Can someone explain to me (in simple terms) how federation and posts work?

It's no secret I have alts. But I follow all my alts from this account (in case there's something I want to boost). But I know if I make a genius post from this account that it seems to be random if my alts will pull the post (I don't mutual myself because I post too much, so I mean if I search for this account and and look at posts).

I don't really want advice, I just want to understand how it works.


@[email protected] Whether a post goes to a server depends on whether an account on that server is following the account that made the post.

e.g. if Main follows Alt, then posts from Alt will go to Main's Server. If Alt does
not follow Main, then posts from Main will only go to Alt's server if someone else on Alt's server follows Main.

@InspectorCaracal @lapis mentions too

basically posts are generally delivered (like email), not fetched (like RSS). delivery is done to all followers + people mentioned.

fetching is only done if a received post is in reply to another post that isn't known.

@[email protected] It gets a little more complicated if you take into account the federating effect of boosting posts, but I think that's a little more complicated than you wanted. xD

@lapis I don't know if it will help, but I wrote a quick intro to how federation works for new users here:

@lapis as I understand it:

public posts are local to your user's instance, showing on the local timeline.

When you follow me, you ask for my inbox. Posting new things, that I can see, to my inbox so I am informed. And may get your outbox to see your previous posts.

If you follow me, others on your instance see my public posts on that instances federated timeline.

There is much more but that is the general idea.

@lapis i THINK the randomness has to do with whether someone else on your alt server follows someone who has interacted with that genius post.

so if no one follows you on the alt server, the only reason a post would get federated there is if you get 2 degrees of kevin bacon'd and you get a boost from another user in the network who is followed by someone on your server.

I feel like I just talked in circles there, I hope i explained it ok

@lapis also sorry I didn't see those responses come in before I typed mine up. Hope you aren't feeling inundated with redundant info now :blobexclaim:

@adasauce not yet! People explain things differently and it helps clear it up.

Now if I get 30 more answers....

@lapis an instance only pulls posts from an account if it's subscribed to it, so if anyone from there follows that account. However, if anyone that instance is subscribed to boosts that post, it will know about it and list it on the right profile page. Also, when viewing a thread, the software attempts to load all posts that belong in it, which may also pull in additional posts

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