Threads Muting Pixelfed And Other Fediverse Instances Over One Simple Rule

Pixelfed icon

I remember mentioning this last month (original post was deleted), but Threads by Instagram continues to mute the entire Pixelfed community as well as other Fediverse instances (also known as servers) over one simple rule.

Server guidelines

A server may be added to our server blocklist if it doesn't comply with our guidelines for communicating with Threads. [...]

We'll also block a server if it doesn't have a:

  • Sufficient privacy policy; or
  • Publicly available policy to restrict access to users under the age of 13; or
  • Publicly accessible feed (Emphasis mine, via Instagram Help Center)

For those unaware, a publicly accessible feed is merely a stream on a local instance where anyone can view all of the public chatter on the server. Mastodon sums it best with this description:

To allow you to discover potentially interesting content, Mastodon provides a way to browse all public posts. Well, there is no global shared state between all servers, so there is no way to browse all public posts. When you browse the federated timeline, you see all public posts that the server you are on knows about. There are various ways your server may discover posts, but the bulk of them will be from people that other users on your server follow.

There is a way to filter the federated timeline to view only public posts created on your server: The local timeline. Mind that β€œlocal” here refers to the server, not to a geographical location. (Mastodon Documentation)

Pixelfed has a local timeline, but it is not publicly accessible to Threads, which explains why the site is muting the entire Pixelfed ecosystem and any other Fediverse instances that decline to allow Threads to access the public timeline without permission.

The Pixelfed creator Dan may resolve this issue by allowing instance admins to create a publicly accessible feed to allow their respective users to communicate with the greater Threads community.

However, in hindsight, it might be wise to leave it off by default, especially with numerous tech companies scouring the web to train the synthetic brains of artificial intelligence programs (Meta included, props to for alerting me about this).

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