Thursday, January 5, 2023

Mastodon and Federation

Ben Klemens:

Lemmer-Webber drew a direct line from problems on other social networks to the development of a network where local controls are built in. “Queer people built the Fediverse,” she said, adding that four of the five authors of the ActivityPub standard identify as queer. As a result, protections against undesired interaction are built into ActivityPub and the various front ends. Systems for blocking entire instances with a culture of trolling can save users the exhausting process of blocking one troll at a time. If a post includes a “summary” field, Mastodon uses that summary as a content warning.

Other governance questions are more subtle, because features for greater privacy, almost by definition, limit the discovery and exploration we also look for in a social network. For example, the question of whether Mastodon should allow instance-only posts that do not go out to the Fediverse at large has been especially contentious. The final decision leaned toward discoverability, so Kazemi forked Mastodon to create Hometown, which includes this more-limited sharing option and various improvements.

[…] lists around a hundred ActivityPub-based systems, many going well beyond the traditional social network. There’s Pixelfed, which provides a Fediverse instance with an images-forward front end (“It’s like Instagram, but…”). You can share video with PeerTube or federate your music via a Funkwhale instance, write collaboratively on Write freely or dokieli, review books and form your book club on BookWyrm, or plan events using Kazemi’s

Kazemi is optimistic about coming full circle and using ActivityPub as the next RSS.

Mastodon (via Bud Gibson):

If you hide boosts from someone, you won’t see their boosts in your home feed.

I’m probably going to start doing this because boosts seem a lot more intrusive and repetitive than retweets on Twitter.


Update (2023-01-06): Adam Chandler:

I’m going to put my money where my mouth is and run my own Mastodon instance. I like that people can follow me (like they do the RSS feed I publish here) but owning your IP also means owning your box on the internet.

The realization that my Mastodon posts can’t move with me between servers is even more scary. Why would I devote years of my life posting to someone’s instance and lose all of my posts when that instance closes down since I can’t migrate posts out? That’s a serious flaw and flies in the face of data portability efforts many advocates have been working for.

2 Comments RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

What I really wish is for Mastodon to add better deduplication logic. I really don’t need to see a post when its part of a hashtag I’m following, and then again when someone I follow boosts it, and then a THIRD time when I myself boost it.

[…] Fediverse has a proud history of longstanding support of LGBTQ+ issues, exemplified both by the ActivityPub protocol being created by a predominantly queer team, and by Mastodon’s server covenant, which […]

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