Can This Platform Survive? Governance Challenges

A paper on the Fediverse by Thomas Struett, American University – School of Communication, Aram Sinnreich, American University – School of Communication, Patricia Aufderheide, American University – School of Communication, Rob Gehl, York University.

Interesting #mainstreaming look, that bypasses the grassroots it’s actually talking about, this is a common issue with academic writing, am at Oxford this winter so have everyday “organic” expirence of this.

For governance, we have a widely discussed project on this forum that is “native” to address all the issues outline in the article Open-Media-Network/openwebgovernancebody: ON STANDBY due to waiting for funding – (OGB) This is a space for working through Governance of horizontal projects – using #KISS online tools. – openwebgovernancebody – Open Media Network 4

Then for fighting the capture we have an “organic” path the #4opens if used is a strong defence Home – 4opens – Open Media Network

So to sum up, what we need is for “us” the collective to get up from our knees and become the change we would like to see. This is actually not a hard thing to do “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Let’s look at this PDF:

This thread and our failing in general in “governance” is to do with the fluffy and spiky debate, or much more obviously the failing of this debate to actually be held in place.

“Potential benefits of the fediverse are at risk of being subverted, either by commercial
competitors or through structural dysfunction.”

Dealing with both commercial and structural dysfunction here.

Commercial – funding has shifted from distributed to centralized over the last few years, this is driving core dysfunctions – interesting and useful subject to discus.

Structural – we have not moved anywhere towards “native” governance approaches, this is building crises Legitimacy (political) – Wikipedia

“hold promise as human-scale, democratically-run platforms for civil discourse within and between these groups of users.”

We aspire to this, but with no democracy in any formal or informal sense. And secondly we lack “groups of users” as the coding being copies of #dotcons are strongly “individualized” which pushed our #mainstreaming “common sense” over this openweb “native” space.

“challenges inherent to distributed governance, commercial platform capture, inclusive
access, moderation at scale, reputational assaults by commercial competitors, and the tacitly
neoliberal techno-Romanticism familiar from previous digital innovations. ”

The is a long working (activist) history of mediating these problems that we are ignoring here. A first step to addressing this is the fluffy spiky debate being held in place #KISS

“Developers, entrepreneurs, institutions, and users of these technologies
must also work collectively and proactively to help the fediverse avoid these historical threats
and maximize its civic potential.”

This is the bit we need to talk more about, as it’s key to not fucking up agen.

“However, the fediverse is more than a technical system; it is also a political structure (Mansoux
& Roscam Abbing, 2020). ”

On this currently, we are seeing Legitimacy (political) – Wikipedia failing.

“the structure of platform governance and moderation is both reflective of and integral to the
functioning of democratic processes in digital networks, and much of the proverbial “devil in the
details” comes down to arcane and obscure questions about transparency, control, and
information flow at any given chokepoint or sociotechnical layer.”

This is why link to the #4opens, and it’s use to judge if a project or group are “native” or not – to make transparent in groups and most impotently OUT-GROUPS. A technical/social membrane, as this quote say “devil in the details”

“1. Distributed governance failures
Previous decentralized social platforms have sometimes failed to deliver on their civic potential
because of challenges emerging from the governance process: the norms, institutions, and
technologies that determine who gets to say what to whom, under which circumstances,”

This is the subject of responses to this thried, illustrating the issues, so think of it as the spiky in the fluffy spiky debate. Notice, we are currently failing to hold this debate in place.

“it introduces other risks that must be addressed and mitigated, including new threats such as accountability and liability crises, forking… Corporate actors may also exploit these challenges, by posing themselves as solutions to distributed governance frictions (Marshall, 2006).”

This is likely in part one of the underling issues we are not talking about here.

“Examples of distributed platforms falling prey to these governance challenges in the past are

We have much to learn and address on this, I talk about this a lot as it’s a key subject we need to move away from “common sense” approaches. Yes this is seen as spiky, but it’s needed, let’s hold this debate open please.

“Not all platform governance is alike. Though corporate platforms emulate traditional media
structures by centralizing power (Napoli & Caplan, 2017), the fediverse has a more distributed
governance structure. This decentralization is not just an aspect of the underlying software but also a core tenet of the governance philosophy of the fediverse itself.”

This is a subject I talk about a lot and have been working on for the last few years with the ogb as a “native” approache. In general, these “native” approaches are still being #blocked by #mainstreaming “common sense” approaches. This needs to change if the openweb reboot is not to wither and die.

“Benjamin Mako Hill (2018) describes this corporate capture of OSS projects as “strategic closedness.””

This is in easy view with a lot of our tech and fashionable crew pushing #closedweb ideas as “common sense” verse “native” openweb approaches. This is a problem with no obverse solutions, the #4opens project is one way to mediate this insolvable/unspoken issue that is everywhere in our dev crew.

“2. Commercial capture
Another challenge that has undermined the health and strength of previous decentralized or
open platforms is commercial capture. Proprietary, value-added features that enhance the user
experience are used to bring more users onto the platform, ”

We currently have few tools to push this back, our strongest tool is likely our “culture” but this itself is fractured, full of infighting and unspoken. Speaking this out load while creating tension is likely nessersery for any good outcome. Hiding from this is #fail

“This means that only a continuing commitment to interoperability by developers, and not merely the existence of an open technological standard, can ensure an open ecosystem within the fediverse.”

It’s social/political NOT a technical problem, so our current fixation on ONLY tech and avoidance of the social/political is a easy to see and act on #fail

“Eternal September is not that new users simply need to be taught the social norms of the space they are joining, but that norms policing is a form of gatekeeping that can exclude new and more diverse users from joining.”

This is both true and a #fashernista problem, we need a better path, this should be easy, it’s not.

“it is important to critique calls for technological approaches to user-friendliness, which are often couched in rhetoric of democratization of technology, while simultaneously undermining decentralized
power relations… making the platform easier to join and use,
while also limiting users’ agency to make choices about the underlying infrastructure that will
best foster their communities”

We are going to see this from every side for and agenst, we need a balances’ path through this mess, we are not currently talking about this path, we need to.

“the fediverse currently relies on the goodwill of countless volunteer moderators and self-funded instances, this goodwill can’t last indefinitely, and a workable approach to funding and compensation has yet to emerge.”

This one is a can of worms, the current “best” solution is to keep instances small and voluntary run, our ongoing disagreements on this path is likely to continue to do damage… one path out of this is legitimate “governance”.

“The reputational anti-halo is already cropping up in discourse about the fediverse and Mastodon, which have been tainted by their uses among the “alt-right” (Makuch, 2019) and for child abuse (Thiel & DiResta, 2023).”

This comes down to voice and power, as “libertarian cats” we have little of either… it’s a bad path to stay on, what path would be better and more “native” is a good question to talk about.

“techno-Romanticism works to obscure the labor, networks, and institutions that are key to supporting technological development while elevating the simplistic view of the great men of history… the fediverse is particularly vulnerable to techno-Romanticism”

This is an endemic issue, and most people are chasing the tech equivalent of the American dream that they will become the top dev… this is not a native approach to the openweb, but it’s currently a dominating view. This is mess making.

“Technical language and the assumption of baseline technical expertise may also present unintended obstacles to adoption. Conversely, the fediverse also faces the threat that the rhetoric of “user friendliness” will justify the curtailing of user agency, or re-centralization of the network… messy, and continuous practice of maintaining a healthy and inclusive space for civic discourse…

Techno-Romantism’s utopian discourse poses a threat to the fediverse because it distracts from the importance of social action in the development of technology… discussion about how to
identify them and limit their impact, is a critical step toward reaching those civic and
technosocial goals together.”

In conclusion, the roadmap for the fediverse’s future must transcend the confines of technicality and delve deep into the socio-political fabric. Holding the fluffy-spiky debate firm, nurturing ‘native’ approaches, mitigating commercial capture, addressing governance challenges, and fostering a culture of inclusivity and sustainability—these constitute the keystones for nurturing the true potential of the fediverse.

Mess makeing is an brackdown in communication – ideas please.

Interesting #mainstreaming look, that bypasses the grassroots it’s actually talking about, this is a common issue with academic writing, am at Oxford this winter so have every day “organic” expirence of this.

For governance, we have a widely discussed project on this forum that is “native” to address all the issues outline in the article Open-Media-Network/openwebgovernancebody: ON STANDBY due to waiting for funding – (OGB) This is a space for working through Governance of horizontal projects – using #KISS online tools. – openwebgovernancebody – Open Media Network 4

Then for fighting the capture we have an “organic” path the #4opens if used is a strong defence Home – 4opens – Open Media Network

So to sum up, what we need is for “us” the collective to get up from our knees and become the change we would like to see. This is actually not a hard thing to do “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”


Continuing the discussion from Can This Platform Survive? Governance Challenges for the Fediverse 2:

Dear @hamishcampbell,

although we already had this discussion several times, you keep posting external links to your website every time you have an opportunity to do so, which is quite a lot, since you are very attentive to responding to any new topic with such links.

What it achieves is that your posts rarely bring anything to the conversation and rather look out of place, and barely get any response. Do you realize that all these links have rel="nofollow" attached to them, which means no search engine will index them in relation to this site?

I’m reacting to this specific message because you, being in Oxford, could have made a much better contribution by summarizing the findings of this paper rather than waving your opinion as a pretext to add two more links to your site.

Should I resort to simply unlinking all such references to it so you have an incentive to bring more useful comments? You have been warned repeatedly that your posting style feels spammy, and I would not like to have to kick you out, because when you want you can make interesting contributions. But most of the time, I feel that it’s a waste of time.

What do others think?

  • Use the mute feature on this user
  • Flag posts as spam
  • Unlink
  • Leave Hamish alone


#ragecircle the assumption this is spamming is troubling, and we likely need to look at this assumption? What would be the mod process to start this?

Linking is how ideas are addressed on the openweb

UPDATE: to be clear, the is a mod question here, please can the mods address it, thanks.


This conversation is getting beyond silly, here is what What Is Link Spam: Definition and Types of Link Spamming – Kontely link spamming is.

It SHOULD be obvious the post is not doing any of these things.

I would like the current mods, on this open and community driven forum, to stop this please.

And I ask, repeat (and the risk of this being seen as SPAM) for the 3ed time, can we get some process put in place to mediate mod behaver, thanks.

I think this space is increasingly lacking Legitimacy (political) – Wikipedia it was the subject of the post in question. This is a difference of social/tech path of me and the two mods, not some something to be pushed out of view, thanks.

Please stop this.

This mess making from our mods is bringing the lack of in this “community site” into view. This is the subject of the ogional post

I call the subject post #mainstreaming to describe that it’s a reflective post of the chatting classes, not to say this has no value, just it’s not “native” to the grassroots internet some of us want to build.

Then link this to my personal experience, I have 20 years of dealing with this of mess making in openweb tech/funding so have a lot to say on this ps. this link is not SPAMMING take note, it’s a weblink so you can fallow it to find out more about what I am talking about, if you are interested in clicking on the link.

Next link to the about page of a project that directly addresses the issue the original post is about, with context. I post a link rather than simply copy and past the intro, as this is how the WWW is supposed to work.

Then I describe how we can fight affectively to push the grassroots “native” internet some of us would like to see, and link to a tool that can be used to affect the needed change. Native to the WWW people can click on the link if interested.

Finally the is a bit of a spike in the tail, that yes is indirectly pointing at our mods and an inclination on this forum. Take NOTE this is done in a polite way without naming names, so no issue with the CVP etc.

Ok, i understand you don’t like this aproch, this has been made clear the last few years, what exactly is wrong with these posts mods #KISS

Best not to go down this path

I have been in Oxford for the last month, attending university talks and seminars on subjects of interest. And I am seeing the normal issues of this is an “art” way of expressing the issue but it’s a good description of much inward looking thinking. Their answers when questioned on this are in that, It’s not as bad as you think, “am more positive” etc.

This is an issue with the current #geekproblem and much #mainstreaming thinking in the era of #climatechaos

The mess we are likely to make over the next ten years. Best not to go down this path.

Why the Russian constitution matters: the dark arts of constitutional law

Professor Partlett’s forthcoming book challenges the conventional view that Russia’s Constitution is a sham. It will show instead that this constitution is a critical foundation of Russian authoritarianism today that carries important broader lessons for the world.

In the ruins of the Soviet Union, President Boris Yeltsin—with the full backing of the West—dabbled in the ‘dark arts’ of constitutional law by centralising vast constitutional power in the office of the president in the 1993 Russian Constitution. This presidential centralisation was justified as necessary to ensure stability while being limited by extensive constitutional rights guarantees. President Vladimir Putin has since disregarded these rights provisions and fully exploited this centralised authority to rebuild Russian authoritarianism.

The Russian experience helps us better understand the dark arts of constitutional law, an understudied practice in which written constitutions are used to build a centralised state. This practice is grounded on a long normative tradition—dating back to Thomas Hobbes—arguing that centralisation is the best way to overcome civil war and achieve the common good. This practice underpins the rise of authoritarian populism around the world today. It also is increasingly infiltrating established democracies, posing a critical internal threat to democratic governance.

William Partlett is an Associate Professor at Melbourne Law School. He writes and teaches in the field of public law.

It’s interestingly academic, look at paper power and how the west “missed” the Russian centralisation with Putin.

Brought in 1993 by Yeltsin (well more like his burocrats) and used later.

The Q&A reveals #mainstreaming and likely #dogma. This is a gathering of “our” technocrats talking about their “technocrats”. “Sadly” some of the west pushed this mess “we trust him”

Does the mess create the mess or the mess create the mess is an under text of the event is as far as the technicrats get.

The leading liberal, agency is to ask people in power to change.

Economics and National Security – The audience for this was the servants of power, good to understand what they are thinking

Going to this event to see what the #mainstreaming think about the upcoming political changes to economic is about.It was interesting, but the only agency was asking the servants of power to do make the needed change. This has been the same ansear for the last 5 seminars i have attended in Oxford. It is not agency at all. We have had 40 years of hardcore class war and the is no easy path out of this. The audience for this was the servants of power, good to understand what they are thinking.

Economics and National Security

There is a resurgence in interest in economic statecraft and economic security. This is against a backdrop in which, over the last thirty or so years, economics has been regarded as above and beyond national control and best left untouched by governments; and national security has been lionised for its performance and practice, rather than its impact. What are the connections between the economy and national security, and how might we begin to raise a new generation of security practitioners with the skills to operate in this re-emerging field?Dr Jason Shepherd is the Senior Director for Strategy at Thomson Reuters Special Services International. He joined Thomson Reuters in 2021 after a twenty-three-year career in the UK national security community, during which he contributed to interoperability both between the FVEY partners and the UK agencies and government departments.A graduate of Cambridge, his PhD in Molecular Genetics was awarded by the University of Edinburgh, but it was his experience of the Executive Master’s in Public Policy at LSE that convinced him of the importance of the economy and political institutions to national security. An influential member of the 2020 Integrated Review team, he continues to champion technical innovation and excellence in the pursuit of public good, and is a proponent of public-private partnership in security and intelligence. He is an advocate, and whenever possible practitioner, of systems thinking and systems engineering.

Best to start from #KISS the left is based on trust and open culture.

Best to start from #KISS the left is based on trust and open culture. Moving away from this the left has distroid itself over the last 40 years.

* The #fashernisata embracing of postmodernism
* The soft left embrace of the “common sense” of neoliberalism

Combined, these have undermined the foundations the left is built on. This leaves people helpless to compost the current mess, as our shovel for piling the #mainstreaming have no head, nor a handle.

Of course, the is also an older horizontal and vertical split that divided the left in the 20th centenary. This is not the subject at hand, we need to compost the current mess before we can look at this older mess.

Thoughts on my 3ed Oxford seminar

Most academy is about building consensus on how to name things. Am at a Oxford seminar on Deepfakes & Disinformation (Cassidy Bereskin) which is doing this, maybe discourse after, let’s see.

The events are status games, to establish a place in #mainstreaming hierarchy with the subject they are working on. There is little if any time spent talking about the issues outside this, is this actually dealing with the mess we face?

At the end the was more of the same, this is an actual “academic” problem, ideas please?

The current mess making in our media coverage of the tribal struggles in the Middle East.

The current media coverage of tribal struggles in the Middle East is fraught with complexities and contradictions. The situation in the West Bank and Gaza, with Israel’s establishment of settlements and the resulting occupation, is a source of intense debate and contention.
As highlighted by Ms. Pillay in her statement, successive Israeli governments have ignored international law by creating settlements and transferring Israeli civilians into the West Bank and Gaza. This has, in essence, established facts on the ground, which are aimed at securing permanent Israeli control. Occupations resulting from unlawful armed attacks are distinct disputes, allowing the occupied state to legally exercise its right to self-defence under Article 51 of the UN Charter to recover its territory.
The 1947 UN declaration, which is foundational to understanding the conflict. It underscores the legal aspects of the situation and the potential rights and claims of both parties involved. In this context, Hamas, as the governing authority in Gaza, has a legal right to use military force to liberate their illegally occupied land, based on UN resolutions. The heart of the matter lies in the interpretation and application of international law and resolutions.
The media’s role in disseminating information and providing a comprehensive view of these complexities is crucial. However, #mainstreaming media falls short of its mission to tell the “truth.” Instead, they often mix facts with biased narratives, creating confusion and misinterpretation among their audiences. To address this issue and build a path toward peace, it is imperative that the media focuses on presenting the facts clearly and objectively, as laid out in UN statements and actions. This means refraining from propagating falsehoods or favouring one side over the other. The historical context, and the UN’s involvement, can serve as a useful resource for those seeking to understand the intricacies of the Middle East conflict.
In summary, untangling the web of Middle East conflicts, particularly the Israeli-Palestinian struggle, necessitates a commitment to truth and accuracy in media coverage. By adhering to the principles and resolutions of international bodies like the UN, we can hope to achieve a clearer understanding and, ultimately, work towards a just and lasting peace in the region.
A simple view of the current mess making in our media coverage of the tribal struggles in the Middle East.

“By ignoring international law in establishing or facilitating the establishment of settlements, and directly or indirectly transferring Israeli civilians into these settlements, successive Israel governments have set facts on the ground to ensure permanent Israeli control in the West Bank,” said Ms. Pillay.

“occupations resulting from unlawful armed attacks are indeed distinct disputes that do not fall under the prohibition contained in the UNGA 2625, and the occupied state may therefore legally exercise its right to unilateral and/or collective self-defence against the occupying power(s) under Article 51 of the UN Charter to recover its territory.” Https://

In this the Hamas government has a legal right to use military force to liberate illegally occupied land under the UN 1947 declaration

Our #mainstreaming media coverage is mixing this simple story with lies and propaganda. In this they are obviously failing in its self-declared mission of telling the “truth”.

Yes we have way too much mess, and yes nobody in this is black and white good or bad, let’s try and stop our media adding mess to this, and please try to keep the simple clear truth of the above UN statements and actions and build a peace FROM THIS.

For a basic overview of this, the is a Wikipedia article: Https://

#dontbeaprat is a positive statement of what’s next?

In activism (and interestingly less so in #mainstreaming life now) #stupidindividualism is a constant poison. With #blinded, people treat critical social thinking as ONLY personal criticism. This has the effect of #blocking that spreads mess over the very needed social change and challenge. Am increasingly using the  #dontbeaprat hashtag to communicate on this problem.

I think another useful hashtag on this behaviour is #blinded, which is in part self-inflicted and in part a general social outcome of the last 40 years of worshipping #postmodernism and #neoliberalism. The hashtag #deathcult is a useful “uncomfortable” way of expressing this.

Why is this such an issue, people are directly responsible for this mess making, as both of these ideologies are actually dead themselves now. It’s an intellectual  zombie block.

So #dontbeaprat is a positive statement of what’s next?

Please #dontbeaprat on this, thanks.