I’ll put this in it’s own topic, because I believe that it is an important discussion and that there is room for improvement without ignoring any of the arguments brought forward against DMs (direct messages). The original discussion started inside another thread.
I believe that direct messages serve an important social function: People do not have to carry every argument or misunderstanding into public, but can ask questions and have exchanges before reacting in public.
And if we condemn the unencrypted direct message I’d say we need an alternative - not only for social.librem.one where we possibly can find the matrix account to contact people, but for all users of the fediverse.
Sometimes when I read some toot I get the strong feeling that the meaning it has to me must be embarrassing to the person who sent it. At the same time I have the feeling that the person might not have wanted me and others to understand it in that sense.
Why bother discuss something like this in public where the probability of building a conflict where none is necessary is so much higher than in private? It is a lot harder to stand back from a bad formulated opinion in public than finding out in private whether it could be rephrased or complemented by some missing pieces.
I believe that such a function and the awareness of users when and how to use it serves to make the fediverse a better place.
I also think that it is not acceptable to throw away the communication a user receives. The sender didn’t know and couldn’t guess that the receiver is not able to receive her/his direct message and this might lead to misunderstandings. Please correct me if there is an error message in response to sending a DM to a librem.one mastodon user.
Furthermore we’re always talking about freedom and this includes the freedom of choice. I’d like to be able to choose whether I want to receive DMs while still accepting that I can’t send any (because I support the argument against unencrypted DMs).
Throwing away data that had been send for me without giving me a choice to accept it cuts down my freedom.
I already made some suggestions to improve the situation:
- Every mastodon user on social.librem.one registered using an email address that could be used to forward the messages (opt-in by the user). DMs could be deleted immediately on the mastodon instance.
- work on protocol extensions to make DMs encrypted and better controllable by users (opt-in/out, custom reject messages, etc. pp.)
- at least allow the social.librem.one users to set an automatic answer to any DM received and thrown away