Follow

How can decentralized social systems like handle political / social attacks?

How does the handle new instances that in some sense conflict with the values of existing instances?

I imagine lots of people are arguing about this, but I'm not seeing the debates. Are they in private for strategic reasons, or am I just looking in the wrong places?

Is there a way that people (like me) trying to develop future decentralized systems can learn from current struggles?

@sandro Some of it may be blocked by your instance admins. Instance blocking seems to be the trend now days.

@jordan31 I'm the instance admin, but maybe the hosting service I'm using is doing it, or maybe it's happening automatically somehow.

More likely I'm just not following the right people and not reading enough. I really just want the summary.

@sandro Well i believe Mastodon software blocks them now. I could be wrong on that. But I think this is the reason there are a Gab forked version of mastodon.

@sandro The way I think about it is the fediverse is the best system so far to handle these different political views within the same network. It functions like a city or a region where different groups of people with different opinions can co-exist, talk to each other or ignore each other without breaking the general feeling of one network.

@sandro we just block them and share the info on why to block them and trust that within a day that instance will be cut off

this has worked surprisingly extremely well

@sandro trusting that the community will help the community usually works
i do wish there was better ways to group posts together because unfortunately, hashtags have been...ineffectual

@sandro well we've seen this happen a few times, most recently (and most widespread) with the introduction of gab.social

if you were to look a few months back in various timelines you'd see the debates that went on back then regarding how to deal with it. a few major courses of action were decided on by various parties. no assessment of "correctness" is made herein

- block instances on an instance level - that is, instance administrators reject all messages from troubling instances and refuse to even acknowledge their existence
- block instances on a client application level - some application developers decided to reject all log in requests to certain instances from their application
- do nothing and allow users to domain block if required - it is possible for users to individually block everything from *@somedomain (this is the one i personally took)

@sandro Currently the blocking system seems to be holding up. People send reports of anything suspicious to the admin and instance blocks can happen from there.

Sometimes blocks are controversial, but any controversy blows over after a few days.

Political attacks are more of a problem on smaller or self-hosted instances where the curation effort isn't pooled. With fewer sentries on watch spotting political attacks becomes harder.

@sandro I'm very much using this alt account from my main personal mastodon account purely to help organize admins, and app owners to band together under the umbrella organzing tag of #IsolateGab to do just that. Happy to answer questions I can publicly, or others via DM.

@sandro We repost, and highlight almost all our work and interactions publicly on this account, you can see a history just by looking back: todon.nl/@isolategab

@sandro You're going to see several talks on this topic in just two weeks in Prague at RWoT and at AP Conf.

Talk to @cwebber and myself about our work.

Both @cwebber and I seem to be working on our talks today.

@emacsen @cwebber

Will slides, video, or a written version be available? I'm not coming to Prague because RWoT and ActivityPub aren't sufficiently aligned with how I think decentralized social is going to have to be done for full adoption. (You could also read that as me being a bit antisocial, and kind of burnt out on conferences after travel every-other-week for a long time) If there were a conference on decentralized trust-and-safety, though, I'd be there.

@sandro @cwebber It's my understanding that AP Conf will be recorded.

As for the papers and explanation, @cwebber and I have a podcast called Libre Lounge and we discussed some of our ideas. Papers linked in the show notes:

librelounge.org/episodes/25-ma

@sandro @emacsen I wish you would have registered because I think decentralized trust and safety are going to be a major topic of conversation at this year's apconf! Oh well... we will miss you!

I guess you and I should meet up IRL sometime soonish? We do live in the same state IIRC...

@sandro Depends on the ideology and vision of the instance admin, the developers of different front ends, and the users themselves since they then have to shop for different instances that offer what they want. There is no perfect answer. The approach that the fedi should be a free for all would lead to lots of abuse, or on the other end of the spectrum, you get the current state of Mastodon, which calls for unity in shunning particular instances to the point of abusing other administrators that don't fall in line with whoever's the loudest in proclaiming their doctrine. I don't think the answer's somewhere in the middle, because no matter what abuse is going to happen, whether it's internal or external in nature.

I'm part of an instance that refuses to block other instances that aren't advertising spam. I like it that way because it lets me interact with the people I want rather than having an admin tell me what's best for me. But there are other people that want a more curated environment, I guess, and users on instances like mine are in the vast minority. It's frustrating, not only not knowing if who you're talking to can even see what you're saying, but also knowing that there are a lot of people discussing things on this platform, people you might be friends with, that have an administrative wall keeping you from interacting.

In the end do what's best for you, I guess. I've even seen some instances that are deliberately disconnected from everything else because they want it that way. To each their own.

@sandro -- tolerance. censorship is censorship. lets everyone speak. if nothing illegal is happening, no harm is done.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
w3c.social

The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!