Context: this is an Overview page (not a Service Page) about a topic which emerged from the 5th in a series of newsletters focused on #US2020 #disinformation. More: Simplifying Zettelkasten by working out loud.
Fediverse: collection of interoperable social networks built on Open Web standards. ActivityPub standard, for example, is used by (inter alia) Twitter-lookalike Mastodon and YouTube-lookalike PeerTube. Unlike Twitter and YouTube, however:
This would be like if my Twitter account followed someone's Facebook page, yet we could still interact seamlessly from our platform of preference. That’s impossible as Twitter & Facebook are walled gardens. Fediverse platforms like Mastodon and PeerTube are not – this is the Open Web on social.
See also: Tim Berners-Lee’s Solid, providing social media users with control over their data through personal knowledge graphs.
While each Fediverse server is a community with its own rules, they're not walled gardens. This helps solve the vicious circle problem facing new platforms (why join a network where there are so few people on it? Hence noone joins it, so numbers stay low. So noone joins it): people don’t need to join the same social network, they just have to join any Fediverse network.
Reality check: Servers must be bidirectionally linked manually? Mastodon apparently suffers from "the singleton problem... [as it's] difficult to convince ... a major server to [federate] ... with a minor one... three Mastodon servers contain almost 60% of the known Mastodon population" - Peer-to-Peer Network Models and their Implications.
See also: adversarial interoperability - another part of the solution to this problem.
Nevertheless, this still requires a 'mass decamp'. Cue the US2020 elections, following which "US conservative leaders may have triggered the sort an en masse decamp that Facebook/Twitter alternatives require to take off".
However they're not moving to Fediverse platforms, so this may simply return us to the #splinternet (pre-platform social media), but with even more political polarisation.
If progressives decamp, they should decamp to Fediverse alternatives.
The EU Institutions could help: by simply joining and posting to Fediverse platforms in addition to Facebook/Twitter, they could:
Aggregates profiles across all cooperating Fediverse servers to help new user find out "where (most) of my friends are" by user providing access to contact list. Will by definition accelerate early successes, but will lower the barrier to joining.
Possibly even allow user - once she's joined on platform - to follow friends across platforms.
Good overview here:
Highlighted Resources tagged #fediverse or #openweb follow below, or jump straight to all of them:
Here are the latest 9 resources I've Highlighted about Fediverse (Overview). There's more reading over here.
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