More on the Federation

Previously, I posted about the Federation – that is, the social network running on the Diaspora* protocol. In that post I mentioned that moderation, in general, is not great on many pods.

The very next post to show up on my stream was a transphobic meme. On the federation, the strong anti-censorship position means that for some users, the block button is controversial! Unfortunately, the mobile app I use(d) for that network was developed by somebody who felt that way, and thus I saw the meme and had no means to block it from my phone client.

But I also claimed that rolling your own pod is fairly difficult and this turns out to be not entirely correct! If you run a small(ish) pod, you (and some community members) can set the moderation rules to be as strict or lenient as you’d like. If you moderate against transphobia, users on your pod won’t see transphobia in the LGBT hashtag unless one of your users posts it, which you can take action on. Or they’re following a transphobe, which, again, they or you can block. Pods are communities, so it’s possible to establish a respectful community of a manageable size.

The easy way to deploy a pod, which I just learned of, is on a raspberry pi, via syncloud.

It’s also possible to join the federation of Diaspora pods via Hubzilla and Friendica, but you may find that the look and feel of a regular Diaspora pod is a bit more user friendly, especially if you’re hoping to attract your non-technical friends.

Because Diaspora is designed around privacy concerns, if you are running an online support group or something similar, rolling your own pod for that usage is an example of a good use-case. There is a lot right in how Diaspora was designed and small pods, deployed for communities offer a lot of good functionality. If you want a social hook on your project and you don’t want to use trumpbook, putting up a pod might be the right choice for you.

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Charles Céleste Hutchins

Supercolliding since 2003

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