📊 How do you define the fediverse?

There are many definitions of what the Fediverse is. I wonder which is the most common one.
Wikipedia seems to define the Fedi as all software that speaks ActivityPub and/or Diaspora and/or OStatus and/or Zot.

I’ve read definitions that only include software that speaks AktivityPub as well as software that speaks any federated protocol (that would e.g. include Matrix)

Then there is the question whether to include nazi instances and other instances that many instances defederate from.

So what do you include in your definition of the Fediverse
  • Activity Pub
  • Diaspora
  • OStatus
  • Zot
  • other protocols
  • questionable/evil instances

0 voters


I think you are talking about Matrix. Element is just a client like many others.^^

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I thought the name of the protocol changed too. ^^

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The Wikipedia page is really bad at defining what Fediverse is. I wonder about the purpose of this poll, as it takes the same technical direction as wikipedia. Like if I polled what the internet was and showed you this:

How do you define the internet?

[ ] TCP/IP
[ ] HTTP
[ ] UDP
[ ] other protocols
[ ] toxic social media

It does not make much sense to me, unless you are interested on a deeply technical level (but then the last option doesn’t fit in). Depending on how you meant this poll the text below may be off-topic, but wouldn’t it be interesting if we brainstormed more understandable definitions of Fediverse for the unitiated?


An interconnected set of different social networking applications that allows people to participate in their own communities and choose how they interact with other people. A person using the Fediverse is sometimes called a fedizen. The Fediverse is designed to allow individual freedom and control. In contrast to traditional social media it is based on open standards and decentralized, so that anyone can add new applications or host their own server for a community of fedizens.

Not at all perfect, but just a first try :slight_smile:

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You are talking about a different kind of definition.
One is a description of the fediverse, which doesn’t say what’s included and what not.
And the other is a definition of what is included and what not, which doesn’t describe the fediverse.


Social networks aren’t defined by technology. They are defined by people.

What protocol somebody uses is totally irrelevant - a message is a message. Protocols are generally walls that projects create to lock people into their network and create metrics to drive growth. I created Zot (now called Nomad) and reject these concepts. We exchange messages with our friends irrelevant of what technology platform and protocol they use and traditionally have implemented every protocol we are able. Over the years we’ve “federated” with Diaspora, GNU-Social, ActivityPub, even Facebook and Twitter and email and RSS feeds and WordPress blogs (long before the ActivityPub plugin came along). This is a long winded way to say that my view of the fediverse is all about people and messages and finding ways to connect them even when the service they are using tries to prevent it. It actually has nothing to do with what protocols or platforms somebody does or doesn’t use.


If two people can’t send messages to each other, how can they both be said to be on the Fediverse?

If they can send each other messages it’s because of the technical detail that their two nodes share a protocol.

Talking about the technology is not very visionary, but it reflects reality on the ground.

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Agreed, but I was answering how I defined the fediverse. In raw terms I see it as people communicating (each) on their own terms without requiring overlords. Exactly how this happens or what technologies are used to achieve it is in my view mostly irrelevant.

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