FediPact is an Organized Effort to Block Meta’s ActivityPub Platform

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.

The infamous linked screenshot of “Threads” / “Barcelona” / “Project 92” being presented.

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.

Sean Tilley

Sean Tilley has been a part of the federated social web for over 15+ years, starting with his experiences with Identi.ca back in 2008. Sean was involved with the Diaspora project as a Community Manager from 2011 to 2013, and helped the project move to a self-governed model. Since then, Sean has continued to study, discuss, and document the evolution of the space and the new platforms that have risen within it.

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One Comment

  1. Daniel says:

    The Fediverse will never leave the niche existence of topic-based instances with a small user base, because in the end it doesn’t matter whether Elon Musk is behind the decisions at Twitter or another person at a particular instance. In the end, just one person decides according to their own discretion, their own sense, their own worldview or whatever reasons someone may adduce for their decisions.

    People find it difficult to accept things. But taking advantage of one’s own position according to one’s own ideas is.

    In this respect, it will probably remain the case that large corporations like Meta determine the image of the internet in the future. It’s a pity.

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