The Mastodon Vibe

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 2 min read

Here's Andy Bell on why Mastodon is giving him weird vibes. It's worth reading, so check it out, but I've got a few comments to add.

The tone policing makes me want to scratch my eyes out

When I started using Mastodon in earnest last November, this bugged me too. People who know me know I'm pretty agreeable in most situations. I have strong opinions (ahem), but I'm basically always respectful. But even I was getting tone policed on Mastodon those first few weeks for things I thought were pretty mild. Things like mentioning Elon by name or suggesting that quote posting might be a nice thing to have got me chastised by random people who wanted me to:

  1. Content warning any Twitter talk
  2. Call him "Elmo"
  3. Think about someone other than myself when it comes to quote posts
People relentlessly calling Twitter the “birdsite”

True, although I feel that has calmed down. I do find it a bit odd, and I don't do it myself, but it doesn't bother me.

Sooo many content warnings for literally everything (I know you can remove them)

No idea who Andy is following, but my feed has content warnings almost exclusively for TV spoilers and politics stuff. I agree that months ago people were too aggressive with expecting basically anything be content warning-d, but I sometimes go days without seeing a CW in my feed.

I miss the chaos, speed of information and humour on Twitter

Twitter definitely feels bigger, and the algorithm definitely surfaces more funny stuff. I think Mastodon is generally more polite, which makes comedy a little tougher, and quieter. I don't think either of these are terrible, but I understand why you might be left wanting when you are used to the casino-like dopamine hits that Twitter is designed to deliver.

I want to focus on the last point because this has definitely been a contributor to my recent ick. I’ve noticed a few folks getting frankly, horrible about people moving back to Twitter recently and I think it’s a bit unfair.

Again, I'll have to take his word for it, but I have not seen this in my feed, thankfully.

Also, you might be having the best time on Mastodon and hell yeh, that’s great. I’m really happy for you. Don’t use that to minimise other people’s less-positive experience though!

This is spot on. We're all walking, talking anecdotal data. We should feel free to share our experience, but we should not diminish the experiences of others just because they differ from our own. I'm invested in making Mastodon a great place, and it's everything I want in a social network right now, so I really don't want to move anywhere else. I'm @[email protected] if you wanted to follow along.