The Future of News on the Internet


(Note: This is a merged document, as it appears two sets of people took notes on the same session in two different places.)

Convener: Christopher Lozinski (@UncensoredNews@Mastodon.Social)


  • Evan Prodromou
  • Hamish OMN (grassroots news, Indymedia network)
  • Matthias Pfefferle
  • Jeff Jarvis
  • Debs
  • Bob Wyman
  • Fra OpenForFuture
  • Marlene Breitenstein
  • Matt Terenzio

Key points:

  • The world is very broken!
  • Network of interdependent news sites
  • https://visionon.tv/w/p/qrHC63o5hRX87NGt6ab3CE video for #indymediaback
  • Bob - Curation is key!
  • Jeff - curation is a huge opportunity - to choose your own instance in fediverse. Challenge is affordances and welcome for other communities that are in peril elsewhere - aka #blacktwitter
  • Scholarship for fediverse journalism (!!!) - via Jeff Jarvis
  • Marlena mentions the Texas Observer’s issues
  • hamish: we need instances specifically for news
  • JJ: own instance, also rel=me to verify journalists. #BlackTwitter
  • Fra: Mix and remix of content
  • EP: Love to hear about focusing on climate change.
  • BW: Twitter search lets journalists find the references to their own story.
  • Mike McCue: Lists can be a primary/organic algo, then maybe mechanical algos within lists to refine them or rate-limit them.
  • Mike: An algo store: filters you can choose and use

Outside references:


Once upon a time there was a network of 175 Indymedia sites. With the rise of social media that fell apart, but many of the people and ideas moved over to ActicityPub, created an independent social network, and now it is time for the return of IndyMedia: A network of Indymedia servers

Curating content imported from multiple RSS and Mastodon feeds. Curated by experts in the field. So that you can choose your news source.

Where is the opportunity. Where censorship is heaviest, particularly climate change. We can easily recruit climate journalists to Mastodon. We can offer to add them to a curated feed of climate toots.

But we do need to make the environment more friendly to journalists. We need to offer search, so that they can find who tooted their links. We need to offer them quote tweets. We need to be mindful that the tools shape the culture of environment.

We also need to run scientific experiments. People think there are more users on twitter, but the response is greater here. Post on both twitter and mastodon, and measure the difference in response. And publish the results.

So if anyone wants to run their own IndyMedia server, I am happy to fire one up for you. @UncensoredNews@Mastodon.Social

Session Notes

There never has been, and never will be, a universally accepted “single” arbiter of truth. We need open, competiive, end-user selected curation. Curation as a Service, not as something imposed by either a server or a client operator or developer.

Protocols, Not Platforms: A Technological Approach to Free Speech, Altering the internet’s economic and digital infrastructure to promote free speech BY MIKE MASNICK AUGUST 21, 2019

ACLU has a useful definition of “censorship”, which is often called “moderation” or curation:

“Censorship, the suppression of words, images, or ideas that are “offensive,” happens whenever some people succeed in imposing their personal political or moral values on others. Censorship can be carried out by the government as well as private pressure groups. Censorship by the government is unconstitutional.”