Fediverse (Wordhole)

From XPUB & Lens-Based wiki

On Wednesday 26/10/2023, Lídia introduced us shortly to the "Fediverse" during methods class. The Fediverse is a network of open source social networks, which can all communicate with each other.

Historically, (social) web platforms are closed off. When posting a video on Youtube, one can only access the video via this specific platform, and not using their own application of choice. This restriction is addressed within the Fediverse via the ActivityPub Protocol. Applications that are part of the Fediverse have all implemented (a version of) the ActivityPub Protocol, allowing applications to communicate with each other.

Well known (to this author) examples of Fediverse are Mastadon, Nextcloud, and as of this month (October) even Wordpress is part of the Fediverse![1]

Even though the protocol has been long in the making, I've seen the word ActivityPub pop up more and more this year, as bigger platforms are joining the Fediverse. Question is, how will Meta and other big companies treat the Fediverse?

“Podcasting is the analogy, right?” he says. “The end of every podcast ever is, you know, ‘subscribe to us on Spotify, iTunes, or your favorite app.’ And the reason people say it is because podcasting is a protocol, not a company. And because it’s an open protocol, you can take your podcasts and leave.” Anil Dash, the head of Glitch at Fastly [2]

But what about authorship and therefore ownership in the Fediverse? Platforms have always been hesitant in taking ownership about content on their platform, but and in the Fediverse this might get more complicated. There is a nice RadioLab episode that somewhat relates to this.

Funny sidenote is that the online spellcheck used to spell check this entry, did not know the term "Fediverse", "Mastadon" or "Nextcloud", but it did know about "Wordpress" and "Youtube".