Although this can be done manually in a number of ways (i.e. by simply replying or linking to the original post and then pasting part or all of its contents into the new toot, preferably with clear indications that they are quoting the referenced toot, most discussion of this concept centers around whether it would be desirable as a feature for fediverse client-interface software (mainly Mastodon).
While there are definitely beneficial ways to use such a feature, many people have apparently been quite traumatized by its abusive uses on Twitter (where it was, of course, known as "quote tweet[ing]").
Many people have cited the use of this feature on Twitter for harassing and starting dogpiles.
- to add commentary
- to add hashtags
- to add a CW (content warning)
- to put the post in a local context (this need might be better addressed by other means, but for the record)
- 2022-12-22 Web interface: Please localize all links. Clicking a link sometimes goes to another instance. #22657 (issue ticket on Mastodon repo)
- 2022-12-22 social.vivaldi.net/@Patricia «When people follow a link to a post they end up on the server of the poster, but that has a generic “Mastodon” header that says they have to log in. So they think that is “log into ✨Mastodon✨” like it would for most of their other services. And when that fails (because they’re not on that server) then they ✨create new accounts✨.»
Note that different users have different followerships with different preferences and filtering needs; a post which may have been absolutely fine in the original poster's context might really need a CW (for content many followers might want to skip or only view under some circumstances) or hashtags (for filtering, as well as the more obvious use of making the post more findable) in the context of the person resharing it.
Something I have not seen brought up is that sometimes you don't want to quote an entire post, but maybe just a sentence or one or two paragraphs. I would definitely prefer to see an interface which presented the OP as editable content, rather than one which just embeds the original -- though if editing is not needed, embedding the original would be a nice option to have (especially when the original author might edit the post to correct errors or add updates). -W.
- 2022-12-27 toot.cat/@thatdawnperson «It is important that QT protect the original writer’s distribution/privacy settings. What does QT safely give you that reply-and-boost or sharing a link doesn’t? [...]» To my mind, this suggests one benefit of QT-as-a-feature over manually constructing them: they could encourage best practices, such as making sure QTs were replies rather than new threads, or not QTing if the quoted user has disabled them on a given post (or as a default for their account).
- 2022-12-24 Annalee Newitz suggests a design feature that would alleviate their concerns (Annalee is generally against QTs)
- 2022-12-23 wandering.shop/@Quinnae_Moon «It appears, at least in my little archipelago of Mastodons, that there's a Great Quote-Tweet debate happening.» thread with discussion
- 2022-12-18 toot.cat/@woozle «So, let's talk about #quoteToots (known presumably as #quoteTweets on that other place).» (discussion thread)
- 2022-12-24 Annalee Newitz via Charlie Stross (If image OCR is available in Linux, I don't know how to do it. -W.)
- 2022-12-24 chat.noelle.codes/@noelle: comment from an experienced Twitter and Mastodon user, and instance admin (she's been on fedi since at least 2017, just not on that instance)
- 2022-12-19 indieweb.social/@whalecoiner «I cannot describe to you the anxiety that comes from people demanding the fucking Quote feature for Mastodon.» (thread, discussion)
- 2022-12-22 rage.love/@perigee «It seems like part of the discussion includes that (surprise) marginalized people use them for other purposes than the largely white developers seem to be able to conceive of.» ... «if this pattern bears out, it'll be years or perhaps decades until there's a regime change and the feature request gets honored. Affably white folks who ignore requests sand discussion usually stick with it without critical engagement for their lifetime and never look back.» A lot of vulnerable/marginalized people have also been traumatized by QTs on Twitter, though, it seems; that also needs to be taken into consideration. -W.
- 2022-12-21 fosstodon.org/@sehe «about the ONLY thing that can NOT be conveniently shared on Mastodon is another Mastodon post. / Even embedding YT or Twitter links seems to work as expected. Why would toots be any different? It's effectively just Mastodon disadvantaging itself.»
- 2022-11-16 hachyderm.io/@dalias «OK, here it goes. Why quote-posting is a critical positive feature we need to get on this platform. [...]» Enumerated thread.