Science & Tech

Fediverse: An Introduction to Decentralised Social Networking

  • Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, has announced Threads, a Twitter competitor that will be integrated into the fediverse.
  • While Meta’s move has gotten a lot of attention, the business has yet to divulge its plans for using the fediverse to create a decentralised social network.

What exactly is the Fediverse?

  • The Fediverse is a collection of federated social networking services that operate on decentralised networks based on open-source standards.
  • Third-Party Servers: A network of servers run by third parties that are not controlled by a single entity. These servers can be used by social media sites to facilitate communication among its users.
  • Cross-Platform Communication: people on social media platforms within the fediverse can communicate with people on other platforms within the network without the need for separate accounts.
  • Meta’s Threads, as well as other platforms such as Pixelfed (photo-sharing), PeerTube (decentralised video-sharing), Lemmy, Diaspora, Movim, Prismo, WriteFreely, and others, are ready to join the fediverse.

Decentralised Nature:

  • Social media platforms use the Fediverse to harness its decentralised nature, providing users more control over the material they view and interact with.
  • Cross-Platform Communication: The fediverse facilitates communication among users of various social media platforms on the network.
  • Data Portability: Users can freely move their data to other platforms inside the fediverse, giving them more flexibility and control over their online data.

Scalability concerns:

  • Decentralised servers may encounter difficulties processing enormous quantities of traffic, thereby causing scalability concerns.
  • Content Moderation: Because the fediverse is decentralised, it is difficult to develop and enforce consistent content moderation policies across servers.
  • Data Privacy: Enforcing data privacy regulations becomes increasingly difficult since data put on one server may not be erased because data deletion policies on other servers differ.

The Evolution of the Fediverse

  • Long-standing Idea: The fediverse notion has been around for decades, with corporations like Google attempting to adopt decentralised networks.
  • Notable Platforms Emerge: Platforms such as (established in 2008), Mastodon, and Pleroma (formed in 2016) have contributed to the development of the fediverse.
  • Protocol for ActivityPub: The W3 (World Wide Web Consortium) introduced the ActivityPub protocol in 2018, which is widely utilised in fediverse apps.
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