birdsite/eelsite/whateversite (long) 

These are a few thoughts from someone who uses Mastodon somewhat sparingly, but still finds it useful and worth checking in on. My views are likely shared by some and shunned by others. Consider them just one old dude's opinion.

First, not an opinion: The Twitter sale isn't final yet. There's a lot of hoops to jump through, including lots of stuff having to do with Twitter being a public company, meaning the SEC is going to be involved, and we all know how much Musk gets along with the SEC. Plus he could still change his mind (especially if he finds out his FrEeSpEeCh NoLiMiTs utopia isn't going to sit well with a lot of Twitter's advertisers.) I know it's a Mastodon tradition to dunk on Twitter and slam it at every opportunity, but maybe this isn't fait accompli. Maybe save the grand pronouncements and dramatic exits until it is.

If you still use Twitter, use Twitter! If you don't, don't! And don't be ashamed either way! Twitter is useful to certain people for certain things, myself included, and if you find it useful for whatever purpose, great. You have certainly considered the drawbacks and tradeoffs if you've signed up for a Mastodon. Everyone's tolerance for that sort of thing is different. Know your limits, stick to them, and don't let anyone try to force theirs on you. Mastodon, and Twitter for that matter, are different things for different people, and different people should approach them as such.

Ever since the announcement, people on Mastodon who are afraid of Twitter's worst-of-the-worst coming over have been making a lot of posts which are variations on "these are our rules and norms, if you don't like them, go away." This is understandable. People are protective of things they care about, and communities are things people care about. And a lot of people consider Mastodon a community that they want to defend and protect. All that said... while this type of attitude might discourage some of the "undesirables", it will attract others who want to sow chaos and be jerks; and while this attitude will encourage people who are thoughtful, interesting, and have no problem with the rules, it will discourage worthy individuals who are afraid of stepping on land mines. It's fine to have rules and enforce them. But consider whether a gentle "hey, we don't do that here" (adding "we do this instead" where appropriate) is more effective than "these are our rules and we will not hesitate to yeet you back to Myspace if you even think about breaking any of them." You're never going to stop all of the jerks. Let's not make our policies focus on keeping out jerks, but instead on attracting and keeping in unjerks.

That's all. Welcome to all the newcomers, and continued greetings to those who've been around a while.

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masto instance for the tildeverse