Why is it that people on the Fediverse only seem to boost (identical to retweet) but never favorite (identical to like)? I see toots with 20 or 50 boosts but no stars. Am I breaching etiquette by pressing star on memes? What am I missing?

@deltaidea I've noticed that too. I hit that star anyway. :)

( I've been wondering whether the star count might not be accurate due to some federation thing? But I haven't been curious enough to try to find out.)

@deltaidea Since we're talking about it. I stopped at the first meme I encountered on my timeline and went to the original page. In my timeline it showed no favorites, but on the original page you can see it has quite a few.

@cstanhope Huh, you're right! It shows like 30 stars on that domain but only 1 (mine) when I try to favorite and get redirected to

So stars aren't merged across instances. That's interesting. I gotta read up on decisions like this some time.

I don't even understand what happens exactly when I try to star your meme and get redirected. Are memes copied to our instance for this? Am I backing up memes for us in case other instances go offline? We're living in the future.

@deltaidea Yeah, I don't have a clear picture of all the ins and outs. With regard to media on Mastodon at least, if I understand correctly, the media is fetched from the origin and cached locally. However, those copies are really *just* caches and get purged periodically lest they grow huge. So if you go visit an old toot through our instance's interface, it will likely have to fetch the media again. But I have reached the limit of my knowledge and have possibly told you more than I know. :/

@cstanhope Thanks, I feel at home in the Telling more than I know club. 💚

@deltaidea worth noting that favs actually act as favorites here - they show up in the search without needing to RT them. I use it to find stuff again.

@ultimape Oh... I think I messed it up then, cause good luck finding anything in the ever-growing trashcan that is my favorite history. 😅

But thanks for the tip!


Perhaps the likes are not correctly propagating, I see more likes than boosts.

Read through some of the thread. It’s kinda messy between instances because there’s actually more than one backend in development and they’re (loosely) based on the same standard. So Mastodon->Pleroma->Misskey and there’s bound to me some translation weirdness.

@dd Ah, _that's_ why your instance looked weird when I opened it in a new tab! It's Pleroma! Nice to see the projects interoperating so smoothly, literally unnoticeable. 😌

@dd What's the difference? I've heard it's lighter on the server, load-wise, but there must be something on the user side as well, or they would've merged already ideally.


Pleroma actually supports MastodonFE, so we have both available user-side. I believe there are some disagreements over the direction of the projects, but I don’t run my own instance, so my insight is limited.

@deltaidea I think it's because boosts and favorites have a different meaning on the Fediverse even though they behave the same way. Boosts seem to be more the default "Like" here because we love someone's toots so much we want it to spread to all of our followers. Whereas Favorite has just become a personal bookmark and doesn't have the same signaling that a "Like" would have on other social networks. I hope this helps clear things up a bit.

@deltaidea Oh and I don't think you're breaking any etiquette by favoriteing memes here. You are still telling the people that posted them that you like their content enough to bookmark it and that's pretty cool. 😀

@revkellyn The etiquette thing was more of a jokey guess, but thanks for the genuine concern!

We figured out it's actually because stars aren't added up across instances:

@deltaidea in the earliest days of Mastodon the problem arose: how to spread cool and fun information between instances. The solution is: boosting it so that all your followers can see it.

Personally, I only use Favourite to signal to the author of the toot that I've read and understood it.

@Melezh @deltaidea it’s also good for bookmarking since favorites are listed and reviewable, assuming you don’t do what i do and ruin the SNR by whacking favorite on anything and everything that crosses the TL and you don’t actively dislike

@Melezh @deltaidea yeah i think that is how most people do it.
for me the federated timeline goes by so fast, i'm not sure that a favorite would mean anything? does it? i think it gets "logged" on our own "page" but would that have any value for anyone?

@deltaidea faves don't always federate properly! the first picture is a screenshot taken from my knzk account, where i made the post from; the second is the same post as viewed from my radtown backup account.

Favs don't federate very well, so you usually only see a small portion of them

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