flipping docs

Server blocks/defederation

On Hometown/Mastodon, you can mute/block users or servers. However, the server admin (me) can also mute or block remote users/servers for everyone on flipping.rocks. I regularly monitor for bad servers/users and communicate with other admins. When it concerns a server with users who follow or are followed by flipping.rocks users, I ask our users for feedback. I will also let you know if I have to temporarily limit a server for spam.

Muting a server is also known as limiting or silencing.

Blocking a server is also known as suspension or defederation.

What is the difference between muting and blocking a server?

Muting a server limits how visible posts from its users are. You can still look up and follow people on muted servers, and you will get notifications and replies from them like normal. However, posts from people on muted servers who you don't follow will not show up in your reply notifications or hashtag searches. When someone on a muted server tries to follow you, you will have to manually approve them, even if you have manual follower approval turned off.

Blocking a server essentially blocks every account on that server. That means:

  • you will not be able to follow anyone on the blocked server, and they will not be able to follow you.
  • your existing follows and followers from the blocked server will be permanently removed. If I later unblock the server, you will have to look up and follow each other again manually.

Why are servers muted or blocked?

The main reasons servers are muted:

  • a lot of spammers are currently making accounts there and it is a temporary measure
  • they are poorly moderated: e. g., they have rules against bigotry and harassment, but the rules are not well-enforced
  • they are a major source of low-effort picspam accounts, "reply guys", etc.
  • the admins/mods do not have their shit together

Very large servers with open sign-ups tend to fall into this category.

The main reasons servers are blocked:

  • they are a consistent source of spam, illegal content, etc.
  • they are sources of harassment
  • they permit or endorse bigotry like racism, misogyny, transphobia, homophobia, ableism, and other things against our rules. This includes servers that advertise themselves as "free speech" zones.
  • they federate/interact with many servers that fall into any of the previous categories

Which servers does flipping.rocks mute/block?

All the servers flipping.rocks has silenced or blocked are listed on the About page.

How can I get a list of all my follows/followers from a particular server?

In Settings → Follows and followers (flipping.rocks/relationships), you can see a list of all your follows/followers. You can sort and filter by the type of relationship, activity level, and more. However, there currently isn't an easy way to list follows/followers from a particular server.

CSV

In Settings → Import and export → Data export (flipping.rocks/settings/export), you can export a list of all the people you follow in .csv format. You can import this file into a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, or LibreOffice Calc, and split the "Account" column by using @ as a delimiter. (You may be able to do this in the same step.) This will let you sort or filter the spreadsheet by users' servers.

Ye olde command line

If you can use a terminal/console, you can use the command-line programs curl and jq to generate a list of follows/followers from a given server using the Mastodon API.

Most operating systems have curl built in, and have jq in their repositories. If you don't have them installed, you can get instructions here:

curl: https://curl.se/
jq: https://jqlang.github.io/jq/

[Detailed instructions to come.]

How to access accounts on blocked servers

If a server is blocked by flipping.rocks, you will not be able to see any of its users using a web, phone, or desktop app. However, there are still ways to see users' posts.

Alternate accounts

If you have an account on a different server that does not block that particular server, you can follow and be followed by people on the server. Likewise, if people on the server have accounts on different servers that flipping.rocks does not block, you can follow and be followed by them.

Before the server is blocked, you can ask people if they have any alternate accounts or share your own.

Web

If the server allows it (most do), you can view user profiles in your web browser. For example, if the user is @user@mastodon.example.com, their profile URL is https://mastodon.example.com/@user. You can see all their public posts, though you will not be able to interact with them with your flipping.rocks account.

RSS

Mastodon automatically generates an RSS feed for an account's public posts. If the user has their RSS feed enabled, you can access it by adding ".rss" to the end of their profile URL. For example, if a user's handle is @user@mastodon.example.com, the RSS feed is at https://mastodon.example.com/@user.rss.

If you use an RSS reader, you can add the feed to get updates whenever there is a publicly visible post. However, you will not get followers-only posts or direct messages.

You can also turn any RSS feed, including user feeds, into a Mastodon account you can follow using feedsin.space. This can be a bit finicky, so if you need help, contact me and I can set it up for you.