A gentle note to our fellow QOTO users. [ personal reflections by @design_RG ]

A gentle note to our fellow QOTO users.

[ Originally posted as a series of spontaneous, un-edited Toots here. ]

Folks, good morning, hope you all are well. A personal request of mine.

Please consider trying to reduce the amount of General posting, as we have so many short messages with momentary thoughts that more serious posts are getting buried.

A couple of things to suggest, which I think could help:

  1. If you post a topic, and follow up with a reply to it soon, talking to yourself with an update, etc.

You can greatly help reduce clutter in the Local timeline (and all the federated ones) if you set the privacy level of the Second and further messages as ‘Unlisted’.

They WILL go out, and anyone interested in the first post will see the following replies. These replies will NOT appear in the Local, Home (for your Followers) or Federated feeds.

Keeping it simple - - First post, you can use the Globe icon, Public setting.

Replies to follow - - Use Unlisted, the one with the Open Padlock icon. See illustration below.


  1. If you have friends in other servers and simply wish to chit chat with them - mostly, not the local users.

This can be done without clutter, if you select ‘Unlisted’ , the open padlock icon too.

Insert their @ usernames, and they WILL get notified and respond to you, all without cluttering Public timelines.

People who Follow you WILL see Unlisted messages – they are NOT Private !! :open_mouth:

  1. Need Privacy?

Use the Direct Message privacy level, and it’s like an email - from you to the people included in the message ONLY.

Will not show in any followers feeds, or on your personal profile!


  1. About messages that are kind of private, but you don’t want them in your Profile Toots List?

You can get that result, some privacy and NOT showing in your profile to a default or anonymous user - - by using the * Followers Only * (closed, locked padlock icon!).

  • Your Followers will see the message in their Home feeds.

  • They WILL get a notification if their usernames are included.

  • They WILL ALSO be able to see those messages later, if visiting your profile.


Thank you for being a valued user at QOTO.

At this Moment, I am simply a very active user, although I have been nominated for a Staff Moderator position in our December election as announced here.

The opinions expressed here are my own, and might differ from the instance administration.

But I think we NEED some clarification as explained above, or we risk losing valuable members who come here for what QOTO is UNIQUE for.

The S T E M community, science, Engineering, Tech and Math interested people.

Your comments are welcome, thank you for your attention and considering these suggestions.

You can reply either here or via Direct Message to me if you prefer.

Enjoy your stay, friends. Let’s make this place better and nicer everyday.

RG signing out. :wink:

A follow up post, in response to @freemo’s reply Toot here.

Thank you for your response and thoughts. I will reflect on them, but have to say up front that the series of posts above came from my own personal reflection, as explained, and we are now opening a dialogue on the suggestions I made as well as the problem I personally feel we are starting to have.

The suggestions I made, of using post privacy controls to minimize clutter in the feeds are based on my reading of a good Mastodon guide, written in the earlier days of the then-new platform.

When @Gargron@mastodon.social was proposing and building it, with others assisting and suggesting things.

That guide, written by a journalist (I would have to dig in my History for an URL) was good – she listed those as good etiquette, and I think they are good for the instances if used.

We are getting a large volume of generic posting, which is sometimes line noise and detracts from more interesting content.

In the Local timeline, I do not have anyone (well, two, extreme cases) silenced so their posting in this pattern doesn’t detract from my enjoyment of the system.

In the federated timeline, I will use silencing and blocking even at the instance level, as per my personal decision on what is valuable to me.

What do you think of the suggested use of Privacy controls, as per posts above?

I don’t think they are too imposing on people. It’s like controlling one’s voice when speaking in a mobile phone in a public place.

(continues, on to discussing using multiple instances)

(continued, in regards to usign multiple instances)

You are correct in mentioning that I do have multiple accounts, in different instances. These do serve my purposes, but let’s clarify that I see and list QOTO as my main instance - even to the point of including my full handle here in my less used Twitter account.

So QOTO is a place where I set my home, where I post quite publicly, help users, banter, etc.

I do have interests that I feel would be better pursued in a less public manner, one of the reasons for my other instance presence.

  1. We had a discussion thread that has stalled, regarding foreign language use here at Qoto. One of the solutions to that problem is to find a smaller community where the language is used, which I have done.

  2. The Local timeline here is sometimes slow, and I do like to participate in Local timelines - seeing and responding to posts of people we know more closely than those who pass in the Home or federated feeds.

  3. Politics, I intend to keep discussions at a minimum here, to avoid conflicts and wearing long arguments. I just joined an active community which aligns with my personal views, and will be more open in the subject there.

There’s no point for me to argue with the Universe, all the troll troops that wander around in places like twitter.

  1. Security and advanced networking are also personal interests of mine, and i have an account at a place more specialized in these subjects.

Don’t think I would have the contact I have with people in these other instances if I limited myself to a single one.

Clarifying — this is all my personal choice, and a do NOT reccomend this to a beginner user.

It’s mostly for someone with varied interests, a lot of free time to employ and who enjoys the Intellectual stimulation, which pretty much describes this cool cat. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: :smiley_cat:

A follow up post, in response to @freemo’s reply Toot here. Regarding Privacy controls on posting.

Regarding using ‘Unlisted’ privacy setting, as explained in my suggestions (initial posts in this thread):

A. It was suggested as the Privacy level for the Second and following posts in a series of toots.

They will not clutter local, home or federated lines.

The content is not hidden, and can be discovered as usual; via finding the first, Public message; or visiting the user’s profile.

I think there is a need for better undestanding of the Privacy settings - as they allow not only for Privacy control, but also for a degree of etiquette as described.

B. for a conversation strictly in a foreign language, I would prefere not to limit a user’s communication, but suggest they could do it perfectly fine with an Unlisted series of posts. Maybe leaving the door open for anyone curious to see what it is happening, by having it Public for the first post.

Unlisted posts could reduce our problem with many small posts, foreign langage ones which are hard for moderation.

C. I am not advocating people should hide all their posts or even most of it, just that a chain of fast posted dialogue in default Public privacy mode does clutter the feeds, local and elsewhere.

A follow up post, in response to @freemo’s reply Toot here. Regarding spammy content posting.

I do see a problem with small short posts and clutter, and it was my motivation to start this now extensive thread. Which anyone interested can peruse in full if they wish. :wink:

Yeah, the Noise level has increased, imo.

I hope a gentle suggestion, with an explanation and how things could improve could help that.

I did mention at some point above having two local users muted on my personal account; and that was for behaviour that I consider annoying and unacceptable.

I would prefer to keep silencing at zero level for out local instance.

While I would like to keep the complete blocking (as in Non-federation) of a large one which i see no value at, and prefer no interactions or followers observing my personal account here.

This is a politically motivated decision, and comes from my view of that system and their problematic past.

A post in which I located a Guide to Mastodon, written in 2017, and which had been referred to in the previous posts.

And I have just located that Good Guide from 2017!!!

Yes for browser history and my remembering it was on a Github page.


** Great Read. NOT for beginners, but a well done and detailed guide. **

I will be posting all of the content of my thoughts and points above in a Blog post sometime soon as well.

A follow up post, in response to @freemo’s reply Toot here. Regarding future directions of QOTO community and acceptance into Moderation team.

Thanks Dr Freeman, I am happy to have expressed in a lot of detail what goes in my mind in this particular moment.

I think we are living a historic moment in the internet - the abuse and omnipotence of the large tech companies are finally clear enough that people are reacting, in different ways.

I feel we are in a new project all together, and like the way this is turning out to be. Have been putting full time work hours daily into my fediverse reading, writing, learning. Trying new things and expanding.

Went to bed pretty late last night, since I had joined a new instance and can’t stand not to have a decent avatar and profile background; even if editing the bio was left for later.

I enjoy Qoto, and do not intend to push or take the system in a certain way. The way staff is open and dialoguing, that would be possible, but only if consensus was built, in which case the proposal would have merit.

Hope we can have a dialogue on any points you are interested in. :+1: