Hi, welcome here and thanks for your message.
Yes, you are coming in a transition moment, this is not how we operated so far.
What happened is that we had a lot of people coming in the server that speak languages we do not understand, mainly Chinese, but also Indian languages. That makes it impossible for us to mod, so illegal content, stuff that breaks our ToS, it is all slipping through.
You can see how that is a problem: other instances defederate with us, because of our content, and we are legally responsable for it.
Right now we haven’t decided anything regarding the language, we are still discussing it here, in the clear. Only thing we have done so far has been putting a box when the user registers and ask them to fill it with the reason why they want to join.
In I think around 50 requests since yesterday I can tell you I accepted only 1, so it’s been very effective. A few words would suffice, but they don’t even do that.
Regarding the “English Only” I am still a bit skeptical myself, maybe because I’m the only non-native English in the team (I’m Italian).
I lean more on the idea that every European language should be allowed in basically the same way, as what’s important in the fediverse is the quality of the content and we may manage to mod that, but this is a team work and if the others agree on another route I’ll accept it and help them.
I get that, and I’m sorry about that. Mastodon is still very young, and this kind of problems usually do not arise in centralize platforms… a whole new set of troubles emerge that we didn’t anticipate. This is a very interesting experiment, and sometimes things go a bit sideways.
I feel the same way, as I wanted to add Italian friends. Well they can still come, it’s just more complex if they have to choose the timeline and understand it before using the software.
Let’s see what the others say