I’m silencing (not blocking) two instances dedicated to NSFW content. If you still want to follow users on them, please do! I mainly don’t want them filling our federated timeline, but I have zero desire to prevent anyone from seeing it who wants to. As a practical matter, I can’t financially afford to maintain mirrors of all their posted content.
When an admin fails to police their own content, or even to respond to complaints at all, it’s not reasonable to allow their instance to pollute the timelines. That’s why I’m silencing pl.smuglo.li.
One of my users complained that they received spam from @firstname.lastname@example.org, whose timeline currently looks like:
It turns out this whole instance is screaming with spam red flags:
- It doesn’t verify email addresses1,
- The site that the spambot is advertising, MastodonUserMatching.tk, is a redirect to vinayaka.distsn.org (which is on the same domain as the Mastodon instance2), and
- The bot’s source has the same name (“vinayaka”) as the subdomain it’s spamming ads for.
I conclude that this instance is specifically deployed to allow and assist spamming, and as such, I’m suspending the 2.distsn.org domain effective immediately.
The Free Radical policy on harassment is pretty simple: I will not allow anyone – local or federated – to let a guest feel unsafe. This is my living room and no one can come here and harass my friends.
My general guideline is to take the minimum action necessary to address a problem. If a guest can themselves silence an annoying person and that fixes it, awesome. If the problem escalates and requires dropping the banhammer on a whole instance, then so be it.
I wholeheartedly support other instances that do what it takes to protect their users.
Several times I’ve compared this instance to my living room. I think that’s a powerful and accurate analogy and I’d like to explain what I mean by that.
I silenced our first domain this morning (and updated the status page) because a user pointed out questionable content and I agreed with their assessment.
Much has been said about that particular instance and I’m not getting into all that. It did want to comment on the rationale behind the action, though: