ActivityPub is based on HTTP/JSON standards, for real-time solutions in other "out of Web" environments I'd prefer to use something like XMPP-Pubsub (that is built on top of TCP) directly.
XMPP can pretty much covers what ActivityPub offers (feeds, comments, articles publication) with a lot more related features (presences, contact list, video-conferencing, chatrooms…). Also, social features on XMPP are basically Atom 1.0 on top of Pubsub, so no need to convert Atom to some new JSON format, you simply embed it! (ArsTechnica on XMPP Pubsub https://nl.movim.eu/?node/news.movim.eu/ArsTechnica, or my personnal blog https://firstname.lastname@example.org).
As for social media controls, you certainly can publish items only visible to e.g. certain groups of people, unsure if that's what you meant.
XMPP is not the narrow subset of XMPP that Pidgin implements, but sadly that's how most people are familiar with it. Projects like Movim for example provide a much richer view of how XMPP can also be used for social media.
Personally I'm a fan of ActivityPub if it gets more people federating. It's not impossible to bridge the two protocols (we did that in the past with OStatus, the previous iteration of federated HTTP social networking).
And help spread technologies that have a real chance
There is also Eventos: https://framagit.org/tcit/eventos "a decentralized and federated Meetup-like using ActivityPub"
Eventos video demo: https://videos.tcit.fr/videos/watch/6202aec4-5385-46f7-8cfd-...
I'd appreciate your input, thanks!
I suppose I am a little off in my <1000 estimate, but 2500 is still hilariously small compared to the internet as a whole. Try it with 400 thousand users and 20 million messages (which activitypub type stuff can handle)
It's currently being implemented in Rust, and I'm personally working on off-chain content that would allow data to be passed in any syntax: JSON, YAML, TOML, ProtoBuf, or your favorite binary syntax. I believe there's also a Python implementation.
> Try it with 400 thousand users and 20 million messages
Why would I want to do that? I download and replicate the feeds of the people that I follow (and the people that they follow), and that ends up being about 2500 people out of the 8000 Scuttlebutt users.
Do you also scoff at apps like Signal that only download the threads you're a part of? My friends and I aren't sending each other millions of messages, we're chatting about life and playing chess and pushing Git commits. I think we can do better than ActivityPub.
> Why would I want to do that? I download and replicate the feeds of the people that I follow (and the people that they follow), and that ends up being about 2500 people out of the 8000 Scuttlebutt users.
Scuttlebutt gets actively clumsy in conversations that involve people that aren't in your FOAF range, whereas stuff like ActivityPub (and others, like IndieWeb) don't. So yeah, scuttlebutt is worse, IMO.
Oh, and scuttlebutt is also a constantly growing append only log for each person, so no way to garbage collect really old stuff. Again, a tradeoff, but other systems let you choose to remove old stuff, scuttlebutt just breaks if you try.
Would ActivityPub be able to solve this issue?
I will admit that the post was intentionally hyperbolic, though. AP doesn't have nearly the adoption threshold it would need to be a serious contender in the social media space. I'm hoping that through articles like these we can spread the word and drive adoption.
But yeah, this has been tried before and didn't really take off. I think the fundamental problem is that it's just way more lucrative to have a centralized social network than a decentralized/federated one. But as I alluded in the post, I think there is a way to build a profitable business on ActivityPub, and that's what it's going to take to make AP mainstream.
It seems to be all an evolution. Gnu Social -> OStatus -> ActivityPub -> PeerTube.
As all things open source, every few years, a new innovation builds on top of already established communities and tries something new. True, ActivityPub / Masteodon are relatively new, but the roots of the network are well planted in the general Fediverse.
Mastodon is compatible with OStatus used by GNU social servers and Pleroma is basically the spiritual successor to GNU Social and is fully activitypub compliant (moreso than Mastodon is). This network has existed for a very long time and will still be there when you're ready to take alternative social media seruously. So if you're skeptical, check back when you're ready.
I won't be offended if the mods change the title of the submission though, I realize that's the sort of thing that rubs people here the wrong way.
I somewhat doubt this, though. Already, Mastodon instances can block other instances from showing up on theirs. Likewise, a major instance could simply block all other instances from showing up on theirs, or the other way around. Walled gardens can arise when single players become as large as Twitter is, and that isn't prevented (though perhaps somewhat obstructed) by federation.
Could activity pub be the future ? Yes, it could be .
Sure, people could set up their own instance. Federation is awesome. But if almost all other instances don't talk to them, they have to build a community from scratch, and it's usually not worth it.
And to put the cherry on this awful sundae, a lot of the people he was harassing were trans people, the very people that he caused such terrible problems for with his Twitter blocklist.
Let’s say a popular HN user with a large following (let’s call them “Dex”) starts a campaign on HN to harass you. They start posting lies all over the site, claiming you hit puppies, spit in the coffee of blond people, and talk at the theatre. Dex has rabid fans that take his word over their own research, and those users start to hate you. You start getting hate messages, and they eventually dox you.
> The only people being bothered are the people that want to be bothered.
You don’t want to be bothered by Dex’s actions. You may not even have a clue who he is. Yet you are being bothered by his actions and those of his fans.
> You can 1. Block people you don't want to see
You can’t block people in real life, when they start sending packages of excrement to your house or start swatting you.
> 2. Ignore it.
Pretty hard to ignore AFK harassment that is targeting you and your family in your own home.
> Twitter is not forcing you to view pages you don't like.
By now it should be clear it’s not about being offended by words you don’t want to see.
> Why do people like Wil blame Twitter for Alex Jones & Donald Trump?
In our parallel, let’s say you and a large portion of HN know Dex’s actions are spiteful and based on lies with the sole objective of harming you, and you can prove it. Yet HN does nothing. Instead, it keeps making excuses as to why they won’t silence Dex, thus allowing the attacks on your person to continue.
Do you see the problem?
Incredible, I know.
Not being a celebrity didn't work for them.
I genuinely didn't mean to put down your original comment. I've been badly misunderstood in the past, and have reacted poorly to those reactions, so I don't easily discard others' experiences when I see similar things. What Wil did and what he wrote in his blog post aren't wholly incompatible in my mind, and it sounds like everyone came away from this hurting.
I see that my comment, too, could easily be taken hurtfully, and I'm sorry for that. I meant only what was at the surface: I couldn't tell whether it was a parody or not. Clearly, not -- and now I understand where you were coming from. So, thank you :)
Pay for play is a huge issue in journalism, that he was mocking poor white guys with an interest in gaming is very dickish. Gaming is by far the largest cultural industry , more important than Hollywood.
I'm more worried about the billionaires buying failing old newspapers and using them to spout whatever ideology gives them the lowest taxes, but that doesn't mean I can't see why someone might care about their hobby being sold out.
You might be correct, but considering there are so many totally unmoderated instances and that anyone can easily attach their own instance to the network and have the exact level of moderation they deem appropriate for their community, im guessing it’s really just a matter of getting people away from Twitter, and the concern I hear about by far the most often is the fact that you can’t bring your followers with you if you choose to change instances.
Changing usernames when you change instances is also a very significant problem. Are there proposals for addressing that?
That is a point though: moderators change over time and a moderation team you like one year may be grossly different 5-years from now. To "leave" to a new instance means to give up your old identity entirely.
You lose followers when you change instances but you can set a flag on your old account that points to the new one.
I think you just summed up precisely what makes federated instances the best solution we currently have available. As your comment shows, there is no perfect balance for everyone--no matter what kind of moderation we put in place, there will always be that group who will be unhappy.
With federation, if you think you'll be unable or unwilling to follow an instance's code-of-conduct, you simply hop onto a different instance which better fits your personal expectations; or if you are very very particular, you just toss up your own instance et voilà, you're talking to those on the Mastodon network with your own ideal of a perfectly balanced system.
The instances that don't want to talk to your instance are generally not the kind of people you'd want to talk to either, if you're conservative you can generally talk to conservative instances and if you're liberal you can talk to liberal instances and if you're centrists/dontcare like my instance you talk to both (though my instance is heavily leaning on liberal we do have a few conservative instances in the mix).
I have just always disagreed with the statement that social media is good for democracy because of the widening effect it has in the public discussion.
In reality there seems to be no such discussion. There seems to be a lot of clumping of people that agree on most things and little to no exchange in between.
As with BBS systems in the old days, there are lists, but it's a bit of a hunt.
Those are really the only two issues I have with Mastodon.
That is exactly the point of federation.
Maybe jerk admins are a real problem, maybe they aren't - but they can't boot you off the network, and you'll always have options.
From what I'm aware of, this has kinda happened with certain instances have essentially been blackballed by the groups of instances which don't like them, or whatever.
So no matter what there is still an option. Unlike Facebook/Twitter. I mean technically even InfoWars and Alex Jones could start their own community and by the rules of Mastodon not get kicked off.
Please no one tell Alex Jones about Mastodon.
The alternative is to bump into that problem farther down the line, where solving it will be much costlier.
And if Mastodon will crumble because of Alex Jones, it would have crumbled eventually because of someone else like that.
I must be stupid, because I don't understand why I shouldn't have this right.
Lets take a really overly simplified example. Lets say you don't like people who like Purple. You're a Pink guy, through and through. In fact you hate people who like Purple. You think they're all jerks. So - you decide, you're going to make it so that you, and anyone else on your sever doesn't have to see Purple posters.
Half a year later, you find out that most people now believe in Purple. You don't find this out until people are telling you about how good Purple is in real life. When did all these people turn to Purple?
The problem I'm trying to illustrate here, is that as someone who is all about Pink - and opposed to Purple, you've taken yourself out of the opposing conversation. You didn't realize that Purple had the stage, and had been convincing people to go Purple. You didn't realize how much ground Purple gained, with nobody there to speak out about how bad Purple is.
While it might feel nice to not have to see things you don't like, in the broader sphere of the world and the place you live, it's damaging. You need to be aware of, and have to confront things you don't like. It's part of your civic duty.
You think you can try and compete with Bob but you can't; he's mentally ill and spends 6 hours a day posting about it. You could try to make a rational argument about the evils of Purple but it dosn't matter. You confront Bob but he's not interested in rational conversation. You just get more frustrated and eventually give up on your community. If there is still anyone still interested in Pink they've long been driven off.
If you argued that certain people in 2018 are too thin-skinned and characterize everyone as attacking or oppressing them I'd agree, but we still need filters to deal with legitimate abusers.
I’d agree anywhere but twitter/mastadon. Terrible platform for any kind of coherent conversation. Use it for shit that DOESN’T matter, and please god get your news anywhere else.
I honestly have no clue how you would use it without filtering. Seems miserable.
Do you feel private organisations and communities shouldn't be able to kick out people they dislike? Because that's how almost all organisations and groups work, real life, internet or otherwise. Doesn't seem very unreasonable to say someone running a hobbyist club or sports team or business should be able to kick out someone they/the people involved can't get along with.
Do you feel like people should be excluded because of their race? Their gender? Their age? Their sexual orientation? Their religion? Isn't that last one a choice according to a lot of people?
People should be able to make intimate temporary spaces which will sometimes even be exclusionary. However, permanent places in the public sphere should not be exclusionary. When the majority of a society starts feeling free to push around a minority, this is when oppression happens. This is especially true when it comes to politics. People should have freedom of association, so long as it doesn't interfere with other's freedom to pursue happiness.
Doesn't seem very unreasonable to say someone running a hobbyist club or sports team or business should be able to kick out someone they/the people involved can't get along with.
Activists have been seen colluding online, planning to deny their political enemies their hobbies and pastimes. It's called, "No escapism," and it's just a stealth form of harassment for political purposes. In the end, progress is best served by welcoming differences, talking, and sincerely interacting. You don't fight hate by acting hatefully. If you can at all help it, you shouldn't try to reduce violence through violence. You don't increase the world's tolerance by refusing tolerance.
Here's a good litmus test: Are the tactics you're proposing to use similar to the ones people used to use against gay people, or people of the "wrong" religion, or people of the "wrong" race? If so, then you're probably the villain in the story.
Zu jeder Zeit und an jedem Ort bleiben die Taten der Menschen die gleichen.
How do you define "public"?
> You don't fight hate by acting hatefully.
Is excluding someone a hateful act?
It depends on how you do it. If it's of the same side, flying the same colors that wants to enact violence, then the other signifiers of hate can be read pretty reliably.
For private, special interest groups... certain nly! Very little on the internet is not privately owned.
Which side is the morally better and truly better side? I think historians will be judging us by our words and actions. My argument was never that blocking X was being X. My argument is always that acting as X is being X. If Antifa wants to argue that they can use assault (or tolerate it from those wearing their colors) because they are only X% as bad as Nazis, then I think we should take them at their word and treat them if they're as bad as X% Nazis.
Obviously. However, historically it's a good way to go. Please demonstrate the necessity of your using "demand" in your sentence? You seem to have a pointed bias in how you read my comments.
I do demand, however, that people do not use political violence in the US. I also note who does and does not call out political violence.
I don't support political violence either.
I'm glad to hear it. I wish I'd hear a lot more of that from the US political left. Have you ever experienced negative attention "just short of violence" from people who have an axe to grind, but who don't want to get in trouble from violence? I have. I've received such attention from people who had an axe to grind against homosexuals. I've received such attention from people who didn't like immigrants. In recent years, the most negative attention "just short of violence" I've received is from people on the far left of US politics.
Second, the thread you're commenting on is about the ability of social network operators to block people, both on Twitter and on Mastodon. You're commenting on a thread rooted in a comment suggesting that people should not, under ordinary circumstances, be allowed to block other users on a social network.
The whole thread is there for you to read, and I object to you pretending for the sake of your argument that I'm the one veering it off course. Please stop.
Nobody has time for that, especially businesses that are profit-driven and rightfully so. Everyone should have the right to speak their mind, but you don't get to violate the right of a private platform to exclude you based on rules they have set. You have a right to be heard, just build your own platform, nobody is stopping you.
YouTube, Twitter, etc. and similar public sites with predominantly public content are absolutely "in the public sphere", and definitely the modern analogue of the street corner you can shout your feelings in.
We really no longer have the luxury of saying the government is the only entity that needs to respect your freedom of speech, and the law desperately needs to catch up with that reality.
It does not therefore make sense to reason from "indecent exposure is illegal in a grocery store" to "here is a set of claims I can make on a grocery store as a public space".
Then how is it that it's illegal for a grocery store to exclude people because of their race? There is clearly some reason that people can't be excluded from a such a space, while there also exist exclusive private clubs.
I'm also a bit confused by your "then how do you..." framing, as if you might be able to find a first-principles argument to refute my argument, which is a pretty straightforward fact you can just look up in any state's indecent exposure statute.
And what is the basis of that definition?
as if you might be able to find a first-principles argument to refute my argument
There is something there. It does have to do with whether or not people can move and function in the public sphere.
Is it because it's quite obvious from common sense, and doing so reveals the hypocrisy in politics and social media today?
The right to free speech arguably requires that we have a place to express that speech. Given that all communications are effectively corporate-owned, it's hard to argue that this isn't an important gap to discuss. Hosting providers, domain registrars, CDN services, certificate authorities, etc. are all owned by companies, and beyond platforms, infrastructure has now been increasingly used as a target to use to restrict speech.
Perhaps an example would be if you could be banned from protesting on a sidewalk by the company that poured the concrete.
Or another example, people don't often consider, is that phone communications, like Internet communications, are owned by corporations. Wouldn't people consider it crazy if I suggested that Verizon or AT&T should have a say in what you said over their networks?
I recognize that the law doesn't consider an Internet platform to be a public space where free speech is required, but my point is that this is the problem: Our laws have not kept up with the society we live in.
Verizon is not allowed to monitor your phone calls (except as needed to maintain its network) under the ECPA.
If you're making the argument that the law needs to change and these platforms need to be regulated, that's another argument. Though I can foresee how that will lead to a dark path. I strongly believe in the right of a human to speak their mind without fear of persecution, but I also think a private business has the right to refuse speech they do not like.
Social media has to have some form of moderation/curation, otherwise it would just be full of spam.
> but then what's the point of federation?
Censorship is a fraught issue: Some people think lots of things should be blocked; other people think only things against the law should be; and yet others think not even that. There's no way of pleasing everyone. So having a federation of different instances allows each to have whatever moderation policies that suit them, instead of one size fits all.
I'm sure I must be misunderstanding this, because it sounds like you're saying "dick pics and other forms of harrassment are fine, you shouldn't even want to avoid them"? Can you explain what you actually mean, assuming that that isn't it?
That's why I think adding naked domain in ActivityPub is important. It avoids double @email@example.com, you can simply use your tld. It's easier to remember, also better to self-host.
It is so disheartening to hear people who earnestly equate physical violence with offensive speech. Mastodon offers a forum for people who see the wisdom of a commitment to free speech.
Mastodon seems to be headed in the same direction.
Tone down the rhetoric of protecting peoples feelings and have actual human conversations instead. You will only attract the worst people from both sides of that debate if you keep it up.
You just made me orders of magnitude less likely to use it because all I heard there was "prepare for lots of drama".
Combine that with the product issues it has in regards to walling off people and ideas, the need to self host (so many wasted resources, not to mention the bar to running one is high), and the extremist admin issues.
ActivityPub is cool. Mastodon is gonna be a flash in the pan methinks. If the protocol catches on and services like Wordpress, Twitter, FB et all begin to adopt it then the individual instances are going to be less attractive.