The more time I'm on Mastodon, the more I'm confused about social media.

This is really the first social media forum I've tried to be into. Most of my online internet socialization is with nerdy people into comics, video games, and role playing. MU* (Mush/Mux) based servers is where I do most of my online socializing.

Mastodon, Twitter, all of it is a very different beast than I'm used to and I'm very, very confused.

Does no one really want to have discussions about things? Is Debate dead?

Are things like this just soap boxes to shout things into the void in the hope of getting an answer?


For instance, we here at are on block lists for what seems like odd and silly reasons to me.

'Lower Moderation/Free Speech Space'. seems to be the answer there.

And I mean, okay, block whomever you want.

But isn't a blocklist like letting someone else tell you who or what to follow? That's what it seems like to me.

It's the shaping of information and it's very confusing to me because it's the same sort of thing big companies like Twitter do, just for a different reason.

Apparently 'Free Speech' is a buzzword for extremists?

Personally, I'd rather have those people saying what they want to say. Better to let douchebags identify themselves by giving them a forum than trying to 'protect' people from the unpleasant truth that human beings are generally garbage to human beings who aren't in their 'tribe'.

@Surasanji Its mostly just the constantly triggered extrimist population that inhabits the darker regions of mastodon. I've been a free speech advocate on here a few times and even had eugene himself unleash his wrath on me for it. It really is pathetic :(

@freemo I mean, if it comes down to it and becomes my little sandbox, I'm fine with that.

I like the people I've met here, and despite disagreements in ideology or belief, I'd rather have a forum where I can talk to folks and try and get an idea of their thought processes and opinions.

I don't mind being exposed to opinions that upset me. It's not ideal, sure, I'd rather not be upset- but it doesn't cause any lasting issues.

People are weird and crazy and beautiful and silly and so very confusing while being evil bastard covered bastards with bastard filling at the same time.

A mind blowing paradox.

@Surasanji opinions never upset me, only the actions that often result from it do.. so i am never upset by a persons opinions. I just think their a moron and move on.

@freemo Eh, I think it be safe to say I mean beyond opinions. Like world views, ideas, concepts even. There are a lot of things that I don't like, and make me uncomfortable.

I was just always taught that you can't shy away from those things that make you uncomfortable. You've got to figure out why it makes you uncomfortable, be aware of it.

Eh, I guess I'm just a little disappointed in general at the nature of Social Media now that I've been in it a few months.

But, the forum here is still very young, as far as forums go. Maybe it'll change for the better. Can't abandon it just because it isn't what I thought it might be, right?

@Surasanji Yea i cant argue with any of that. Though to be fair the issue extends beyond social media. Its most of the english speaking world, and even more so america. Just outside of social media we tend to have the advantage (or disadvantage) of only being exposed to our small little part of the world.

@freemo @Surasanji I just saw the thread where the response to Freemo's thoughts on open borders of you're not a welfare state were met with name calling of bigotry and racism. That certainly makes it feel like reason and debate are dead. And if we've moved on from reason, have we left civilization behind?

I think online media makes a lot of people worse, less reasonable, and more likely to forget that they're dealing with real humans, not just pixelated avatars.

@SecondJon @freemo I can assure you that the anonymity of the internet increases the asshat factor considerably. Names and words are as real as story book characters.

They might as well not exist to the human brain. People need to actively remember human beings are there on the other end of that series of toobs.

@SecondJon @freemo In short, no one gives a shit if you hatefuck Clifford the big red dog.

Welcome to my TedTalk.

@SecondJon Sadly while some people on social media can be very good at being mature (as @Surasanji often has demonstrated) there is always that group that feels being offended and namecalling anything that disagrees with them is the same as being a "white knight" and almost sees such action as nobel.

I, as always, entierly respect anyone who disagrees with me no matter how stupid i may find the argument, presuming they are respectful in their debate. But as you pointed out so often it is little more than name calling anytime someone presents a point that is even remotely critical, even if that person may not entierly agree with you.

In my case I generally supported immigrants and dont see it as soemthign worth putting resources into. I even want to see open-borders, which you think would make people see me as being on their side. But since i made the point that open-borders and welfare systems are not entirely compatible I am effectively indistinguishable from hitler in their minds... oh well, such idiocy isnt really worth my time.

@freemo @SecondJon I'm really quite good friends with a number of people who are diametrically opposed to many of my personal views.

We argue and debate and discuss things. Sometimes we yell and shout and get super pissy at one another when emotions flare.

Forgiveness follows quickly- I guess I'm just expecting that respect you're talking about. Mutual respect for a fellow thinking, feeling being.

I'm not a world expert on anything, and I'm very much so aware of that. I often actively seek out alternative opinions. I like to research. I like to understand the reasons behind actions as much as is possible for me.

I am deeply saddened that people who I'm sure are truly lovely individuals seem to be so pigheaded on the internet. I only see one part of them, though. I don't see the whole picture.

On Open borders vs welfare, I have a bit of experience with both as an immigrant to Israel. Most Israeli immigrants get a welcome basket to get them on their feet (if JEwish, at least). But, I feel like Israel is a bit of an odd duck when it comes to all of that.

@Surasanji @freemo I have friends of wildly different opinions and thoroughly enjoy discussing the polarizing issues in real life. I find that it's rarely fruitful online.

I'm convinced that at some level we can find agreement so we're not in direct opposition, and work from there,and that I don't need to base my opinions or confidence on today's snapshot of my views never being challenged.

If I really understand someone's different position, I'll likely see some reason in it, and that will inform my own views. Then I retain respect for the other person and grow myself as a person.

When we're so quick to attack the other as the embodiment of evil, then we're saying that any influence from them will stain ourselves, so it must be forbidden. And we don't grow out become better informed and opinioned people.

I've experienced a few reasonable conversations with others where we disagree here on and mastodon... Not daily, but more than I have since the advent of mega social media sites.

I didn't know the instance had been blocked, maybe I haven't paid close enough attention. Do they have a block against treating people with excellence, even if they're not in exact agreement on something? That's what seems to have a high point here.

@freemo @Surasanji Agreed. I thought your posts were quite reasonable and the reaction of "DOG WHISTLE!!11! BIGOT!1!!" Didn't make a bit of sense. They didn't fit at all. Here you were saying that you are not in fair of deportation and could support open borders meant the embodiment if evil.

I enjoyed the attempt to say that "illegal" did not describe what a person did by breaking the law, but "undocumented" did, as if the issue is resolved if we just document things. Would someone just write down that Jim crossed the border? Then he'd be a documented immigrant and all would be resolved. Hand the man a pencil and he'll do it himself.

I've heard a suggestion of Unauthorized Immigrant as a third option.

I'm convinced that we overlook the real issues of bigotry and racism when we find a dog whistle in everything and find all who disagree to be bigots or fascist or whatever.

@SecondJon In the end the idea of arguing over semantics is always a wasteful one. I have no issue with the term "illegal immigrant" what i do care about is if your hateful towards immigrants. Your choice of words just arent that important to me so much as your intent.


@surasanji It's because you're focusing on the mastodon crowd. Mastodon drew its original userbase from far left twitter, so the "you can't say anything we don't like" doctrine stuck. Aim your posts at the pre-mastodon instances and you'll get replies. People love to debate whatever on this side.
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QOTO Mastodon

Welcome to the QOTO instance

QOTO: Question Others, Teach Others

A Mastodon instance for scholars in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and all yearning to learn.

A free speech space. No censorship here.
We do not silence or block any instances.

Unique Features
  • Inline math Latex support - Use \ ( and \ ) for inline LaTeX, and \ [ and \ ] for display mode.
  • 65,535 character limit for toots (usually 500)
  • 65,535 character limit for profile bio (usually 160)
  • Full text searches - usually you can only search hashtags and usernames
  • Halcyon / Twitter clone front-end - Want the interface to look exactly like the Twitter interface? After you signed up just go here to login:
  • PeerTube - We host our own PeerTube server with open registration for up to 100MB, but all of our active users get unlimited quotas. Sign up here:
  • Professionally hosted with nightly backups
  • light modern theme with full width columns (not fixed)
  • Several extra themes - including mastodon default and mastodon default with full width columns (not fixed)

Message to New Members

Welcome to the Qoto Mastodon instance, its like twitter but better!

Please don't hesitate to Direct Message me or tag me in Toots (what we call tweets here) if you have any questions or even if you just want to chat.

If you are new to Mastodon you may want to check out this official getting started guide:

We are a free speech, no censorship zone. Feel free to talk about whatever you want, say whatever you want, as long as it is legal you wont ever get banned from the server. With that said we do have a few rules: No spam, and no using multiple accounts to circumvent personal bans.

This server isnt a typical mastodon server either. I have personally modified the code on this server to give it several unique features you wont find on other servers.

If you are new to Mastodon here is some useful info.

First off, if your coming from Twitter and you'd prefer an interface that looks exactly like twitter, then just go here and login with your Qoto credential: No need to create an account there, your account on this server will work just fine. Just enter your username in the following format @[username] so for me it would be @freemo But personally I think our default skin here is way better.

Basically Mastodon is a decentralized twitter. That means anyone can run a server (like Qoto) that people can sign up to and use just like twitter. The unique part is how the servers talk to each other.

If you want to tag someone on the same server as you then you can just do @user however if you want to specify someone on a different server you can do @user@server. If someone follows you or mentions you on any server on the internet you'll get notified right here. So my full tag is

So now a bit about the timelines, there are three (unlike twitter there is just one): Home, Local, Federated.

The Home timeline is just like what you'd expect on twitter, that is, everyone you are following.

The local timeline is any post made by anyone on your local server.

The federated timeline is what is cool. It combines the timeline of everyone on the server into one. This way you can see the posts of everyone that is followed by anyone on the server (assuming the post is public). So this timeline is a close representation of everyone on the internet who has Mastadon (though not really). Moreover we have a bot here that goes around and federates with everyone it can find, so our Federated Feed is rather robust covering thousands of instances.

Only other thing that is unique is listed vs unlisted posts. You have normal privacy settings like on twitter but you also can set a post to be listed or unlisted. If it is listed it acts just as i described. If it is unlisted then it acts just as a normal tweet would but it doesnt show up on local or federated timelines anywhere.

Also this goes without saying, but don't be racist, sexist, hateful, and don't harass people. Its a pretty shitty thing to do, don't be shitty!

The following is the list of QOTO administrators/moderators.
Note: The account listed as the administrator is NOT an actively monitored account. It was selected so as not to show favoritism among our moderator group, we are a democracy and even our administrators and moderators are held to the same high standards of decency as the rest of the community.

***We will never advertise on QOTO or sell your information to third-parties***