that transaction lol.

@feditips Just asking as Im kinda unclear: Can you follow profiles hosted on other server? or does it essentially limit you to the users on that server? Sorry if this has been asked before!!

@Skellysoft

You can follow anyone, doesn't matter what server they are on 👍

Don't apologise, please ask any questions you have!

@Skellysoft

It's like email, you can email anyone even if they're using a totally different email provider.

The servers on Mastodon talk to each other, and when you use Mastodon it feels as if they are all one network.

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