Mon 4 Nov 2013 3:54AM

Podmins and external services

F Flaburgan Public Seen by 91

Hello everybody.

I'm opening this discussion because I'm facing a problem that I think every podmins have. It's about external services like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Wordpress at the moment. To allow diaspora users to post to these services, the podmin has to create an application with a certified account on these services. Then the application becomes available to the users who allow it to write on the service for them.

The problem is, this obliged the podmin to 1. create an account on every service, 2. certified this account, this implies to confirm the account with a mobile phone.

I don't want to give my mobile phone to Facebook (and co), so I am not able to activate cross-posting from diaspora-fr.org to Facebook. I think that the diaspora foundation should have a role in this problem. I don't think we need a facebook account per pod, we can imagine that we have only one facebook account owned by the foundation, and certified, and then we offer to the podmin the possibility to cross-post to service using the foundation account.

This means, either the foundation has to create an app each time a new pod wants to cross post, either we are using only one app for every pods (I don't know if this is bad in term of decentralization or not, considering that at the end, everything is centralized on facebook anyway so...)

What's your opinion guys? Any ideas to solve this problem?


Karthikeyan A K Mon 4 Nov 2013 5:16AM

what abt sdking facebokk creditals from users and turning diaspora jnto facebook client like friendica?


Elm Mon 4 Nov 2013 7:08AM

@flaburgan : I agree with you. Now I understand why there is no cross posting to FB on diaspora-fr.org ! Also, some podmins may not even have a mobile phone to be able to certify…


Emmanouel Kapernaros Mon 4 Nov 2013 10:33AM

I dont like having an account to facebook either.. I agree with @karthikeyanak .


Jason Robinson Mon 4 Nov 2013 8:28PM

I don't think it will be possible to have a foundation facebook account that is not tied to a person. AFAIK, Facebook accounts are always personal.

Of course someone or some people could be admins of those apps. Still, I think it would be against the idea of Diaspora as a decentralized social network to require podmins to use foundation resources. Of course if we make it possible to do it either way then I see nothing wrong in pushing towards a foundation (person) owned applications, as long as podmins can technically integrate their own app too.


Flaburgan Mon 4 Nov 2013 9:57PM

Of course it would not be "require", it's the opposite: help podmins who don't want to set up an account on external services to be able to cross post.


Vostok Thu 7 Nov 2013 9:24PM

@flaburgan I'm also facing the same problem on the pod. I've already set up an account on Facebook months ago for the pod use, but FB requires me to certify the account through a mobile number. No way!
The way I see is similar to yours: What if someone (maybe the foundation or someone from the community) implement an application to work as a Facebook pool, which has some active accounts voluntarily given from some Facebook users? I mean, if some diasporian guys have some already certified accounts, they could voluntarily 'lend' their FB credentials (login and passwd) for this application to work. The application would work like a pool of Facebook accounts and a gateway of messages leaving all diaspora pods that have the FB service integration installed.
Not sure if it's complicated or even viable to be implemented, it's just my thoughts.


goob Thu 7 Nov 2013 11:00PM

Perhaps rather than relying on the podmin to set up authorisation via a mobile number, we could put the onus on the users who want to cross-post to Facebook, and let one of them use their own details to make the authorisation. One of them might be happy to give Facebook their mobile number, or they might already have given Facebook their mobile number.

Would it be possible as follows:

  • The podmin sets up a connection as far as they can.
  • If further authorisation is needed, the first time someone on the pod tries to set up a cross-posting, they get a warning something like 'currently there is not authorisation between this pod and Facebook. Are you happy to authorise such a connection for yourself and other users of this pod?'
  • If they say yes, cross-posting is now possible for everyone on the pod.
  • If they say no, the next person who tries to set up cross-posting gets the notice, until someone does take this step.

StarBlessed Fri 8 Nov 2013 3:41AM

Ok... What Im getting from this is, no-one wants to give their credentials to FB.

That said, I have a few burner SIM's floating around. Would you guys like me to setup an account with FB API access for your pods?


Jason Robinson Fri 8 Nov 2013 2:58PM

I'm quite sure only the people who don't have FB accounts are complaining here ;)


Emmanouel Kapernaros Fri 8 Nov 2013 3:11PM

No, I have fb account only for providing my pod's users the extra features. I don't like having one. I would like to delete it if an alternative method is implemented, like the one @karthikeyanak suggested.


Jason Robinson Fri 8 Nov 2013 4:18PM

@emmanouelkapernaro sorry I wasn't saying we should do something (quite the opposite if you read my above comments) - I was just reacting to @starblessed saying "no one wants to give their credentials (=phone number) to FB".. Which is not true.


Emmanouel Kapernaros Fri 8 Nov 2013 4:21PM

@jasonrobinson oops, didnt read correctly. :)


goob Fri 8 Nov 2013 4:22PM

I was just reacting to @starblessed saying “no one wants to give their credentials (=phone number) to FB”.. Which is not true.

That's why I was suggesting we move the onus to authorise connection with FB from podmins to any pod user who is happy to give FB their phone number.


Emmanouel Kapernaros Fri 8 Nov 2013 4:43PM

@goob The one who authorises the facebook app, actually controls it. There is no meaning for a podmin to create a fb app and let someoelse to authorise it. He will lose the control of this part of his pod.

The problem is not the authorisation but the hole facebook thing. I dont mind just giving my number.. i mind actually having a fb account.

So, I am interested in a solution where there is no need for a podmin to have a fb account all. Is it possible?


StarBlessed Fri 8 Nov 2013 7:21PM

Not giving credentials to Facebook, is exactly what this sounds like. I agree.
I don't have a Facebook account, nor do I want one. But if there are a couple of podmins like myself who want to have an application on Facebook, well I'm willing to set it up. I'll have to create an account using a burner phone, but at least you'll have access.
I'm interested in giving Facebook access to my users, but I'm not interested in setting up a Facebook account without good reason.
This seems like it may be a decent reason. :-)


Flaburgan Sun 10 Nov 2013 9:24AM

I'm sure we can find a certified account. My question is, is it technically possible to use only one FB account for multiple diaspora* pods? If so, does that imply to create an application for each pod, or is one application enough for every pod? Can someone please try and tell us?


Jason Robinson Sun 10 Nov 2013 8:07PM

I guess the app owner (the FB account) is at least in some way responsible for usage of the app (control it's usage, block spam when necessary, etc) - so personally at least I would not offer myself to host other pods FB apps. Technically cannot think of reasons straight away why one app would not do, maybe Facebook has some API limits which could be a problem, not sure.

Prob the only real reason for different apps is to separate ownership to pod owners - one FB app would be centralizing and thus a more likely point of failure for FB posts. But for podmins who are ok with that, cannot see why not. Just find someone to make apps for you and try with many pods - easiest way to find out if it will work :)


Flaburgan Mon 11 Nov 2013 1:27AM

one FB app would be centralizing
Everything will be centralized on "facebook.com" anyway, I see no problem about centralization in the use of only one app.


Alex Mon 11 Nov 2013 3:29AM

Legally there might be an issue or two, I believe the FB API TOS have something against sharing app credentials, which would be required to have multiple pods using the same app. As has already been pointed out, whoever controls that app would also be responsible for all use of that app, so I, personally, wouldn't be willing to share that with other pods.

I know FB frowns on throwaways as well, but making a throwaway FB account with a believable name and a burner phone might be the best solution here.


Maciek Łoziński Tue 19 Nov 2013 10:13PM

If we overcome limitations that prevent us from "one pod = one user" model, the problem will disappear :-)