Tumblr growing pains, federation complaints and enforcing defaults


As anyone that runs a Mastodon instance knows the recent Tumblr news as caused a huge increase in traffic and users.

I run ABDL.link, in we went from 100 something users to over 2000 in 48 hours. Our little 2 core, 4GB dedicated server was not cutout for this and was pinned at 100% until I did a live migration to a new 8 core, 16GB machine with a lot of optimisations. I’m planning to migrate to a multi server setup when I have some time over the next few weeks.

I have had a few complains from other instances that our users are not adding CWs or marking their content as sensitive (which the majority of content is now after the Tumblr migration), while a lot of users that understand Mastodon are following the etiquette, and we have rules / guidelines and lots of our users are telling other users how to be polite. Our mods can’t manually police 7000 posts one my one.

So either other instances are gonna have to grow up (which is ironic as our instance is for adult babies) until people get the hang of things, or we set some sensible defaults for our users.

One of the mods pointed out you can actually set default_sensitive which might solve the main issue for now (see mastodon/settings.yml at master · tootsuite/mastodon · GitHub), but I can’t see this as an option in the web interface or anywhere to set it in our docker-compose.yml, .env.prodcution. Is this something we can do without making a code change? (we used the prebuilt docker images)

Do other instance admins have any useful advice on how to deal with scaling? We added 4 moderators as well.


this is a ruby config var, so you’ll have to change it in the yml file that’s indicated. Building the docker image is very simple, and then maybe you can republish it for other NSFW sites to use?


For another option, also requiring a code change, see this code from Switter: All toots from us are sensitive · assemblyfour/switter@1d2643b · GitHub


Thanks, I was previously building my own images from master when it was more of a hobby instance. I can go back to doing that, just wanted to check I wasn’t missing an option in the UI anywhere before I start making code changes.


Really interesting how all this tumbl migration are giving us new situations to deal with and learn


We are implementing the Switter method: All posts from us are now sensitive · little-james/mastodon@bc9d24b · GitHub


Our official post on the issue for reference