Meta, the surveillence machine formerly known as Facebook/Instagram/WhatsApp, is moving, slowly but surely, towards an ActivityPub solution called "Threads", which amounts to the same thing: a transparent Embrace, Extend, Extinguish attempt by corporate social media against the Fediverse. While Gargron, Mastodon's original creator, sees this as a positive thing, many others do not, and the consensus on the side of the Fediverse I frequent has been something like the image below.
This is, at least in part, because the Fediverse has a long history of rejecting mainstream corporate social media, at every level. Where Twitter is designed to amplify reach, Mastodon and its ilk mostly are not. Where corporate social media seeks a moat, the Fediverse, by definition, seeks interoperability. So, when the biggest social platform on Earth, well known for exploiting its users for advertising data, comes sniffing around, we bap it right in the snoot.
On May 20, 2023, John Gruber of Daring Fireball posted this on his Bluesky account:
And, well, this sucks a lot! The idea that the people who've been using ActivityPub networks for years should just roll over and let Meta walk all over us just because they happen to have a lot of people stuck on their stagnant social platform is patently ridiculous, at least to me.
Apparently a lot of other people agree with me; the wonderful vanta, long of Fediverse fame, has started a bona fide movement at fedipact.online, where hundreds of instance admins have pledged to immediately block Facebook's attempt to inject itself into the Fediverse.
If you are an instance admin, please:
Sign the Fedi Pact!
Mr. Gruber has since followed up with an article condemning the Fedi Pact, which I think makes it even more imperative upon us to support it, and its creator. Gruber calls the idea of preemptively blocking one of the worst known actors in the social space "petty", which strikes me as pretty similar to saying that one is "petty" for locking one's door when a thief has announced in the local paper that he'll be targetting your neighborhood.
The Fediverse isn't perfect, but I think we can all agree that we'd rather be misfit loser zealots than bow to the whims of Facebook et al.
Let's not lose what makes the Fediverse special: freedom from corporate control.