Mastodon Instance FAQ

What’s Mastodon?

Please read CRASH Space joins the Fediverse

Where is our Mastodon instance?

Why should I join the CS Mastodon instance?

Are you a member and want to hear other members ramble on about what they’re working on? Do you want to see what other Fediverse accounts people follow? Then join!

Is there any reason I shouldn’t?

ActivityPub is not a secure protocol. If you don’t want to become a “known associate” of CRASH Space, do not join our instance.

How private will my communications be?

They’ll be mostly private because the current admin, me (Carlyn), well, I barely check my own messages, I’m not super interested in yours. Sorry.  But since I’m learning the system I might go poking around the database trying to troubleshoot and I might see something.  If I need help I might allow another CRASH Space member I trust to do the same. Also, when communicating with someone off our instance, other admins on those instances might be nosier than I am.  It’s like email where the server admin has total control.

  • Encrypted in transit, yes when using HTTPs
  • Encrypted in use, No.
  • Encrypted at rest, No.
  • Cryptographically signed, No.

Deleting your account does not mean deleting it from the Fediverse. Your posts may remain cached on other instances, even if you delete them on our server.

So really, if you’re looking for private, use Signal.

What are the rules?

We expect members to follow the code of conduct and other terms of membership while using a CRASH Space provided address, no matter who they are interacting with on the Fediverse. Accounts and servers in the Fediverse that don’t follow our code of conduct may be silenced from the Federated Timeline, potentially blocked. High volume bots may also get silenced. Members who go out of their way to follow a ton of accounts and servers that we end up needing to mute or block will have their account suspended.  This is meant to be fun. If it stops being fun, it just stops.

There are a ton of people set up to be moderators at this point. The current Moderators are those people who asked for an account in the first 48 hours and any current officers who joined later.  If you end up using your account a lot, you may find yourself a moderator, too.

The Federated Timeline: Accounts followed by you are accounts followed by the community.

If you follow an account on another instance, by default it shows up in the federated timeline and anything that account posts will be cached locally on our server, including media.  Following an account from your address means you are following that person for the whole community, although it won’t be easily evident who the follower was.  Please follow any and all of the awesome accounts you find so we all can share! If you want to follow an account that’s nominally annoying, that’s fine, just don’t be annoyed yourself if they show up silenced. Who decides “nominally annoying?” me, and, for now, any single one of the Moderators.

Please use “content warnings”

“Content Warnings” politely compress long posts or hide more provoking posts behind a “read more” text created by the user for each post.  Create content warning messages with the  “CW” button at the bottom of the compose field.

Silenced vs Suspended

The lingo for muting someone in the federated timeline is “Silenced.” Any user on our instance will still be able to follow a silenced account and see those posts in their own home timeline.  Both individual accounts and entire servers can be silenced. By default, our server will still be caching images from silenced accounts, but an additional flag can be set to prevent that if necessary.

Suspended means that no users on the instance can continue to follow that account or server.  We will try to be sparing, but apparently there are servers that serve a ton of content that is illegal to have in the US.

How reliable is our Mastodon server?

Hit and miss. It’s running on a Digital Ocean droplet with 1 CPU and 2GB memory, back-ups enabled that I estimate to be < $20/month to maintain. I’ve never worked on a Rails project before, much less had one in production.  I know even less about Docker. Your guess may be better than mine. If it goes down, it’s entirely possible it will take me 24-48 hours to notice/get it fixed.  There will be a dev-server going up so that will help. Also, Mastodon itself is changing very fast, so hold on to your seats!

Okay, so how do I join?

For now, every couple of weeks or so I’ll send a link to the CRASH Members list. Please don’t share it with non-members (see above stability issues.)

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