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I'm enjoying @1br0wn's paper, "Interoperability as a tool for competition regulation", explaining how governments can use open standards like ActivityPub to break up Big Tech monopolies. Really interesting reading, and it cites Mastodon specifically as a place where interoperability has benefits to content moderation (which is something I've been saying for years!)

osf.io/preprints/lawarxiv/fbvx

(h/t @doctorow for linking this!)

cc @cwebber

@1br0wn @doctorow @cwebber

Of course, big tech involvement with open platforms comes with its own pitfalls (remember EEE?) and regulating the enforcement of specific standards has the potential to magnify those problems massively—look at IANA and the whole gTLD clusterfuck—but i think those are tractable problems and overall this proposal moves the conversation forward massively and in a very positive direction.

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@nightpool @1br0wn @doctorow @cwebber
But iOS is built to be fundamentally incompatible with Android. Do you ever see that not being the case?

@w4rner I'm not sure I understand your reply. How are Android and iOS related to social network monopolies? (Twitter, Facebook, etc)

@nightpool
thought it was about "breaking up Big Tech monopolies" more generally
I guess we should just feel lucky that Apple/Goog haven't pulled off a successful social (see my latest post about Google+ class action)

@nightpool @1br0wn @doctorow @cwebber I've seen interoperability as a compelling tool to inject competition into tech platforms for a while. FB beat the competition in the early 2010s and was rewarded with profits; but today it is profiting because users are locked in. Interoperability would give users more ability to switch and multi-home to try new services. If this had been in place, I'm sure people would have switched from FB during #StopHateForProfit. But it's hard to coordinate that move.

@nightpool @1br0wn @doctorow @cwebber But even if this happened, FB wouldn't play nice. If open social protocols had been established earlier, we could be in the equilibrium described in the article, with people on whatever social platforms they liked best. Instead we're stuck in this inferior equilibrium. But I think the transition cannot involve FB w/ its business model. We need to start from scratch. And I think the Fediverse is the most promising path to realizing that superior equilibrium.

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