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 Just to be sure, as my mind reads it with an unsure tone.

And also sorry for the inconvenience.

@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 @Sylvhem @Mayana I 100% agree. I've set new toots to be public, and replies to be unlisted. It can always be changed on a case-by-case basis anyway, but I struggle to come up with a situation in which you'd need replies to be *that* visible.

@Jakobiner @Sylvhem I personally have unlisted always set as default post visibility and I switch to public pretty much only if I use tags that I want folks to be able to find my posts by

@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.

@Jakobiner Hashtag search is ... inconsistent, though I find for sufficiently old content unlisted toots don't appear.


... for testing.

@Jakobiner ... and FYI for me the above toot does not appear when I click on the hashtag ref in it.

@dredmorbius interesting. In Pleroma, clicking the Hyperlink ref doesn’t find the post... but going into the search finds the post. So yeah... inconsistent.

And yeah, the FO scope would make more sense, with the way you describe. I agree.

@Jakobiner Search seems to look at recently-cached/accessed data. Hashtag search does not.

@Jakobiner @Sylvhem I think that I’m advanced computer user but this post shows that I haven’t been aware of such problem. I think that it should be described better in apps. For example #metatext client doesn’t have default visibility settings divided into new and reply posts.

@Sylvhem I have myself a bot and declared as such (in account parameters) : by default, all posts are unlisted. I was considering this as a feature of Mastodon but after all it's probably played at the instance level 🤔

@Sylvhem Agreed. This would solve a problem that I currently solve by muting the overwhelming majority of bots. I don't want to have to do that but they just flood the timeline.

@Sylvhem I doubt any number of bots turning their posts to unlisted will make the federated timeline actually usable, but I've double checked all of my bots and two of them weren't posting unlisted before, which is now fixed.

@Sylvhem Also consider reporting such bots suggesting they be silenced by the local mod (effectively making all that bots public posts unlisted on the local instance),

@Sylvhem @Mopsi agreed- and its annoying. i usually block them but that is not the solution, either.

@Sylvhem @reticuleena
Good morning, i have the same problem to use the federated timeline. Some times ago i asked, if it is possible to filter the federated timeline by my own. There were no positive answers. Do you know a way? Thank you in advance

@Sylvhem Two questions about my bot on (@dicewarebot).

1) Does being on mitigate this issue at all (or somewhat)
2) How does one post to unlisted? (Especially if the botsinspace instance doesn't mitigate this issue.


1. It doesn’t.

2. Logged in as your bot, go to and select “Unlisted” as the default posting privacy.

Hope this helps :).

@Sylvhem TIL there are instances where federated timeline was ever useful :-)

@isagalaev Most instances that aren’t ^^'.

@Sylvhem Also an option to suggest to Mastodon ? "Hide bots in federated timeline".
Pleroma can rewrite incoming messages to do that kind of thing, but Mastodon don't have a message rewrite feature.
@Sylvhem Gargron likes to ignore usuability features. Maybe it's a feature that could be accepted in Glitch-Soc ?

This reminds me the response I got when I asked for an option box when creating polls to easier distinguish between single response / multiple response. The switch between one and multiple responses is still hidden in Mastodon, while it is explicit in Glitch-Soc (and Pleroma).
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Eldritch Café

Une instance se voulant accueillante pour les personnes queers, féministes et anarchistes ainsi que pour leurs sympathisant·e·s. Nous sommes principalement francophones, mais vous êtes les bienvenu·e·s quelle que soit votre langue.

A welcoming instance for queer, feminist and anarchist people as well as their sympathizers. We are mainly French-speaking people, but you are welcome whatever your language might be.