Some people seem blissfully unaware that the is a federated social *web*, the whole purpose of the tools is to publish stuff for any web user to see. Instead of choosing the right tool for their needs, these folks want us to ...
> burn activitypub to the ground and start over
mastodon.starrevolution.org/@L
(1/2)

Whatever AP devs do, determined BadActors can easily circumvent blocks by going to the web page of your feed. What people looking for private discussion spaces need is something like , or rooms, or group chats, or groups, or private Discourse instances, or any one of dozens of other free code tools that exist for private group discussions. But no, they demand we turn the fediverse into those to suit their use case.

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@strypey they're not allowed to have opinions on how the fediverse works and should work if they can't program it themselves?

Contrary to your belief, AP devs CAN do something to prevent block circumvention. And today it is way easier to circumvent blocks than going to the web pages of everyone you want to stalk, and that can definitely be fixed.

Plus, making it harder to circumvent is still valuable for people being harassed even if it's not perfect.

@zatnosk
> they're not allowed to have opinions on how the fediverse works and should work if they can't program it themselves?

If you say so, but this has nothing to do with what I'm saying. Which is that users can help themselves more by selecting the right tool for the job, than by complaining that the screwdriver devs have made isn't very good of hammering in nails. The rest of your comment pointedly ignores that people have the options mentioned in the follow-on post, so we're done here.

@strypey group chats is in no way a replacement for actual privacy in microblogging.

The problem as I see it is that there ISN'T a right tool for the job right now, and mastodon is the bedt approximation right now, so of course, that's what people want to improve on.

@zatnosk
> group chats is in no way a replacement for actual privacy in microblogging.

I don't understand what you're arguing here. Can you clarify?

Here's the situation. The fediverse - at it's current stage of development - does not do private content (even Mastodon DMs are not reliably private). At some future time, hopefully it will, but for now, it doesn't. Anyone who wants private discussion needs to choose a different tool or be disappointed. That's just the technical reality.

@zatnosk as such, inflammatory demands that we burn down the fediverse because it doesn't offer the privacy tools people want *right now* is ... well ... a bit like buying a second hand analog TV and throwing a tantrum because it's not digital.

@strypey they only said to burn down the protocol if the issues can't be fixed. So we fix the privacy issues, and noone wants to burn anything

@zatnosk
> we fix the privacy issues

That's not an accurate description of the situation. Privacy features can't be "fixed", because they are not present in any existing AP apps, and have not even been promised, except as a potential future evolution. So like I said, anyone expecting privacy features from AP apps has chosen the wrong tool. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for adding carefully designed privacy features to the AP fediverse. But this can't be done quickly *and* effectively. Pick one.

@strypey I said "fix privacy issues" not "features". As in, we need to fix the privacy issues that exist from how we currently use AP. Noone said it would be easy or quick, but it still needs to be fixed, and it needs to have as much support as we can gather, since that makes making huge changes like this less painful.

Choosing AP and expecting privacy is not a wrong choice - it's a work in progress, and we can't wait for a perfect tool before we start using what we have.

@zatnosk
> I said "fix privacy issues" not "features"

I can't understand how there can be privacy issues if there are no privacy features to have privacy issues with. The issue is that people are expecting privacy from a publishing tool.

> Choosing AP and expecting privacy

... is like broadcasting a TV channel and expecting total control over who can see it.

We seem to be going in circles. I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on this :)

@strypey AP is so much more than a publishing tool. Just the fact that you can choose not to address the public, means that there is intended to be some sort of privacy.

But if you insist on reducing AP and everything the fediverse can do to "publishing stuff to be read in browsers", then sure, we have nothing to discuss.

Your TV metaphor is lacking:
AP is both many-to-many and two-way communication.
TV is one-to-many and one-way, so "publishing" is all it can do.

@zatnosk
Perhaps this is the source of our misunderstanding. This:

> you can choose not to address the public

... is a feature of Mastodon that's not yet available in most other fediverse apps. Like a lot of Mastodon's feature, it's been rushed out without proper testing, and with very little consideration for how it might be handled (or not) by instances of other apps. This is not an AP or fediverse problem, it's a Mastodon workflow problem, which "burning down" AP cannot and will not fix.

@strypey the To and Cc fields are a core part of the activitypub protocol. Addressing specific actors without addressing the public is not a mastodon invention.

It might have been a mastodon hack in OStatus, but that is not the case in AP.

I'm pretty sure Nextclouds filesharing make good use of To and Cc fields as well, without making everything public.

@zatnosk right, this was my original point. The problem is not AP or what it allows *in theory*. The problem is the limitations of the current implementations of AP - a 1 year old spec - in existing fediverse software. Recognizing these limitations, a sensible user will have their sensitive community discussions on a platform that has reliably functional privacy features, like the ones I listed. Or they could throw a tantrum *shrug*, whatever floats their boat. Good chat :)

@strypey the "sensible community discussion" you talk about is closer to "trying to exist in a public space while being part of an oppressed minority". We're talking of preventing block circumvention, which is primarily a tool of harassers.

And again, there is no perfect alternative, so people use the best approximation. Private group chat can't replace safe microblogging. AP based microblogging need to improve, because it is lacking, and there is nothing better available.

@zatnosk
> Private group chat can't replace safe microblogging

I don't understand why. Can you expand on this? What does group chat lack that microblogging provides?

@zatnosk but again, I think we're talking past each other. I'm talking about selecting from the existing software choices, based on the your needs. You're talking about future development and how it could (and hopefully will) fulfill needs it currently doesn't, and can't without some major infrastructure upgrades, on multiple volunteer-run software projects, requiring coodinated rollouts so it all works as desired. Which takes time, not flame.

@strypey you're probably right in us talking past each other. Let's just stop here then. I hope you have a good day :)

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@zatnosk you too. Thanks for the respectful discussion :)

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