I dread the day that silicon valley 'discovers' the fediverse and it starts getting popular in a Big way.
the day that happens is the day that VC money starts pouring into startups that will try to 'develop' (ie systematically colonize, commercialize, and exploit) the fediverse, which is, as of today, one of the few non-capitalist (as in non-commercialized) spaces left on the internet.
how do we prevent this from happening? how do we make it impossible for this to happen in the first place?
@gc I thought it happened once already, a few months ago. They got called out on some GPL thing and were made fun of relentlessly and disappeared. In the short run it seems to work but in the long run..
@gc Ze Frank used to host a thing he called The Show. He'd start every episode with a bizarre intro to scare away those looking to jump on the bandwagon. About 90 seconds in the intro would abruptly stop and Ze would ask "Are the new viewers gone yet?" Those that persisted were rewarded with a fabulous experience.
Perhaps there can be some collective, baked in deterrent like cold winters in Minnesota keeping out the "riff raff" as my former girlfriend's grandma used to say.
@gc don't think you do - just when it happens other "fediverse" equivalents will appear, or continue to run in the background/alongside, as they always have.
those who are aware of them will continue.
and one day if we are lucky, people will simply ignore attempts at commercialisation and they will die of starvation
Grow the alternative enterprise community faster. Develop financing for enterprises that wish to exit as worker cooperatives, and financing for enterprises that start as worker cooperatives.
The Multifed? The capability to have a fediverse isolated from the general fediverse solves that problem. Strong protections on a user and instance level mean we can block compromised users and instances from invading a particular fediverse in the Multifed.
(I now dedicate myself to making "Multifed" a real word people use)
federation helps- a "toxic" instance can be isolated.
we need to evolve as humans for it to be impossible to happen. i don't think it's a matter of either legislation or technology (besides, both are owned by captialists/authoritarians)- it's a matter of prioritizing human relationships and liberation above hoarding.
don't know how to get there either: maybe one (small) step at a time.
1) Ensuring that the fediverse remains decentralised is a big part of it. Vigiliantly preventing singularities of accumulation actively discourages capital.
2) If you develop applications, make sure they're released under the AGPL 3.0 or GPL 3.0
In my case, I released a little library for IPFS recently, but made the licensing optional (AGPL3, GPL3, or MIT) because it can only be used to build decentralised things. It would make no sense to build barriers to prevent that from happening.
@gc as a Fediverse developer, focus on user experience. Open source implementations are often colonized or replaced by startups who can attract users through superior user experience, even if their code is primitive.
Also, AGPL license everything.
@bob @gc Other than awareness, I think encouraging a relatively low user to instance ratio is the single best longterm tactic. The bigger the diverse ecosystem of small instances is when money bags get involved, the harder it will be to control. I seem to read conflicting stuff on whether mastodon itself plays nicely with the rest of the fediverse as it is already though.
@bob @gc Worth noting that there is already a major corporate instance - Pawoo. The trick is that it's exclusively Japanese, so most people don't pay attention to it in the English-speaking Fediverse (other than to block its media, due to certain content posted there that's considered OK in Japan, and taboo at best, illegal at worst in the west).
They've done some pretty extensive modifications to the front end, AFAIK, too.
E-mail as a federated protocol is under massive attack under the guise of anti-spam measures, after all, and I don't see anything inherent to ActivityPub or to Mastodon or Pleroma that improves the anti-spam situation relative to e-mail.
So, you have a legacy of open SMTP relays - send whatever you want, claiming to be from wherever, and it'll transmit the message. SPF is designed to fight this, by only allowing certain servers to originate SMTP mail for a domain (if the domain's SPF record doesn't match, then something illegitimate is going on, and the message should be blocked).
@charlag @bob @gc You also have some SMTP servers without authentication - if you send a message claiming to be from the domain that the SMTP server handles, they'll accept it and send it out without authentication.
These bad practices are ending, at least - servers that do these things tend to be put on blocklists, and then nobody gets any of their e-mail - but then once you get on a blocklist, it's almost impossible to get off.
@gc aggressively federate. fragment enough to make assimilation across instances harder than communication across instances. proliferate implementations and clients and governance models. ground funding in co-ops, nonprofits, academic institutions, small business, and local governments. grapple sooner rather than later with the hazards of data-mining and marketing.
in other words: learn both the positive and negative lessons of e-mail, irc, usenet the pre-megacorp web, etc.
@gc Figure out with whom you want to federate, basically.
This is (and has been) one of IRC's greatest, most enduring strengths: you can set up your own, any time, and relay with the like-minded. Or just break links and tell them to talk to the hand.
@gc That already happened once though? I've already forgotten what the instance was called that had some weird blockchain tie-in but it didn't really disrupt the fediverse beyond lots of people talking about it. I guess I'm not too worried about corporations trying to take this from us; it seems fairly clear how to handle them in this setting.
@gc wonder if this is the actual issue - commercialization and the capital coming in?
It’s never really been about the money its self but more about who majority owns the platforms/ecosystem. Which in the past has been a small number of founders and investors.
NOW the users need to be the majority owners.
Coopertizing the Fediverse is the best possible to staving off a “colonization” while not impeding the relevancy and growth of the Fediverse as whole which is equally important.
@gc Having read lots of responses to your post, there's some great ideas in there. Two stick our for me: capital likes scale, and on the interwebs isn't concerned with profit, merely the potential for profit, so keeping the size of instances down is a great way to keep the whole thing looking less attractive. Couple this with real baked in user ownership and control as we have with #socialcoop.
Avoiding privatisation-friendly licensing of code (e.g. Apache, MIT) is also a good thing.
@gc we need to spread the cooperative model as much as possible, as fast as possible. Cooperatives are extremely resistant to buy-outs, both for practical and emotional reasons
@gc It's currently impossible to search statuses. KEEP THAT. That's a big stumbling block to monetization.
@gc one of the things I've done is at least keep tabs on the known corporate spaces that currently exist and added them as a special category on my blocklist so we can keep an eye on them and potentially remove some of their social power by defederating from them
@gc People with backing have tried to do this a couple times. They've failed by overestimating the degree to which it's commercialization-friendly. Also, they've used mastodon, which is AGPL. Also, generally speaking, they've broken federation in order to prevent their users from realizing they can switch to a less-shitty instance. It could be done more competently & I'm not sure how it would be best prevented
A Fediverse instance for people interested in cooperative and collective projects.