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from Tŵt Blog

Politics, Sociopolitics, Politicking, and CWs

Discussing politics on Mastodon is fast becoming a hot-button topic. I’ve seen a lot conversation lately about whether or not “politics'' should be behind a CW and there’s one side asking for “politics” to be CWed and another side declaring it to be the most important thing in the world and should never be CWed. (skip the intro and go straight to the play)

I do not see or hear the ninety percent of people who rarely speak up. As with all things, a small selection of voices is speaking up one way or the other (ref. the 1% rule).

We’ve worked hard on explaining the subtleties and expectations in our Community Code of Conduct, but nonetheless it’s important to note two things: 1. Sociopolitics and lived experience are some of the most important things people should be able to talk about in a welcoming, inclusive community 2. Avoiding politicians’ and political parties’ endless back and forths, and the angry or frustrated army of voices in favour or against, is one of the most important reasons many are on Mastodon instead of, say, Twitter.

With the recent influx of new members from Twitter, we are running into our members who want less of (1) and members who want more of (2).

I’ve worked on a few different ways to communicate the issue, but I’ve settled on a short play, which I present to you now. If you’d like the short version, skip to the summary



MABEL: a mother of two, a nurse, and fan of handicraft, most usually a supporter of OTHERPOLITICAL PARTY, although Mabel doesn't get too involved unless there's an election happening PIERCE: a supporter of POLITICALPARTY ESMERELDA: a supporter of OTHERPOLITICALPARTY CHRIS: a young person, usually withdrawn



The family room of a small suburban bungalow. There is a cosy settee and a mid-size flat-panel television.


Saturday morning, elevenses. The children are at their respective sporting events, the spouse is down the allotment pulling beetroot and potatoes. Mabel has to do the shop, the wash, collect the children, figure out how to pay the electric, and think about dinner.

MABEL (to herself)

Oh dearie me! I have so many things to do today! I think I will take one hour to entertain myself and catch up with friends before I do the very serious and important things I must do today. I shall watch the French and Saunders box set. The ones with Mel Giedroyc in, I like her. (MABEL inserts the DVD and settles in to watch, checking her tea is still hot, and opens her text messages to chat with a few friends. She watches two scenes and laughs out loud at the funny bits. The phone rings, it is Pierce.)

PIERCE (shouting)



That may or may not be something I need to worry about, but right now I'm watching French and Saunders, the ones with Mel Giedroyc in, I like her.

PIERCE (shouting)



Okay, but, can you say it somewhere else? I'm watching French and Saunders. With Mel G...

PIERCE (shouting)



I think politics affects us all, each and every day, but now is not the time nor pl...

PIERCE (shouting)



I understand, and it's probably the most important thing to you right now, clearly, but there are times and places where what you're talking about is encouraged and engaged with by people who have expressed a desire to discuss these matters, maybe go there?

PIERCE (shouting)



But THIS isn't the place. I have chosen to rest, catch up with friends, and entertain myself for a small time, after which I will focus on important things. I'm expecting a friend to ask for help with stitching any minute now. Please go somewhere else or at least lower your voice so I can ignore you for a while.

PIERCE (shouting)

DO NOT IMPEDE HOW QUICKLY MY IMPORTANT MESSAGE CAN BE HEARD BY ALL! (ESMERELDA joins the phone conversation using a technology akin to party lines)


Actually Pierce, Mabel is correct. It's OTHERPOLITICALPARTY that has made the correct statements on this important issue. Also, POLITICIAN from POLITICALPARTY is a liar and a thief.


Esmerelda, even though I probably agree with you, please don't assume my point of view. And I'm really not thinking about these things right now, I was just watching French and Saunders for a minute.

ESMERELDA (Shouting)



Hi Mabel. I'm having a really bad day and I have no-one in my immediate vicinity to talk about this with, so I'm reaching out to my community for support. I believe my issues are due to POLITICALPARTY policies, and hearing POLITICIAN talk about them is really upsetting me today.


Oh my goodness! I was watching French and Saunders but this is more important! Let's talk.


Thanks Mabel, I really appreciate it. Can I come in?


No, it's too loud in here, let's go down to that nice caff down the road and talk there? I think it's called Organic Roastadon. It's a lovely place built specifically to allow people to be heard and engaged with.


That's oddly specific, but yes please, let's go there. Thank you for engaging with me. (Mabel and Chris go to Organic Roastadon and talk. They like it so much they meet there regularly for six years.)



The warm and inviting cafe "Organic Roastadon". Most tables are in use but there are some seats available. The cafe is the busiest it's ever been, and the manager looks a little worried. Nonetheless, everyone is chatting and sipping hot drinks while comforting music plays in the background.


Saturday afternoon. The weather is sunny with clouds on the horizon.


Mabel, it's been so nice to catch up. I can't believe it's been six years already since we started meeting like this. It has really helped me out in ways I could not have imagined.


I love this time with you Chris, and I get to meet other new people here too. Look around, most of these people I've managed to have a chat with at some point. I love how close knit and supportive we all are. I especially like it on Sundays when we all bring a photograph of our favourite sheep.


I'm just so glad I can talk about personal issues that affect me and those around me without being drowned out by... (A bell sounds and the door of the coffee shop opens, it is Pierce, blocking the doorway, and behind him Esemerelda is struggling to get past.)

PIERCE (shouting)



Actually Pierce, you are incorrect. It's OTHERPOLITICALPARTY that has made the correct statements on this important issue. Also, POLITICIAN from POLITICALPARTY is a liar and a thief.


Aaaaaaaaaagh. (Blackout)


Here’s how we put this in our Community Code of Conduct:

Politics and politicking are a divisive issue for many. Politicking (i.e. activities performed to acquire or retain the power of politics), seeking someone’s vote or agreement, content intended to sway political opinion, content about politicians, elections and electioneering, or party political messaging should include a CW.

We don’t enforce the CW with an iron fist; we are asking you to be mindful of others.

We are not asking you to suppress your lived experience; we are asking you to restrain from the day-to-day, neverending red vs blue team wars.

We are not asking you to silence yourself; we are asking you to use hashtags and CWs so others can filter those posts out if they want to.

And mostly, we are asking you to allow everyone the space to use the service in the manner that best fits them, and not force divisive topics into everyone's feeds.


from Tŵt Blog

Mastodon Version 4.0

Significant changes are coming, here's a guide to some of the most meaningful

During the upgrade our look and feel will be different while we accommodate the new user interface.

  • Filter posts by language: when following a multi-lingual account, you can make it so only the language you understand lands on your home feed.
  • Follow hashtags: just like following a person, you can now follow a topic
  • Filter individual posts: if a specific post makes it past your filters, you can filter the post by itself
  • Post translation: server providers will now have the option of using LibreTranslate or DeepL for translation service (no Welsh support as yet, sori)
  • Language preferences for trending statuses and links: previously, you could only see trends in your current language, for less popular languages that meant empty trends; now trends in your preferred languages are shown on top
    • Language attribute for posts – will allow screen readers to understand what language each post is in. We understand many of you like to post bilingually, this is more for all of the other languages in use
    • Support for uploading WebP, audio/vnd.wave, AVIF, and HEIC files.
    • Update emojis to Twemoji 14.0:
    • Web UI changes: all users now able to see Web app logged-out, remote interactions now use a cut and paste mechanism
    • Change label of publish button: Toot button will now be called Publish, in accordance with the larger Mastodon community wishes. Domain name and site name remain as-is
    • Fixes: dozens of quality of life fixes to existing functionality

For a full look check out


from Tŵt Blog

(reposted from August 2018)

Tŵt is a bilingual online social content platform, very similar to Twitter in some ways, and very much not in others. You may well be thinking the same thing I heard a more than a few times during its development; “do we really need another social media platform?” and I hope you’ll read on to see if indeed there might just be a good answer to that question.

First, the similarities.

Tŵt allows anyone to create a member account and post messages up to 500 characters to the network; we call these “Tŵtiau” or “Toots”. These messages can contain #hashtags and links, as well as video and image files. Members can subscribe to other members on the network, and reply to anything in their content feed.

Familiar ground for many, but what makes Tŵt a meaningful alternative?

Technologically the differences are privacy and ownership. Unlike Twitter, Tŵt makes it simple for authors to control who can see their content, who can follow them, and they can completely remove themselves from the network at will. If desired, all content can be retrieved and even transported to a competing service providing it uses the same underlying software.

Philosophically, Tŵt is completely open source and is operated as a non-profit; no advertising, no dues, no fees of any kind. And Tŵt comes with clear guidelines about what is considered unacceptable content.

Tŵt itself is built on a base software called “Mastodon”. This software platform uses open Internet standards to communicate short form messages, and is freely available to all who wish to use it. Mastodon itself was created by an independent software developer Eugen Rochko with the specific aim of creating “smaller, tight-knit communities… less prone to harbouring toxic behaviour.”

This then leads to a federation of “instances” of Mastodon, of which Tŵt is but one. So, while Tŵt itself is a small community, there are over two million Mastodon users on the larger, federated network – opening up access to communities around the world covering a range of topics.

But the big difference is that Tŵt was built from scratch to serve as a bilingual community platform for Wales and the Welsh, at home and abroad. The Mastodon software is now fully available in Welsh or English, as are all the Web interface components, meaning every user is free to consume Tŵt entirely in the language of their choice.

Which leads us to the “why”.

I launched my first technology business in 1996 and have built many sites and applications for both public and private sector, relishing the benefits of universal access to knowledge and the ease for anyone to publish their own content that the Web has brought. However, as a technologist, I have shied away from any major personal use of the various social media platforms, seeking – most likely unsuccessfully – to keep my personal data out of the hands of advertisers, political parties and data aggregators.

Over the years I have built several successful online communities around various topics, and having been introduced to Mastodon I wanted to use the platform to build a contemporary social network that I would personally feel good about using and recommending to others, one that reflects my values and beliefs about community ownership, privacy, and content moderation.

At about the same time I was becoming increasingly aware of the continuing need for Welsh language technology options. I’m a supporter of the Cymraeg 2050 goal and I wondered what I could do to help. Having grown up in South Wales, I tried to picture what a truly bilingual technology platform might look like, not favouring Welsh nor English, but instead reflecting the Wales I know and love, one in which conversations in both languages can live happily side by side.

Especially, I wanted to build something where a Welsh speaker could Tŵt in Welsh and be replied to English (or vice-versa) and everyone would be okay with that.

There is a renewed zeal in international Welsh momentum, from groups like GlobalWelsh, the SaySomethingInWelsh community, Wales Week in New York/Hong Kong/Paris — we even have Eluned Morgan as Minister for International Relations now and she just completed a tour of North America to promote Wales and our language. The efforts by Welsh ambassadors like Walter May and Ty Francis working to convene the Welsh diaspora are a meaningful change in the scenery of Wales abroad, and it is my hope that Tŵt can provide an additional channel for these groups and communities to continue to unite and communicate with each other.

Along the way Tŵt was advised by incredibly helpful individuals including Rhoslyn Prys and Carl Morris of Hacio’r Iaith who are powerhouses in Welsh language ICT; various individuals in Welsh media; and of course an army of translators. Fifty people were invited to join and send in their feedback, and based on all this great input Tŵt launched on February 1st.

In our first month I’ve already met Cymrophiles and Welsh speakers from around the world, and we’ve seen stimulating conversation about the Six Nations rugby, post-Brexit Wales, poetry, shared some photos, and helped learners practise their Welsh.

We hope the platform serves to unite the Cymry at home and abroad, to keep us up to date on interesting news and events, to meet new friends and to revel in our shared culture and spirit. We are all editors-in-chief of our own lives, and we are now all able to express ourselves with a freedom that no generation before would have believed possible.

So, if you think you’d prefer your online social networking to be a bit more local, a bit more friendly, a bit less invasive and data-driven, consider joining our small but growing community. If you’d like to meet Welsh learners, far-flung expats or just people who love Wales then why not help us offer them a warm welcome? It’s your Wales, your voice, dy Gymru, dy lais, and we’d love to hear from you! We are online and on mobile at – see you there!


from Tŵt Blog

A quick note for new members jumping ship from Twitter. First off: welcome! We are incredibly glad you have come to see what Mastodon and Mastodon servers like Tŵt are all about!

We have a quick start guide here:

There are answers to our most frequently aske questions here:

In all cases, you will find a community of friendly people ready to help you navigate a slightly different experience than you're used to on Twitter. Ask your questions in the app and you'll have an answer in no time!

This is not Twitter or an attempt to clone Twitter. It's the same but different, and is intended to be so. We are micro-blogging for people who want to control their social media feeds, be free of harassment and abuse, and want to join a more communal, supportive service that is non-toxic, non-corporate, non-surveillance.

We hope you enjoy your visit, and please feel welcome to stick around, subject to our Community Guidelines:


from Tŵt Blog

Community Requests for Account Suspensions (3 of 3)

[This document will be published in three parts, such that Part 1 can be referenced in future conversations, Part 2 deals with a very specific set of account concerns, and Part 3 addresses some long form questions posted to the moderators on Tŵt.]

Part 3 of 3 Response to community questions

Several members of, as well as users from other Mastodon instances posed several questions and comments around our response to their concerns over one of the accounts that some people felt deserved stronger moderation than they were perceiving. These questions are preserved and answered below.

I would argue that if both moderators and members of the Tŵt.Cymru community don't appreciate the account, that's reason in itself to get rid of it, even beyond any breaching of community guidelines or lack of content warnings on distressing content. It seems the account is not seen favourably by the community

Social media, like all Internet communities, are subject to the 1% Rule, also known as the 90-10-1 rule. This rule reflects the observation that for any given community roughly 1% of the community are vocal, active contributors, 10% respond/participate, and 90% consume passively. The comment above was in response to one moderator, not all moderators, and two members, not all members. Three people stating their views does not necessarily reflect the broader community, and this underscores why moderation should never be overly reactive to a vocal minority.

Relegating moderation discussion to the report facility, while encouraging auditability, is the exact opposite of transparency — it encourages moderators to form a different culture to the users on the site, entrenches seperation between moderators and regular users, and is not auditable for people outside of the moderation team.

Staff conversations are not for public consumption. Publicly displaying moderator logs, decision-making, discussion etc. opens the door to harassment of both the account being considered for moderation as well as the volunteer staff themselves. In addition, this can easily lead to derailed threads discussing these actions. I do not believe it encourages the formation of a different culture, this is not a de facto outcome of the guideline. Either there is trust between the community and the staff, or there isn’t. If there isn’t, there are larger issues at work than knowing who said what about which account. The transparency will be in the actions of the moderators and the instance itself, not in their private discussions.

A fedi node is part of a community with other fedi nodes. It's very important to see how your neighbours are handling an issue in order to know if you should continue federating with them. Making moderator discussions private means that other fedi nodes, and potential users, will have to go off the whisper network that will ultimately be formed in parallel with your moderation discussion areas.

Tŵt’s neighbours can read our Community Guidelines, observe our adherence to the Mastodon Server Covenant, and explore our timeline. Our social contract is first with users of our service, second to other Mastodon implementations, and third to the broader fediverse that can consume our content and interact with it.

It means that people can state things about your moderation behaviour and you have no immediate retaliation.

There will never be a need for “retaliation”. All observers are free to state their opinion, and act on it accordingly.

And it encourages users to be rash in favour of not interacting or being on an instance that might encourage toxic or otherwise bad behaviour,

The nature of the service is such that some instances will not federate with some other instances. This is a baked-in concept and I have no doubts that some Fediverse participants do not agree 100% with our instance. The same is true for our instance regarding others’. Our block list is public, and is based on our Community Guidelines. See

because ultimately there is no way to know what resolution was sought.

There is generally no need for the entire community to know what the resolution of a particular report was. 99% of moderator actions are of little interest to 99% of the Fediverse. There is a network of instance administrators, there is a Discourse, there is a Discord community, and there are public Pull Requests and comments on Github. It is not at all hard to interact with staff from most instances and the platform is still evolving. There is currently quite a bit of work being done on Suspend functionality, for example. (see

In the rare instances that the wider community wants to know about a particular problem, it will naturally surface, and will be addressed, or not, by the instance. Clearly, in this case, we feel there is a need to explain our thinking. This will not always be true. And I cannot be clear enough about this point: everyone is free to defederate anyone else. Tŵt has defederated with numerous Fediverse participants. I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t agree that anyone else is free to defederate with us if we do not meet their personal needs or in any other manner fail to live up to that instance or person’s understanding of the social contract.

In all cases, we are not stifling discussion about moderator actions. Healthy communities allow for appropriate discussion and appeal of moderator actions. And, when appropriate, as in this document, we will seek to clarify those actions in response to community concerns.

Did you take a break for four hours? Or did you refuse to ban them from the instance? Did you give them a second chance that is conditional on their response or their behaviour? Or something else? How can we know any of those things?

You can ask. When and where appropriate, we will answer. The broader subject about whether or not Mastodon should display these audit records in public is a question for the Mastodon developer community, which I urge all who are interested to contribute to with their requirements and suggestions. Open source development requires participation from all users of the software for it to be reflective of its users’ needs.

What is a good time to wait for you to respond? What's a good waiting time for choosing to defederate with you? Or for leaving your instance?

We offer no service level agreement on The best waiting time would be exactly as long as anyone deems appropriate. We are a young, small community with a volunteer staff who all have other jobs and commitments. The nature of the Indie Web is it is self-hosted. We have tried to create some structure around this instance to provide stability and confidence, but no guarantees are made beyond the Mastodon Server Covenant and the language found in our Terms of Service.

How do you protect yourselves against people who will inevitably see this discussion, and form word of mouth that tẘ is not a safe space for it's members or for people who interact with it?

If that assertion proves true in a broad enough portion of the Fediverse, it would signal the fact that Tŵt is not a viable exercise in its current form, and we would likely close our doors.

How can people inside and outside of the community (read: federated with) view the record of actions that have been taken in relation to accounts, and the reasons why they were taken


How can people inside and outside of the community figure out the difference between moderators having a day off, versus moderators choosing against acting against an account (For whatever reason is deemed necessary, say an account doesn't meet the criteria, or whatever).

They can ask. When and where appropriate, we will answer.

From the user's perspective, is there a tangible difference between the moderators sitting on their hands, versus the moderators deciding that an account does not meet the guidelines?

All communities must form a mutual trust with their host/moderators/conveners etc. Either this trust exists, or it doesn’t. That trust is built and perpetuated by clear, consistent actions based on fair principles of convention. If a given user does not have trust or faith in a given moderator, host, instance, they should probably find a different moderator, host, or instance.

From the user's perspective, is there a way to view past moderator actions, with the reasons why those actions were taken? One of the reasons for this might be, searching for information on someone who behaved inappropriately and harassed people, who has moved to another instance, and is trying to continue it there.

Not that I am aware of. There is a community of instance administrators where these discussions take place, there are well-informed community users who raise issues and post user-submitted reports, and there is the #fediblock hashtag. These are just a few of the ways we all manage to scrape together a federated community using open standards, and as the community grows, no doubt the underlying software will grow, too.

There are over 3,000 Mastodon servers online. Over 3,000 codes of conduct for everyone to figure out. 3,000 instance administrators to commune, share and learn from each other. I have no doubt it is far from perfect. But at its heart Mastodon and the broader Fediverse is user-centric, user-driven, community-guided. Individual instances may rise and fall in relevance, but continued participation and feedback will help form the necessary community links required for any of this to work.

In summary:

  1. The two accounts in question were not suspended, one of the accounts was silenced
  2. All administrative and moderator activities are free to be discussed, appealed, maligned or endorsed. Questions about these actions should be posed on the Tŵt platform to the Moderator staff. Staff are listed on
  3. All moderator discussions about specific accounts are private. Moderators who cannot demonstrate a consistent, impartial approach will have their moderator privileges revoked
  4. Moderator actions will likely not occur in response to DMs or public timeline discussions. Community members seeking action from moderators should file a report
  5. We are exploring ways to convene the community in a regular, representative manner to review the Community Guidelines

All of us involved in running and maintaining Tŵt are grateful for everyone’s participation in helping craft a bilingual, safe, privacy-focussed social media experience for Wales and the Welsh, at home and abroad.

Previous: Part 2 of 3 Regarding specific account suspension requests


from kolib

Рow to tighten your face at home

Dermatologists have found the cheapest way to rejuvenate.

It is quite possible to rejuvenate the face without using expensive cosmetic and plastic procedures

This conclusion was made by employees of northwestern University in Illinois (USA).

American scientists have found that to look younger without the intervention of plastic surgeons, it is enough to do facial exercises for half an hour a day. This conclusion is supported by data from an experiment involving 16 women aged 40 to 65 years.

For 20 weeks, these women, along with their instructors, performed a set of 32 facial exercises. In the future, for another 20 weeks, they did facial exercises at home, working out for half an hour a day. At the same time, participants were constantly photographed.

Images of women taken at different points in the experiment were shown to third-party dermatologists to assess their estimated age. Initially, they assumed that the average age of participants is 50.8 years. When women were asked to rate their appearance after a course of mimic gymnastics, reviewers already assumed that they were, on average, just over 48 years old.

Perhaps this is an inexpensive and safe way to rejuvenate, said the study's lead author, Murad Alam. According to him, thanks to facial gymnastics, the subcutaneous muscles become more developed and make the face more voluminous, which gives the effect of youth.

Contact to us:

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