What would a fediverse "governance" body look like?

#Bluesky thinking of a “governance” body of the fediverse - If it does not have elephants running around throwing paper planes its likely the wrong structure

I put some #bluesky thinking here http://hamishcampbell.com/index.php/2021/03/13/bluesky-thinking-of-a-governance-body-of-the-fedivers/


Maybe you could add a list of what you think such a governance body should govern?

For example, maybe it shouldn’t be “a body” but maybe an arm here and a leg there and some other limbs in other places taking care of other happenings?

(That’s not a proposal, just thinking thru the territory a bit…)

An example would be a individual went to the EU body responsible for standards but as he had no “standing” he was not heard were all the #dotcons questions and views were taken onboard for EU #openweb standards legislation coming up.

Power only understands power, so, we might need something that looks like “power” without all the power politics that involves… this is #bluesky thinking to this end. If #activertypub is taken up by the #dotcons this WILL BE IMPOSED ON US anyway.

How would you do that? I’m not disagreeing, just wondering how.

And what if anything would that need to govern?

Possible example: I once started a skunkworks project in a big company and recruited my own manager from the ranks of people the company management had blessed, but who also agreed with the goals of the skunkworks project. His job was to keep the other managers off our backs. He did no actual managing of the project. Worked fairly well.

Good questions.

This post is in reaction to people talking about the same project but as a traditional opensource “foundation”. Am thinking people are seeing the #dotcons sniffing about the #openweb and what we can do to defend ourselves - like setup the higharacy before they come in and set it up “for” us.

Thus, the #bluesky tag - its trying to think outside this traditional path, so we think BEFORE we inevitably go down it this kinda crap path.

Is one of your goal here pretty much the same as my skunkworks “manager”? Something that would protect the fediversians so they can evolve their own governance methods but not necessary govern them very much?

That would be the benign king model, its how most open-source projects are actually run. This is NOT an option for the fedivers as its a network of meany stakeholders with the nearest thing to a king being the coder from mastodon Eugen @Gargron@mastodon.social he kinda plays this role all ready. BUT the is no consensuses among the stakeholders for this and is controversial to talk in these ways.

We are left with a VERY lose network with few strong points of “power” not a bad thing :slight_smile:

But if the #fedivers continues this will change, the is no choice about the change, there is a choice about open/closed models of change that we can decide on for a WHILE before this is taken out of our hands.

4 posts were split to a new topic: Organizing for SocialHub Community Empowerment

That was not what I thought you meant, and not what I meant. Those BDFLs actually make a lot of project decisions. My “manager” in my story above did not make any project decisions, just protected us from the other managers.

I’m most trying figure out what you do mean, and that was a trial balloon. I don’t know if that fits or who or what that would be, so probably a miss rather than a hit.

Anyway, I don’t think I am advancing the discussion any more and will go back to lurking…

See my post above. Imho the “Foundation” idea should nothing like a traditional open source foundation. It should be much more informal, i.e. the organizer of a ‘maker space’, where everyone can participate and all voices are heard. I like the idea of seeing it as a creative innovation center, but the way it is set up is to be both servant and facilitator to the community. Create “family” and have us figure things out together. It should be an extension to the fun people have while working on their own projects. Foundation and community intricately belong together and devs should know that their active participation is in their own interest, and will only increase the excitement and passion they have for evolving fedi further.

So more “invisibility” clock, everything is normal, this group has “trust”?

Currently Fediverse/Mastodon has issue with lacking the emotional maturity to have an inclusive global network. Such as lack of tolerance to alternative worldviews, political, social or word usage preferences.

For example some people in positions of power lacked enough maturity to forgive and be compassionate to gab etc, thus causing a schism which led to a bunch of copycat schisms and compeletely fragmented the network.

For example there is a decentralized religion which has managed to avoid the sectarianism that afflicts many abrahamic faith factions. That decentralized religion is Mahayana Buddhism where various denominations are considered schools. In the Bodhisattva vow causing a schism in the community is on par with killing ones’ mother or father.

In the New World there are a bunch of instances that Do have forgiveness and compassion for all beings due to relatively high levels of spiritual development as by comparison to Humanist Europe. Honestly I’m not 100% certain what can work to help Europeans open their heart, as I’ve only managed to be on their instances for maybe 3-10 posts before being banned, likely due to religious intolerance, which paradoxically is not protected in mastodon code of conduct even though international treaties do.

Anyways another major problem I see is that you seem to be speaking in favour of censorship and plutocrats by your mention of copyrights/DRM which in themselves are a result of basic human rights not being met, like the basic human right to land enshrined in the ICESCR and elucidated by many other documents. The only people that benefit from copyrights are plutocrats and oppressors of the poor and needy.

Why did Germany become a European super power? Cause they didn’t have copyright so regular people could read scientific articles not just ivory tower artistacrats.

Anyways fediverse is supposed to democratize things, by allowing people to have their Human Rights respected, including freedom of speech, etc.

We all know how good (or not?) people all over the world and throughout history have been in solving conflict and strive and then live together in peace and harmony, right :thinking:

Probably that “emotional maturity” or maybe immaturity in your perspective is just an online reflection of the social fabric that exists in the real world, and is spun up by the collective members of the community. The Foundation I am talking about is not, however, a socio-cultural institution, nor providing spiritual guidance. Social and spiritual values are those that flow from the Community itself, and the people interacting with it.

In other words: the community is the decider and as it is formed organically it determines the foundation it wants to stand on. The community is in the lead to set policy as it were, and the foundation will adopt it. A recent example is the SocialHub Community Values Policy discussion we had. Is it an all-inclusive masterpiece of enlightenment? Probably not, but each member in the broader fediverse community has the chance to raise their voice and - with decent arguments and in good faith - bring positive change to the overall culture. Change that will be reflected in turn in policy improvement and arduent defenders of the values they represent. Without the latter the Foundation would crumble.

Similar to the Foundation not being a socio-cultural institution dictating social norms and preaching spiritual values, it also shouldn’t be a political body either. Technology is not neutral. Though part of the foundation’s tasks may be to lobby politicians for the adoption of decentralized technologies - i.e. starting with federation and interoperability standards - it will adhere to community values in the same way, when doing so. Part of those values is that extremism of whatever kind is not tolerated, nor is authoritarianism or plutocracy. And that human values, virtues and freedoms are pillars on which the technology must shape itself.

Reformulated, the Foundation should not be an arbiter of political opinion or conflict, but a promoter of widespread adoption of the technology foundation (yes, also a foundation) it represents in the best, most optimal ways that are possible within the landscape it operates in and in alignment to the community that drives and evolves said technology base.

If the above positioning and representation of the unity between community and foundation means that the foundational component is rather technocratic, then so be it. Imho, there is no other way to place the separation that wouldn’t significantly stifle the foundation in its mission to further the technology.

I have another discussion going with members of the Humane Tech Community about “What makes a Humane Technologist?” that is quite interesting and has relevancy to how a foundation can position itself:

  • While pondering fedi slogans I think “Social Media Reimagined” can be a true paradigm to follow, and a rallying cry too.
  • With that Fediverse can be a veritable playground, makers space and innovation labs for would-be humane technologists.
  • As it evolves around its community values and culture, embracing best practices, it’ll be an exemplar of humane technology.

“Part of those values is that extremism of whatever kind is not tolerated, nor is authoritarianism or plutocracy. And that human values, virtues and freedoms are pillars on which the technology must shape itself.”

So it sounds like you consider yourself to be above the law (international human rights treaties etc), and you will force everyone to adhere to your version “human values”.

You can’t have an “intolerant” attitude and support human right to freedom of expression at the same time. Similarly you can’t force “human values” on people who are not humanists at least if you wish to respect the international rights treaties.

Like obviously in practice it is possible to oppress non humanists the socialist nations have been doing it since USSR/Nazis and continue to with China/North Korea But those are acts of genocide.

Maybe we need to untangle what blockages to compassion for all beings you have. For example you said something about not tolerating “extremism” which is extremely vague, so may be a form of extremism …

I forgive and love you unconditionally.

Those international human right treaties aren’t laws but treaties that are signed between countries and other powerful instances, in addition to be very oriented and colonialist texts, they are not enforced by those institutions at an individual level and therefore people’s behavior are regulated by smaller instances such as their national/regional laws or in the case that we are concerned with the chart of the group that we are taking part of.

Freedom of expression is not absolute, it is limited by some values such as not encouraging hate, or other things we have learned throughout history, for example not to accept fascist discourse.


I joined this following a thread on Mastodon, I like the idea of a more formal board structure to try and drive the Fediverse forward, so that we can provide a real working alternative to big tech social media.

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The idea is good, but there is a naivety in the push, as “formal board structure” are prone to power politics and thus corporate and carrear capture. The fedivers is currently resistant to this well known problem. Yes we need to do better, but not at the price of losing what we have already :slight_smile: