On standards divisions and collaboration (or: Why can't the decentralized social web people just get along?)

@cwebber On a somewhat unrelated note: I think the real test for the decentralized social web won't be an attack from Facebook & Co, the real test will be when Mastodon et al. are mainstream enough to attract spammers, bots, nasty people etc. in large numbers. Will technical measures and decentralized moderation be able to hold up to this?

@arx That's a test that has happened before... and both the OStatus and Pump API fediverses were overwhelmed with spam at one point. They survived, but yes such tooling will need to be written.

@cwebber Yes, I am optimistic, but I think it is a threat to be kept in mind. Btw, congratulations on the W3C Recommendation and thanks for the great work! 👍
I'm looking forward to PeerTube and Nextcloud etc. to keeping the ActivityPub momentum going.

@arx @cwebber xmpp is going through that phase now.

At least for xmpp so far the easiest answer involves weakening federation by blacklisting poorly run servers.

@cwebber The main problem that I see is that ActivityPub doesn't address the problems with federated socnets which were already known about before it arrived. Being able to migrate accounts from one server to another, having a nomadic identity which is resistant to server outages and also being able to have privacy controls over who sees what. All of those things mean having a key based identity rather than a domain based one.

The war reference relates to the early development of Mastodon. At that time it looked like Mastodon was just going to be another or Twitter clone - a single server system with many users. There were numerous federation bugs and seemingly not much interest in fixing them. Fortunately those fears turned out to be unfounded. As Mastodon got more popular more instances appeared, and the earlier attitude that other instances were traitors to the One True Instance went away.

@bob It's true that ActivityPub doesn't represent a key-based-identity solution directly, though work on that is being done in the SocialCG and I've even laid out how it could be done in a backwards compatible way

I don't know if the author of the "war is coming" blogpost still thinks there's a war or one coming. I hope not, and if not, great... but I still see that article passed around as a "history of federation" blogpost and that bothers me.

@cwebber Maybe I should write a "history of the federation so far"

@bob I think a "Peoples' History of Federation" would be good, particularly if it tried hard to focus on the positive of everyone who has worked hard on this stuff. Want to work on it in the SocialCG? :)

@cwebber @bob Actually, to the contrary, Robek refuted the "war is coming" part in the same article, so it was a bit unfair to say he "characterizes it as war". To cite the original article: "Actually, there’s not a war coming. Really, things are just business as usual for the OStatus protocol networks which have been around for nearly a decade."

@cwebber When you're looking for Federation history, you might want to give more weight to @rw's article. See

It really looks bad to say that when he's got recorded source interviews with some of the people involved. I'd suggest you edit again.

@lnxw48a1 @rw My point in this case was that we don't have a comprehensive history of federation, and the article unfortunately *does* have some things wrong, eg:

> This is a big deal, because OStatus is the technology that W3C maintains and develops and is “basically the standard” operating procedure for cohesive microblogging communities.

The W3C doesn't maintain OStatus at all. There are some other things as well. But anyway, okay. I removed the call for a federation history entirely.

@bob @cwebber There are federation buhs that have existed since the inception of Mastodon that still arent fixed though
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Octodon is a nice general purpose instance. more