I'm excited to share that I'll be presenting at the ActivityPub Conference ( this October!

I'll be presenting my paper on moderating and how the has isolated bad actors like . It's fascinating how small, self-hosted, self-governed social networks have worked together to address problems that have haunted centralized platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

More details coming soon.

@Argus Will it be hosted on YouTube on another streaming site? If not...mind if I see that paper? :)

@farhan I'll be happy to share the paper. The presentations will all be recorded - @sl007 may have ideas on how they'll be published.

Might be nice to host them on .

@farhan @sl007 The paper is under review for publication by UMD - I can share a copy once the editing is finished.

@Argus I will be glad if you share the text version with me later.

@Argus sounds interesting. problem of blocking spam, etc always was a problem on decentralized networks.
I do hope you'll take the time to explore some of the alternative solutions to these problems that have been deployed in different fediverse projects. The top tier projects tend to have a very limited repertoire when it comes to online safety and content moderation. Effective, yes, but the old adage "if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail" seems to apply.  We've had excellent success with

1. Comment permissions
2. Actual moderation where a moderator examines and approves the content for distribution
3. Limited visibility posting (aka aspects/circles)
4. Optionally disabling the public stream aka "the whole known network" as the lack of permissions and sheer volume of content makes moderation prohibitive
5. Actor and domain blocks
6. Image suppression (click to view) which can be enabled on a per-contact basis
7. Automatic content filtering based on keyword and/or language, either per-contact or site-wide

There are people who will argue about every one of these and some are dependent on whether the project design is Facebook-like or Twitter-like, so I won't say that any one solution is the best for all cases. What we've found is that the more complete the toolbox, the less one is forced to reach for a sledgehammer when what they really want is a #2 Phillips.

Hi @mike, thanks for sharing! In my paper I mainly focus on human moderation, codes of conduct and domain blocking (and primarily in Mastodon), but I agree, these are other great examples of tools/features to maintain safe space. What other projects are you paying attention to?

I'm the guy behind Friendica, Hubzilla, Zap (and others). Online safety and privacy has been a common theme in my work both with open source and also in the educational and corporate world for going back decades (Stanford U, Netscape, Sun, AOL/Time-Warner, Symantec, U of Wollongong...).

Many people don't know or realise that we've encountered and solved all these problems before.

@Argus Is GAB a bad actor? Surely its just part of the stratification of social media into increasinglyu fractured echo chambers? ILike Parler, Mastodon (top some extent). I can see what you mean about the use of the mastodon technology, but its open to that by its nature.

@Argus By "bad actors" do you mean anyone who disagrees with you?

@Korsier go take a look at the gab local feed and let us know if you still have questions.

@unlofl Seems like what you see on Gab depends on what groups you join. A good idea I think to filter out a lot of irrelevant stuff. On the whole I didn't see anything more offensive or wierd than what I see on fedi, the only real difference being what side of the political spectrum the majority seems to be on.

@unlofl That's not your call. But thanks for demonstrating exactly the kind of intolerance and hatred which the left / progressives are known for.

@Korsier bro, it's the tolerance paradox, we've all had this discussion to death, and if you were curious you could go look it up instead of expecting everyone to explain it to you.

Tldr: a community that tolerates everything turns into 4chan, and we've decided we don't want that.

@unlofl It's not up to me to "go back" and look stuff up. Right now, I see you making the kind of passive aggressive comments which have come to typify the left, at least in my experience. I almost never get griefed by those on the right, despite not agreeing with their more outlandish theories, and they're not the ones I see advocating for cancelling dissent.

@Korsier what part of the paradox of tolerance argument do you disagree with?

@unlofl I'm wary of the paradox of tolerance leading to false dichotomies if taken too literally. Hence the importance of giving people the benefit of the doubt. Just because someone has different views to me doesn't make them a bad person, and I might even learn something from them.

@Korsier In order to build an inclusive community, its important to stop harmful speech, such as shouting the n-word in a crowded theatre.

@unlofl What you describe sounds more like immature speech that I would expect from teens or low functioning adults. I mean there's a mute button for that kind of thing, at least online. I don't think we need to build a walled garden.

@Korsier I don't think you understand how a community works.

No social space has ever held to the idea that you need to piss off every single person before you can be removed. If you're a drunken ass to several people at the bar, you'll usually get removed before you have time to bother everyone else there.

Instances don't all agree who to block, and thats good! If I felt my instance admins weren't doing a good job, I'd go to a different bar I mean instance.

@Korsier Also, shit, I mentioned your relay on # fediblock, you should probably go explain how misguided I am on that post.

This isn't some sort of group thing, we're just having a conversation. Why don't you want people to be able to freely share their opinions on who should be at the party?

@unlofl Wouldn't be the first time I got mentioned on fediblock. My point was that if you're going to be like and a few others and block a very long list of sites, mostly for very vague reasons, you might as well just make your own standalone instance. That would be more like a private party, whereas #fediverse is a town square. Personally I don't mind to have my ideas challenged in a rational away, I either come away confirmed in my belief or having learned something new.

@Korsier But when instances get along, why shouldn't they federate into a larger group? No one ever said the goal was to connect as many people as possible, thats twitter.

And historically, lots of people do get run out of the town square or run out of town entirely.

I don't make my own instance because I like the people here, and I don't want to be a hermit in a cabin in the woods.

So whats your point here, just that you're not clear on the reasoning behind a lot of the blocks?

@unlofl I guess I don't agree with the idea of running people out of town for their opinions. Especially in a democracy it's important for people to be able to say unpopular things.

@Korsier I absolutely think its acceptable to run people out of town if they think lynchings are a fun wholesome part of a sunday picnic. Certain ideas don't deserve to be tolerated.

So, which ideas do you think are being unfairly judged? Is this just a vague slippery slope argument, or do you have an example of what the fedi is being overly restrictive of?

@unlofl That's an extreme example. There is always room for using judgement. My instance has been blocked for having the temerity to be free speech oriented and for me posting the view that western liberal democracies are amongst the least racist of countries, which I backed up with research as well as personal experience. I'd say most of you guys have no idea how wildly racist non-European countries are, but racism is just considered normal there. E.g. China, India, much of the Middle East.

@Korsier See, this is also part of the paradox of tolerance: in some cases, the concepts of freedom of speech and freedom of association are directly opposed.

You might want to consider where you learned about the paradox, and why that part wasn't included.

@Argus If we can offer you any data on that, let me know!

@isolategab Ooh! What data do you have? All I have is their self-published post on isolation.

@isolategab Do you by any chants have stats on the instances that block Gab? or which ones federate?

@Argus Have you looked at to measure the insularity of Gab's official instances? And you can look at my feed to see conversations across major Fediverse instances back when this started...

@isolategab thank you for this! I'm making revisions to the paper, this will be useful.

@Argus You can direct message me and happy to give any notes, find any documention, and list any other data points that help...

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