Although somewhat melodramatic ("dealing with its Nazi problem," really?) this article on The Verge touches on most of the points around why I finally decided to ditch my personal Mastodon server and leave the Fediverse behind. Even before Gab came to Mastodon, many of the folks on the federated social network were already pretty high strung and overly sensitive about frickin' everything.
But when the headline read "Gab to join the Fediverse" that's when people really lost their shit. Flipped like Cheetah. The rage meter went to 11. And from what I saw the popular reaction was in no way proportional to the actual problem. This quote sums it up nicely:
Even without direct action, the administrator said that the basic anxiety of having Gab on the Fediverse has put people on edge. When one user misgendered another genuinely by mistake, the admin mentioned, they were also dogpiled with accusations of coming from Gab. “People are acting more paranoid, but I can’t say I blame them.” [emphasis mine]
I can say that. I blame them for being paranoid. Gab has become the Fediverse boogeyman. "Eat all your vegetables, kids. Or Gab is going to get you!"
The thing that really opened my eyes to the paranoia problem was when developers for apps like Tusky started hard-coding blocks in their software to prevent it from being used with Gab accounts. That just smacks of moral panic to me, and it was about that time I started looking for the door.
You know what? I get it. Nobody wants to be harassed or verbally accosted. It's unpleasant. But talk about going around the bend. Mastodon has become the social network where the focus of energy and effort is on ways not to connect with other people.