In our most recent Mastodon for Android release, we’re testing a new feature aimed to curb unneccesary negativity that comes from being on the Internet. Complete strangers using an overly familiar tone, offering unsolicited advice, or starting arguments that are completely besides the point—these should be familiar to all who use social media.
While we’re exploring multiple different avenues to tackle this issue, the idea we’re experimenting with today is simply reminding people when they’re about to respond to a stranger. We also believe that by showing a bit of information about the person you’re about to talk to, we can prevent some awkward situations, such as explaining something to an expert in a given field.
We’re also going to remind people when they’re about to reply to a post that’s over 3 months old. Posts from long ago are rarely a part of an active discussion, so such replies usually happen by mistake. These features will be coming to our iOS app soon, where we’re currently working on a big performance update. If they prove successful, we’ll be bringing them to the experience on the web as well.
Overall, we’re committed to ensuring folks on Mastodon have a pleasant experience posting. We hear time and time again how much people enjoy coming to Mastodon to have real conversations with real people. And we want to ensure it stays that way. We look forward to hearing what you think of the new prompts!