On Meta, Insta, etc. coming to the Fediverse

There are increasing rumours that Meta and Instagram are working on apps that will use ActivityPub and federate with the rest of the fediverse. As the likelihood of this happening shifts more into the realm of the probable, the .art mod team are having discussions about what to do if/when this happens – but the most likely scenario is that we will immediately defederate from those instances.

There are technical reasons why we (and other instances) might want to do that; the November influx from Twitter pretty much brought the fediverse to its knees, and those numbers are a fraction of what the likes of Meta and Insta would bring should they join the federation.

More importantly, though, there are moderation and community reasons as to why .art would not want to federate with such instances.

The majority of our userbase came to the fediverse, and to .art, to escape corporate social media; its lack of moderation, its huge userbase, and the toxicity that those things combined produce. If we want to preserve the cozy, wholesome, and corporate-free vibes that we have at .art, it only makes sense that we would block the likes of Meta and Instagram as soon as they show up.

As our users, you deserve a heads up that this is the most likely course of action we will take. For most of you, I think this will be welcome – but there are probably some people who might want to be on a more openly federated instance, and that's fine.

There's also the slim possibility that when those big social media instances do show up, they'll be very well moderated and generally nice places – in which case we can revisit any blocks we've put in place – but let's be honest, that's a very slim chance XD