So, what is a followbot? It certainly seems as if they're bad, but I'm not really sure what they do or the purpose they're supposed to serve

@mallaidh they make federation happen sort of automatically, instead of organically when people happen to follow people from other instances

@Jamjars @mallaidh and by 'federate' i just mean they know about each other, so posts from A and B show up in each others' public timelines.

@zacanger @mallaidh oh i think i got it now, but doesn't that make it so the federated timeline in every instance becomes flooded with followbots from random other instances rather than posts from instances that really "matter" to the users?

@Jamjars @zacanger @mallaidh the followbots are beneficial for servers with very few users.

Think of them as discovery nodes: when someone is just figuring out where they want to call home on the network, they should start out on the discovery node where the federated timeline shows many possible conversation topics.

@katje @Jamjars @mallaidh that also makes sense. it's kind of why i'm still on mastodon.social -- i haven't really found another place that looks like home, yet

Follow

@zacanger @katje @Jamjars @mallaidh Fair point. It does help when more instances are federated with one another, and the followbots don't seem be doing any harm... _yet_. If you don't want any more to follow you, you can add to your bio.

@cmk @zacanger @Jamjars @mallaidh My favorite argument for why followbots should exist is that it presents a good lesson on how the network works, and using #nobot in the bio establishes community norms

buuuuuuut...

@mallaidh @Jamjars @zacanger @cmk

that's an absurd rationalization for presenting people with a brainteaser the first time they login,

when they just want to get their toot on :tada:

#blockFollowBots

@katje @mallaidh @zacanger @cmk #nobot does not seem to be stopping bots from following me at all

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