A case for the importance of multiple identities in the fediverse.

That’s quite a long title, but I think the topic is pretty nice, and thus deserves a nice title. That’s how it is, I guess ?

Anyway, you may ask, what are you talking about ?

Well, if you don’t know what the fediverse is, it’s… well, it’s complicated. At the origin, it’s a protocol that makes federation between websites possible. As of there, things started getting out of hand when people started making things with it. The W3C doesn’t recommend that !

It was new ! It was exciting ! The first projects that started using ActivityPub where raising a lot of questions… It’s interesting, because the protocol made a lot of people tag along, and from different horizons that are starting to converge. But let’s discuss protocol politics another time…

You see, people where wondering how to do things the right way. It’s not the first time, but this new protocol is supposed to bring an end to the GAFAM. By making it possible for two different websites to communicate and exchange information in real-time, there was little reason for a social network, for example, to exist under only one URL.

It was like email, but for social networks. And much, much more…

I know, we’re getting sidetracked… I hear you from here saying what’s the link between email and identity ?

Email is a bit like your id card, but on the web, don’t you find ? You log in with it, not your name.

And social networks have changed the way we communicate with the world. It’s the book of the 21th century. And, as each book you can write might be different, we, as our own, have multiples identities. I like tech, but I’m also a gardener, and I dabble in politics. When I speak to people about art, my identity is linked to it.

On the fediverse, we have access to a very large crowd, and small, more personal spaces. As in life.

Some people have been asking hard questions about identity. Some would like your online ID to be tied to your official identity. I think it’s a really bad ideal.

If we want our networks to ressemble us, and make it possible for us to express as who we are, then it is important for us to be able to create, delete, update and multiplicate our identities online.

This article is a small reflexion about federated identities. If you want to talk more about it with me, you can always shoot me an email or message !

“Dinnertime” by jabberwocky381 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0