The fediverse has been aware of Meta’s intention to build an ActivityPub app for some time now. Purportedly called Threads, this “Project92” looks like it will be a Twitter competitor, and will be compatible with Mastodon instances. Rumors have spread that Project92 is courting the Dalai Lama and Oprah Winfrey, to overtake Elon Musk’s dumpster fire.
To begin with, Project92’s existence was always going to bring some unease to the network. A growing number of instance admins have signed FediPact, an agreement to block Meta from connecting with them. The effort, organized by one Vanta Black, opened up a passionate discussion about the network’s future. Admins and users alike have given passionate statements about the possibilities.
I will do everything I can to stop them from burning down the beautiful community we’ve spent over seven years cultivating here.Vanta Black, creator of FediPact
For many, the reaction makes sense. The walled gardens that so many users have migrated from were vectors for abuse, poor moderation, and data harvesting. That’s a big part of why so many people want nothing to do with it.
Reasons for the Ban
Throughout the discourse, people have cited some of the ills that Facebook has inflicted on the world. The company is responsible for poor working conditions for third-party moderators, presenting itself as the entire internet to some populations, embrace and abandonment of open protocols, and algorithms contributing to genocide in Myanmar. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
They will absolutely not moderate their shit properly, and it will make the areas of the fediverse that choose to federate with them actively unsafe.Vanta Black
Whether FediPact is an effective way to stop value extraction out of an independently-run network is up for debate. Rumors are swirling, with accusations that some admins have signed NDAs to have private discussions with Meta.