Throttling

I used to belong to an online group that had a rule: one message per person per thread per day. What we’d seen was that people would wake up in North America to a hundred-message back-and-forth between three people in Germany and say, “There’s no way I can catch up with this.” They would then do exactly the same thing to the Australians in the group, who in turn would–you get the picture.

The throttling rule forced people to write fewer, longer, and more thoughtful messages. By doing that, it created space for others to contribute: the number of people contributing to discussions tripled (at least), and we saw many more messages from people who were newer to the group, naturally quieter, weren’t as fluent in English, and so on.

So here’s my request: enable something like this on Mastodon. I’m naturally verbose [pause for laughter]; I think that setting a quota on my posts would make the site a better place for everyone, and would open the door to other experiments that might make it even better still.