What would a fediverse "governance" body look like?

Let’s look at the current Fediverse governance model:

  1. Developers coordinating informally (and sometimes formally via FEP process).
  2. Users voting with their feet (and sometimes with their wallet via donations).

What’s exactly wrong with it? Why would anyone want additional governance body?

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I would love a positive discussion about that.

Since this is a different question, I opened a new topic specifically about what a fediverse organization should or could do here:

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To be fair, as someone who has studied political science, I tend to look at the worst case scenario when looking at any organization structure, rather than the ideals that it claims to live up to. So, while I do understand that the intent of many of the proposed features of OGB isn’t what I described, my cynical mind looks at how such a system might be abused despite its good intentions.


Yes I read the background before replying and stand by my comments. I did not ask you or anybody to pitch my software to the EU. I have no relationship with the EU and they have no relationship with me. If Mastodon wants to have a relationship with them, that’s a matter for Mastodon.

This was related to AS/AP open standards and the Fediverse in general, not particular apps, and where the 3-part ActivityPub for Administrations event was part of. Though that was a success, afterwards there wasn’t enough interest for the #meeting:fediverse-policy special interest group to give good follow-up, though some people tried their best to get this going.

This reply is related to an off-topic comment in What would an ideal fediverse organization do?

A formal organization can have a variety of structures and you can assign roles and power in a variety of ways. If you structure it in such a way where the working groups are autonomous and members have a way of influencing the working groups, then you don’t have the top down hierarchy that you describe. Even if you have someone at the top, you can give them little actual power.

This is sounding blike the #OGB, but without the sortation - people compete for popularity to take the key roles? Who decides who is a member to vote on this?

What roles are you thinking of?

So the would be majority voting for formal candidates for the permanent roles?

Would the be dues, and how would people be paid, domains, expenses covered etc. who would be the treasurer and hold the funds? Would this be voted on?

Which country would this be incorporated in?

This starts to sound VERY not like the libertarian fedivers we all love and very much like the mainstreaming we all want to get away from… so why go down this path at all, its alien.

Our current working models of “governance” in open-source projects are Monarchy (the dictator for life), Aristocracy (the devs), oligarchy (the NGO/ funders) and finally way out on the edge Democracy (the users).

Or you could create something where everyone has a voice, instead of picking whose voice is more important.

One possible way of structuring it is having an umbrella organization whose sole purpose is to facilitate and coordinate between autonomous member groups,

You can then have separate autonomous user groups related to:

  1. End Users - support for non-technical users.
  2. Communities - support for individual instances and their administrators.
  3. Technical Working Groups - works on technical projects such as interoperability.
  4. and perhaps others.

They all would have a say in the umbrella organization, but each would have their own structure.

  • Making the users group a democracy probably works best.
  • The group for Communities would probably work best as a cooperative or something similar.
  • And for technical stuff, unless you are paying people, you would probably have to rely on volunteers.
  • The communities and platforms themselves can be whatever structure they see fit to implement. Most likely a monarchy, aristocracy, oligarchy for smaller projects, and democratic or semi-democratic for certain types of entities.

The goal is to get all of these diverse groups to work together for a common goal, not impose our notion of how an organization should be structured.


it’s almost as if people are not reading the text…

yes… this is the #OGB

This is full of #mainstreaming poison dressed as “common sense” worth a read Priorities to Make the Fediverse Sustainable to understand the agender that will be imposed, this will likely not be native to our culture, we are “cats”, can we be humane “cats” or better still a community? #OGB #OMN

I read it. I just think there are much better ways to accomplish what you want to accomplish. Or, the OGB is written in a way that does not effectively communicate what is intended. Like most proposals like this, there are unintended consequences that are not addressed.

And, I am not sure if this is your intent, but I feel like you are insulting me every time I disagree with you or have a counterpoint. This makes me not want to inquire about OGB any further.

I don’t mind local communities creating their own community management structures, and I encourage people to experiment with systems that work for them. But the entire notion of “governance” makes me want to say no.

Many of us are creating decentralized social media projects to get away from governance. We already can vote for politicians. Even if we get to have a say in how things are run under OGB, there still would be someone “governing us.” We do not want to be governed. It doesn’t matter how you structure it.


lets try a story - The #OGB is pragmatic governance for “anarchist spaces” like the #fedivers

It is the decision-making among the actors involved in a collective problem that leads to the creation, reinforcement, or reproduction of social norms and institutions" nothing about people telling people what to do is anywhere in the project :slight_smile:


Notice the O round the A - It’s that.

I think the communication fail from suffering from a postmodernist problem of nobody agreeing on what anything means, thus we can NEVER do anything outside our mostly #mainstreaming narrow view points. This is a perfect outcome and companion of the last 40 years of neoliberalism.

A simple statement: We can’t keep building tech inside this narrow view.

Let’s look at another term commonly used to see if we can clarify communication:

The problem is that neo-liberalism of the last 40 years will go down in history (if we have history) as a #deathcult #cop27 makes this an obviously true statement, if disturbing to #mainstreaming people.

Death - millions of people are going to be killed and billions displace due to #climatechaos over the next ten years.

Cult - true believers have spent 20 years deigning this obverse truth.

#deathcult is an easily proven true statement, very uncomfortable for the people on their knees, head down, worshipping every time they go shopping or to work.

If that helps you to see the #OGB as a grassroots (pragmatic/anarchist) social technology project :slight_smile:

I’m not a big fan of anarchy as a philosophy though. It usually results in the strongest bullying the weak. I like freedom, but I also think that vulnerable people should be protected. Just because a particular subgroup has the majority does not make them right.

And “governance” and “anarchy” in the same proposal feels like an oxymoron to me.

I see what you are trying to do, but I think that the proposal, as written, can lead to abuses and unintended consequences.

Obviously limited understanding, this paragraph is exactly why the project is good, democracy is let the people decide, and yes getting things wrong and learning is an important part of this. So to take this out is to be dictator (the #geekproblem in a nut) and to defeat the project outa the gate on the first line of code, do you start to see the problem?

How to live without money - visionOntv this is anarchy in action, do you see “strongest bullying the weak” this is anarchy for the last 50 years What is a Rainbow Gathering? (HD) - visionOntv do you see “strongest bullying the weak” .

Have you thought for a moment about the narrow negative pushing might be a problem? Might be better to ask positive questions :slight_smile:

I’ve studied political science and have travelled a bit. I have compared different systems, including anarchy, capitalism, crony capitalism (which is the not same as capitalism), corporatism, colonial governance, socialism, communism, fascism, various tribal forms of government, representative democracy, direct democracy, western style democracy, communist style democracy (yes, some communist countries consider themselves democracies because they have elections), non-profit governance, corporate governance, LLC governance, centralized systems, decentralized systems, federations, alliances, and more. And now I have read about OGB too.

I have to admit that OGB is a novel solution, but having compared and contrasted other various systems of “governance,” I see some flaws.

Can OGB be improved? Possibly. It looks interesting. But having studied various political, economic, and governance systems, I can say that there are vectors where it can be corrupted.

OK am more than happy to go through and see if we can make this better, to get us started this is the last FAQ run through 99. FAQ - openwebgovernancebody - Open Media Network

Good to remember that in this project is a grassroot democracy toolbox with defaults templates.

  • Fluffy grassroots - this is hippy version, we don’t know if this works, think of the rainbow gathering video above. Meany people will ask for this, but it’s the hardest one to roll out first.

  • Balance - this is a mix of the two for outreach, likely the one rolled out for the Fediverse, this one will work.

  • Spiky Radical grassroots - based on protest camp organizing, this has practically worked hundreds of times, so we know it works as a process with positive (if messy) outcomes. This is the easy one to roll out first, as we know it works.

Strong #nothingnew to get stuff working.

Talk about the coded #OGB and the “templates” which people can use and add/develop themselves, each is a separate subject.

YES, we push it as STRONG defaults to shift people outside #mainstreaming narrow views, otherwise it will obviously fail and be more #techshit to compost. Watering down to get buy in has no good outcome.

I read the whole FAQ again. Here are some of my initial thoughts:

  1. Since leaders are selected by lottery, and not by merit, skill, or voters, what is to stop these unelected leaders from ruining important infrastructure and systems before they get recalled?

  2. Since this effectively transfers power from the developers and instance owners to the users, and developers and instance owners are often unpaid volunteers, do you expect these unpaid volunteers to submit to being governed? Are the users able to demand that the developers and instance owners comply without being compensated? If they are forced to comply, isn’t that taking away their freedom?

  3. One major risk is that this proposes to centralize decision-making for the entire fediverse. Centralization of power has historically been abused. Just look at the current issue we are having with tech giants. Take a look at how the centralization of power in the communist party basically made all of the promises of communism unattainable. And look at the abuse of monopolies that have existed. It reduces innovation, and the people at the top dictate what everyone else must do. This rarely works out well.

I could see something like this being adopted on a local community level, but when you try to use it to centralize control over the entire fediverse, it starts to fall apart.

Sort answer NOTHING, but this is not a big problem.

More considered answer this is trust based power, so there are no hard decisions that can easy break anything important, power always comes from “consensus”, it’s grassroots not top down hierarchy with courts and police where the is a real problem you outline.

Sort answer NO, but this is irrelevant

More considered answer this is trust based power, so there are no hard decisions that anyone has to obey, power always comes from “consensus”, it’s grassroots (the is no top-down hierarchy with courts and police, so no direct force). What it does do is shift tech development away from monarch and feudalism to democracy. And devs that still want to be kings and lords might end like the kings did in the enlightenment. At the very least, we might end up with Constitutional monarchy - Wikipedia a better outcome than the current feudalism, you must agree?

Sort answer, this is NOT how the #OGB works, it’s federated.

The United States is federated in many ways too, but my vote (voice) is still diluted because of the amount of people involved. If OGB is used to make local decisions only, I find it an interesting system. But the more people involved, the more diluted my voice becomes. So I would not be in favor of having something like this rule over the fediverse.