instance (server) admins in general want to provide a welcoming and safe place so will usually investigate and respond to reports.. but are usually volunteers etc. We miss things if we are offline.
Also, if you didn't arrive en masse as part of a semi-organised movement and are not sure who to follow etc. check out trunk.. https://communitywiki.org/trunk
Take your time to get used the differences between here and twitter.. there's no rush ;)
@jk technophobe here, but surely the unionists will just migrate with us? Will it not just become a carbon copy of Twitter.
It can't be a carbon copy of twitter as it is comprised of thousands of distributed servers, owned and run by different people, or groups of people, each adopting their own terms of service and code of conduct and each moderating their servers in different though often similar ways. My instance for example is closed and only myself,my wife and another friend currently have accounts and its not mastodon either..
Every server doesn't automatically know about the others, a connection must initially be made. As in someone from server a needs to follow someone from server b for both to have knowledge of one another.
There is no centralised datastore so bots can't be deployed to the same effect as on twitter.. there are protections in the code of the various applications and platforms that don't exist in twitter.
If you don't like something you can mute or block it and moderators and admins can block entire servers (and do).. it's a different mindset here.
It'll take a wee while to get your head around the differences, it certainly did for me but if you stick around you should begin to see what I mean.. apologies if I used too much jargon..
My only questions/worry - How is the data being stored? is it on an encrypted drive and secured? What platform is it on? And has the data protection act been discussed, as that could give the Establishment a route into shutting this down, if its not complied with? I think with all the hacking going on nowadays, folk will want to know they are secure.
Each instance has its own database stored on a variety of operating systems and platforms and dispersed around the world. There are a number of different applications or codebase that interact here which are written in different programming languages, have different structures & features. All of the ones that I have used encrypt the data stored in the db and have options to enforce encrypted communications (my pleroma server doesn't accept requests from unencrypted sources and my database is isolated).
This is partly why I advise against everyone joining the mastodon.social instance, not because it isn't secure but because having the largest user base means the largest surface area for potential hacking. Having many small instances is (in theory) more secure.
Then my next question is, can an instance have multiple servers (since it's distributed), and can you control if these instances (or servers) get to download and access the data? We know twit is knobbled, and we don't want the westminster/MI-whatever forces of evil being able to get blanket access to data, just by setting up an instance. I hope I'm misunderstanding how this works? Its just wanting to know the chain of trust, and who can and cant control stuff.