Snippet: Not That Kind of ‘Open’ ☇

Shared on June 20, 2023

John Gruber:

The whole point of ActivityPub as an open protocol is to turn Twitter/Instagram-like social networking into something more akin to email: truly open. If Facebook were on the cusp of launching a Gmail-like email service, would you preemptively declare that your email server would block them? To me that’s what this “Anti-Meta Fedi Pact” is arguing for.

Much like Gruber, I’m not a fan of Facebook Meta, but I think trying to ban their service before it even starts is the wrong approach. Right now Mastodon is still very niche and has a geeky tone which is great, but kind of limited. After giving up Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, I’ve found that there’s a lot of people that are only on those platforms and it would be nice if at least the folks from Instagram can communicate with those on Mastodon. Do I trust Facebook Meta? Hardly. Do I think blocking its attempts at an ActivityPub service is foolish and hypocritical? Absolutely.

At the very least, if you are on Mastodon and don’t want to see anyone from Facebook Meta, Matt Birchler makes the best argument:

If you don’t want to see Threads content in your feed, you can choose not to follow anyone using the service. If you want to block it entirely, Mastodon lets you easily block an entire instance from never appearing in your feed again. If you’re worried about advertising posts getting into Mastodon, maybe, but also I’d like to ask how Meta would force you, someone who doesn’t use their service, from seeing ads.

The worst case scenario I’ve heard from people I’ve talked to about this is that Meta will get some good will from integrating to ActivityPub and then they’ll fork it and go off and do their own thing, breaking the ability for those of us using Mastodon to follow Threads users. That certainly sounds annoying, but it’s also exactly the situation we’re in today. If this is the darkest timeline, then honestly it doesn’t seem that bad.

Snippets are posts that share a linked item with a bit of commentary.