Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

We're so focused on avoiding the failure of Twitter we forget that ActivityPub - the standard behind fediverse applications such as Mastodon - must also avoid the core failure of email: spam. And it isn't there yet. And blocklists are not sufficient. As the author writes, "The trust one must place in the creator of a blocklist is enormous, because the most dangerous failure mode isn'€™t that it doesn'€™t block who it says it does, but that it blocks who it says it doesn't and they just disappear." And in the case of email, in my view, this trust has been abused, and made it essentially impossible to host our own email service, forcing us into the hands of a few large email providers. Exactly the same thing will happen if we rely on blocks and blocklists in the federation. The suggestion here, and in a related proposal here, under the heading of object capabilities (ocaps), is that we allow people into our personal feed if (and only if?) they are already in the feed of someone we're linked to.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Nov 30, 2022 2:07 p.m.