What would a fediverse "governance" body look like?

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:


Well some sort of structure, Maybe we need a clear direction and maybe short - medium - long term plan to counter big tech and upcoming laws to deal with online abuse / harm.

Apparently now youtube are going to scan videos and be able to identify objects within videos and send ads or other material accordingly

Some other reports on the BBC site today

All of which are signs that tech needs to up the game, lets try and build something positive, safe and respectful,

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formal board structure

I think that a co-operative would be a way to achieve a board structure without the hierarchy/exclusivity that comes with it

I would argue that co-operatives produce much better levels of enthusiasm from members and especially new members, because of the important detail of “I own this” vs “I’m volunteering some time because I agree with the values, but ultimately that board over there owns this. Maybe in a year or two I could join them, but actually I didn’t get into this because I want to climb hierarchies”

Also because I don’t think it makes sense to have a hierarchical structure to govern a decentralised network ?

That’s not to say that having a board is necessarily a bad idea, my point is about ownership/governance. During my time in larger coops - Happy Dev (~600 members) and in CoTech (a coop of ~50 coops) I’ve seen both realise that a smaller, more tightly knit “Circle” to drive the networks forward can be really beneficial and it shouldn’t mean that you have to introduce a hierarchical structure. (This I think is where the power of Sociocracy comes in, but I’ve seen other networks use other methods, even * shudders *, representational democracy)

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I think you may be confusing the UDHR (Universal Declaration of Human Rights) which is non-binding. By comparison the ICESCR and ICCPR are binding, and they are actually higher than state laws, the majority of nations have not only signed but also ratified them. Any contraventions of the treaties can go all the way up to the international courts, but certainly can be tried at lower courts as well.

In terms of Freedom of Expression, at a global level it is absolute, since as Biden says torturing people to death and selling off their organs to prolong the suffering of their bodies is “cultural differences” instead of genocide.

Sure maybe on a national level you may live in some kind of evil dictatorship which will torture to death for thinking or expressing the wrong thing, however there are countries in the world that will not do that. So considering that the Fediverse is International, then Freedom of Expression is absolute, since it can not be based on “lowest common denominator”, as that would require everyone to get an electroprods and electrocute themselves for having thoughts contrary to the CCP’s preferences, or those of any other socialist nations which limits free speech.

All major world religions recognize a God which is most merciful and most compassionate, there are many names for this God of Love (God, Allah, Avalokitesvara, Sat Nam, Brahman, Jesus, etc). I know this is Very upsetting to socialist nations (thus the torture camps in socialist nations to stamp it out).

In Canada our constitution is founded on the principles of the supremacy of God. Thus one must always side with whatever is the most forgiving/merciful and compassionate resolution to anything. Thus all expression is allowed. So if we Do have any kind of fediverse governance, it will have to honour the international treaties.

Canada helped draft the UDHR and many of the treaties such as the ICESCR and ICCPR. Like I said earlier Treaties are actually higher than national laws, they are also the only thing that governs international organizations such as the Fediverse.

I’ve been on the Fediverse a while, and I’ve never had any issues with anyone. Sure there are some spiritual children that lash out in anger, or post pro-authoritarian stuff, but with some conversation of forgiveness, compassion and unconditional love they learn to be kind and gentle with themselves and other people.

This conv has been forked Organizing for SocialHub Community Empowerment to push the foundation idea. As I said here in the end this will be IMPOSED as a governance model dressed in “community clothes” if we do not build something else with dancing elephants and paper planes.

  • Do something different - dancing elephants and paper planes.
  • Do something normal - control freekery and power politics games.
  • Do nothing - maybe it all just carries on or more likely decay and irrelevances.

#Activertypub is the first option and this is why we love it and are having this conversation.

We are in a hot spot for weaponizing “process” my expirence is when you create hard structures people pick them up and start to hit each other with them. We are seeing an escalation of this…

In my experience this problem has played a central role in killing meany affective grassroots social challenge/change projects over the last 30 years, just about all of them.

Food for thought for our “academic” friends, community is messy, by trying to make it work better you feed fuel to ignite war that rips and tears.

IMO governance should be done the Elinor Ostrom’s way, using her design principles for managing the Commons. :slight_smile:

And of course, best to follow the Ostrom’s Law[1]:

A resource arrangement that works in practice can work in theory.

  1. Fennel, Lee Anne (2011). Ostrom’s Law: Property rights in the commons.
    International Journal of the Commons, 5(1), 9-27. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/ijc.252 ↩︎


If academic knowledge worked in the real world we would live in different ways - thus it is easy to show that most academic ideas are useless and IMPOSING them on the real world has a VERY bad history to it. Please rethink before you doing this as it’s just adding to the mess

“Governance” is a formal word and may give off bad vibes, but some kind of structure and organization is needed in any thing we do. Otherwise entropy will take over and - though the natural way of things - will be messy for us people too :slight_smile:

PS. I created some prose in my SocialHub and Spiral Island: A Fediverse Foundation Analogy

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I think you both misread me and misunderstood Elinor Ostrom’s work.