Christopher Allan Webber

"Decentralization considered harmful"

Christopher Allan Webber at

An article by friend and SocialWG co-conspirator @rhiaro.

Important things to think about, and stuff I've considered myself. I have responses to the whole thing, but I'll let this sit before I write them up.

To be clear, I think Amy cares about decentralization a lot, which is why it's the right thing to also criticize it.

sazius, Carol Chen, joeyh, AJ Jordan and 3 others likes this.

Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠), Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠), Mike Linksvayer shared this.

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I think there are issues of course - with how centralization limits what people say, as well as makes it easy to hear only voices that agree - federation keeps groups smaller

silverwizard at 2016-11-22T17:29:04Z

I was think the usefulness of federation depends on what you're trying to do.

I liked federated communication because I really don't like advertising, and at least on a small scale federation spreads the costs of running a service out, so reduces the need to monetize the users.

However it might be worth thinking about "threat modeling" and wondering what your goals are.

The various experiments at federated social networks have some ability to resist advertising or algorithmic manipulation of users. But on the other hand there's also the problem of abusive family members. A kid whose parent is an abuser and a sysadmin would find it extremely difficult to communicate over a computer without being watched.

Diane Trout at 2016-11-23T06:26:02Z

Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠), Mike Linksvayer likes this.

pretty much everything could be "considered harmful" in some situations

what is really harmful is thinking that any one size fits all.

as for the "filter bubble" - thats a seperate issue that is also a problem in centralised networks. (actually worse there, necause most of those users haven't even thought about it and some of the might actually think the whole world thinks like what they see inside their bubble)

that probblem is more to do with the UI

It is much less of a problem when more of the discussion is organised around topics of interest (like traditional web forums, usenet newsgroups, etc) rather than around user profiles.

ie less about me me me and more about what I'm interested in.

Michael at 2016-11-24T00:57:23Z