This report covers the San Francisco Bay regional Mastodon instance sfba.social, with general statistics, financial details including income (donations) and expenses (hosting costs), moderation efforts, and changes made and being considered.
The team has met and agreed that these reports will be more effective when published less frequently. Future reports will be published quarterly.
On March 31, 2023 we tallied roughly 38,250 friends on sfba.social. This is an increase of about 350 new users during the month, fewer than the 400 we gained in February, and less than half of the 750 new friends we gained in January.
From March 1-31, the moderation team received 133 reports, about 200% of February’s total of 66. The month was a little longer, but we also saw many more bot accounts created.
We are very fortunate in that financial contributions are easily covering the monthly hosting costs, and we are continuing to build reserves to sustain the instance long-term.
Expenses are mainly monthly hosting costs with Linode and some additional cost with AWS:
Our very simple balance sheet:
With our projected burn rate, the running costs of the instance are covered for more than eight months now. We have reached our target of having more than 6 months of runway.
We are expecting hosting costs for April to increase by 20% due to Linode’s increase in their pricing. Donations are gratefully accepted at: opencollective.com/sfba-mastodon
Moderators work to make sure that the local feed posts follow sfba.social rules. Our moderation efforts rely on users promptly reporting posts that go against our server rules, which helps us quickly deal with issues as they come up. Users are encouraged to actively curate their feeds using Filters and the Mute and Block tools.
In general, folks at sfba.social follow the server rules well and promptly report users who do not, which the moderation team appreciates very much. Early reporting helps keep bad actors off our feeds!
The Admin/Mod team handled 133 reports in the month of March. This is an increase over February, when the moderation team resolved only 66 reports.
In November, 2022 sfba.social reported 2.14 reports/100 users. We are at more reasonable levels since then, but there has been an increase since our last report:
- January went down to 0.25 reports/100 users (37500 users)
- February went down even more to 0.17 reports/100 users (38000 users)
- March went back up to .29 reports/100 users (38250 users)
Nearly all reports are resolved within a day.
At the end of the month, there were 0 open local reports and 1 open reports on a remote instance, as well as 0 pending appeals.
We have recently seen an increase in spam accounts, and we are actively monitoring and limiting IP address ranges that produce lots of spam accounts. This does not impose any restrictions on existing accounts, but requires new accounts from these sources to be approved manually. We are continuing to observe and will update our approach as needed.
We continue to actively address bad actors on the federated network by defederating instances with poor moderation standards or a history of lax enforcement. We monitor the #fediblock hashtag to identify servers that may warrant investigation on our part, before they become an issue for our users. You can see a list of defederated servers on the about page (under “Moderated servers”). Servers marked as “limited” cannot communicate with our server by default, but users can follow and communicate with specific accounts when they know the full account address. Servers marked as “suspended” cannot communicate with sfba.social, with no exceptions.
No changes: the Admin/Mod team is stable and the work load is manageable.
Organizing further local meet-ups and creating more opportunities for our members to meet each other is one of our continuing efforts. What kind of in-person events would you like to see/attend? Let us know at @email@example.com!
Maintenance and Upgrades
- Datacenter migration: as announced last month, in order to prepare for the datacenter migration by Linode, we had to undo our IP failover mechanism for the postgres cluster. After the migration is completed the plan is to restore it using the different IP migration feature available in the new datacenter (based on BGP instead of ARP).
- Upgraded to Mastodon 4.1.1: we increased of the character limit on posts from 500 to 1024 while doing this upgrade
- Matrix for messaging: In last month’s report we mentioned the technical hurdles with single sign on. Unfortunately we weren’t able to make much progress on this issue in March, but will continue to work on this.
- Updating the information hub: we are working on an update to the site, which will include adding an on-boarding guide to help new users get going quickly.
- Updated Code of Conduct: We are working on adding language to the Code of Conduct to provide ways for local businesses to engage without overwhelming the timeline and allowing users to opt-out. As always,changes will be announced via @firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nothing at this time.
We look forward to the next quarter — if you would like to contribute, please donate to opencollective.com/sfba-mastodon
And we always welcome comments!
Your Admin & Moderation team: