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Because I could


I keep thinking about a couple # threads criticizing # (the #, really) for being inherently different than closed commercial platforms using far-fetched hypotheticals and extraordinary occurrences; while I do not want to make a useless point-by-point response, instead I'll tell you what I like about federated social media and # in particular.

After # froze my account for using a pseudonym (a spottily enforced rule), I started hosting my own # pod because I could.

I didn't know anyone so I initially made contacts with other podmins and progressively extended my circle through shared posts. This is how I learned about #, a platform that was compatible with both # and # (#, # ) because it could.

Written in #, liked both the multi-protocol approach and that I could contribute code to it. So I started hosting my # node and I kept following the same Diaspora accounts, because I could.

When # was first released based on OStatus, I started following several accounts on there because I could. When # was released and supported by Mastodon, we followed suite a few months later, because we could.

With popularity came the right-wing trolls and free speech extremists who organized their own federated instances, but they never bothered me much as I blocked their entire instance domains because I could.

None of these are currently possible with commercial platforms. Not all people will end up hosting their own node and it's fine, but the breadth of possibility is what makes federated social network attractive.
This entry was edited (3 weeks ago)
Oh, and I fixed a typo in this post, because I could.
Too often, when I visit libranet.de this is what I see:

Sorry, the system is currently down for maintenance.


This Friendica node is currently in maintenance mode, either automatically because it is self-updating or manually by the node administrator. This condition should be temporary, please come back in a few minutes.
And libranet.de is still down. Maybe I should try another Friendica node.
@Ted Libranet is the biggest Friendica node and as such has been hammered with the recent Musk/Twitter news. Its admin is traveling so they have limited access to the server, so this condition is likely to persist over the next few days.

In the meantime please pick another node from the directory: https://dir.friendica.social/servers
@Ted
I don't know the article to which you're referring, but I can imagine what it said. I've heard these arguments time and time again. This is the thing about technology: it helps the "good guys" and the "bad guys" alike. Technology is generally neutral. It's what you do with it that makes it good or bad.
It was just two separate Twitter threads with similar arguments, I can give you the gist of them if you want.
@Hypolite Petovan My guess is that it had to do with fascists on the Fediverse who'd been banned from traditional social media?
Oh no, not even. Here's the gist, Mastodon is "bad" because:
  • Admins can read DMs
  • Instances can block each other
  • Instances can close


The main driver behind all three arguments was that you have to trust your instance admin which was seen as a bad thing because of pesky interpersonal relationships and people moving on.
It just boggles my mind how thoroughly technology has warped us so the notion of "knowing and trusting the person storing your data" can be treated like an obnoxious extra hurdle.
On the fringe, I can understand how trusting your data to a faceless corporation might feel more confortable than having to think about this handful of singular beings who might have access to it. But c'mon.
@Hypolite Petovan Obviously, we should trust the faceless corporation whose business model revolves around selling your personal information to anyone who'll pay for it.
@Hypolite Petovan On the fringe, I can understand how trusting your data to a faceless corporation might feel more confortable than having to think about this handful of singular beings who might have access to it. But c'mon.

Uh, man .. srsly? There are _SO_ many examples where data stored by some company got leaked or was outright misused by individuals or even teams...

Mh .. no but i actually have to call this belief/this gut feeling a techno primitive superstition.....

And sadly there are still a lot of those out there. mh ;)
It’s more about comparing a diffuse risk with a really personal risk. Sure, your data is misused by giant corporations, but you don’t know the people who exploited your data and you never will, which makes this risk almost abstract. You know it happens, but it rarely has any direct consequences for you, or you might not be able to link them with the corporation.

On the opposite side, there’s a smaller risk of a Mastodon admin reading your DMs, but it carries a risk of direct and personal consequences that may feel outsized because of how easy it is to imagine these consequences and link them to the admin.
@Hypolite Petovan Yeah, as i said, there is a huge disparity in the "feel" and "reality" parts of these problems. ;)

One should not assume any communication as safe at all, as long as one has seen to make it safer (by encrypting it)..

Btw .. uhm, how can the consequence of a private admin reading my private messages be greater than when a anonymous dude in a company reads it?

Disclaimer btw: I'm commenting from the perspective of being a BBS Sysop myself way back in the 90ies already - where things were different but exactly the same way as they are nowadays. ;)
One likely scenario: you aren't publicly out and you share your gender/sexuality privately, admin reads it and exposes you.

Another possible scenario: you criticize admin in DMs, they read it and decide to terminate your account on their instance.
@Hypolite Petovan @Jonathan Lamothe (he/him) Point 1) is true, but so for Twitter/Facebook and any other software that does not encrypt messages client-side. So in other words: If you write sensitive DMs, use client-side encryption and you don't have to trust your administrator. 2) Yes, including normal users, e.g. both on Friendica and Mastodon is known to me. You do this, when you feel to much annoyed of any accounts over there. 3) Yes, the administrator might want to move on and/or cannot effort to maintain his growing and growing instance like it happens now with mastodon.social . It is part of the dynamic that privately run instances suffer from. Still also commercial services can close, e.g. when the company behind it doesn't generate to much income to keep the servers running and maintaining the website (fixing bugs, adding new features, ...).

So these reasons are not only valid to the Fediverse, but of cause valid if any commercial social network.
Thanks @Hypolite Petovan. I'll take a look.
Nerdica seems the most viable option to me.
@Ted Good choice, @Ingo Jürgensmann is the admin should you hit any snag.
@Hypolite Petovan @Ted Yeah, thanks, but to give a spoiler:

Expect some extended downtimes on Nerdica as well, because I've ordered a whole new server to which all those services like Friendica needs to be migrated in the next days/weeks.

The old server is now like 8 years old and has performance issues with its disk I/O due to its rotating disks. The new server has SSDs and NVMe inside and should be much faster. However, the virtual machines with their virtual disks needs to be copied over to the new server which will take a long time.

Well, just mentioning this because it's about maintenance windows... ;)
@Ingo Jürgensmann Does that mean Nerdica is going to be faster? That would be nice. It's by no means painfully slow, but it's not exactly fast either.

I joined Nerdica recently hoping to interact with even more nerds, but so far all the nerds I'm following are still on Diaspora.
I have this diaspora account and another on Librenet. Pros and cons to both, for sure.
@Ingo Jürgensmann thanks for that information and your work maintaining the node. I think I will wait a while before making any changes. I'm pretty comfortable on diaspora. 😀
Just because you don't know the people who are misusing your personal data, in no way means the offense is less egregious. Surveillance Capitalism is the greater evil.
@Ted I agree with you on principle, but perspective matters. If you've been embroiled in or heard about instance drama involving an admin reading DMs, it will feel more personal and more pressing than vague corporate data misuse, even if the scale of the harm is objectively bigger in the latter case.
@Ted
Yeah, well, I'm much more likely to embarrass myself in my public comments than in DMs that are not public. As for drama, I generally know how to stay silent when others want to pick a fight. 😀
@Ted I understand there are different people with different sensibilities, but blaming Mastodon in general for not perfectly fitting your own particular felt uncalled for to me.
@Ted
I agree @Hypolite Petovan. Blaming the platform seems unrealistic, and maybe even childish. My attitude is, if you don't like it, don't use it.
Because I cloud : D
For me the wider Federation experience I have on Friendica is " a mile wide and an inch deep." There's more to see, for sure, and lots more people to interact with, but most of that has been quips and quotes, memes, and snarky comments from microbloggers. My Diaspora experience has been deeper and more thoughtful, though with fewer people. I like macroblogging better. So my Friendica account is just going to be a back-up for this Diaspora account, which I think I'll just stick with. I enjoy it so much more.
@Tad Is Diaspora any more macroblogging than Friendica is? To me they seem very similar, except that Friendica allows you to follow people on Mastodon, and you can edit posts and like comments.

That said, the most interesting interactions I have are still with people on Diaspora. Except maybe this particular discussion.
@Tad
@Martijn Vos If by interesting, you mean contentious, I'm inclined to agree. 😉
I think that Friendica doesn’t have a clear publishing identity because it’s been supporting both macroblogging through the Diaspora protocol that’s clearly geared towards longer posts and less branching conversations, and microblogging through the OStatus protocol first, then ActivityPub which are both geared towards smaller statuses and infinite threads of quick replies.
Wait a second this blown my mind....🤯

Are you saying that Mastodon Admin have god pawa while the admins of Diaspora* and Friendica do not?

This would explain a lot things... Mastodon is slow, convoluted and cumbersome if compared to Diaspora and Friendica, never understood why became so popular...

But if I got it clearly now I totally understand the real reasons, and it is pretty scary how intelligence agencies are able to manipulate almost everything and while we are speaking against closed services like feisbuk and the likes, security agencies can achieves the same with collaborative and lesser collaborative admins... 🤔
@Daniel slow, convoluted and cumbersome?

You realize that # servers right now absorb several new accounts per minute all over the place since this musk-twitter thing became public?

I understand why you like diaspora better than mastodon.

But then the # is bigger than just #, #, # or whatever....

I strongly dislike the way you try to introduce sharp lines dividing the overall network.
@Daniel No, Mastodon admins don’t have any more (or any less) powers than Friendica and Diaspora. An admin of any of these platforms can read DMs sent and received from/by their server given a modicum of technical know-how.

From my experience Mastodon sounds as cumbersome to install as Diaspora, Friendica being on the easier side.

Speed-wise, Mastodon is definitely snappier than both, not sure if it’s because it’s more efficient or generally installed on more powerful servers though.
Never mind guys I totally misunderstood what I read and therefore I made a wrong analysis.

However I was referring in terms of UI/UX, I have been using Mastodon for quite month and still find it cumbersome and counterintuitive, when eventually I got how to add personal columns with personal # it becomes so slow that I was pretty surprised. I added just two columns for a total of 8 hashtags; on Diaspora and Friendica I have an average of 60 hashtag and never get so poorly performance...

🤷‍♂️
@Martijn Vos Not at all. Friendica is great for macroblogging! And includes the ability to edit posts (and comments as well), Like and dislike both posts and comments. And it reaches users on multiple platforms. But in my very limited experience, it's a little more complicated. That's not a show stopper for me at all. I can even use Markup on Friendica as well as Diaspora instead of that forum format [stuff} [/stuff] whatever they call it that is default on Friendica. Fewer keystrokes.

My only bother is that it is mixed with all the little microblogging stuff that comes in my feed, even if I limit my feed to just people I follow. "A mile wide and an inch deep." I prefer Diaspora because I don't want all the little short toots and quips mixed in with more substantial posts. Just a personal preference.
So, my libranet account is working again this morning. 😀

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