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PeerTube 2.1 (joinpeertube.org)
161 points by jrepinc 15 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 29 comments

This is federated video hosting services like XMPP designed for federated communication infrastructure.

Player use webtorrent to use BitTorrent protocol for video streaming. This system gives limited control to the company or individual hosting the federated server to manage videos hosted on their platform only.

The only issue I see in this service is same faced by email and XMPP servers. So hopefully the federated server is not controlled by few players like happened in case of email and in spite of being federated controlled by large players like google, in another instance WhatsApp and google both used XMPP and removed support for federation when they became sufficiently large.

Email is not dominated by a few players unless you think email is strictly free webmail and even then there are like a dozen of them.

If you combine corporate hosted email and free webmail, the vast majority of marketshare is very likely Microsoft, Google, Verizon. Would you honestly believe they host less than 80% of SaaS email mailboxes between the three of them?

Aren’t most of these unavailable in China?

Same thing in China? Tencent and Netease probably have +80% of marketshare? Microsoft has presence there as well both on the Hotmail and Office 365 sides of the coin.

The reason that everyone congregates on only a few servers is because it solves the problem of discoverability (which is essential if you want others to watch your content).

Hey guys. If you just recently discovered the fediverse, and feel the friction of exploring it. I am working on a couple of aggregators for mastodon, pixelfed, and maybe eventually peertube.



Why do they all want an email?

I am a bit confused by your question. I only ask for email if you want to be notified about a launch, or provide feedback. Both of those use-cases are difficult without a point of contact.

I tried using fediverse services, they all want an email to sign up,tried dozens. All email providers need a phone to register these days and getting a phone means either I get a burner or use my real number which anyone can pay a service to find out just about everything about me.

Ok .... I am doing my best here, and assuming this is a comment in good faith, and not a troll post (following HN guidelines and all).

So, you are trying to join a federated social network. But, you feel that providing an email (literally the first federated social network on the internet) is a burden ? And you feel this is a burden because you don't want to give up a phone number to get an email account.

I believe protonmail has a free tier, and doesn't ask for a phone number:


And you can also pay for the premium tier with bitcoin.


So hopefully that gets you out of a pickle where you want to have an email while maximizing privacy.

So first,why would what I said be a trollpost? Because you disagree?

Second, protonmail requires a phone or credit card to sign up(wasn't the case before). You can pay for protonmail using btc and i was lucky to have an account before their sms verification requirement but I don't wish to use that address.

Third, why the hell do I need an email address to join any service? I can list many reasons why I don't want to use email ,privacy being only one small reason. Let go of email and sms,please! I emplore you, so much is at stake! You can use email all you want but free your users from needing it.

Why do I need an email for mastodon? Why???? It's literally a communication platform you can send me messages on? You can make a backup email (or backup mastodon account) for recovery although there are more secure options? Why do you insist on demanding people depend on a technology from the early 1980s to use new technology today? Why do I need burner phones and bitcoin wallets fudned using cash to join a free federated service? I use to be able to join an irc network,forums or even email itself without everyone and their mother knowing my phone,address, work place,associates,demographic info,etc...

Why can't you give it a break?

Hey man, I didn't mean no offense. I don't disagree, I respect people who want privacy. It just seems like you are a person who takes their privacy "extra" seriously, and I just wasn't sure if it was a joke or not (most people on the internet have an email address). There is nothing wrong with people who go the next level of privacy, just don't encounter them very often so kudos to you on that front.

I understand your frustration from a privacy perspective. But I did not create mastodon. You may want to submit an issue on mastodon's github to ask for a non-email registration setting, and make your case why its important for privacy.


But I also want to say that you are an outlier of the average user on the internet (most of whom have an e-mail address). I am sure that the guy who created mastodon, didn't add e-mail in the registration out of spite for privacy. He was following a common patter for registrations that works for 95% of people on the internet.

Going back to the discussion of creating anonymous email address. I didn't know that proton mail requires phone number (haven't used it before, just heard good things about it). I did not realize the state of email registrations across the web (haven't had create a new email account in a while). Your last option would be to just use those throw away email services, that generate a random email address, and let you receive some emails on that address.

Here is an example: https://temp-mail.org/

I am still worried about privacy, and it seems like the design of PeerTube is no longer flexible enough to consider making the desired improvements. In particular, it sounds like peers can still know which videos somebody has requested.

Seems to me that you could run your own instance, peer with any instances that have videos you're interested in, then enable "redundancy", which pulls their videos into your instance.

It doesn't prevent them from knowing you requested the data, but it provides an alternative explanation.

Really if you want that kind of privacy, I think you'd be looking at Freenet or similar projects.

Do you have ideas about a design where that wouldn't be the case?

In Firefox, under about:config, disable `media.peerconnection.enabled`. You should consider doing that anyway if you're worried about IP leaks because in some cases peer connections can unmask your IP address behind a VPN.

I'm in the midst of switching my hosting off of Youtube and on to Peertube. I don't run Google analytics or any ads on my sites, I make sure that most of my stuff can work without Javascript. I'm even looking into dropping Cloudflare so I can get rid of their remaining cookie. I believe that people have a fundamental, unalienable right to hide their identities online[0]. Because of that, my perspective on Peertube is... complicated. I don't dismiss the concern about peer-to-peer privacy, I think it's a real issue. However, I think those (valid) concerns are outweighed by the following:

A) PeerTube is still probably better for user's privacy than Youtube, and Peertube is a more feasible alternative to Youtube than anything else I've seen.

B) Using a VPN and flipping a few simple config options gets around the issue, which, as I'll get to below, you should be doing anyway.

C) Forcing people to care about their IP addresses in general is probably a good thing. People are generally dismissive of the fact that they leak their IP addresses to every site they visit, and that some of those sites will then leak their IP addresses to the general public[1]. If Peertube gets people to care about that, then maybe it's a good thing?

D) Peer-to-peer networking has really big benefits for bandwidth and reliability, and is going to be a core asset in getting decentralized technology to compete with centralized alternatives. I'm not willing to give that technology up, even if it has privacy implications. My perspective is we just have to deal with it, and preferably we have to deal with it in a generic way that can be easily applied on top of services like Peertube. I lean towards the opinion that forcing the issue is, again, probably a good thing in the long term.

I want to cycle back around to point C. If you're really worried about these IP leaks, I'm not going to say you're wrong. I think that's a valid concern. However, I will say that if you're really worried about these IP leaks, and you're not worried about regular web browsing without a VPN/Tor, then you probably don't have a complete grasp on the total scope of the problem. If you're already taking reasonable steps to protect your IP (as far as I know) Peertube won't be exposing you to any additional risks.

[0]: https://anewdigitalmanifesto.com/#right-to-hide

[1]: https://danshumway.com/blog/gamasutra-vulnerabilities/

Thanks for the informative write-up and explanation.

Won't VPN hide your IP in webtorrent?

Something I still can't figure out is: If I want to explicitly provide a mirror for videos of a specific account (or maybe just a specific list of videos), is there an app that can do it? Or is the website the only P2P implementation right now?

In general P2P means that if you want to run a "server" for some content then all you do have to run is another peer that happens to have that content. That said, p2p in browsers is comically crippled, so the general rule may not apply here.

Yes, but I'm taking about a dedicated peer. I'm not going to run a browser with a tab open per each video I want to mirror. For a number of reasons...

> p2p in browsers is comically crippled

Is that because of speed or some other reason?


The webtorrent app. There has been some talks about implementing it in libtorrent but no one seemed to be willing to make the effort and maintain it.

Webtorrent is not very performant. They are still waiting for changes to WebRTC for it to match bittorrent in terms of performance/resource usage.

What changes does it need?

You may browse the github issues. Both ipfs and webtorrent have the same core issues: Below are some examples




Fix the site, I left within 20seconds and that's being generous. Immediately have what it is, does, or why I want to read more. Fix the pixelated logo top left.

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