Tag: Fediverse (page 3 of 6)

Organisations are not just joining the Fediverse, they’re setting up their own instances

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.social domain 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.

Source: An escape pod was jettisoned during the fighting | Raspberry Pi

Decentralising online learning

A “technical presentation that is structured and designed for a non-technical audience” by Stephen Downes. With the Twitter lifeboats again being deployed, this is a timely look at how federated and decentralised technologies can be used for removing the silos from online learning.

As a new generation of digital technologies evolves we are awash in new terms and concepts: the metaverse, the fediverse, blockchain, web3, acitivitypub, and more. This presentation untangles these concepts and presents them from the perspective of their impact on open learning.

Source: Open Learning in the Fediverse | Stephen Downes

Every complex problem has a solution which is simple, direct, plausible — and wrong

This is a great article by Michał Woźniak (@rysiek) which cogently argues that the problem with misinformation and disinformation does not come through heavy-handed legislation, or even fact-checking, but rather through decentralisation of funding, technology, and power.

I really should have spoken with him when I was working on the Bonfire Zappa report.

While it is possible to define misinformation and disinformation, any such definition necessarily relies on things that are not easy (or possible) to quickly verify: a news item’s relation to truth, and its authors’ or distributors’ intent.

This is especially valid within any domain that deals with complex knowledge that is highly nuanced, especially when stakes are high and emotions heat up. Public debate around COVID-19 is a chilling example. Regardless of how much “own research” anyone has done, for those without an advanced medical and scientific background it eventually boiled down to the question of “who do you trust”. Some trusted medical professionals, some didn’t (and still don’t).

[…]

Disinformation peddlers are not just trying to push specific narratives. The broader aim is to discredit the very idea that there can at all exist any reliable, trustworthy information source. After all, if nothing is trustworthy, the disinformation peddlers themselves are as trustworthy as it gets. The target is trust itself.

[…]

I believe that we are looking for solutions to the wrong aspects of the problem. Instead of trying to legislate misinformation and disinformation away, we should instead be looking closely at how is it possible that it spreads so fast (and who benefits from this). We should be finding ways to fix the media funding crisis; and we should be making sure that future generations receive the mental tools that would allow them to cut through biases, hoaxes, rhetorical tricks, and logical fallacies weaponized to wage information wars.

Source: Fighting Disinformation: We’re Solving The Wrong Problems / Tactical Media Room