Bonum Certa Men Certa

Federation Is Inferior to Self-Hosting and Using RSS Feeds (or Other Syndication Formats)

Video download link | md5sum 8d482ce63b7edf6a3caad6dcdd60472d
Self-Hosting But Federating With Bad Actors
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Federation is not the way forward; it wrongly assumes that society needs something like social control media rather than blogs as they used to be 20 years ago, i.e. millions of independent publishers online

THE video above is the last of a batch of six (recorded last night). It deals with the growing importance is not urgency to self-host. Let Freenode, Twitter, JoinDiapora and others be cautionary tales.

"The late Pieter Hintjens failed to self-host his books," one reader told us, "even though they are only a few kB in size each. Now they are gone, even though some are more relevant than before."

"The video further discusses what happens when you self-host but at the same time you "federate" (other people's pornography and maybe extreme speech)."Well, self-hosting may require additional work, but at least one isn't at the mercy of some other company or a charlatan like Elon Musk. We suppose Twitter will be offline in a few years or "relaunch" with all the old material gone (to make the databases a lot "thinner" and thus cheaper to maintain). Remember what identi.ca did about a decade ago!

The video further discusses what happens when you self-host but at the same time you "federate" (other people's pornography and maybe extreme speech). Is that a good idea? It that safe to do? There's this discussion right now about the Fediverse and an FBI 'raid'. Moreover, "Stanford researchers sound alarm on Mastodon’s significant child sexual abuse material problem," according to this Microsoft-sponsored site, paraphrasing that "they say is rife with child sexual abuse material, known as CSAM. The researchers said in the study that the issue has become a big problem on decentralized social networks, more so than centralized networks..."

"With IPFS, for instance, we only host or relay our own objects."We're seen it all before; they basically suggest that the government should control everything. Otherwise children will be hurt...

Christine Hall has covered the 'raid' as well (it was more of a seizure than a server raid), stating: "The recent news that a copy of Kolektiva.social’s database was confiscated by the FBI as the result of a raid at the home of one of the organization’s administrators, should serve as a cautionary tale for activists taking advantage of Mastodon’s federated nature to form online communities. Specifically, you should should do some research into the security in place at an activist-focused server, as well as the servers privacy policies. Actually, the same advice would hold even if you were joining a server for, say, people who like knitting, but if you’re a political activist it’s even more important because law enforcement loves to keep tabs on folks whose politics fall outside the mainstream."

And this is where we generally chime in; federation is not the same as self-publishing. With IPFS, for instance, we only host or relay our own objects. This makes us less vulnerable to DMCA misuse/s and law enforcement harassing us. As soon as you "federate" you may end up hosting things you strongly dislike or, yet worse, things that are illegal where you are. You become accountable (to some extent) for what other people are doing. This does not happen when everyone self-hosts a blog or Gemlog (blog over Gemini), wherein interconnection can be done by Atom/RSS.

"The centralised platforms are vastly worse."As one person explained to us yesterday, the Fediverse is a target for such trolling so as to take it down a notch or even force the project to fall out of favor or be outright shutdown and blocked. Remember the smear campaigns in various countries about Tor. Microsofters helped spread lies and disinformation about it en masse.

Now we see Microsoft-funded spam farms asserting that Fediverse means children will be harmed or, more generally, decentralised platforms are for pedophiles.

The centralised platforms are vastly worse. That gravitates towards censorship giants and single points of failure. The press gave little to no coverage of Twitter's role in blocking Erdogan's opponents in the last election faked in Turkey. The few that did cover it dropped the topic immediately after the "results" had been posted.

We will soon have a followup to elaborate on self-hosting. Since self-hosting is already important and increasingly so over time, we shall write a lot more about it in the future.

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