Mon 19 Jun 2023 8:50PM

Discussion: Support the Anti-Meta Fedi Pact

BV Brian Vaughan Public Seen by 333

For some time, there have been rumors that Meta (Facebook) has plans to impose itself on the Fediverse. These rumors have recently been confirmed, with the news that Meta is developing a clone of Mastodon, referred to as "Project 92", "Barcelona", or "Threads", and that it has had a meeting with the administrators of several large Mastodon instances, possibly including Eugen Rochko, while silencing them with a non-disclosure agreement.

Meta is an oligopoly that has aggressively sought to control social media, through absorption of other social media companies, and through policies of "embrace, extend, and extinguish", as with the RSS and XMPP protocols. Meta, through Facebook, is infamous for condoning the spread of far right ideology and of dangerous misinformation.

There have been calls for pre-emptively blocking Meta's project. In particular, @[email protected], administrator of a small Mastodon instance, beach.city, has proposed the Anti-Meta Fedi Pact.


I see our best hope in collective resistance.

Therefore, I would like us to discuss whether we should support this move, and if so, how best to do so. As a starting point for discussion, I suggest the following:

  1. Social.Coop commits to blocking any Fediverse instances that Meta creates.

  2. We, as a body, sign the Anti-Meta Fedi Pact.

  3. We follow up by collectively drafting and issuing a public statement.

(As I have not been active in Social.Coop discussions, I hope that the way I am presenting this is appropriate, and I welcome constructive criticism.)


Laurie Wayne
<span class="translation_missing" title="translation missing: en.poll_proposal_options.looks good">Looks Good</span>
Mon 19 Jun 2023 11:35PM

In general I think assuming good will (and well-intentioned, honest following of rules) in the fediverse is the best policy...unless one is confronted by a someone with a proven record of being very good at succeeding through being dishonest, predatory and manipulative like Meta. Fukkem.


rich jensen Mon 19 Jun 2023 11:36PM


Brian Vaughan Tue 20 Jun 2023 12:44AM

@rich jensen That's an interesting question. Part of my thinking in what I wrote above was that there's an immediate issue with Meta I'd like to see us respond to, but I also think we should also take a breath and come up with a more thorough general position, and it makes sense to articulate why, exactly, Meta is of particular concern. I'd say it's for reasons that are not unique to Meta; I described it as an oligopoly, and there are several other oligopolies that could potentially threaten the Fediverse in similar ways. Google, Microsoft, and Apple have each made power plays in social media, and there are doubtless smaller corporations that could do significant harm. I wouldn't be particularly happy if an oil company, for instance, made a big show of establishing a presence on the Fediverse, but I also wouldn't see it as an extraordinary threat, because oil companies aren't organized around predating on Internet communications.


Shauna Gordon-McKeon
<span class="translation_missing" title="translation missing: en.poll_proposal_options.concerned">Concerned</span>
Mon 19 Jun 2023 11:38PM

Agreed that a step like this deserves significant discussion. I also think Fenn's spot on saying we need more than single instances defederating. If we're serious about trying to build a countervailing power to Facebook/meta, let's talk about what that would look like.

Otherwise, if we're defederating just to protect users, I think it makes sense to wait and see what the negative impacts on user experience will actually be.


Stephanie Jo Kent
<span class="translation_missing" title="translation missing: en.poll_proposal_options.looks good">Looks Good</span>
Tue 20 Jun 2023 12:22AM

I'm happy to see this conversation starting. I do think it needs to go through more process and maybe a larger (beyond our instance) collaboration regarding design. What if we collaborated (for instance) beyond Mastodon with the Reddit mods on strike right now? Can we imagine more linkages and grow a movement greater than the single-minded linear structure of domination? Otherwise the big corps will just keep picking us off one by one by one by....


Luke Opperman
<span class="translation_missing" title="translation missing: en.poll_proposal_options.looks good">Looks Good</span>
Tue 20 Jun 2023 12:22AM

I summarize my (personal, loosely held) take here https://social.coop/@loppear/110573646486291372 without expecting this to keep them out of my data or out of the fedi generally.


Andrew Shead
<span class="translation_missing" title="translation missing: en.poll_proposal_options.looks good">Looks Good</span>
Tue 20 Jun 2023 12:48AM

I agree that Meta, Twitter, etc. are predatory and Borg-like in the way they endeavor to absorb their competition. Theoretically, the Fediverse should be resistant to this kind of behaviour, but I suspect it isn't Meta-proof. I tend to agree with @Fenn Martyn.

The rewording is enough for me to change my vote, but there should be a way that a blocked instance could agree to abide by a set of principles for them to be unblocked.


Fenn Martyn Tue 20 Jun 2023 10:22PM

@Andrew Shead "I will not sacrifice the Fediverse. We've made too many compromises already; too many retreats. They invade our space and we fall back. They assimilate entire worlds and we fall back. Not again. The line must be drawn here! This far, no further!"


Andrew Shead Tue 20 Jun 2023 11:11PM

@Fenn Martyn: I agree with you, but I think we need strategy instead of rapid response. Overall, this discussion is a good start.


Fenn Martyn Tue 20 Jun 2023 11:15PM

@Andrew Shead Oh, apologies. I wasn't advocating for a rapid response; you just mentioned the Borg so I thought I'd quote Picard 😅

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