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.


here's an article on this idea an its implications (people get socialized into feudalism/authoritarianism by the internet):

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@anomaly If you read that article, regarding democracy it says "Governance systems that seek to inscribe authority within commonly agreed-upon rules ... generally through the capacity to transfer that authority to someone else.

Democratic practices can emerge within feudal technologies, such as when all-powerful moderators feel pressure to respect the values of their communities in how they exert authority."

Is this not the fediverse?

@anomaly Power paradigms are still present in democracies.

I think the feudalism doesn't apply to, say, Mastodon because everyone can start their own instance. You can exist here without a governing dictator however you can be democratically blocked by other users and instances.


@anomaly Also reporting offensive content grants a lot more power to Mastodon users than other social media platforms. On the bird site or Facebook you can report racist, sexist, transphobic things but those platforms do nothing about it.

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