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Why Not Mastodon?


integrity
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(@integrity)
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Isn't mastodon the answer to a decentralized twitter-like platform? Is there a reason these forums are not embracing Mastodon?

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Larry Sanger
Posts: 42
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Joined: 11 years ago

For me, it is because Mastodon (the Fediverse generally) doesn't actually solve the problem of decentralizing social media. It is reasonably decentralized in itself, because it is federated, although that is problematic because it gives too much power to geeks who can figure out how to run ActivityPub servers (which isn't easy). There are other technical issues, too; for one thing, I understand that a key pair identity system is misused, making no use of private keys, which enables server admins to forge posts by participants.

But the most important thing is that no single network is going to replace Big Tech social media networks. Basically, there are too many competitors. They need to be made interoperable. And as far as I can tell, the single biggest impediment to interoperability is (a) the lack of a social media data standard, that (b) is commonly used by a lot of people with social media content to share, in which (c) people actually own and control their own data.

The biggest way to fix that problem is to create a "lingua franca" for social media—not just a standard, but a tool, or an app, that is really easy to install, which makes it possible to manage all your social media from the same place, and you 100% control it yourself. So that's why I'm chasing down a plugin for WordPress. It's easy to install WordPress & WP plugins. Then we just create importers and exporters to and from RSS (a slightly extended version, perhaps).

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integrity
(@integrity)
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@admin Thanks for the reply! 

> gives too much power to geeks who can figure out how to run ActivityPub servers (which isn't easy)

Isn't this solved with time? WordPress was originally more difficult to install - over time the core WordPress maintainers made the install easier. I can envision in the future where standing up a Mastodon server is as easy as installing WordPress!

> key pair identity system is misused, making no use of private keys, which enables server admins to forge posts by participants

Valid point.

> create importers and exporters to and from RSS

So you're saying the content is created in WordPress, and then you export (or "push") the content into all the social platforms (Twitter, Mastodon, etc)?

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community_man
(@community_man)
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@admin mastadon, along with some its forks listed here below for reference are too lazy to break loose from the client/server model or at worst are serving as a honey trap to identify and then oppress subsets of society that others find offensive, as in the for example the inquisition that occurred during the dark ages. 

In this below example one dinosaur properly called mastodon is attaching another dinosaur.  I have pointed all this out to them on many occasions and they still persist about leading milions down another rabbit hole where they will emerge as the next Zuckerburg, Dorsey, etc.

https://blog.joinmastodon.org/2019/07/statement-on-gabs-fork-of-mastodon/

What is needed is community moderated peer to peer systems such as LBRY.  

 

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PrivacyCoinGuy
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I heard recently that the original creator of the Mastadon platform also got involved in censorship. Maybe he got put under pressure, or maybe he just didn't like what some communities were saying. Either way, it proves that it is not truly decentralized.

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vcavallo
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Posted by: @admin

The biggest way to fix that problem is to create a "lingua franca" for social media—not just a standard, but a tool, or an app, that is really easy to install, which makes it possible to manage all your social media from the same place, and you 100% control it yourself

I recognize that you're saying "not just a standard", so I assume it misses the mark for you, but are you aware of https://solidproject.org/ ?

 

What about a standard and an app?

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robot_philosoph
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(@robot_philosoph)
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Joined: 2 weeks ago

Shouldn't we concentrate on open protocols and let the app space fight amongst itself?

From what I can see there is: ActivityPub, Distributed Social Networking Protocol (defunct), Micropub, OpenSocial (defunct), OStatus, Pump.io, and  XMPP. Am I allowed to link to Wikipedia here? 😉 See the protocol section of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:Online_social_networking

I've heard of three of these. ActivityPub, OpenSocial, and XMPP. OpenSocial made waves back in the day, appears it went off and became a W3C protocol and then died: https://www.w3.org/Social/ . ActivityPub, not sure what has become of that. XMPP is a notoriously difficult protocol.

On my blog (that is dead and which I must resurrect) I wondered out loud why free software a.k.a. open source was able to produce amazing projects like GNU and Linux and Apache and Mozilla and Wordpress (and Wikipedia come to think of it!) but was not able to make a dent on Gmail/Hotmail, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, SnapChat, TikTok, and so on. My younger self had always assumed that open source would eventually produce FOSS alternatives to all these social media products/platforms. Either Diaspora, or Mastodon, or something else, or some combo of all of them would eventually take hold. But no, I was clearly wrong.

The ODF versus MS Office gave me a small hint. What is the digital realm? Code + Data, right? So along with open source we need open document standards for doc interop. Part of the same battle. Plus we need open protocols for app interop. That's how email hasn't become that siloed and why we have more than one web server piece of software and competing web clients.

To break Big Tech's stranglehold on social media (FB-style, microblogging-style, …) we need, in my humble opinion, something like the International Telecommunications Union to dictate what are the open protocols that a truly federated social media landscape will be built on. Big Tech are not going to voluntarily give up this lucrative and strategic beach-head they've taken so we're going to have to get around them legally and politically and technically.

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JatApp
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(@jatapp)
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Joined: 1 week ago

Cool!

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