Things that make me worry about the future of Fedi: the real possibility that someday a major social media platform (I don't mean gab, let's be real, that's not really on the same level as Twitter) could implement AP and federate. They would be far, far too big to block, and it would get you far, far too much blowback from most users to do so.

can zaibatsu kill fedi 

@Elizafox i know this line of argumentation comes up often but i don't know that i understand it.

if FB federated, someone using masto could then talk to all their friends on FB without giving FB control of their timeline, without receiving ads, etc., etc. the loss here is FB's, in that users now have an option to effortlessly dodge their surveillance machinery.

i can understand how that event would change the individual calculus around "should i run an instance" and what running an instance entails, but i don't see how it kills fedi.

can zaibatsu kill fedi 

@garbados @Elizafox It's part of a tactic called Embrace, Extend, Extinguish, which was popularized by Microsoft. The goal is to provide a partial feature set and partial compatibility to give the illusion of alternatives, but that they aren't viable or desirable for actual use. Twitter or Facebook would hold all the cards in a situation where they decided to federate because of their user count. They could then dictate culture and function.

can zaibatsu kill fedi 

@MadestMadness @garbados Yeah it's a surprisingly effective tactic

Normies are very susceptible to it, and just about everyone else knows what the fuck is going on and feels powerless to stop it

can zaibatsu kill fedi 

@MadestMadness @garbados idk if you've ever used Active Directory (for the uninitiated, it does single sign-on stuff).

It uses LDAP, an open standard. When encountering it for the first time, you think you could build a compatible one on Linux. But it uses weird extensions that cause interoperability issues, extensions you *need* to actually log into Windows, too.

So if you want to use LDAP to log in with Windows, you're probably going to have to run AD.

can zaibatsu kill fedi 

@MadestMadness @garbados But, you can log in to Linux machines using AD, so you have a compelling reason to continue using it...

can zaibatsu kill fedi 

@MadestMadness @garbados This is exactly how EEE works. It's horrible. It's user-hostile. It works very fucking well.

I used to admin LDAP for a living (god save my soul) and I can tell you that building an AD-compatible server on Linux is like building a bookshelf out of mashed potatoes.

can zaibatsu kill fedi 

@Elizafox @garbados @MadestMadness Or for another example, look at Google Talk or Facebook Messenger.

Look at the benevolent tech companies and their embrace of the XMPP open standard, even to the point of (at least with Google) supporting S2S federati... oh. Now it's called Hangouts, and XMPP is a degraded experience, and S2S definitely does not exist any more. And, most people just used Google when thinking about XMPP, because "eh, they support S2S, and Google won't go down".

can zaibatsu kill fedi 

@Elizafox @MadestMadness @garbados Literally, one of the major corporate social networks could just add a ActivityPub bridge, and two huge things happen:

1. Everyone that cares about interacting with people who are only on Fedi now have no incentive to move to an indie instance
2. That corporate social network can pull a Fedichive and start doing *all* of their data collection that they do within their walled garden, but with the added bonus of contributing something that makes them effectively unblockable. Of course, the Fediverse is leaky as fuck as it is, but still.

It also sets up *exactly* the scenario that's causing Gmail to embrace/extend/extinguish e-mail. Fediverse spam protection is a fucking joke (that is, it's almost nonexistent), and corporate instances will be able to sell the same message Google did re: spam protection. (Large userbase means larger corpus and more accurate spam filtering, basically.) And then, they can start slowly distrusting remote messages, to the point that you have to be on the corporate instance to contact your friends on the corporate instance.

re: can zaibatsu kill fedi 

@bhtooefr @MadestMadness @Elizafox this is a valid threat model but also that we're assuming basically nothing happens to the fediverse, its tech, or its community between now and then. fedi is still in implementation hell, with multiple implementations still adding features and discovering what features people want. in its current state, a zaibatsu has no reason to federate. the fediverse is neither a threat nor an opportunity.

but if we get admin guilds who can train up new admins with battle-tested norms and practices, then it becomes harder for a zaibatsu not to "leak" users to a less-surveilled interface.

if we get better privacy tech, such as "neighborhoods" and associated privacy controls, it'll be harder to deploy hostile surveillance against fedi.

of course this rebuttal relies on things that don't exist yet, and because we live in hell we may never get those things because everyone is too busy with other things, like surviving hell.

re: can zaibatsu kill fedi 

@garbados @Elizafox @MadestMadness @bhtooefr Here's the thing, though: it's not going to be the top player who does it, because they have no incentive to do so, at least until the Fediverse becomes a serious threat to their dominance, at which point we can just tell them to fuck off. It'll be a runner-up who does it. And since it'll be a runner up, we will in fact be able to tell them to fuck off.

...

re: can zaibatsu kill fedi 

@bhtooefr @MadestMadness @Elizafox @garbados We should really focus on keeping our own house in order for now, though. In particular, aside from the instances that allow hate speech, we need to be putting pressure on open reg instances to stop subjecting us all to spam and reply guys.

re: can zaibatsu kill fedi 

@freakazoid @garbados @Elizafox @MadestMadness @bhtooefr

Wait.

It would be trivial for a company like FB or twitter to bridge to AP, and then literally spin up a thousand
/million instances and cycle through dns/IP if they wanted to... current built-in blocking controls would not be adequate.

We just have to hope it never happens.

re: can zaibatsu kill fedi 

@TheGibson @freakazoid @Elizafox @MadestMadness @bhtooefr why would you block all zaibatsu-based instances

maybe that's something else about the conversation i don't understand

re: can zaibatsu kill fedi 

@garbados @freakazoid @Elizafox @MadestMadness @bhtooefr

I don't know Zaibatsu... I came in later in the conversation...

just chiming to agree with EEE tactics.

re: can zaibatsu kill fedi 

@TheGibson @freakazoid @Elizafox @MadestMadness @bhtooefr zaibatsu just meaning "very large corporation" ex: facebook, google, etc. derived from the japanese term "zaibatsu" which refers to a specific cadre of very large corporations.

re: can zaibatsu kill fedi 

@garbados @freakazoid @Elizafox @MadestMadness @bhtooefr

right... that was my knowledge of the meaning of the word... just thought I might be missing a new fork or something.

probably because I might not be comfortabl;e with my data flowing to their DBs?

re: can zaibatsu kill fedi 

@TheGibson @freakazoid @Elizafox @MadestMadness @bhtooefr i can understand that. two things:

- blocking all zaibatsu instances requires tooling that doesn't exist, but there's no reason it can't exist. they probably give themselves away with headers, or with the particulars of an endpoint's responses; an instance could catch these details and act on them.
- improved privacy features / tooling would help keep your non-public content under tighter wraps, even shifting norms away from the present default of public posting.

fighting back will take hard work but i just don't think that hard work is beyond us.

or maybe it is! haha πŸ™ƒ

re: can zaibatsu kill fedi 

@garbados @freakazoid @Elizafox @MadestMadness @bhtooefr

right... we can do it today with firewalls or IP tables I suppose... but I thinkhaving this sooner than later... in the admin interface... might be very good.

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re: can zaibatsu kill fedi 

@TheGibson @freakazoid @Elizafox @MadestMadness @bhtooefr agree 100%

i wish i could hack on AP tooling full time. then again i wish i could herd goats full time πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

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