It’s great to see that Raspberry Pi Ltd. and other organisations are setting up their own servers. Not only does it enable them to verify themselves, but that of their employees and affiliates really easily.
I’m sure it won’t all be smooth sailing ahead for the Fediverse, especially when it comes to trust and verification. But I’m optimistic that the recent migration from Twitter is ultimately for the good of the human species.
We’ve opted to host our own instance. We’ve done this because, with multiple instances out there, we had to decide how to make sure people following us knew that our Raspberry Pi account was the “real” one.
Distributed systems are an interesting corner case when it comes to trust. Because when it comes to identity, you eventually have to trust someone. Whether that’s a corporation, like Twitter, or a government, or the person themselves. Trust is needed.
With Mastodon the root of trust for identity is the admin of the instance you’re on, and the admins on all the other instances, where you’re trusting them to remove “fake” accounts. Or, if you’re running your own instance, then it’s the domain name registrars. The details of our domain registration of the
raspberrypi.socialdomain may be redacted for privacy, but our domain registrar knows who we are, and is the same registrar we use for all our other domains. They trust our government-issued identity to prove that we are Raspberry Pi Ltd. You can trust them, they trust the government, and ultimately the government trusts us because they can use Ultima Ratio Regum, the last argument of kings.