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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The article makes a lot of confusion between centralization vs distribution for technical reasons and issues around centralization of power. These are different topics and they don’t always go together.
Also claiming that in a p2p environment everybody would need to run a server or have technical skill is incorrect.
I think it’s an exaggeration, as the article said a lot of users are on a lot of the smaller instances, and as they say the best weapon is the one you never have to fire, just the ability to move to a new instance could keep instances fair and effective.
After all this theorizing we can ask is there really a problem? are the few big instances of mastodon causing problems?
Democracy also has it’s cost, most people i think don’t even know all the things happening in there country to make the best decision on who to vote, and now you want them to start monitoring another political system with political candidates? Wikipedia does it with the board election but you hear a lot of complains about the foundation, Maybe being more restrictive in who you give power to (in the form of the ability to vote) could have been better, that’s the case for KDE and GNOME and I think most non profit universities.
With that said, if someone is interested in a democratic nonprofit the helps the fediverse they can always help out feneas.
Very clickbaity title. The article doesn’t conclude federation is bad, just that pursuing the ideal at all costs is a losing battle. Things naturally centralize, so we might as well make the big centre democratic. Wikipedia is fraught with problems and outside influence, but it’s a good example of democratic centralization I guess. Mastodon is still better for allowing federation with the big instances though.
What I hoped for out of federation is the old internet paradigms in which platforms thereby power is fleeting. Regular revolution was expected in other words platforms had a short life expectancy. Trust really was thin as well. While we may have been rather naive in trusting the random guy running a forum out of his garage was nothing more than appearances. Even then there still held a tenuous level of trust in anybody. The userbase would all pack up and leave in an instant. Power used to be fragile and it was good.
In the latest example with Twitch being entirely compromised probably would have sunk the company in yesteryear. Today it’s but a momentary blip.
Btw Rosenzweig is some how mentally/intellectually 10 years older than she actually is. Incredible.
Lots of good points here. I haven’t seen any successful federated platforms. One important thing the author forgets to mention is that these “centralized democratic systems” must be open source and self-hostable, which helps to keep their operators on their toes knowing that they are replaceable.
Very fun and interesting read, I wonder how the distribution of users among instances is today.
Not much difference in distribution of users. There are a lot more instances to choose from. But a large number of users are on the main instance. For example in the case of mastodon, most of the user base is still on https://mastodon.online and mastodon.social.
https://matrix.org has the same problem. There are basically millions (I need to find the source for this number, I remember seeing it mentioned somewhere) of users on this instance and not even a number close to this on other servers.
I think we need to emphasize this topic more in digital issues. The matter of decentralization culture within the fediverse. How can we incentivize self hosting?
I think for example that Small Technology Foundation, Masto Host and Spacebear Federation brings a good impact on this. I think we also need to focus on making it easier for regular people to influence development so that we can better make self hosting accessable.