Please add some context if you post a link. I'll never click on a naked link, and adding "Look at this!" will not help. It's a tactic used by scammers and linkbait, so by instinct I'm not going to click on them, even if they look reliable.

Just give me a few descriptive words. Or even just one.

Thank you.

@readsteven descriptive links are also important for accessibility


"If you only read one story today..."

"The last thing you'll ever need to read on..."

"In case you missed this..."

I never, ever read these.

Mentioning this because it might be a factor...

Some of those links you see may actually be well thought out posts with some attention given to the presentation when viewed from anywhere but Mastodon, which automatically turns all posts of type Article into naked links with no description.

Background: Some projects use the Article content type for rich-text long-form content and only use Note for plaintext or something that looks acceptable when all the markup is removed and the post is reduced to plaintext. My projects do this. This is because Mastodon is a plaintext platform and does horrible things with HTML content, mangling it practically beyond recognition.

@mike Possibly.

Every single one I'm thinking of is a YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, (etc) link. (My client does not reliably load Open Graph previews.)

I'm still not going to click on a naked link, and if that's how articles federate, maybe rethink the utility of linking them to Mastodon.

@mike The Fine Art of Sufficient Microcontent is a useful notion to keep in mind.

I try to post title, pull quote, URL, and hashtags, generally.

As here, from earlier today:

Understood. What I'm describing is a case where one can supply "sufficient microcontent" and another fediverse platform removes it. I cannot control what they remove or how the mangle my perfectly legal and spec-compliant content.

@mike And by supplying bare links, plus text, you can proof against that, as well as preserving most utility in hardcopy or screenshots.

It's a minimum viable format.

Arguments as to why, in the fourth decade of the Web, this remains necessary are left unvoiced.

@mike Addendum: there's much truth to "the medium is the message".

Adapting between media frequently means modifying approach or form.


Doc, with all due respects this is not the Mastodon network, contrary to what you may have been told. This is the ActivityPub network.  Someday Mastodon will evolve and join us and the rest of the ActivityPub community in making things work together - instead of trying to fucking dominate and control every nuance of the ecosystem. Pardon my language. I've played the world domination game before, on a much larger stage than this - and I'm so over it.

@mike I'm well aware of that fact and never claimed it was.

The point I'm making is that cross-system communications, such as pidgin languages, both borrow from multiple sources AND stick to a minimum viable common standard. Again, the problem of preserving hypertext references in printed or static output being a prime example.

Naked URLs WITH inline context and search cues (hashtags) is that MVCS, and long predates Mastodon or the Fediverse.


@mike NB: I'll occasionally apply "mastodon" as a synecdoche for "Fediverse", much as "Hollywood", "Wall Street", "Milan", "Silicon Valley", "Detroit", and "Shenzen" subsume their corresponding industries.

Language is symbolic.

Those insisting on literal interpretations, tedious.

Fabricating pedantically literal strawbeings all the more so.


@readsteven I personnaly discard naked link.

They looks to me as “someone tossing a book to my face with rage”.

@readsteven I understand but Mastodon grabs oembed information from the link and present them in toot detail, doesn't it?

@jpfox I beleive it’s up to the client to find and parse Open Graph info. I almost never see it on the Mastodon web interface, and it can be hit-or-miss on the mobile app that I use. (And many sites don’t have og information at all.)

@readsteven on web interface, if you select the toot, you have oembedded info in right column. Same thing in most masto apps.
And I confirm that info are grabbed by the server, not the client

@readsteven as said in my first reply, I understand, it was just tips if needed 🙂

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