Fellow site admins, is there a good working way out there to share domain blocks? It’s a tricky topic, I know, but it would be nice to share/discuss with other site admins.

@jwildeboer I have been thinking the same. It's like sharing pi.hole lists, I suppose. I think it'd be a good feature to be able to automatically consume block lists.

What I'm less sure about is if it's a good idea to automatically publish block lists on e.g. a server URL... because when you do that, you basically announce to bad actors how to circumvent your settings.

@jwildeboer I mean, the solution is relatively simple: publish e2ee encrypted lists to instance admins you trust.

@jens @jwildeboer Matrix does this by allowing server admins to subscribe to blocklists of rooms to whom access is granted. Mastodon might be able to recreate this at the user level.

@downey @jwildeboer I would love to see this at the user level, but also at the instance level.

I'm having a parallel German discussion here on much the same topic; the strength of federation IMHO is that you can find communities/servers that reach consensus on what they do not want to see.

Social problems need to be solved locally, not centrally, or the solutions become too broad or too narrow. Instances are a nice middle ground between that and leaving the burden all to end users.

And then if you want to be a complete mad man like me you just go ahead and roll your own instance
@downey @jwildeboer

I think it's a good service to the users showing them who has been blocked.
They might not agree with your blocks and decide to switch to another instance.
I had this problem on a large part of the fediverse has been blocked and as a user you have no way to know that... I realized it after a long time because I noticed some conversations didn't make sense and then noticed I was missing 3/4 of the messages.

@rastinza That's a good point. However, there are two distinct things here, one is visibility to existing users, and one to potential ones.

I think the ideal solution to your latter issue would be to have a message akin to "some conversations in this thread are missing due to instance blocks". This wouldn't leak any information to people wishing to circumvent a block, but at least give you a hint as to what's going on.

The first thing, I think, is the harder one.

Yes, having a message like that would be nice.
Unfortunately that is not how mastodon works: if one user in the conversation is blocked you do not see his messages nor all the replies it receives.
Thus if you open a thread from the beginning you will miss all conversations where a blocked user wrote something
If you open a thread towards the end, you will be unable to retrieve the original toot if a blocked user wrote in the middle

@rastinza Well, blocking is active. It would be feasible for mastodon to provide better solutions here.

If it encounters a blocked message it could instead of fetching it insert a new message saying "The next message in the thread is blocked", and even insert a link into it in case users want to manually follow it after all.

This doesn't solve the issue with opening a thread towards the end. Here, you could fetch the blocked message and similarly include a stub. That's more load, of course.

@rastinza I'm not even saying these are good solutions necessarily, just that it's easy enough to come up with some.

These are in fact decent solutions, however until something like this is not available I believe it would be best to publish the block list

@jens @jwildeboer
A lot of instances have the list of silences or blocked instances somewhere in the "about" pages. I think this is good, since then potential users can inform themselves. Example:

@bergamlaimerin @jens Running a Single-User instance like I do makes my blocklist probably a bit too specific to openly share. But that’s my gut feeling only. So before I switch that option on, I’d love to learn from fellow admins (of small instances) how they deal with it.

@jwildeboer @bergamlaimerin @jens pleroma let's you automatically expose what you block, so all I have to do is yeet the instance.

I only totally remove servers known to intentionally host CP and MAPs

@jwildeboer my practice is to just follow #/fediblock, and when i see a block suggestion, i first block myself and then boost. same if i spot a domain to block myself, i first block and then toot with #/fediblock. that way the blocked domain won't see it right away, and i've yet seen any repercussions coming my way.

i don't know if there are more elegant ways.

The problem with this approach is that many blocks have been added to #fediblock for nonsense reasons or some downright personal reasons.

It is my personal view that you owe any potential users the widest selection of people that you can safely grant them.

Most full server blocks are wholly unnecessary. Usually it happens because there are single digit numbers of troublemakers on (instance) and these admins just block the whole instance rather than just the troublemakers.


@neo As I am on my own single user instance, I think I have a bit more freedom to block domains like gab and other (IMHO) weird stuff. And yes, there is some rally seit stuff out there :( @Stoori

yeah, if you don't have (and don't plan to have) anyone else rely on you, you can pretty much do as you please


@neo To be honest, it’s one of my main reasons to go single user instance. I will never add more users exactly because of that :) @Stoori

@jwildeboer that commenter was a prime example of how freeze peach commentators can use #/fediblock to find people who think strict moderation is important. After taking a closer look at their instance i think it's a good idea to block.

Also, even bigger instances need to keep their users safe, and if strict moderation and blocking policies are described in instance rules that is what the users expect and they won't complain of blocking bad instances.

@jwildeboer I've learned that #Pleroma publishes the blocklist in /.well-known/nodeinfo by default. Maybe #Mastodon can do that as well?

@diorama thanks! Now to find a way to import that instance wide, not per user for my own little instance.

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