Reporting anti-social accounts is a good idea as it’s the main way server administrators find out about nasty behavour. Once admins are made aware of a problem, they can take action using special blocking tools that are not available to ordinary users.
How do I report posts or accounts on Mastodon?
- To report a post click ⋯ on the bottom of the post and select Report.
- To report an account, go to its profile and click ︙ or ⋯, then select Report.
Remember to include examples!
Whatever you’re reporting, it’s really important to include examples of what the account has done wrong. Simply reporting the account with no examples creates a lot of work for the moderators, and it may make it impossible for them to moderate effectively.
On Mastodon, the reporting wizard includes options to select posts from that account, and if you’re reporting via a post then that post will be automatically selected as an example to include on the report.
If possible, tell the account’s own server too
Mastodon reporting forms include the option to also send an anonymous report to the server of the account that wrote the post. This is usually a good idea, because only a user’s home server has the power to suspend or delete their account. Other servers can block accounts, but in the worst cases it may be better that a nasty account is deleted at source.
However, there is a caveat to this: if the problematic user’s entire server is also problematic, it may be best not to include them in the report. Such servers tend to lash out when people report their behaviour. Your own server admin will be able to block problematic servers completely, which is usually the best way of dealing with such servers.
What do I do about accounts that just boost nasty stuff?
If there’s an account that boosts lots of problematic posts, go to their profile and report them from there (by clicking ︙ or ⋯). If you do this though, remember to mention in the comments section of the report the boosts that are problematic and why, so that the moderator can locate them more easily.
What exactly ARE the rules on the Fediverse?
Each server is totally independent and sets its own rules for acceptable behaviour. If you go to a server’s about page you should see a copy of its rules. If possible, it’s worth reading this before you sign up on a server, as it can tell you a lot about their approach to moderation.
If there’s something bad happening and it isn’t covered by the rules, report it. There will often be bad situations that could not have been anticipated by the admin when writing the rules, and they depend on user reports to find out about them.
If you’re in any doubt about what is acceptable, ask your server’s admin for advice. If there’s something wrong with their approach or attitude, you might want to consider transferring your account to another server.