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.


You're not wrong about instance governance. There are only a handful of instances that attempt democratic forms and fewer that have even partial success

I think the problem is that assumptions of hierarchy are coded into multiuser software by default and it's really difficult to use the software without falling victim to those assumptions. This is baked into DNS and HTTPS, so bootstrapping democratic communities will not be low friction until onion addresses and other alternatives are widely supported, but making mobility between instances and making individual instances easier to set up and run are important mitigations


@yaaps @nicksellen long thread, but you might be interested.

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