Please, if you have a bot, make it post in unlisted rather than in public. There is so many bots posting in public now that the federated timeline is becoming unusable.
I don’t usually ask that, but can you boost this to spread awareness?

@Sylvhem Not only bots. I take issue with people having conversations on public timelines.

I think original posts should be made public, if wanted. Any comments on this post should be unlisted by default - unless manually changed to public. This would reduce noise in the federated timeline and improve discoverability for everyone.

@Jakobiner This brings up a number of additional questions and issues.

I default all my toots to "unlisted" (a partial compromise to my CW aversion). Scope may be individually toggled broader or narrower.
Hashtags aren't searchable unless toots are public. I find this a misfeature, but will toggle scope to global when including hashtags meant to be searched.
People will occasionally toot personal matters followers-only. Given my followers list all but certainly doesn't match theirs, any reply other than a DM strikes me as ill-advised. (Stepping in on such discusions should usually be with extreme sensitivity regardless.)
Thread scopes generally should be no broader than the parent or any subsequent upstream toot. Note that the "public" vs. "unlisted" distinction isn't one of scope, strictly, but of amplification. And searchability.
"Followers only" especially seems ill-advised. Unless a profile is locked, this is not directly controlled by author, different users' scopes effectively never intersect, and determining just what scope is is effectively impossible.

The design and consequences strike me as a bit of a mess.

And as noted earlier, the Federated stream usually has limited utility.


@dredmorbius I'm not a hashtag user myself, so I completely overlooked this.

I just tried searching a hashtag on an unlisted post from someone who I am not following, and it came up on the search results. Of course, I am using Pleroma. So this may be a Mastodon issue?

> "Thread scopes generally should be no broader than the parent or any subsequent upstream toot."

Pleroma also has an instance-wide setting to automatically copy the scope of the post that is being replied to, but this doesn't really solve the other issues.

This does not solve the problem you listed about replying to "follower's only" posts or my problem about public replies (i.e. with this setting, replying to a follower's only post sets your post also as follower's only - and responding to a public post also sets your post as public, instead of unlisted).

> "The design and consequences strike me as a bit of a mess."
Yeah, I agree. It feels like there's a misunderstanding/non-consensus as to the purpose of the "unlisted" and "public" amplification, and how interacting with a follower's only post should work - or a different vision of how they should be treated.

So, I think we can agree on the following(?):
Responding to a public post -> auto-set reply to unlisted (not strict)
Responding to an unlisted post -> auto-set reply to unlisted (not strict)
Responding to a follower's only post -> auto-set reply to DM (strict)
Responding to a DM -> auto-set reply to DM (strict)

These three changes would make smaller scopes more understandable, while still allowing people to amplify their public/unlisted posts.

@Jakobiner On scope; A response to a followers-only post should inherit the original author's followers specification, Not your own, as its widest possible scope.

A DM would be acceptable but not required.

From the perspective of respondants to Followers Only threads, the scope should not be their own followers.

The problem with FO as it now stands, to my understanding, is that any discussion becomes fragmented through the intersection of dissimmilar followers scopes of respondents. To the extent profiles are named, content quoted, or context leaked, the intent of the original author is not respected.

Otherwise, yes.


@dredmorbius @Jakobiner I think that there is also a problem with discussion threads presentation in most of Mastodon clients. They present every post rather like only one atomic message, with some option to show original content which is replied, rather than list of whole threads. And now it seems that user should maintain this by setting unlisted / FO setting for readable federated timeline etc.

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