I mentioned this in a private message to someone recently about why a small handful of servers block qoto. I wanted to reiterate it here for the new comers on QOTO who dont know the history:

So there are some servers out there that demand every server int he network block every instance they do, and if a server doesnt block an instance they block then they block you in rettatliation.

Their reason for this is quite flawed but it goes like this.. If we federate with a bad actor instance and we boost one of their posts then their users will see it and defeat the purpose of the block. The problem is, this isnt how it actually works. If they block a server and we boost it, they wont see the boost, thats how blocks work.

The issue becomes even more complicated when you consider the fact that these servers, by virtue of their policy, have huge block lists where they block tons of major servers. So in order to satisfy them we too would have to block a huge number of servers.

This means you have a choice, you either join a server that isnt blocked, but has a huge block list themselves, or, you join a server that doesnt block and be blocked by a small handful of servers. Obviously that means on QOTO you will have bigger view of the world than you would on any of these others servers. In fact QOTO has onne of the largest federation footprints of any server in the network.

I want to also explain why we choose the decision we did. Years ago when this controversy started and servers across the fediverse started blocking there was a divide of people taking sides. WOTO was one of the few servers that didnt take sides and allowed people read content from any server (but with strict hate speech rules). This caused a huge influx of people,s pecifically from the LGBTQ community, onto our server. It turns out many people relied on us not-blocking for their physical safety. There were big name biggots (like milo yanappolus) who were on the network. They used their accounts here to watch his account for doxing so they could warn themselves and their community and protect themselves accordingly. In fact we added a feature just for them called subscriptions which allowed them to monitor accounts without following them so they could do so anonymously.

In tthe end for the safety of the LGBTQ community here we refused to engage in mass server blocking and instead encouraged our users to block servers on an individual basis and provided access to block lists for them to do so. But some really misguided servers blocked us anyway.

Thankfully the servers blocking us are few and far between and are limited to only the most excessive and aggressive block lists. As I said, QOTO has one of the largest federation footprints on the fediverse,

@freemo As someone new to the whole thing, is there a place to learn more about this history and see how Qoto compares to the other servers?

@Joshuamcvey depends how you want to learn about it... we have tons of posts discussing it, links to historic posts... block lists with threads discussing it, our own forum discussing a few blocks and issues... but no one single place.

@freemo Got it. I pretty much a lurker anyway, so I don't need a single link. Just curiosity mostly

@Joshuamcvey what would you like a deeper dive on, maybe i can help either explain or point you to some resources


@freemo I guess I want pretty general info. I can do the research myself later, but here's my thoughts:

How big is the biggest instance and how does Qoto compare?

More info on how the block lists work (instance-wide and personal).

What block lists are most used?

And what kind of vulnerability do instances have to bad actors doing false reporting?

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@Joshuamcvey I can touch on some of this.

The biggest instances mastadon.social, and ther eare several general instances bigger than us. QOTO is the largest STEM instance on the fedi including, as far as I know, tech instances.

In terms of reach (the number of people who can see you and are seen) QOTO is in the top 20 of all instances. We are not however the least blocked. This number is based on a bomcination of blocking and being blocked so we have one of the biggest reaches. The servers that do block us have massive block lists (and are frankly very toxic). As such those instances have very small reach compared to us.

When a server blocks annother they simply do not communicate, this applies on a personal level as well.

the most used blocklist is here, it is also the most responsible as they do due dilligance on the instances they block and report this: fediblock.neocities.org/

There is sadly a lot of vulnerability to false reporting and is up to the instance admin to bother to reach out to the other admin and do some due dilligance. There are many irresponsible servers looking for reasons to block and as such this is a constant problem.

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QOTO: Question Others to Teach Ourselves
An inclusive, Academic Freedom, instance
All cultures welcome.
Hate speech and harassment strictly forbidden.