How to find people on librem social?

The mastodon server has the local channel and the directory disabled. How do I find people to follow? Also how would people find me? With the local channel disabled I could post loads of interesting content and no one would see it because I have no followers.

Am I missing something or do I need to find people outside of the mastodon server then look them up?

You’re missing something even though you’re right :wink: .

In the search field enter a word for a topic you’re interested in - let’s say ‘climate’. You’ll find some accounts and some hashtags (didn’t check, but I’d bet).

Click one of the interesting hashtags to find toots containing that hashtag. If you find an interesting toot, klick on the toot to (if exists) see the thread around it. Click on an author to find out what else s/he writes about.

If you find interesting people, follow them. Read what they write, take part in discussion, start tooting. People will follow you.

Yes, this is the really slow way, but I’ve not been overwhelmed by the amount of information, I had actively to look for people to follow to get opinions I do not share, I didn’t see anything, yet, that really annoyed me.

You can start by following me if you’d like and I’ll follow you :slight_smile: .

I had the same question not long ago and now I became really happy not having the local and global timeline.

I started at the beginning of July to touch the topic mastodon using Now I follow 81 people and 41 people follow me. Meanwhile I posted 339 toots. I didn’t get the impression, yet, that nobody talks to me.


Good question.

One simple way would be to follow check out @ purism, look who comments there and the posts that purism boosts/shares. This could serve as a starting point, at least into a linuxy, geeky world :upside_down_face:

Other then that, what @ChriChri said. (Instead of topics, you can also try names of known individuals or organizations, like EFF, KDE, Gnome…

(oh, and sometimes you suddenly have followers, and you don’t even know why :smiley:)

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You can try following this “FediFollows” thing, it will throw you some suggestions once in a while:

A bit later, when you are following some folks, it gets easier to find more via things they boost.

It’s interesting that this issue, the fact that it can at first feel hard to find people to follow, is at the same time an advantage: if commercial actors were allowed to use your interests to throw up things you did not ask for, you would quickly get a feed full of stuff you did not ask for. On mastodon, instead, you have nothing until you explicitly ask for it, and then you have exactly that, not a bunch of extra stuff that some algorithm has picked out for you trying to make money. You can still get ads but then it’s because you followed a company posting ads. You know what you get, and you know why.


Oh, I forgot something that I wanted to write about mastodon on The 1-on-1 message feature is disabled also.

I do understand the reason (I believe, because it could be mistaken as a private communication channel), but I didn’t find any way to substitute, yet.

  • How do I contact a single author of a toot?
  • What happens with direct messages send from other instances to my account?

@mladen, @joao.azevedo - any insight?

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As I understand… The direct messaging in mastodon have been disabled to push usage to the chat platform. T

he explanation is that use one service for one task.

Obviously, you will find them the last place you look. :slight_smile:

The main reason direct messages are disabled is because those are not encrypted and would then pile up on Purism servers. The servers would then be targets for crackers and three-letter agencies.

Everybody on L1 also has a Matrix account with the same username, which is E2EE.
Of course that’s not a solution for other instances…

I understood the implications, but the solution is not complete. There is no way to message an author.

The mastodon server could e.g. be changed to expire messages. There are probably more possible solutions than that. Did someone already look into them?

Another one: Every mastodon user on social registered using an email address that could be used to forward the messages. They could be deleted immediately.

Direct Messages (DM) are disabled because they are not encrypted and are stored in plain text in the server.
Under these conditions, we do not recommend DM for private communications, which is why we disabled them. If someone sends a DM you will not receive it.

Thanks @joao.azevedo, I already understood that part and I do not say that I do not follow the argument.

But I suspect that direct messages serve an important social function also: 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 on where we possibly can find the matrix account to contact people.

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 made some first suggestions how to circumvent at least some of the valid point that this communication is not encrypted. There are probably better ways (e.g. protocol extensions).

:white_check_mark: use and adopt
:white_check_mark: criticise
:green_square: improve - anybody?

If you want a classic use of the fediverse, I would not recommend the instance of Purism.
It doesn’t allow easy network exploration and is blocked by many other instances because of this original use of Purism and the lack of moderation that goes with it.

I would suggest you rather find a more classical instance:


Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it also about reducing the need for moderation? Because DMs can be used to harass people, so breaks the ‘only see content you asked for’ promise.

You could try searching for #followfriday to see posts where people suggest interesting accounts to follow. There is also a bot you can follow to get those posts in you feed without constantly searching for them.

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Might be. But there would be no problem with moderation if you’d forward messages by email - there could be an opt-in for receiving the fediverse DMs by email.

BTW, throwing away communications is not exactly what I’d expect. The messages that do not reach me should be bounced in a way that informs the sender that I’m not able to receive them and optionally with an information about where to find me (opt-in, e.g. matrix).

To be clear again: I really like the way the mastodon instance of purism works except the DM problem. I wouldn’t want to miss the timelines missing :wink: .

But again - the handling of DMs is not acceptable. And again - I agree with all the arguments brought forward that DMs in the actual form are a problem.

But throwing away users data is just what other companies do and for what we criticize them.

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This sounds like what @Kyle_Rankin wrote about the relationship between vendors and users: Father and kid, father takes away the responsibility from the kids and stops them from learning to act responsable.


After thinking this some time over I decided it is important to me and I started a new thread for this topic.