@SoapDog I think if people have to go out of their way to customize a client in order to have a nice experience the battle is already lost. I don't think this would fully shield against unwanted drama either as your friends might have a different configuration where they would engage with trolls and you would become ensnared in drama from that. I don't know if I want to use ssb much anymore. There is cool ideas and discussion but there's way too much shit from people I don't care about. It's extremely emotionally demanding to deal with randos.
@SoapDog I think there is a technical solution in this case and it is fairly simple: don't display posts from non-followers. But that must be done in every client to be effective. Without that feature, clients are effectively an abuse lightning rod where if you speak up you will be piled on by people who you didn't invite into your life to begin with.
@xj9 I am following people who follow people who I've blocked, so while pubs might be an issue for drive-by randos I still think the main problem is the assumption that your friend's friends's posts should be visible. Another huge problem is that people will see activity in channels that they aren't invested in and don't really care about, which causes topic sniping with unproductive counter-posts. In real life, when I have friends I don't share everything with them. I know what topics we can have a productive discussion about and which topics I know we disagree too much to engage. The tech surfaces every message to everyone (in an immutable way no less), which simultaneously stifles saying what you really think while showing messages to people who are not the intended audience.
This dynamic makes ssb not so much a personal log where you can write your off-the-cuff ideas and share them with your close friends, but a public space where randos will snipe messages and make you feel shitty. Or else you will see shitty messages from randos and feel compelled to chime in because most everyone can see their garbage ideas and leaving those around unchallenged in a public space pushes the window of acceptable conduct to a bad place where newcomers only see drama and toxicity and will peace out. Doing all this makes everyone involved feel shitty and exhausted.
the rando problem
It's becoming more clear that some technical choices about visibility that ssb takes create very high levels of unnecessary drama. Randos with "ideas" constantly swoop into channels such as feminism with poorly researched theories for all to see, including new people who will be put off the community for good. It's also tiring to deal with this stuff. If you don't deal with it, other people will see it which creates toxicity (because posts are waaaaay too visible). If you deal with stupid shit, you get yelled at even when you do it politely and people feel "attacked". (These are often the same kind of people who complain that other people "can't take a joke" or whatever when they say something fucked up.)
All the clients work this way so at this point I don't expect it's really possible to fix it. It's a bad assumption at a fundamental level, but now we know what happens when you build a p2p social network with that display mechanic. Twitter, facebook, and tumblr don't really have this problem to anywhere near the same degree because you don't see posts you didn't sign up for. Friend-of-friend gossip may be a neat way to implement a p2p protocol but it creates pretty poor outcomes when it comes to a social network.
Hi Paul and welcome to ssb. This message just popped up into my feed. Sometimes messages can take some time to replicate.
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