Mastodon's attempts to provide for both public, semi-private, and private posts have resulted in a really confusing , where even experienced users are sometimes unsure exactly what level of privacy is offered by each of the scope options (Public, Unlisted, Followers-only, Direct), and newbies may not even know they exist. This has resulted in all sorts of user expectations not being met. Public posts users thought were private, and vice-versa.

I think it would help to have a -wide conversations about this, and see if we can find consensus on how this ought to work, and the best language and symbolism to explain it in the UI.

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@strypey And then there is the leaks (+broken-threads) that followers-only do because the scoping is done on each poster follower collection rather than the original poster.
And of course mastodon hides it.

@lanodan it seems like implementing support for groups (both private and public) could help, as well as opening up the possibilities of group federation with other apps (eg the various federated Reddit-a-likes in development). But I'm told @Gargron doesn't want to do that.

@strypey @Gargron Well the rest of us can still work without Mastodon, if we had to wait for everyone all the time we wouldn't have most of our current features.

@lanodan true, but that doesn't solve the problem raised in the OP ;)

@strypey It will eventually, also it quite shows that you have little to no experience with how Gargron basically doesn't care about most things in Mastodon useless he has to.

Even if I'm quite experienced, I still don't understand the difference between unlisted and followers only.

@Elijah__ same. I thought I understood the purpose of Unlisted but I recently realised I have no idea what it actually does. Followers-only seems reasonably clear, but what if someone follows me after I send a followers-only post? Can they now see it? Or if someone unfollows me, can they still see Followers-only posts sent while they were following me?

@strypey I set up my instance for my family to try to get them off of something closed.

After following someone from another instance, I was surprised by the affects that had to the federated timeline for other accounts on my instance.

If hadn't noticed, it's possible that, to this day, my somewhat traditional parents might still be inundated with anthropomorphic cartoon animals and assorted owo.

@sqwishy hmmm. Maybe a self-hosted server and apps like / would be a better federated replacement for than Mastodon? I really hope can resolve the remaining issues this year that still prevent them turning on encryption by default.

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