So, there's this concept of "implicit feudalism" in online communities. Essentially, the vast majority of online communities - from old-school forums, to facebook groups, to large platforms like Twitter and Facebook themselves, even to fediverse instances - they're all run as dictatorships by default. It's built into the software - you'll have a top admin who has full, unconstrained power, they might delegate mods who have some limited powers, and anyone else has to listen to what these dictators and lords tell them. We talk about "federating" here in the fediverse, but each individual community - as far as I'm aware of - is a little dictatorship. A federation of dictatorships is not a free society, anymore than the UN, an international body composed of "liberal democracies" and authoritarian regimes is truly democratic. We need a way to start governing online communities through actual forms of democracy.


This is very true. Thankfully the fedi is nowhere near as bad as being on a billion user centralised network but there is still too much power in the hands of admins.
The user base is not as lethargic as elsewhere and do actually get involved more than elsewhere but there is a danger of inertia creeping in.
The inbuilt voting ability at the hands of users is a great tool to use to guage opinions and could easily be tweaked to create real democracy. and are coops

@dublinux @anomaly @emsenn
I don't explicitly disagree with this line of thinking. That being said, how would you propose to make concrete changes to democratize instances more?

At the mo', they're set up more like a representative democracy - or at least that's the hope. However, the points all of you make equally hold true for a "representative democracy".

I think we need to reframe the word "democracy" or find a completely new word. It's so far tainted by the notions of western democracy, better known as capitalism, that its completely fucked. Democracy as defined today is a joke.


>That being said, how would you propose to make concrete changes to democratize instances more?
Agitation on the part of users to encourage instance admins to include them in decision making processes is probably the best way since it appears most fedi instances won't voluntarily(perhaps thru lack of resources, time) become democratic.
Ask for votes to be held before decisions are taken. Threaten to move instance.
There are significant costs to creating a really 'democratic' fedi.


Indeed, there are significant costs to creating a democratic anything. Though I'm not sure what that means here. That is often used as an excuse; because things are too difficult, we're just going to leave them as is. Welcome to most any western country.

Hypothetically, say there are 2 mods of an instance and a vote is actually held. If those 2 individuals hold all the power to actually take any action that is decided upon by the majority, that's still a representative democracy. Everyone who voted 'hopes' that the 2 with power will actually implement what was voted upon.

Threatening to move to another instance at this point accomplishes very little. Most don't care. I already left an instance because of their behaviour. No one cared and likely still do not. In fact some are likely happy that I left because I spoke out and 'rocked the boat' so to speak.


@redandgreen @dublinux

Your fist para made me thing of the US declaration of indpencence bit:

"Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed."

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