Treating Mentions as Replies

Currently replies people I follow make that only tag people I do not follow, whether that is one or several people are hidden from my home timeline which I believe to be an important feature.

Currently mentions (i.e. the first toot of a conversation) from people I follow that only tag people I do not follow -do- appear in my home timeline.

This is both A) a personal discomfort but probably more relevantly B) I don’t see a meaningful difference between these two scenarios and don’t see why there are different rules for how they are presented to me to the point I initially took this for a bug.

I would propose that these two types of toots should be identical in function, a mention should just be considered a reply to a toot that doesn’t exist.

i agree wholeheartedly. i believe i’ve brought this up before and was turned down but i dont really think ive heard a good reason yet

I didn’t realize that was happening and I am actually somewhat chagrined and disappointed, as that’s my preferred way to find people to follow.

Which I suppose means that in my case, the benefit of the current function is thus:

You aren’t exposed to the one-sided conversation phenomenon, which can get annoying, but you are exposed to potential new accounts to check out/follow.

But I’m also a bit confused; I’ve had a number of toots show up in my home timeline that are part of a conversation with someone I not only don’t follow, but who are using follower-only privacy level so I can’t even see their toots at all when I open the thread. That must be a bug?

yes. as far as i have managed to surmise the bug is due to someone replying to their own post, when that thing they are replying to is a reply to another user.

in other word it goes like this.

post by X user you do not follow
reply by Y user you do follow
reply to reply to X user, by Y user you do follow <this reply is the one that bugs its way into your timeline.

we had it as a bug locally on for a while so you might be experiencing the same issue?

I believe we already have discoverability tools in both software (local and federated timeline) and community (follow Fridays and the like) initiatives that having this as a feature of the home timeline is unnecessary. I do accept the potential merit so I’m fine with it being an option but ultimately I believe the role of the home timeline is as a personal space I’m able to curate and control the content of to the maximum extent possible and the current way mentions are handled prevents me from doing so.

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A good point!

From the technical side, I believe what you noticed is not, exactly, a feature, but a side-effect of the reply mechanism and filtering. There’s the in-reply-to post ID, but there is probably in-reply-to user IDs too.

It shouldn’t be too difficult to put any mentioned users into that list on posting a new status, although I haven’t looked into the code at all to see if either hypothesis is right.

I feel like having an option to turn such filtering on or off would be nice, but it’s one of those things that’s on the line for me towards having Too Many Options.

I’ve just checked, and in_reply_to_account_id exists but is only set when the toot is actually a reply and not simply a mention. Not to say that it couldn’t be changed - just that you’d have to modify how posts are created in order to be able to check in_reply_to_account_id reliably.