Exploring Distributed Moderation

I’m coming here as this is the closest thing to an “open forum to speak on ActivityPub-powered systems” that I can think of and I’d like to discuss an idea around having a distributed space for handling moderation. Now, I haven’t moderated a Mastodon server in years (you might recognize me from the days of PlayVicious, that experienced high levels of abuse even in the short time I was an admin) but it’d be remiss to not note the rise of moderation spats and disputes happening in the Fediverse. We have a unique opportunity here to take in the learnings from people who specialize in countering abuse and uplift people who are routinely discouraged from engaging with the Fediverse because of the prevailing notion of it.

I have a few ideas on how this could be done (namely making an instance collectively owned by instance admins specifically where discussions about reports can be held so it can be done in a safe, documented and educational way). I want this to be something everyone can learn from (so it’s going to get sticky with discussions around politics, digital autonomy and the like) and it’s necessary if we want the Fediverse to truly be competitive with alternative platforms.

I would (and have, in the past) say the same of the IndieWeb, which I’m more aligned with.

[Also published on my site at Opened this post as a user of a service… — Jacky Alciné]


I can’t write it up fully right now, but I’m currently thinking about a standardised activitypub based API for handling moderation, both on the “service that provides moderation interacting back into fediverse apps”, and the “how do posts, accounts, and reports reach said service”, and that it should probably be driven by discoverability (like a .well-known file)

That way we can have fantastic software & services performing moderation shared across the entire fediverse.

1 Like

This sounds extremely compelling - would love to read more once you’re ready!

Hi. Welcome back to SocialHub you two :partying_face:

If you are looking for past discussions, this issue of fediverse-ideas should prove useful. Please also add new links / points to it.


I did some ideation some time ago re: #fediversity:fediverse-futures and still tracking related notes when I bump into them. See:

The discussion started here: Federated Moderation: Towards Delegated Moderation?

Maybe there’s something to it that you find useful :slight_smile:

(Note, there is a bug on Lemmy where all but one of the 32 comments do not show up, cc @nutomic )

Just bumped into this thread about Hachyderm instance blocking, missed the drama and didn’t read up, but this discussion has some useful input to this topic I gather…

This is something I and others are working hard to get moving, I ran a needs assessment along these lines (results here: https://aboutiftas.files.wordpress.com/2023/05/trust-safety-needs-assessment-aggregated-report.pdf ) and from that we’ve been building a team under the IFTAS label to convene moderators, service providers, protocol and platform developers to help support these kinds of activities. We’ve started a “Federated Moderation Tooling” workgroup at https://matrix.to/#/#space:matrix.iftas.org - we’d love to help convene and support these activities.

1 Like