If people are not aware there is a federated alternative to Twitter, called the fediverse, which uses servers running Free software, the most popular platform being Mastodon.
Over the last few months I have been in some discussions with the people running a co-operative Mastodon instance, social.coop to see if we can help them and they have joined our coop to be able to use git.coop to host git repos, wikis and issues.
Webarchitects are not currently in a position to host Mastodon servers and we would need to invest the time to develop Ansible roles to enable the quick deployment and maintenance of instances before we could do so, but I think it is something we should seriously consider doing.
If we were to do this I’d suggest that it would make sense to also commit to providing a Mastodon server for our members to use, we could use a domain such as
socialmedia.coop for this.
Moderation of the content posted to Mastodon servers and the ability for servers to block other servers is often a contentious issue, my view is that if we were to provide a server for Webarchitects co-op members we would expect them to abide by:
And we would abide by our committent to Free Speech:
Webarchitects are committed to the practice and defence of Free Speech and self expression.
We are very supportive of Free Software and Free Speech, however this does not include hate speech or speech designed to incite acts of violence.
This would mean that we wouldn’t block any instances on political grounds or police the content members post as long as the above wasn’t contravened. Equally we wouldn’t restrict the ability of members to block or mute others that they do not wish to interact with. This is basically the same approach that we take with email — for example there are no doubt fascists with Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo email accounts but we don’t block the email servers these companies run.
We would however take a very dim view of spamming or abuse of that nature and wouldn’t hesitate to block any other Mastodon servers that were being used to launch attacks of this type.
For managed Mastodon servers we provide for others we wouldn’t police the content or policies of the server moderators at all, other than in the case of spamming or abuse of that nature and of course we wouldn’t provide hosting to fascists.
I’d be interested if anyone else has any thoughts on this?