Trustworthy hosting and instances
Arising from a discussion on mastodon: In many situations, moving from centralized silos to federated infrastructure, "end users" are left out in the cold a bit because we're increasingly moving to a situation where (like mastodon, pleroma, XMPP, ...) centralized silos are claimed to be "deprecated" in favor of federating instances. Unfortunately, this doesn't always make things better. In many cases, choosing centralized silos for end users isn't mainly about favoring centralized services but actually needing to choose a "service" that someone runs for them and provides them with, rather than running software entirely on their own (which they in most cases are neither capable of nor desire to do).
How can we make sure this doesn't get "worse" for users? Choosing Facebook, Twitter, ... of course has drawbacks but also certain advantages, such as:
- These are large legal entities, meaning you possibly can meet them on legal ground and try to enforce laws such as GDPR (of course only to some extent, but at least this option is there). Talking about "some instance of some service run by one or two volunteers" pretty much voids this option.
- These are large organizations, too, meaning they have a lot of very skilled and qualified staff to ensure their services are running more or less reliable, safe, stable, available. I'm (professionally) involved with ISO 27k and the whole ISMS stuff so I have a somewhat reasonable idea how professional "service management" also on a team, staffing, process level looks like, including things such as update/patch management, backup, scaling or handling security incidents. In most cases this is a process model way too large, but yet how is a decentralized system consisting of instances run by enthusiasts likely to come up to a common reliable quality here? How to make sure there is some handling of security incidents? How to make sure there is an understanding of patch management? How to make sure the admins of the system actually do care about privacy and related issues?
Not sure whether or how this relates here, but I've been recommended to move this discussion off mastodon to here, so I might as well give it a try. Apologies if I'm completely off-track. :)