Add Mastodon support for social links

Hi there, with the recent Twitter takeover, more Roblox players and developers are eventually going to switch over to Mastodon because of people not supporting how the platform is run, and therefore, I’d like Mastodon to be supported as a social link.

Here’s a list of domains I’d like to see supported for Mastodon social links:

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mastodon.social could easily provide automatic verification integration since Mastodon provides an easy way to do this with a basic rel=me tag in an <a>

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You mean the verification ticks on links?

As Mastodon is decentralised, there is no platform-wide content policy or any standardised format for marking content as inappropriate for underage users. This, therefore, creates a significant risk to the e-safety of Roblox’s teenage users, as they may be directed to a website with lackluster moderation controlled by unregistered children. Mastodon instances may also have unlawful data handling policies; unlike the current supported social links, which are directly accountable to regulators.

For example, a certain political faction operates a Mastodon instance dedicated to perpetuating disinformation. Another example, there are several instances centred around repulsive and extremely dangerous, inappropriate content.

Accordingly, Mastodon support would create a direct link between Roblox and unsafe websites.

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This is why I have listed only servers on joinmastodon.org, and they have agreed to have active moderation against racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia. They also block users from seeing servers which host pornographic content without any disclaimer.

And when you mention Mastodon connecting users to unsafe websites, I could mention the same about Twitter and Discord. From what I’ve heard, Twitter has multiple hashtags that involve the sharing of explicit content.

For example, this is the rules for one of the servers.

Screenshot_2022-12-17-13-43-24-083_com.microsoft.emmx

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This sounds like a massive waste of time on Roblox’s part.

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I’d appreciate it if you’d add some clarification on why that is, but Mastodon has over 5 million users and it’s growing quite fast recently. EDIT: As of the 19th, it’s now the 9th most popular social networking app in the App Store:

Screenshot_2022-12-19-13-19-23-228_org.joinmastodon.android.sk

It’s also the 7th most popular social app on Android:

I’d assume Roblox would have code templates for adding a social link already, so I don’t think this would end up taking a ton of time.

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Adding support for every single “Mastodon” instance that Roblox deems worthy isn’t worth the trouble.

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I never mentioned of the idea of everything Roblox sees worthy, just at least the most popular stuff. I understand this completely though.

joinmastodon.org/servers has a complete list of around 70 servers that have agreed to the things I mentioned in this post:

An agreement really doesn’t cut it. Mastodon is too decentralized to get proper support using the current social links system.

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Hard disagree. Because mastodon is decentralised it has a billion different hosts and in turn a billion different domains, so it’s going to be impossible to track.

Not to mention until everyone started splitting off from twitter I had literally only heard of mastodon hosts serving up one thing, and to keep it as devforum friendly as possible I’ll just say it’s certain content that’s extremely bordering illegal. I’ve never heard or seen anyone genuinely using mastodon instances for anything normal.

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Never even heard of Mastodon, and it honestly just seems like a waste of time to add if literally no one uses it. Discord, YouTube, and Twitter are fine because they are well-known and most used.

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I don’t think you’re understanding the reason why I listed 6 of the most popular ones. I know these servers exist, but the most popular ones don’t host this sort of content. Besides, it would be hard adding every single server.

Why should we be using Twitter when there is clearly some stuff happening there? I would imagine a few Roblox developers will stop using it due to the moderation decisions that have been made since November.

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There’s nothing wrong with Twitter. I think it will be a waste of time for Roblox to add support for this and all the PolicyService stuff.

And again, there’s nothing wrong with twitter. The changes made there don’t affect developers… yet…

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To be fair, some of the changes they’ve made recently is good, such as no longer needing an account to browse more than a certain amount of posts.

But, they’ve done a lot of bad stuff including censorship of journalists and social media platforms.


Mastodon is decentralised, and sure that can have bad consequences, but if one censors Twitter for example, there will probably be one that doesn’t censor it.

Support for multiple domains per social type is trivial in Roblox’s current implementation. In fact, it will currently let you input discord.io, discord.li, and discord.me links.

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Twitter and Discord are both companies with operations in the US and EU and are therefore accountable and registered. A number of the servers on the list you provided are ran by private individuals or organisations that are registered ‘off the books’ (in obscure third countries with limited transparency requirements).

Having to track and administer what is, effectively and literally, several different websites that are operated differently and independently induces more costs than it provides benefits. As another poster mentioned, this would also complicate PolicyService, as all instances have their own administration, governance and content policies, and therefore would have different regulatory requirements.

There are also many other platforms that deserve support over Mastodon, and would foster better communities for developers, such as Instagram and TikTok, as these are used more by players. To put it crudely, excluding genuine social interaction (i.e. with already known people), Mastodon is really just used by those who are not welcome on mainstream social media platforms (such as extremists and proponents of objectionable content) or those who are technical enough to care about federation (who are unlikely to care for or use Roblox social links and make up a very small percentage of communities on Roblox); this is representative by the platform’s general lack of internal discovery.

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One of the platforms I see you mention is TikTok, but promoting that through social links (even though Roblox already has an account) could be extremely dangerous. First of all, are you alright with a Chinese company allowing full access to biometrics with your personal information? I didn’t think so, I’d rather not see Roblox promote it. I believe you can also run into uncensored or content warning porn on there but I could be wrong.

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This is not correct. discord.io will not trigger any visible validation errors, but saving will result in the official Discord URL being appended before the address.

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