Fear, disgust, and excitement as Threads takes on the open level that Mastodon uses

Jacqui VanLiew / Wired

A few days later Meta launched a new app, Threads, this month, a software developer at a company called Ben Savage introduced himself to a group of developers at the World Wide Web Consortium, an organization that oversees the Internet. The group, which maintains a social networking platform called ActivityPub, has been preparing for this moment for several months, since rumors began that Meta was planning to join the standard. Now, that time had come. “I’m very interested to see what this joint future will look like!” he wrote.

Loving responses to Savage’s leaked email. Then came another answer:

“The company you work for does dirty things among others. It destroys relationships and alienates people. It builds walls and lures people in. If that’s not enough, brutal peer pressure does…

Meta code for ActivityPub, used by apps like Twitter Mastodon, it was a little difficult. The combination of small software and personal servers currently using the protocol, called Fediverse, is characterized by a culture of sharing and openness, not seeking profit or a base of billions of users.

ActivityPub is designed to allow users of different apps to keep in touch and see what their friends are up to, and to move content from one group to another. Mastodon, the largest software in Fediverse, is open source as well run by non-profits, they are small Various programs such as PeerTube and Lemmy are often considered to resist the blocking of services such as YouTube or Reddit. Companies like Meta often act as the enemy. It’s no surprise that, even though the leaders of ActivityPub asked for social media when Meta arrived on the listserv, some couldn’t hold their tongues.

Weeks-old Threads already undercut Fediverse, which has been around for over a decade and they recently reached their peak about 4 million monthly users. Some fans of Fediverse see the imbalance as a win: Suddenly, the network can be balanced most of the time. Some see the interface as useless and expect Meta’s growth to push the small world of apps built on ActivityPub in unnecessary ways. Others have published an agreement to prevent content on the Threads server from appearing automatically.

“The Fediverse community has been shaken by fear and disgust with Meta, as well as excitement,” says Dmitri Zagidulin, a developer who leads the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) group that oversees discussions about ActivityPub’s future. Meta hopes to join a community founded by people who are trying to disrupt their projects and plan to focus. “There are angry meetings. The amount in question. Pull requests. It pushes for better security, better user experience. Good luck,” he says.

Zagidulin is a member of the Mastodon server that works as a community collaboration, where users make big decisions together. They recently voted to shut down Threads completely, a process known as defederation. The result: 51 percent in favor, 49 percent against.

This session presents different visions for the future of Fediverse. One involves embracing Threads to start growing the web. The idea of ​​freedom and giving users more control didn’t tempt many people to join a platform like Mastodon until Elon Musk’s hard-fought takeover of Twitter sent users away for a long time. looking for new digital homes. Even then, the nose exploded quickly. Some users quit after finding the federal agency confusing compared to Twitter. Then he came Blueskya competition supported by the founder of Twitter Jack Dorsey who shows many of the same principles but is developing a policy against ActivityPub.

Among these challenges, Meta’s interest disrupts the potential of many of the company’s products and reaches to inject new life into the Fediverse community. “This is a clear victory for our cause,” wrote Eugen Rochko, CEO of Mastodon. in a blog post on the day Threads launched.

Some just want the Meta out. For Fediverse users like Vanta Black, the warm response from community leaders to Meta’s interest felt like a betrayal. In 2017, when he was looking for a man or a woman, he found a home in Mastodon’s small community where managers and users mingle and have shared values ​​about how to edit hate posts. They fear the arrival of millions of users of Threads will produce too much content in the Fediverse that is impossible to control.

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