If you got to this post via a link on my Twitter, you got here via a cross posted tweet. Most of my tweets actually are just copies of my toots on chaos.social a Mastodon instance I’m active on.

Crossposting is the act of posting the same message to multiple information channels; forumsmailing lists, or newsgroups.


This is often frowned upon and I generally agree with that sentiment.

What’s the problem?

1 In general, one should cater their content to the audience. That holds true for social media and for every other place. There might only minor differences in the audiences that get the content, but especially the edge cases can cause problems. I’m not even going to start about cross posting to quite different audiences.

2 Conversations are not kept properly. You can for example not answer to a retweet when it gets posted to Mastodon and keep the original author in the conversation since they are on a different platform. Even if they have accounts on both platforms, the automated tools have no ways to track them.

3 Different platforms have different features and norms. For example Mastodon has content warnings. They are an incredible useful tool and are widely used as trigger warnings, to mark NSFW content or hide spoilers and other things. Ported to twitter, they make only little sense and posts from twitter will always lack them, sometimes violating the rules of the instance.

4 All platforms still need maintenance and monitoring. Usually the main platform of a person gets most of their attention and that is fine as long as they keep looking at the reactions on the others as well. Sadly too often that does not happen and makes responses there kinda pointless.

So why am I doing it?

Because I’m lazy.

Honestly, that’s it. It takes more time to write a post multiple times and even with copy paste, mentions have to be adjusted etc. So far I haven’t found a good way to easily share finds on different platforms while giving credit to the original author. It can be done, no question, it just takes more effort.

And now?

To mitigate the negative effects, I only cross post original post in one direction (Mastodon -> Twitter) and try to double check before a retweets or boosts that it really suits both audiences. Of course, no ongoing conversations get cross posted either and both clients have the same notification settings.

But this is not the standard I really want to hold myself to. One of the goals for this year will be to change my social media habits to fully get rid of the automation without making it too painful to post on multiple platforms.