Community Requests for Account Suspensions (1 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 1 of 3: Background and context on Tŵt Cymru moderation goals and policies.
“Tŵt is the community-led microblogging network for Wales and the Welsh, at home and abroad.”
This is the founding statement for Tŵt, an instance of Mastodon. Mastodon is
“a free and open-source self-hosted social networking service. It allows anyone to host their own server node in the network, and its various separately operated user bases are federated across many different servers.
Each operating server has its own code of conduct, terms of service, and moderation policies.
This differs from centrally hosted social networks by allowing users to choose a specific server which has policies they agree with, or to leave a server that has policies they disagree with, without losing access to Mastodon's social network.”
In recent weeks, one account on the toot.wales instance of Mastodon has received a report submitted by a fellow user of the service, a community member. Reports are a built-in feature of Mastodon that allow individual members to signal to the server operator that a particular toot or account is in contravention of the server policies, and this then establishes an audit trail for actions taken by moderation staff. Due to the federated nature of the content, this report can be “remote” – a report made by a user of a different server that is seeking to stop that content from coming in to that server; or “local”, a report made by an account on the same server as the offending account.
In both cases, the members with moderator privileges are then able to review the report and act upon it, with generally four possible outcomes: do nothing, warn the user, silence the user, suspend the user.
Before I dig into the particular account in question, the report our staff received, and the community responses to our handling of the report, I’d like to lay out some context for why toot.wales exists, why it’s on Mastodon, and why I am enthusiastic about having this sort of problem to deal with.
Tŵt is now updated to Mastodon 3.1 which brings several new features.
Bookmarking is a new way for you to favourite something without informing the author. It's a great way to make a quick note of a toot you found helpful. You can review your bookmarks in the new “Bookmarks” menu item, https://toot.wales/web/bookmarks
To remove a bookmark, simply open that toot and click the bookmark icon again.
We're working on two Tŵt-dedicated apps, one for Android one for iOS. They are both forks of popular open source Mastodon apps and we've gathered permission to fork and re-brand with some minor changes to make your Tŵt experience even better.
Both apps will be fully available in Welsh and English language versions.
Keep an eye out for release details, but for now enjoy a sneak peek:
Toots are, by design, hard to find. Part of the underlying privacy features means there is no full text search. We err on the side of making it possible for you to restrict who can interact with you and your content.
This is part of the larger effort to prevent people finding content they disagree with and piling in to abuse the author, or finding content about them and jumping in to self-promote or steal the thread.
Thanks to some great feedback from our friends at SaySomethingInWelsh we are adding the hashtag #ymarfer – if you see the tag please consider replying as this will likely be a Welsh learner somewhere in the world looking to practise their written Welsh online!