I am currently writing an article about Twitter alternatives and I’m trying to understand well how the Mastodon network works. Can someone confirm the following statements or correct me if I misunderstood something?
So, if I understood well.
Nodes (instances) do not naturally see each other. If I install an instance on a linux computer, I will basically see nothing in my federated timeline. But if I follow just 1 person, my federated timeline will display all the activity that comes from the node that person is registered to, not only the person’s activity.
I can however subscribe my instance to a relay that will automatically connect me to the whole network (all the instances), so my federated timeline will show the global activity of the network.
However, if I join an existing instance (let’s say kiss.xy), I’ll see in my federated timeline the activity from all instances kiss.xy is connected to minus the content that is eventually filtered by the moderation rules. But I unfortunately, I have no way to know what are the connected instances, how much of the network it is and what has been filtered. Also, if I follow someone registered on a specific instance (let’s say butt.xy), I will “impose” to all my instance the addition of the entire butt.xy activity.
Moderation affect local content (my instance) and incoming data from other instances.
Thank you very much in advance for any enlightment.