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The First Federated Indieweb Comment Thread (tantek.com)
45 points by aaronpk on April 24, 2013 | hide | past | favorite | 22 comments

How should a blog author protect himself from legal responsibility?

Just consider this (perfectly valid!) case: I, a German blog owner, blog about immigration issues and my blog post attracts a couple of US neonazis which use the Hitler salute, which is legal in the US, but forbidden in Germany.

As I am not in control of the comment server, I cannot delete the offending comment and protect myself from legal problems (it's a criminal offence after all).

Obviously the same problem arises for copyright violations - anyone remember the spread of the HDCP masterkey?

The owner of the website (in this case eschnou) is always able to choose what to display on the web page. Just like you can remove unwanted comments from a Wordpress comment thread, you can choose which "indieweb" comments to display.

Ah, okay. And how does comment federation protect against (SEO) spam? If everything runs automated, naturally there cannot be anything like a captcha or other anti-bot measure in the system.

We've got a bunch of ideas for how this might be fixed – some of them are documented here: http://indiewebcamp.com/comment#Accept_a_comment

My personal inclination is to accept any comments from people I know, and notify myself of any from people I don't know. I can then approve them/block them by adding them to my address book.

So far, I let comments automaticaly and delete spammy/offending one reactively. It does not happen often. If it becomes a problem, I'll have to switch to moderating comments, just like you moderate comments on a blog.

It's not "if", it's "when". Since this is inherently an automated comment-propagation system, it seems significantly easier to spam billions of sites with a bot. Captchas suck / only work to some degree, but they work to some degree - what would be implemented in this system?

I can see a proof-of-work system working reasonably well (gets rid of mass-spams, though big sites would still get automated ones), but it seems like there should be something baked into it if this is at all intended to grow beyond 'indie'.

But I can keep the moderating effort relatively low by adding a captcha (e.g. a choose-the-kitten picture quiz) - I do not see any point of inserting a "proof of work/humanity" here.

Comments don't need to be displayed automatically. For example, comments from domains that you have previously conversed with may be displayed automatically, but the author may choose to queue up other incoming comments before displaying.

People seem to get by using Facebook comments and Disqus.

The point of this Federated Indieweb thing is to move comments (and all other content) out of the Web 2.0 silos like Facebook and Disqus because those companies aren't trustworthy stewards of our data.

I understand that, I'm simply saying that bloggers' liability for third party comments is no worse for Indieweb than it is for the centralized services, and nobody's complaining about it for them.

The problem is to overcome the adoption scale of Facebook (that's not SO difficult) and Disqus (the REAL opponent).

The advantage of Disqus is that I have to check only one dashboard and instantly follow track of the conversations at >20 web sites. It's like Google Reader, just for comments.

The disadvantages that Disqus has are: no filtering, limited search options, infinite scroll, and freshly-crippled OpenID support (they deliberately removed OpenID from the frontend of the newest version, preventing me from accessing my account until I finally found a blog that still used the old version - this kind of behavior is egregious).

I think they're also building that dashboard feature.

People got by with AOL.

Btw, this goes great with the concept of @hoodiehq, @ownCloudcom, @remotestorage, @unhosted, @MozillaPersona, BitTorrent Sync, where all your content is on your computer so if the electricity goes out, it doesn't matter.

OT: If Storytlr were to integrate Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Google+ and all the other popular sites as a POSSE scheme beisdes Twitter, it'll be the next open source buffer-like solution.


See indiewebcamp[1] for more details. In a nutshell, #indieweb is a movement which aims at enabling users to 'own their content' instead of using 'silos' for social communications. Making the social web work more like email (I don't need a GMail account to send a message to someone on GMail).

[1] http://indiewebcamp.com/

So we've moved away from self-hosting to third party content hosting like google, disqus, facebook, etc, and now the pendulum's swinging back to self-hosting? Is that what this is about?

If so, i'm all for it.

That is the essence, yes :) We’re trying to take a different approach to previous federated social web efforts, and focus on bringing existing UI, conventions and technologies from blogging up to par with their silo equivalents.

I'm working on getting back to hosting my own content now. I had a wordpress blog for years but I got rid of it because I thought it would just be simpler and easier to offload everything to social media sites since that seemed to be where people were. But lately I've come to realize those sites have a kind of (I won't say insidious because that's too strong... troubling maybe) way of branding and controlling your identity through the way they control their UX, determining what content you see, how it's clustered, and what you don't see. Plus yeah, there's not much you can do when they decide what you thought was your content is really theirs and they'll do whatever they like with it to make a buck.

Dealing with the administration is hard though. Hosting comments is easy, brain-dead CRUD stuff but then you've got to manage spam control, post rates, SEO and questionable content.

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