Gracious Anthracite is a user on dragon.style. You can listen to them or interact with them if you have an account anywhere in the fediverse. If you don't, you can sign up here.
Gracious Anthracite @anthracite
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Interesting.

I got followed by one "NSAGov @ hiveway.net". hiveway.net is now gone - try going there in your browser, you'll get nothing - but if I look at my list of followers, this account's still there.

And the question that comes to mind (after snickering at how quickly Hiveway vanished - their Medium blog's gone too, though their ICO site is still around) is, well, what is the proper thing for a Mastodon instance to do?

Is there a point when dragon.style should realize this instance is gone, along with the accounts on it, and remove them from the list of who's following me? What should my instance do with the one toot it captured from this person before hiveway.net vanished?

I do not even begin to have answers to these questions.

@anthracite I have hiveway suspended anyway whether it's there or not, so it will continue being suspended regardless of the status of the instance in question.

@InspectorCaracal Well yeah it's not like that's not an option I'm considering here anyway, given the way they meticulously tried to lift all the hard work done by the Masto dev team. But "what is the right thing to do with remnants of a now-defunct Masto instance?" is an interesting question once we stop laughing at Hiveway.

Like, if I die, and don't hand over the keys to dragon.style to anyone, and eventually it vanishes - what's the right thing for all the instances that someone followed me on to do?

@anthracite 🤔

I think they should keep all of the already-federated content unless the instance sends them a request to delete the content, as a general rule, and that this applies whether the instance persists or disappears.

The question of followers is a good one, though; I *think* that's handled already by the whole subscription system, though? If you don't interact with an instance or they don't interact with you after a certain period of time, the subscription connection fails to renew?

@anthracite In other words, I think if an instance went dead, all their prior federated toots would remain on the other instances but the other instances would stop trying to send/fetch new data eventually from lack of response.

@InspectorCaracal I didn't know that about subscriptions expiring! I haven't delved too deep into the mysteries of how that works.

@anthracite *checks* It's in Administration under WebSub if you want to see your current subscription status to various places!

@anthracite I'm not 100% sure, but I think the URLs with "subscription" are when someone on your instance is following a remote someone, and the "push" are a remote someone who is following someone on your instance.

@anthracite Ban all bad actors. Block hiveway.net. If NSAGov@hiveway.net really wants to follow you, they'll reach you through other means.
The worst part of social media is how it makes people feel obligated to bring strangers into their life.