an important report has just been published by my friend emmi: The Decentralized Web of Hate

"Fascists (and other bad actors) are [...] hosting manifestos resiliently, raising money anonymously, communicating securely to organize attacks, sharing weapons plans, and networking to build out their numbers."

"We cannot abandon p2p technology but we also can't ignore the risks. The only way out is through."


@cblgh read the draft of this a couple of weeks ago and it was excellent

reminded me of @shibacomputer's essay

@aadil @shibacomputer i see both of those articles as entries into the same anthology, if that analogy makes sense

It's the age old "OMG people with despicable ideologies are still capable of peopling" report.

They used to say the same thing about the Internet and bulletin boards. The. Exact. Same. Thing.

Not that it isn't true. But it's also not new, nor related to the technology. Rather, the technology is merely a newish lens through which to look at the same dilemma: that hate group members in no way are incapable of using the same stuff we do.

As always, the solution must be in society 🤷‍♂️

@jens @cblgh No, technology is ethically and politically neutral in itself - however the way technologies are designed, deployed and used has a huge political aspect. E.g. centralized social networks vs mastodon

I agree and I don't.

You're right that the design shapes how it is used. But you are IMHO overvaluing the role of technology here. You can create a friendly and inclusive user experience on centralised architectures and vice versa. And that will mostly determine how it's used. We know this from e.g. public architecture, in how design choices channel where people will stand around or walk, etc.

Of course @cblgh - 1/4

the technology also has an impact, but there's a far less direct connection between the technological base and hate groups using something.

I mean, what's the main difference between centralised and decentralised? The TL;DR is privacy (and resilience), and there are plenty of individuals who have a great interest in privacy without belonging to a hate group.

You can probably draw some parallels between all those people, like, for @federico3 @cblgh - 2/4

one reason or another, relatively marginalised groups will have a larger interest in privacy than the middle of society. And yes, that will include political extremists, but again also a bunch of other folk.

So as much as I understand that the tech has a real impact, and relates to politics (what doesn't?), I don't think it's that much about the technology itself as it is about how it is presented to the user.

Hope that makes @federico3 @cblgh - 3/4

@cblgh As someone working on decentralised p2p tech, this is fucking terrifying to me

@spacekookie i definitely had a similar reaction, when first reading cade's article (

some caveats though:
* this fact can be used as a lens through which design decisions can be evaluated & questioned
* if you think it's terrifying: you are in a good spot to make better decisions than a person with a laissez faire / tech-is-neutral attitude

@cblgh Well the big problem I see is no real way to prevent these things from happening. I mean, granted there's tech that I think shouldn't be built (like append-only stores, what a colossally shitty idea). But I don't think putting "no fascists" in a license will keep anyone from using it who is a fascist, and building censorship tools into the base protocols will just backfire to governments using this against revolutionaries

@cblgh isn't neutral, and I'm also not saying I won't do anything. But just being aware of the issues doesn't really do that much to get around them. Because the solutions are _really_ really hard

@spacekookie @cblgh Personally my attitude tends to be:

Don't worry about the hate getting hosted. Worry about it getting shared!

Search & discovery must be curated, I have no patience for anyone who's excited for peer-to-peer unmanaged search like Yacy.

@alcinnz I agree with you in this matter. At least for some federated standards we have both server/provider-level and client-level moderation/block/blacklist techniques.

For the first level, there are some users which are still skeptical to the motivations of each block, for whom I recommend to demand clear explanation from the provider or consider switching.

@spacekookie @cblgh

@spacekookie @cblgh

granted there’s tech that I think shouldn’t be built (like append-only stores, what a colossally shitty idea).

And so exploitable!

putting “no fascists” in a license

building censorship tools into the base protocols will just backfire to governments using this against revolutionaries

No, no it’s the perfect plan. We’ll alter our protocols to enable authoritarians to control us against our will, and that will stop the authoritarians from… wait shit

@cy We all just have to turn into tankies and lick our own boots, then everybody is happy ... maybe

@spacekookie @cblgh
> granted there's tech that I think shouldn't be built (like append-only stores, what a colossally shitty idea)

Could you elaborate? SSB, Dat and Git are append-only stores, are they bad?

@wire @cblgh Well, depends a lot on context, doesn't it?

Git technically is append only, but if you control a repository it's possible to erase things from the history. Because the context of what a git repository means is based on who hosts it, etc.

SSB is a distributed append only store where this isn't possible.

@wire @cblgh
The problem with append only is that it's so easy to abuse, Spam it with nazi propaganda and child porn and it'll be in there forever.
Everybody who wants to have the history of something will get it too.

Why do we even need a perfect information system. Why can't messages just be things people send to each other, with no single source of truth permanent public log? Anyway, that's the approach that my own distributed web project takes :P (

@spacekookie @cblgh
SSB has a design problem, they even state on FAQ that messages can't be deleted: It is because they designed feed to have a linear history.

Dat/Hypercore is more flexible, it should be possible to build a system on top of it where you crate a new parallel "branch" without contents you don't like and garbage collect the old branch, like in Git. The contents itself can be pointed to and reused.

Append-only is not wrong per se.

@cblgh Moderation is more or less a solved problem on Mastodon. Except for the "federated" feed, which I don't read, all messages I get are from those who I choose to follow and messages they boost.

As for preventing those you don't like from using the tools to defend themselves against censorship and surveillance, it's impossible.

@cblgh Have to agree with @wire as far as preventing fascists from using p2p tools, but thank you so much for sharing this compilation; knowing is half the battle. Cheers

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