Last Week in Fediverse – ep 64

This edition of Last Week in Fediverse seems to be a President’s edition; Barack Obama turns on fediverse sharing for his Threads account, and Brazil’s president Lula joins Bluesky. Lots more going on this week, lets dive in:

The News

IFTAS, the nonprofit organisation for Trust & Safety on the social web, has put out a guide for the EU’s Digital Services Act (DSA). The guide caters towards ‘small and micro services’ that has member accounts in the EU, which is the large majority of fediverse servers. It is a practical and easy overview of what is expected if you are the operator of a fediverse server, and highly recommended if you are a server admin to check it out. Most requirements in the DSA that are applicable to ‘small and micro services’ (platforms with less than 50 employees and less than 10M EUR turnover) are on how to provide ways of communication with authorities and how to handle their requests. The requirement (art 13) in the DSA that might give server operators the most difficulty is that platforms that are located outside of the EU, but ‘serve EU users or make their services available in the EU are required to have an EU-based
legal representative to manage compliance and communication with EU authorities.’ It seems a significant number of fediverse servers are currently not in compliance with this requirement, and no clear direction yet on how to get there.

Sora is an iOS and MacOS client for the fediverse (for Mastodon, the Forkeys as well as Bluesky), which has been pushing the boundaries with what is possible with 3rd party fediverse clients. The app features a custom For You algorithmic feed, and the developer recently showed during FediForum how people have complete control over their algorithm. Now the developer is back with another update, this time adding P2P video calling to the client. A gif in the announcement post shows how it works. You can schedule a meeting, which send a link for the other person’s fediverse account to join. Both people need to use Sora to use the feature. The developer stated that if there is enough interest in the feature, he will work on making the feature available as a web client that does not require Sora.

Flipboard has reached another major milestone in their process fully federate Flipboard and have full interoperability with the rest of the fediverse. There is now two-way interaction with fediverse accounts and Flipboard accounts that are federated. CEO Mike McCue explains: “Now when a federated Flipboard user curates, people in the fediverse can reply, favorite, boost or follow those Flipboard users who will in turn see that activity in their usual notifications tab. Even better, Flipboard users can directly reply to people in the fediverse — and very soon they will also be able to follow each other.” Furthermore, Flipboard has enabled federation for another 11000 magazines, creating increasing the amount of curated content that is available in the fediverse.

Lyrak is a new social platform that focuses on real-time news and revenue sharing with creators that was announced this week. In the announcement post, Lyrak also stated that fediverse integration will be added to the platform ‘soon’. For more information on Lyrak, Sarah Perez has more extensive look, over at TechCrunch.

Russia’s censorship agency blocks access to the server in Russia. The admins of the server got a notification by the Russian agency demanding that they remove an account from their server. The account is for a ‘blog about LGBTQ+ people, literature, sports, humor, etc.’ The admins refused to comply, after which the server is now inaccessible in Russia.

During FediForum, Newsmast showcased their new project Patchwork. In a new update, Newsmast says that they ‘are looking at rolling out a Beta version in the coming months, with features like easy opt in or out of networking with Threads & Bluesky, spam management and content filters.’

Some news from Threads

  • Barack Obama’s also turns on fediverse sharing for his Threads account, making him the second US President to do so.
  • WeDistribute wrote a ‘A Beginner’s Guide to the Fediverse, for Threads Users’.
  • A blog post on using Mastodon to follow on Threads accounts, from the perspective of someone who has mainly been using Threads. The blog showcases how third party clients are a major selling point for the fediverse.
  • Meanwhile, Threads invites developers to sign up for API access, but it seems the API can only be used for posting into Threads, as well as analytics. It rules out the possibility of building full-featured third-party clients as you can with the rest of the fediverse.

Some news from Bluesky

Brazilian president Lula has opened an account on Bluesky, reports. The news comes after an escalating conflict between X and the Brazilian Courts. Elon Musk publicly refused to follow orders by the Brazilian court to block certain accounts on X, and a Brazilian judge has ordered an investigation of Elon Musk for obstruction of justice. President Lula opening an account on Bluesky is a direct response to the ongoing conflict between the Brazilian government and X, and indicates how governments are starting to be fed up with the situation at X. President Lula used his first post on Bluesky to say that 38 slaughterhouses will be authorised to export meat to China. (?)

The Links

  • Mastodon is hiring a new core team member for back-end development.
  • An update on BridgyFed, the upcoming bridge between the fediverse and Bluesky, and the work to make it fully opt-in/consent based.
  • Fediverse Event planning tool Mobilizon has transferred ownership recently, and the new team, Kaihuri, will give a presentation of the new version next week on Monday April 15th.
  • A reading of the Canadian Online Harms Act, from the perspective of fediverse admins.
  • An update on radio free fedi, who have launched their new website as well.
  • Pixelfed open-sources their mobile apps.
  • Annual Mastodon Pledge Drive.
  • The University of Innsbruck expands their Mastodon server to all university employees.
  • Notes on an setting up a fediverse relay with FediBuzz on an Ubuntu server.
  • Lifehacker writes about the current state of the podcast landscape, and role that ActivityPub can play.
  • How to get started with FediTest, a testing suite that is currently being build.
  • An update by ForgeFed on their work on implementing federation into software forges.
  • An overview of this week’s updates to fediverse products.
  • An update from NodeBB and their work on ActivityPub Development.
  • Lemmy’s biweekly development update.

That’s all for this week. If you want more, you can subscribe to my fediverse account or to the mailing list below: