Ryan Dawson of the Anti Neocon Report has got it right. As far as I know, he is the only activist that realized the value of decentralization and decided to embrace decentralized solutions. In his interview on Free Man beyond the wall webcast, Ryan explained his logic and why he decided to go decentralized, and the best thing about that interview is that Ryan focused on his own issues, and tried to handle them as a responsible and determined person in his own context, regardless of what the other world would say. Great Job.
Ryan’s new setup is still in progress. I have tested his new social platform and his video platform, and I can say that both of them are very familiar. If you have ever used Mastodon or PeerTube, You will feel at home in Ryan’s new platform.
The Decentralization debate
On the same Free Man Beyond the Wall podcast, Scott Horton gave some very interesting comments about Rayn’s new setup. Scott is not in favor of each person having their own Twitter system and their own Facebook system. He prefers that those things should be apps not websites, and those apps do not depend on a central website.
I think what Ryan is doing is exactly what Scott wanted. And the technology addresses Scott’s major concern. When anybody is on Mastodon or PeerTube, They are also on every other instance of Mastodon or PeerTube. If you are on a properly configured Mastodon powered website, you can use the whole features of mastodon on any other properly configured Mastodon website. Any Mastodon app on any mobile device can subscribe to your activities and any other user’s activities on any other properly configured Mastodon website. That is exactly what Scott described as his ideal solution, and it is available and working right now. It feels like you are all on the same system, on the same mobile app, on the same website, but it is actually decentralized and everybody can be on his own website.
It is even theoretically possible to use a Mastodon account to subscribe to a PeerTube account, and to use a PeerTube account to subscribe to any Mastodon Account. Although the technology to make that happen is not quite ready yet on Mastodon or PeerTube, other systems like Hubzilla and Friendica are trying to do it, which proves how promising the future of decentralization can be.
The Fediverse Magic
That magic is powered by a variety of independently developed protocols for two-way client-server and server-server communications across a decentralized network. The most common protocol is ActivityPub, but there are other protocols like Ostatus, Diaspora and others.
ActivityPub became a W3C recommendation in January 2018, which is the highest level an internet standard can reach. The Diaspora protocol powers the Federation network, a decentralized network of 177 servers serving 16167 this month. A promising protocol is Salmon, which allows people to have a decentralized conversation in a comment threads on blog posts.
In addition to the systems mentioned above, GnuSocial, Pleroma, PumP.IO, and others, along with their users, form the the decentralized network of social networks that we call the Fediverse.
Some people might say that those are many technical terms in hacker speak, not in activist speak, and I agree. As of now, the Fediverse is a hacker space. Only factionless developers and divergent university students went there to escape the hell of centralized and monitored social networks. And so far, the Fediverse has delivered on the promises of decentralization, security, and privacy.
If more activists follow Ryan to join and expand the Fediverse, and their audience follows them, the Fediverse will certainly become a real competitor the the controlled social networks. This will be such a huge change that nobody can expect what impact it will have on the world we live in.
This will make you uncomfortable
I want to be very clear with those activists who talk about Decentralization. You do not need a ghost coming from a grave to tell you that you will not be able to change the world with a WordPress site and YouTube channel. You need to open your eyes look around. It is time for you to contact that weird hacker friend of yours and ask him/her about the Fediverse. You might even find it hard to convince yourself first, then your hacker friend, that you really want something better than WordPress, but If you are very persuasive and persistent, you will see your old paradigm crumble before you, then you will rise on a censorship free, independent and self hosted platform. Community guidelines, Shadow banning, deplatforming and blacklist algorithms will become topics of the dark age, and you mention them only when you talk to the people who are still on Odysee and the similar centralized networks. Those topics will be replaced by cooperation, federation, inter-connectivity, and security topics.
That is a whole new world. Developers like me who advocate decentralization like you have built it, and now we are inviting you, the activists, to help expand it.
I invite you to listen to the two discussions I mentioned above:
And here are the links to Ryan Dawson new platform:
The Unweb Developers