Is decentralization killing the environment? What do you think and why?
A community dedicated to fediverse news and discussion.
Fediverse is a portmanteau of “federation” and “universe”. It is a common, informal name for a federation of social network servers whose main purpose is microblogging, the sharing of short, public messages.
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I would like to find the author of this article and slowly, yet, nonviolently terrorize them.
This is a rather disingenuous article trying to make the implication that the fediverse is comparable (or worse) in electricity use to cryptocurrency mining or to the centralized BigTech systems. That’s far from being the case.
The centralized systems do more than just display a timeline chronologically. They also do data mining in the background to put users into advertising categories. On Facebook I think literally every keystroke is data mined. Plus of course there is the serving of ads which takes large amounts of bandwidth - something which doesn’t happen in the fediverse to any significant extent.
I maintain an ActivityPub server called Epicyon, and being low on electricity use is one of its goals. You can run it on a Rpi and not have it make much of a ding in electricity bills. This type of system can scale horizontally rather than vertically like the BigTech systems do.
medium articles containing 800 bytes of text that weigh 7 megabytes will kill the environment long before that surely
What a bunch of bullshit.
They eco footprint of a mastodon thread is vastly lower than one of Facebook or Twitter
Let me tell you why: there is no advertising on mastodon. Online advertising require huge resource from complex “AI” algorithm to the exchange infrastructure.
Fuck surveillance capitalism and fuck that guy, how dense is he to compare SSL to bitcoin?
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Is there anything to back that opinion up?
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Just consider the number of people who get paid to work on the fediverse compared to Facebook, and how much each group drives by car each day. Its a completely different magnitude. Same for construction and heating of office space or server farms.
Your scale argument is convincing as for global impact, but it would be interesting to know what is more energy-consuming at similar scale, as there are arguments for both sides (mainly the one of this article vs the overload of advertisement); so as to determine where it makes more sense ecologically for an individual to interact, maybe whether one refraining from voting posts and comments would have an ecological impat, that kind of things.
@rhiaro recently ask about this on fedi too: https://toot.cat/@rhiaro/108130076653360786
we’re not really off fedi here though 😀
Yeah, I was actually thinking that while writing, ha ha. But I also didn’t want to say its on Mastodon either, as it is not just them. So fedi timelines then 🤔
Well, it’s as much on Mastodon as this one is on Lemmy. Both threads appear similarly in my Friendica timeline (funnily enough, there even appeared just one after the other when you first commented). Maybe one should say “via Mastodon”?
That might be better. I try to avoid because so many people think that
fediverse === mastodon, though.
This is Lemmy, that is Mastodon, both are on Fedi and both are accesible from other parts of Fedi. I think that introducing the asymmetry in calling one fedi contributes to fueling the confusion.
Oh certainly, with that I wholly agree :)
I think I have seen that guy around the Hubzilla Fediverse for a while so I don’t think this is a quick hit-piece of someone having no idea about the Fediverse. But the headline is definitely a bit sensationalist.
Anyways, of course a Gemini site or so will have a lower environmental footprint than a Lemmy instance. There are trade-offs between functionality/usability and energy/hardware efficiency for sure.
The question is when does it become too much?
Obviously Bitcoin is at the far end of useless waste of resources, but closer to the Fediverse there are some projects that are also questionably over-engineered in that regard.
Matrix for example comes to mind, which replicates huge amounts of data and constantly tries to merge server data-bases (at quite significant expense of compute resources) for a largely hypothetical usage scenario where distributed chat-rooms are of vital importance.
And in the ActivityPub space those projects that try to implement chats or other fast moving communication methods over a protocol that was primarily designed for slow personal message posting are probably also wasting resources (and reinventing the wheel).
On the positive side, decentralization can help resource efficiency by making it easy to self-host and thus reusing existing server capacity and reuse old hardware. ActivityPub projects like Epicyon or in general efficient chat protocols like XMPP or IRC are definitely saving resources through decentralization.
That’s just plain wrong, it only gets replicated to subscribers of the subscribers if they boost it. Which is completely fine, I don’t think all of this is a problem.
Their test of simply following everyone is really dumb, since 8000 follows are like an instance of 100 people (maybe even more, I don’t know how much the follows tend to overlap, if people follow the same accounts)… I wonder which footprint his medium article has.
It’s not the first time that I’ve seen a criticism like this article, so this might be a talking point amongst a certain crowd. The slight of hand is that they never mention the shared inbox, or the additional processing which the centralized systems do to serve ads and categorize users.