by Rodrigo Ghedin

Mastodon Isn't Web3 And Has Nothing To Do With Cryptocurrencies


“The Hidden Dangers of the Decentralized Web,” says the title of an opinion piece on Wired.

The author, Jessica Maddox, assistant professor of digital media technology at the University of Alabama, puts networks based on the ActivityPub protocol, such as Mastodon, in the same basket of scams such as cryptocurrencies and web3.

It’s a mistake. And, if we stick to the specifics, even “decentralized web” is somewhat imprecise, since the web (a network) is, by definition, decentralized.

The movements that raise the flag of decentralization do so as a reaction to market forces that have subverted this characteristic. (And, although they refer to the “web,” in some cases they don’t even run on the web.)

We can, and should, always strive to build better, more accessible, and more inclusive technology. But decentralizing the web into walled-off silos seems unlikely to accomplish this goal.

Incredibly, the excerpt above does not refer to the Meta and Google platforms, but to those of web3 and Mastodon.

I don’t think Jessica is stupid, which leaves me puzzled by the reasons that would lead someone who supposedly gets it to publish such a misinformation.

Discuss @ Hacker News.