I just realized my first encounter with Mastodon was 4 years ago when I signed up for a Counter Social account.
I had never heard about Mastodon previously & did not know about it then (this year is the first time I heard about Mastodon & the Fediverse).
I did sign up for a Counter Social Pro account & it seems to be partially Federated (you can look into it but not connect or follow accounts). I am https://counter.social/@darnell over there for what it is worth.
@darnell I found your counter.social account but I couldn't see any posts. Just out curiosity, I tried to follow it. Did that work? Since their goals are:
> No Trolls. No Abuse. No Ads. No Fake News. No Foreign Influence Ops.
... I guess it's not surprising if their interaction with the rest of the 'verse is fairly limited ;)
@strypey I tried following myself (as a test) but Counter.Social does not allow interactions outside of the domain.
That said it is a great group to interact with. The current theme right now is pirates 🏴☠️!
I did some reading on the counter.social site. Turns out they had a bit of a spat with @Gargron over their geoblocking, and got instance blocked by mastodon.social and other instances who follow his blocklist. So they forked Mastodon and stripped out the federation code.
@darnell It's a myth propagated by walled garden vendors that federation = spam or trolls. The truth is, lack of effective moderation = spam or trolls and there are plenty of centralized examples of this too. Robust moderation can be done on federated instances, as evidenced by the many admins who go all out to curate a fun experience in their slice of the 'verse.
However, the users there enjoy their walled garden. I prefer a solo instance which works best for me—at least on Mastodon.
I am experimenting with @pixelfed right now, although I am experiencing issues that might make me reconsider Tumblr & Instagram.
Just a personal instance of Mastodon that is intended for one person. :-)