And in a meaningful way, it might be irrelevant where the money is coming from. The code is open, the papers it is based on are public, the protocol is right there to be inspected. And since it is used by activists and dissidents around the world, it’s been looked at, a lot, by a lot of very smart people.
If NSA wants to fund a tool that is useful, safe, and not-backdoored, I don’t have a problem with that. There are way worse ways for them to spend their insanely huge budget. And if the tool is backdoored, it doesn’t matter where the funding is coming from.
So far, I have not seen a single piece of proof that Tor might be backdoored. If anyone has such a proof, please come forward, as a lot of people at-risk rely on it to stay safe!
The NSA does not fund Tor. Tor Project does get US government funding, but not from the NSA.
there are certainly a lot of experts at MS who know it as we can reasonably assume
Well they did fire their whole ethics and society team within their AI branch. So…
journalists rarely raise the issue of biases these models have. I feel that is not understood by the masses, and companies and governments exploit that use it against the people.
This is very true. For what it’s worth I wrote a bunch about AI for a somewhat mainstream Polish news portal. And I do focus on these issues:
But there is absolutely a lot of just press-release copy-pasting and fueling the hype out there.
Dunno, let’s ask prof. Turley how much would he say a hallucinated-up charge of sexual misconduct against him is worth in damages maybe?
Or ask the families falsely accused by AI of defrauding the Dutch state on welfare how much money (not to mention time and emotional harm) they lost because of these accusations?
AI harms are already meaningful and very, very real.
That’s the spirit!
Here’s a crazy, far-fetched idea: there are bound to be a bunch of other people in the area that might be in a similar pickle. Maybe consider starting your own local hackerspace. 😉
I helped start one 15y ago (still going, but I moved out of that city) and am reanimating another that has been dormant for a while. Pretty good way to meet interesting people.
Bicycle and generally playing outdoors. But it was easier when I was a kid, because I was a kid and all my kid friends lived in the same neighborhood.
I would love more non-screen, manual-work hobbies. Crafting, woodworking, etc. But these need space and equipment. Check if you have a hackerspace nearby, that would be a good place to check out. Larger hackerspaces tend to have woodworking, metalworking, electronics and other tools available, as well as some fancy laser cutters and CNC machines.
Relevant I think:
Oh noes will he shut down my account that I left behind checks notes a decade ago? The horror, the horror…
One simple way to start is for UIs (Web UIs, mobile apps, etc) to display information (a simple icon woud suffice) on what instance type a given account is on when displaying posts. That already would show the diversity.
Some instance software projects do that already, I believe Friendica does for example.
people on Mastodon don’t do enough to advertise other Fediverse platforms
is the equivalent of saying, “people on reddit don’t do enough to advertise lemmy.” It’s an illogical jump.
But… it is not. Reddit cannot talk to Lemmy, they are not part of the same network, they do not federate.
A better analogy would be “people on GMail don’t do enough to advertise other e-mail providers”, and while the rest of your argument might hold somewhat, it’s quite a different ballgame.
One of the important differences is that at least some people using GMail must be aware that it would make sense to keep the broader ecosystem — e-mail — healthy, and an important step towards this is having a plurality of e-mail providers.
No such consideration even makes sense in the Reddit/Lemmy case.
Well, I blogged about just that: https://rys.io/en/168.html
Yup. The problem is that these users will have trouble understanding how can it be “Mastodon” without being Mastodon, if you get my drift. Plus, ideally this would also be done by Mastodon-the-software project — “if you want functionality X, check out instances of this compatible-but-different software project.”
But absolutely, doing so yourself in such cases makes perfect sense.
The journalist is using “spying” in a more specific sense of “actually used the data gathered through my use of the app in order to establish specific things about me personally, for aims other than targeted advertising.”
The “spying on all users” is more like “gathering loads of data on everyone to use for targeted advertising” and is much more a metaphor than the above. The above is more on the literal side of “spying”.
And yes, this is a meaningful difference.
I don’t think funneling more people to one mega-instance is a good idea…
It’s not. The sign-up process needs to be simplified, sure, and some “default” options need to be presented to the people trying to join, but focusing on one mega-instance is simply dangerous and goes against the whole idea of decentralization.
Maybe talk to @email@example.com? I think they might be interested. They run a site that seems like a good home for a compatibility matrix: https://fedi.tips/
Moderation is a necessary feature of social spaces. It’s how bad behavior gets constrained, norms get set, and disputes get resolved. We’ve kept the Bluesky app invite-only and are finishing moderation before the last pieces of open federation because we wanted to prioritize user safety from the start.
I do hope I will eat my words as far as moderation on BlueSky is concerned. I do doubt I will, though.
It’s a little surprising that the person you’re linking to managed to install and operate their own Personal Data Server without reading enough of the BlueSky website to see that federation isn’t turned on yet!
Until federation is turned on they don’t get to call BlueSky a decentralized/federated social network. And until an actually decentralized DID is used, they don’t get to call it a decentralized protocol. And until they actually implement some features related to moderation and fighting harassment, they don’t get to claim they care about moderation — they cared enough about “free speech” to design a whole protocol around it, so I believe I am quite correct to say that moderation is an afterthought in BlueSky.
All of this is basically “trust us, this time we will not screw people over” coming from a Twitter-funded startup started by Jack Dorsey. I don’t believe they deserve the benefit of the doubt.
Why should they be different? If a user neglects to label their own post, shouldn’t other people be able to label it? (And shouldn’t the reader be able to decide who’s labels to give what importance to?)
It’s not about labeling, it’s about protecting people using a given network from malicious/harassing behaviour. That is always contextual. Putting a label on a post doesn’t mean much, it loses a lot of the context. Saying “you’re not welcome in this community” after reviewing of a broader context (multiple posts etc) is a much more effective way to do this.
You’re also completely missing the point that it’s not just about “whose content I see” but also about “who sees my posts”. As I wrote in the blogpost:
What actual difference would being able to choose between different recommendation/discoverability algorithms make for at-risk folks who are constantly harassed on Twitter? There is no way to opt-out from “reach” algorithms indexing one’s posts, as far as I can see in the ATproto and BS documentation. So fash/harassers would be able to choose an algorithm that basically recommends targets to them.
On the other hand, harassment victims could choose an algo that does not recommend harassers to them — but the problem for them is not that they are recommended to follow harassers’ accounts. It’s that harassers get to jump into their replies and pile-on using quote-posts and so on. Aided and abetted by recommendation algorithms that one cannot opt out of being indexed by in order to protect oneself.
Anyway, we won’t agree. I rarely find common ground with free-speech-maximalists. I see fedi admins and moderators as people helping protect and nurture their communities, you see them as “hostage-holders”. We might as well stop here.
After reading atproto.com I still think it won’t matter, because secondary centralization will happen in the “reach” layer. That’s where the power in the system will be. As explored pretty in-depth in the blogpost that started this whole thread.
imo it is the ActivityPub world that is cosplaying decentralization.
ActivityPub has a over 20k different independent instances, mostly federating with one another. BlueSky has one, and if you try to set up an independent one, it won’t federate.
I mean, I’d laugh, but it’s not even funny.
BlueSky also already has a system for flagging different categories of sensitive content, much like Mastodon’s CWs.
You are confusing content warnings (not exposing others to potentially triggering content you post) with moderation (making it hard to harass users). These are two very different things.
This is answered in the blogpost:
And once you’re the biggest game in town, people will optimize for you (just look at SEO and Google Search). It won’t matter much that people using the network can freely choose a different algorithm, just as it doesn’t matter much on the Web that people can choose a different search engine. And the more I read about BS’s protocol, the more I think this is done on purpose.
Why? Because it allows BS to pay lip service to decentralization, without actually giving away the power in the system. After all, BlueSky-the-company will definitely be the first to start indexing BS-the-social-network posts, and you can bet Jack has enough money to throw at this to get the needed compute. I guess decentralization is a big thing lately and there are investors to scam if you can farm enough users and build enough hype fast enough!
Of course, fedi could also have some search and discovery algorithms built on top. Operators of such algorithms (there had been a few attempts already) would also benefit from being first and going big. But their potential power is balanced by the power fedi instance admins and moderators have (blocking and defederating) and by the fact that fedi is perfectly usable without such algorithms. And by strong hostility of a lot of people using fedi towards non-consensual indexing.
You might be interested in reading it, might answer other questions you perhaps have.
Looks like it’s less suspicious (but still crap):
- IZAT/XTRA is Qualcomm’s alternative to Google’s network location system. It’s entirely running in userspace, not in firmware. Its configuration and proprietary client library can be found on the /vendor partition of many qualcomm devices that run LineageOS or derivatives and is considered by LineageOS to be part of the device specific proprietary vendor blobs that need to be included for a fully functional system (even if it’s typically possible to run without it).
From the user perspective, communities work pretty seamlessly. Hi from szmer.info for example!