A case for preemptively defederating with Threads

With Meta beginning to test federation, there's a lot of discussion as to whether we should preemptively defederate with Threads. I made a post about the question, and it seems that opinions differ a lot among people on Kbin. There were a lot of arguments for and against regarding ads, privacy, and content quality, but I don't think those are the main issues. Imo, Threads presents a serious danger to the long-term viability of the fediverse if we become dependent on it for content, and our best bet at avoiding that is defederation.
 
Let's start with these three statements, which should hopefully seem pretty reasonable:

  1. It's dangerous for one entity to dominate the activity pool. If, say, one person's instance contributes 95% of the content, then the rest of the fediverse becomes dependent on that instance. Should that instance defederate, everyone else will have to either live with 1/20 of the content or move to that instance, and good luck getting the fediverse to grow after that. By making everyone dependent on their instance for content, that one person gains the power to kill the fediverse by defederating.
  2. Profit-driven media should not be the primary way people interact with the fediverse. Open source, non-corporate instances should be able to grow, and that growth will be stunted if most people who want to interact with the fediverse are deciding to go to corporate, profit-driven instances. Furthermore, lots of people went to the fediverse to avoid the influence of these large corporations on social media, and it should still uphold this purpose.
  3. People should enter the fediverse with an idea of its purpose. If someone's on the fediverse, they should be aware of that fact and aware of the fediverse's goal of decentralized media. People should think of the fediverse as every instance contributing to a decentralized pool of content, not other instances tapping in to their instance as the main pool.

Now, let's apply these to federating with Threads:

  1. This point alone is more than enough reason to defederate from Threads. Threads has millions more active users than all of the fediverse combined, and it's in much better of a position to grow its userbase due to its integration with Instagram. If we federate with Threads, it will dominate content. And that's not mentioning all of the company accounts on Threads that people have expressed an interest in following. While all of this new activity may seem like a good thing, it puts everyone in a position of dependence on Threads. People are going to get used to the massive increase in content from Threads, and if it ever defederates, tons of people on other instances are going to leave with it. Essentially, Zuckerberg will eventually be able to kill the fediverse's growth prospects when he wishes and nab a bunch of users in the process, both of which he has incentive to do.
  2. If we federate with Threads, Threads is undoubtedly going to seem like the easiest way to access our pool of content (at least on the microblog side of things). Newcomers already get intimidated by having to choose a Mastodon instance; give them access via essentially just logging into their Instagram account, and they'll take that over the non-corporate alternatives. Federation with Threads means that most of the people who want to see the content we make are going to go to Threads, meaning platforms like Mastodon & Kbin will be less able to grow.
  3. When people go to Mastodon, Kbin, Lemmy, Firefish, Misskey, etc., they do so knowing they're going to the fediverse. When people go to Threads, most do so because they have an Instagram account. I'd bet that when Threads gets federation up and running, most people on Threads won't have a clue that they're on the fediverse. Those who do know will probably think of it as all of these small, niche platforms that are kinda offshoots of Threads. That's not the mentality that should pervade the fediverse.

I think that all of this is makes defederating from Threads a no-brainer. If we don't, we'll depend on Meta for activity, platforms that aren't Threads won't grow, and the fediverse will be primarily composed of people who don't have even a vague idea of the purpose behind it. I want more activity as much as the next guy, but that activity being beholden to the corporations most of us want to avoid seems like the worst-case scenario.

"But why not defederate later?"

If we don't defederate now, I don't think we're ever going to defederate. Once the fediverse becomes dependent on Threads for most of its content, there's no going back. If anything, it'd get worse as Threads outpaces the rest of the fediverse in growth and thus makes up a larger and larger share of activity. Look at how desperate everyone is for activity — even if it means the fediverse being carried by Meta — right now, when we're not used to it. Trying to get instances to defederate later will be nigh impossible.

"Why not just block Threads yourself?"

Even if that were a feature, it completely ignores the problem. I don't dislike the people on Threads, and I don't think their content will necessarily be horrendous. The threat is people on non-corporate fediverse platforms becoming dependent on Daddy Zuck for content, and that's something that can only be fought with defederation.

To close, imagine if Steve Huffman said that Reddit was going to implement ActivityPub and federate with Lemmy & Kbin. Would you want the fediverse to be dependent on Reddit for activity? Would you trust Huffman, who has all the incentive in the world to pull the plug on federation once everyone on Lemmy & Kbin is hooked to Reddit content? This is the situation we're in, just with a different untrustworthy corporation. The fediverse should not be at the mercy of Threads, Reddit, The Site Formerly Known as Twitter, or any other corporate platform. It's better to grow slowly but surely than to put what we have in the hands of these people.

CoffeeAddict,
CoffeeAddict avatar

Very well said and you have captured many of my exact fears.

Personally, if the decentralized fediverse was more developed and mature, I would not be as concerned about federating with Threads. But, Meta is entering at a time when everything is really just starting to develop.

They’ll be the big instance and they’ll have a lot of influence over the others as a result.

Just to give an example, What would happen if Lemmy.world decided to cut off kbin? Kbin would lose a ton of content and access to most of the large communities. Threads, thanks to Meta’s resources and huge Instagram user base, will likely gain more active users and communities than lemmy in no time and they could do the same. The difference is I believe Meta may be more likely to down the line because an open fediverse doesn’t fit super nicely into their business model.

I understand many people disagree and that is fine; nobody knows the future. If we decide to federate with Threads then so be it, and if it turns out I am totally wrong then I will eat my words. All I am trying to articulate is that I think there is reason to be skeptical of Meta.

Mounticat,
Mounticat avatar

I think corporate instances should be allowed only as hosts for accounts of their own employees. Letting large companies dominate the fediverse kind of diminishes the idea of putting control of social media back into hands of the people. If the companies really wanted to help the fediverse out they should be donating to fediverse projects rather than trying to monopolize it.

ThatOneKirbyMain2568,
ThatOneKirbyMain2568 avatar

100%. Additionally, there's a difference in magnitude between lemmy.world and Threads. While it's obviously not great that so many of the large communities are on lemmy.world, Threads would have a vast majority of the fediverse's microblog content. If Meta leaves the fediverse later on, people outside of Threads will suddenly lose almost all of the activity their used to and will likely move over to Threads. And Meta, being a profit-driven company, has all the incentive in the world to do this given that it would pull tons of users from competing platforms like Mastodon.

These corporations have shown time and time again that profit is their priority, and that profit explicitly goes against our own interests. You're not going to see Zuckerberg asking people to keep things balanced by joining other instances. He'd love to pull users from Mastodon, Firefish, and Kbin over to Threads, and it's easily doable if he's welcomed with open arms like big instances across the fediverse are doing right now.

testing,
testing avatar

@ThatOneKirbyMain2568
given the sheer size of threads, most fedi platforms still lack well-developed moderation tools > this is a tough nut to crack, thus preemptive defederation is a must when it comes to threads

newtraditionalists,

Defederate. Meta is as close as you can get to evil actually existing. And they are the antithesis of what the fediverse is about.

BaldProphet,
BaldProphet avatar

Is the fediverse a technology or an ideology? The... fundamentalism I am seeing around the issue of Threads is a little disturbing. It feels kinda culty.

newtraditionalists,

Depends who you ask. A lot of the people here are against corporations owning social media. I am one of them.

HeartyBeast,
HeartyBeast avatar

You are taking this massive “if” and building a whole policy of preemptive panic around it:

if we become dependent on it for content, and our best bet at avoiding that is defederate.

And if we don’t and we defederate, we’ve just cut off potentially interesting conversations with interesting people based on ideology.

spiderplant,

I mean that’s already happened with hexbear to a certain extent for IMO very little reason and of course happens to fascist instances understandably.

It should be up to each instance but if there was a vote tomorrow on lemm.ee I’d vote to preemptively block any corporate instance.

ThatOneKirbyMain2568,
ThatOneKirbyMain2568 avatar

You are taking this massive “if” and building a whole policy of preemptive panic around it:

I don't see how it's a "massive 'if'." If it was just some fringe possibility, I wouldn't be so concerned, but the thing is that I don't see any realistic scenario where we don't become dependent on Meta for microblog activity. If 99% of microblogs come from Threads, that's exactly what's happening. To give an example that's more relevant to the thread aggregation side of Kbin, if Reddit were to federate and we didn't defederate, Reddit would make up 99% of the thread activity we see, we'd get used to that, and we'd be completely dependent on them to maintain that. With how desperate people seem to be for a quick boost in activity that they'll just take whatever Mark Zuckerberg offers as if there are no strings attached, I don't see how we just end up fine if Threads is to ever leave in the future. If Threads becomes most of what we see, we'll be dependent on them, and if Threads then leaves (which they have incentive to do), much of who we have right now on these platforms will join Threads after getting used to the activity, and getting new users will be much more difficult.

And if we don’t and we defederate, we’ve just cut off potentially interesting conversations with interesting people based on ideology.

That's definitely true. Again, What Meta is essentially offering is free activity on a silver platter. What's completely nonsensical is to act like there aren't any strings attached when there are obviously strings attached. Meta is trying to maximize profit. Anyone who thinks that Zuckerberg suddenly cares about an open fediverse even though its values (people being on multiple instances, everything being transparent, no one person or group having too much control, etc.) go directly against his goal is either delusional or very misinformed about what these for-profit tech companies do. It strongly benefits him to take users from Mastodon, Firefish, Misskey, Kbin, etc., and allowing ourselves to depend on him for fediverse activity puts him in a prime position to do it.

HeartyBeast,
HeartyBeast avatar

What's completely nonsensical is to act like there aren't any strings attached when there are obviously strings attached.

Let's look at the strings

Meta is trying to maximize profit. Anyone who thinks that Zuckerberg suddenly cares about an open fediverse even though its values (people being on multiple instances, everything being transparent, no one person or group having too much control, etc.) go directly against his goal is either delusional or very misinformed about what these for-profit tech companies do.

That's all true. But that's not really a string - it's just a fact of any for-profit organisation that sets up an instance

It strongly benefits him to take users from Mastodon, Firefish, Misskey, Kbin, etc., and allowing ourselves to depend on him for fediverse activity puts him in a prime position to do it.

But he can do that anyway. And in fact people who who want to interact with the 140million ish Threads users currently have one option - join Threads. With federation I can communicate with Threads users without joining Threads. That needs to be factored in.

ThatOneKirbyMain2568,
ThatOneKirbyMain2568 avatar

That's all true. But that's not really a string - it's just a fact of any for-profit organisation that sets up an instance

Correct, and it's a fact that's horrendously bad for an organization that's going to harbor a vast majority of the content on the fediverse.

But he can do that anyway. And in fact people who who want to interact with the 140million ish Threads users currently have one option - join Threads. With federation I can communicate with Threads users without joining Threads. That needs to be factored in.

The people who are at currently at this point have already gone to Threads. The main issue I see is everyone getting used to the 50x boost in activity that Threads provides and then Meta removing that by defederating, pulling people to Threads when they wouldn't have gone there otherwise. Allowing ourselves to become dependent on Meta lets them get users they wouldn't have before and kill the growth prospects of platforms like Mastodon, both of which they have incentive to do.

HeartyBeast,
HeartyBeast avatar

You say: The people who are at currently at this point have already gone to Threads. Then you say that if traffic from Threads is subsequently withdrawn, all the people who haven't already gone to Threads will... go to Threads.

You are basing it on the idea that Threads federating is a temporary move designed to advertise Threads. It's a theory. But seems unlikely. If Threads goes away again, I suspect that the current Fediverse userbase will, by and large still be here.

ThatOneKirbyMain2568,
ThatOneKirbyMain2568 avatar

You say: The people who are at currently at this point have already gone to Threads. Then you say that if traffic from Threads is subsequently withdrawn, all the people who haven't already gone to Threads will... go to Threads.

Let me clarify. When I say, "The people who are currently at this point…," I mean the people who right now feel that they need to interact Threads. If they do, they're probably there. My issue is that if people are dependent on Threads for the vast majority of microblog activity, more people will feel that they need to keep that interaction with Threads. I'm not seeing how this is some far fetched theory more than it is straight up inevitable. If activity increases by 50x because 98% of the content is now coming from Threads and most of whom people are following are on Threads, more people will feel the need to stay connected. I don't see how it could be otherwise. This means that if an instance wanted to defederate from Threads for any reason or if Threads defederated themselves (which they have tons of incentive to do later down the line), tons of people would leave.

To give you an example, imagine if kbin.social was to defederating from lemmy.world and lemmy.ml due to unhappiness with their moderation. Obviously, defederating from any instance is going to lose you some users, but those two instances harbor a massive portion — probably a large majority — of the content on the threadiverse. Tons of people would leave kbin.social for the simple reason that most all of the activity that they were used to would be gone otherwise.

Now, with Threads, there is some resistance in the fact that Meta is a massive for-profit corporation. Many people won't move to Threads on principle. However, this is countered by the extremely strong pull factor of the sheer percentage of activity Threads would harbor. If people get used to all of that activity based on Threads and are following mostly Threads accounts, tons of those people will leave an instance should that instance defederate later on or jump ship from the fediverse to Threads should Meta cease federation. And among those who don't leave, there will likely be a lot less motivation to post after such a drop in activity and interaction.

I don't see how dependency on Meta for the vast majority microblog content could possibly be a good idea. If Kbin were to implement a silencing feature like what Mastodon apparently has, where Threads content would be invisible outside of Threads users that you've followed, I think that'd be fine. That way, people could intearct with a few Threads accounts they're especially interested in as opposed to the public microblog feeds being 99% Threads and us being dependent on Threads to maintain the activity of those feeds. But just letting them flood our microblogs seems like an extremely dangerous idea that's wholly unnecessary, and I haven't been convinced otherwise.

ghostatnoon,
ghostatnoon avatar

And in fact people who who want to interact with the 140million ish Threads users currently have one option - join Threads. With federation I can communicate with Threads users without joining Threads.

What if the defederation happens in the other direction? Defederating an instance is a lot like banning a user, and I'm not sure if there are any mainstream social media sites that I haven't heard abuse their ban system. If other instances start becoming more popular because people want to use them to talk to Threads, that gives Threads a lot of power over which of those instances are allowed to thrive. In the worst case scenario, it could easily kill an instance if too many of their users were there for Threads and Threads decides to cut them off.

A fediverse that is popular because it can talk to a centralized app doesn't sound like a particularly healthy fediverse to me.

narp,

No hate speech, no troll farms, no anti-LGBTQ advertising, no allowing of conspiracy movements like QAnon to flourish?

Maybe we just have different opinions on what counts as “interesting”.

Rayspekt,

Yes, @ernest please defederate kbin.social from Threads. Can we do a poll or something maybe?

ghostatnoon,
ghostatnoon avatar

When people go to Mastodon, Kbin, Lemmy, Firefish, Misskey, etc., they do so knowing they're going to the fediverse. When people go to Threads, most do so because they have an Instagram account.

This is my main concern.

Personally, I don't care if the fediverse grows. I just care what it grows into. The fediverse has a nice community at the moment because everybody on it made a conscious decision to be here and not somewhere else. Threads users will not have made that decision. Furthermore, they'll outnumber the rest of us enough as to have no incentive to try and fit into the preexisting community here (which isn't helped by the fact that they've already been their own isolated community for awhile).

Eggyhead, (edited )
Eggyhead avatar

I’m not worried about dependency on content from threads. I’m primarily concerned with facebook’s data harvesting. I have a Facebook account, but I only touch it when I have to. All other aspects of my social life are pretty much divorced from Facebook. I fear that with federating, my activity will populate on their servers and they will feel completely entitled to all of it to train their AI and create advertising profiles without any consent. All of our activity will be free use for their profit.

I’d actually feel better if the process of federating required an EULA or something where the instance seeking federation must deny any right to use community content without explicit, signed permission from individual users.

null,

What’s stopping them from scraping your data from here right now? It’s completely public already.

ahal,

Lots of people here worried about Meta destroying their space, and rightly so.

But I see this from another lens. This is what success for the fediverse looks like. The fediverse was never going to compete with the big players in social media. But it can influence them to be less shitty.

Is this a threat to the fediverse as we know it? Absolutely. But we have the opportunity to make things better for several orders of magnitude more people than are currently here. To me that is a risk worth taking and fighting for.

I’m not saying everyone should roll over and do whatever Meta wants. There’s going to be tension and we are going to need to fight them tooth and nail on many things. But let’s at least participate.

Onii-Chan,
Onii-Chan avatar

Absolutely agreed. I came here to escape proprietary corpo bullshit, and if we don't defederate, I'll just stop using kbin altogether. I love it here, but that will change if Meta's grimy tentacles are able to take hold of the place.

Defederate.

Pamasich,
Pamasich avatar

Open source, non-corporate instances should be able to grow, and that growth will be stunted if most people who want to interact with the fediverse are deciding to go to corporate, profit-driven instances.

The issue is, how does defederating not promote leaving for Threads or instances that federate with Threads?

I think it's a good argument against Threads federating at all, but a poor one for defederating from Threads.

If Threads produces 95% of content in the fediverse, and your instance defederates from them, then your instance just doesn't have access to those 95% of content. Threads and its friends will be a lot more attractive then because it has 19x the content of what you have access to on your instance.

I think this will still lead to people leaving for the threads fediverse.


Also, I get the argument for Mastodon, but does /kbin actually have anything at all to fear here? Sure, the user numbers and content would be way higher than the rest of the fediverse. But Threads is a Twitter contender, not Reddit like /kbin and Lemmy. We will only see their content in the microblog tab.

Is the microblog tab actually that important to most people, that the instance could become dependent on Threads for dominating it? I honestly don't see it happen, I feel like this is an imported issue from microblogging platforms that's just repeated here despite being a non-issue for us.

sour,
sour avatar

am use microblog tab

ghostatnoon,
ghostatnoon avatar

Is the microblog tab actually that important to most people, that the instance could become dependent on Threads for dominating it?

I don't think it could put the entire instance in jeopardy, but personally I think the microblog tab has a lot of potential (there have already been strides to incorporate it more), and I'd feel a lot less positive about its possibilities if it were full of content from Threads.

snooggums,
snooggums avatar

I assume that 99.99% of that 95% from threads will not be missed and the other .01% will be linked by someone from a non-threads instance just like how tiktok and other social media currently gets linked.

static,
static avatar

Threads is the smaller player here compared to twitter/bluesky. and bluesky is a direct compeditor for activitypub with their own federation protocol.

So now Threads has to play nice to have any chance at all. A part of the fediverse pie is better than no pie at all.
I hope Tumblr joins too.

Kierunkowy74,
Kierunkowy74 avatar

Threads is the smaller player here compared to twitter/bluesky.

Smaller than X, yes, but it's already bigger than Bluesky. And with its Instagram integration it can be bigger even than X-Twitter.

static,
static avatar

They inflated numbers by using insta accounts, but few actally use it.

minnieo,
minnieo avatar

agreed with everything said here and the comments make great additional points. i dont want anything to do with threads

ininewcrow,
@ininewcrow@lemmy.ca avatar

The fediverse is an obvious threat to Facebook and any other corporate social media company. If the fediverse wasn’t a threat or has the potential of ever one day becoming a threat … then companies like Facebook would not want anything to do with the fediverse.

The fact that a major social media company like Facebook even remotely wants anything to do with the fediverse means that this new start up is doing something and has the potential of becoming something some day. Otherwise, Facebook would not want anything to do with it.

Besides, Facebook already has a huge market share of the social media pie … they literally control over half the social media content on the internet right now. They already have more than enough of a platform to connect to their userbase … why should we allow them onto our space? We need the content … they don’t.

And like others have said, if you allow a big fish onto your small pond, the big fish will automatically control everything. The big fish will swim around your little pool for a while and kill everything and then leave, leaving an empty pool that nobody wants.

Admit it … Facebook just wants in to kill the fediverse. They don’t want to add it to their service, they don’t want to incorporate it … they want to swallow it whole, let it die and abandon it.

Defederate and don’t let them anywhere near our space. Otherwise, we’ll be signing our own death warrant.

FarraigePlaisteach, (edited )
FarraigePlaisteach avatar

I’m glad you said that you don’t think that privacy is the biggest issue. Our posts are already public and can be scraped easily. I’ve stopped reading posts about privacy issues because they seem misinformed to me.

I don’t know what to think about the rest at this stage, but I’m beyond suspicious of Meta, which has proven itself to be a deeply unethical company.

spiderplant,

Some non privacy considerations:

  • mod workload increasing to unsustainable levels with the overnight addition of millions of users
  • meta would be a large enough instance to be considered a monopoly of the entire fediverse
  • the fediverse goal of putting control of social media back in the hands of users would no longer be possible if companies controlled the majority of the space
FarraigePlaisteach,
FarraigePlaisteach avatar

Point 1 is fair, yes. I’m not informed about how they can monopolise, since they don’t control the ActivityPub spec.

Personally I think private social media should no longer exist. Or at least we’d be better without.

spiderplant,

Most people probably didn’t consider the internet something that could be monopolised at the start either.

We have the same view on private social media.

IMO we should treat this like any other instance that goes against what we want to see on the fediverse, defed it on all the main instances and if someone wants to access it they can have a threads account or an account on a small instance that is federated with them.

0x1C3B00DA,
0x1C3B00DA avatar

Meta (or any large entity) cannot monopolize or control the fediverse. If their implementation starts drifting from established norms, they will be blocked by most instances or will just be incompatible. The example used to back up this argument is usually XMPP, but people forget that XMPP is still around. It never died; its just a smaller, niche network.

The fediverse is already a small, niche network. So if Meta comes in and tries to control the network, it will then be responsible for maintaining its own "Meta-fediverse" network (that some instances may choose to be a part of) while the remaining instances will remain as a small, niche network. Meta can't force current fediverse servers to implement any Meta-specific features or to change their software in any way.

The mod workload argument is the only one that I see being a real issue, but the target is wrong. Anyone worried about that should be discussing it with fediverse devs to improve mod tools, not trying to force the entire fediverse to stay at their preferred size

ThatOneKirbyMain2568,
ThatOneKirbyMain2568 avatar

Meta (or any large entity) cannot monopolize or control the fediverse. If their implementation starts drifting from established norms, they will be blocked by most instances or will just be incompatible.

Right now, many are already desperate for activity and thus hesitant to defederate. Do you actually think that you'll convince people to defederate once everyone's used to all the content they provide? "Hey guys, Meta's starting to make changes, so we're going to cut the content you're used to seeing by 99%." That's an impossible sell. Once content dependence is established, there is no turning back.

… but people forget that XMPP is still around. It never died; its just a smaller, niche network. The fediverse is already a small, niche network.

Most of us want to see the open fediverse grow into something a bit less small and a bit less niche, but that possibility will be dashed away if we put activity in Meta's hands and then let them take it away from us. Tons of people will leave platforms like Mastodon to go to Threads or otherwise have to live with most of their content being gone and no longer seeing the posts of most of whom they follow. That's lots of people who would have been sold on the fediverse but now see it as dead because of the massive activity drop. Threads coming and going takes the view of our situation from "It could grow a lot," to "It really fell off when Threads left," and the latter will make it impossible to grow again.

If we want a fediverse with the values we care about to grow, we don't need Meta. It's insane to start pretending that this is the case just because Meta is offering to control 99% of the content. Patience will help us in the long run, whereas relying on Meta to carry the fediverse will absolutely hurt us.

0x1C3B00DA,
0x1C3B00DA avatar

Once content dependence is established, there is no turning back.

Everyone who is on the fediverse has already made that choice. They are intentionally on a network with less content because of the other benefits And a huge portion of the discussion of Meta joining the fediverse is made up of ppl who are saying they will block Threads on day 1.

the latter will make it impossible to grow again.

That's what everyone was saying back when the fediverse was even smaller, or even before it existed. "How can you compete with giants like G+, twitter, and facebook?" There will always be groups of people who will not participate in corporate social media. And there will always be people who like the convenience of corporate social media but get fed up with it and seek alternatives. And there will always be people who bounce between services.

Tons of people will leave platforms like Mastodon to go to Threads

They're only here because they left corporate social media. If they were going to leave for Threads, why wouldn't they do it now? They've heard all the warnings about some supposed EEE and assume that Threads won't connect to the fediverse forever so why would Threads adding ActivityPub support suddenly change their mind? Going to threads now puts them in the same state as going to threads later in some hypothetical future where the fediverse is too small to matter.

If we want a fediverse with the values we care about to grow...

I don't care about Meta and I'm not relying on them for anything. When they join the fediverse, individual instance owners will still have all the power. User on the fediverse will still be able to control their own feeds. But there are people who use Threads and being able to communicate with them would be nice. I don't think any of the fears about Meta on the fediverse are justified and I think the fediverse will continue on just like it has for more than a decade.

sour, (edited )
sour avatar
  • what happens to culture when for profit company makes platform
djidane535,
djidane535 avatar

I don’t think it matters that much. The users are very different. Most Threads users will be Threads users, regardless of what the fediverse does.

In the contrary, if a Threads user can interact with the fediverse, he/she could change his/her mind at some point because now he/she will be aware of the fediverse (eg Meta starts to put a lot of ads, many users will migrate towards the fediverse instead of paying Meta a fee).

As a consequence, I think Threads will stay « friendly » with its users in fear everyone migrates somewhere else. Otherwise, no one will leave Threads unless there are major issues (like Twitter or Reddit). Not federating because we fear the fediverse will not grow as much as a consequence is, in my opinion, the exact opposite of what will happen.

Just look at YouTube alternatives. People won’t leave the platform for peertube because they would lost all the content. Now, imagine that YouTube was part of it, do you really believe people would stay and endure as much ads ? I believe they would leave and YouTube would be forced to refrain itself in order to keep its users, and peertube would become much more popular.

TL;DR I don’t say we should federate at any cost tough. But I don’t believe the fediverse will grow because it rejects Threads (in fact, I think it will be the opposite). The question is more something like « Do we want the mass to be part of the fediverse ? » (with all the consequences like brands starting to put ads / communicate here, and a bunch of racists & cie that could possibly be impossible to moderate).

F4stL4ne,
@F4stL4ne@programming.dev avatar

People are staying on YouTube and enduring ads right now… Plus if Threads is federated they will be a part of the fedi, so no more reason to change. Why change to another instance, if you get on Threads without doing nothing and already are on the biggest instance ?

For the growing possibilities check what happened to XMPP. Is XMPP growing better now ? I don’t think so…

People won’t leave YouTube because content creators don’t want them to. That’s it.

djidane535,
djidane535 avatar

That’s what I said. People stay on YouTube because the content is locked there. If you could watch YouTube videos from Peertube without ads, I believe people would migrate and YouTube would be forced to be less aggressive with ads. I agree that’s partly because content creators do not post their content elsewhere, but that’s exactly why fediverse is nice : the content is everywhere, you can’t lock it into a single instance.

The reason for switching from Threads to fediverse is the same reason why you already left mainstream social networks. But people not aware of its existence, or locked there because the content and the people they interact with are only accessible from there, they can’t leave. That’s why many people keep a Facebook account, or why people tried Mastodon and came back to X a few weeks later.

In my opinion, if a platform can only be different from the other because of the services it proposes (instead of relying on its own content), people will be able to move easily from one platform to the other (and they will if Threads starts to abuse its position). You are afraid people will never leave Threads, but the truth is that as soon as they will have to suffer ads, they will try to find adblockers or alternatives to eliminate them. The fediverse can be this alternative.

F4stL4ne,
@F4stL4ne@programming.dev avatar

And you really think that Threads in the fedi will means people on the Threads instance will know there is other instances with no ads? And you think they will care?

I mean there are ways to watch YouTube without ads for years. And most people still won’t uses them…

Moving easily won’t happen soon, because it’s not about moving (create a new account isn’t that hard), but it’s about changing habits. Changing a habit needs : to be forced on people (Meta’s way) or to be an act of will.

djidane535,
djidane535 avatar

I don’t say it will be massively the case of course, but closing the door is the best way to prevent such migration.

If I had the opportunity to move from Twitter to Mastodon without loosing any content, I would have done it way sooner (and in fact, it’s more like I had to abandon this content since it does not exist on Mastodon, the people I followed etc).

It’s exactly why people stay inside an ecosystem like Apple, YouTube, Meta Quest or Playstation, because if you leave you lose everything.

I don’t see why more people would go to the fediverse if you prevent everyone access to some content. Just like in the fediverse, if your instance does not federate with the one you want, you are free to migrate towards another instance. It’s not possible if you can’t transfer from one instance to another.

I don’t say they are saints or that we should federate absolutely with them, but I don’t believe that closing the door because we want the fediverse to grow is not a convincing argument.

F4stL4ne,
@F4stL4ne@programming.dev avatar

OK so you think what happened to XMPP won’t happen to Mastodon. Fair enough.

To me the growing part is mostly to get content creator to come to the fedi with theirs communities.

I also do think Meta will do anything it can to kill Mastodon if it have the chance to.

djidane535,
djidane535 avatar

Yes, it’s just a personal opinion. I don’t like Meta at all, but I don’t think the creators will come here on their own. Besides, I am convinced that what should differentiate the platforms (even for games, movies and music, not just social networks) should be the services offered by every provider, not the content.

Also, I think they are many other arguments against federation (Is fediverse capable to moderate content coming from Threads ? Especially if Meta don’t do its part ?).

Personally, I will likely move with the content. I left Twitter and Reddit because of the ads, but I will give Threads a try as soon as it’s available in my country, and even pay if there is no alternative and the price is “fair” (unless some fediverse accept to federate). I already did it with YouTube, it’s just impossible to find an alternative and I can’t stand the ads anymore :/.

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