The #openweb has become an integral part of our daily lives, with almost every aspect of our existence now touched by it. However, over the years, concerns have grown about the centralized nature of the internet and the power politics this creates. The rise of social media giants such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google has brought this issue to the fore. These platforms, #dotcons, are centralized and controlled by a handful of powerful corporations, which poses a significant threat to user privacy and freedom of expression.
In response to this, a disparate group of committed libertarian “cats” from the Fediverse community decided to take #directaction to promote decentralized and #openweb models of the Fediverse to the European Union (#EU). The Fediverse is a collection of decentralized social networking platforms that use the ActivityPub protocol to interconnect with each other.
The Fediverse crew participated in EU events, conferences, engaged with policy-makers. They explained the benefits of decentralized and autonomous models of the #openweb and how they can shape a more humane online world. As a result, a minority of people in the #EU became interested in these technologies and began to adopt them in a soft rollout of “official” instances.
The huge growth of Mastodon, one of the most popular social networking platforms in the Fediverse, due to the #Twittermigration attracted a diverse and vibrant community of users from across the EU and the world. This growth helped to validate the importance of decentralized internet and its potential to shape a more humane world.
From this seed, Today, ActivityPub, Fediverse, and Mastodon continue to grow to becoming important players in the EU’s efforts to promote a more humane internet. The unspoken grassroots outreach and community-building efforts by the Fediverse “cats” have empowered us, and helped to shift the EU closer to being what they say they are.
The story of the mouse and the elephant making friends is a reminder that even the most Eurocratic and ossified institutions can embrace radical grassroots movements. The Fediverse “cats” have shown that by working together, we can be a part of the change we would like to see. The #openweb is a powerful tool, and it is up to us to use it.
In conclusion, the efforts of the Fediverse community to promote decentralized and autonomous models of the internet to the EU have been successful. Our outreach and advocacy have helped to shift the EU closer to promoting a more humane internet, and the growth of platforms such as Mastodon has validated the importance of these models. It is up to all of us to ensure that the internet is used for the betterment of society.