I’m moving away from Mastodon (+ActivityPub) due to its soon ‘post editing’ functionality being a large avenue for abuse

by Novimatrem (novimatrem@iviv.hu)

Released: 01/May/2022 at 05:35AM

Hello everyone, important news today.

I am moving to diaspora fully and permanently, for reasons this post will talk about, if you wish to continue using social media with me, you’ll need an account on a diaspora pod.

After 4 years of using ActivityPub based Mastodon and Pleroma, I’ve seen them starting to implement post-editing functionality across the board, this is a very bad thing, as it allows creatures to be easily abused and made to look like they’re agreeing to something that they are not. This is similar to other techniques involving ‘inspect element’ web development tools, or photoshopping, but with a persistent link on the actual url, and more closely relates to the practice of getting a high-up comment on somewhere like Reddit, and then editing it to say vile horrible things. As such, I no longer feel safe using ActivityPub based platforms, as in the past I’ve been made to look bad due to mis-designed systems like this, and I don’t want that to be abused again.

Then again, it’s already too late, there’s probably posts from the past that could be used and abused in such a way- the only way to remain safe from this would be to have never used Mastodon or anything based on ActivityPub to begin with, as I never knew they were planning to add this feature when I started in 2018. Nobody’s going to look at a tiny little edit history, or any indication that it’s been edited, people are too foolish for that, and will grab the pitchforks at a moment’s notice, it’s really silly to just force this onto people who’ve already been using the system for years, with very little warning.

For example;

Even simple replies like ‘same’ could be something that’s unsafe to reply as, in a post editing world.

A post by a person: i’m gay

I then reply: same

and then they could edit their post to say horrific things, and take a screenshot, then I’d appear to be agreeing with them about something awful.

I have many regrets, and sadly, using Mastodon and Pleroma has become one of them, due to its overseers not seeing this glaring avenue for abuse, especially given there was already a perfectly good functionality that did essentially the same functionality, but made it clear that the post had been made anew, in the “Delete & Redraft” option.

I’m quite annoyed, but, I’m over there now, yeah.

My social media will seemingly be on diaspora (and specifically as @novimatrem@iviv.hu https://iviv.hu/people/ad5501b0ab2f013ac994723c915ba918) from now on.

If you would like to be able to use social media with me in the future, you will need to use diaspora

You can find a pod to join that’s appropriate to your location by checking the two sites below, if you don’t already have an account

https://wiki.diasporafoundation.org/Choosing_a_pod

https://diaspora.fediverse.observer/

Additional note: diaspora is usually spelled with a star (asterisk) symbol after its name, but due to technical limitation I can’t do that here.

You can e-mail me with thoughts, feedback, etc. at TheNovimatrem@protonmail.ch

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