So, there's this concept of "implicit feudalism" in online communities. Essentially, the vast majority of online communities - from old-school forums, to facebook groups, to large platforms like Twitter and Facebook themselves, even to fediverse instances - they're all run as dictatorships by default. It's built into the software - you'll have a top admin who has full, unconstrained power, they might delegate mods who have some limited powers, and anyone else has to listen to what these dictators and lords tell them. We talk about "federating" here in the fediverse, but each individual community - as far as I'm aware of - is a little dictatorship. A federation of dictatorships is not a free society, anymore than the UN, an international body composed of "liberal democracies" and authoritarian regimes is truly democratic. We need a way to start governing online communities through actual forms of democracy.



At a certain point, all of these Social Media Entities are reflections & outgrowths of the personality of an individual, or at most a small group, with other people coming in & participating because they see something they like. When you reduce the size of the Entity to the individual, their actions are, I suppose, by definition, democratic, but that's just a kind of limiting case, & I'm not convinced it means anything.

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I agree; the original post is based on a false equivalence between the instance owner and the users. The admin has full rights to conduct their instance however they want (this right, however, is diluted if they accept and receive donations). The federation allows for every individual to have their own instance, and so has the capability to contain a "democracy". It is just irony that the people chose not to exercise that freedom.

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