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De-federating P92

Facebook (“Meta”) is launching a Twitter alternative that will interoperate with the Fediverse, currently codenamed “Barcelona” and “P92” (and likely to be known as “Threads”). We don’t know the extent to which this will or won’t interoperate; admins who’ve met with Facebook/Meta employees to discuss P92 have signed non-disclosure agreements. Most discussion can be framed in two ways:

  1. Whether P92 in particular is worth defederating from, should it involve an ActivityPub server.

  2. Whether Facebook/Meta projects in principle would be worth proactively blocking, should they attempt to interoperate with a Fediverse instance.

I’m going to focus on the latter topic, as we know little about the former.

Privacy concerns

Of the reasons to resist a Facebook/Meta presence in the Fediverse, privacy is relatively low on the list. The best way to mass-scrape Fediverse content has always been via large, established, well-connected instances’ federated timelines. It’s also quite hard to detect. I imagine that most of this happens through instances such as,, and

Authorized-fetch is an excellent way to increase friction for harassment, and it ought to be the default. Unfortunately, it does nothing to stop the scraping methods I outlined. Presenting it as a robust privacy measure gives users a false sense of privacy.

If Facebook/Meta prioritizes data from its users’ timelines and interactions, then enabling authorized-fetch and de-federating might admittedly offer limited protection. They’ve pulled similar moves before, with shadow profiles of non-Facebook users based on phone numbers of its users’ contacts.

Incompatible values and complicity

As I’ve said elsewhere, Facebook/Meta is doing this for a return on investment. This organization has one of the worst track records in Silicon Valley:

I could go on.note 1 Any instance with staff doing any of the above would likely be widely de-federated; Facebook profits from it. If Breitbart, the Daily Stormer, or Alex Jones announced they were joining the Fediverse, we wouldn’t wait until after the obvious happens since we already know what they deem acceptable. Facebook should not get special treatment.

I feel an obligation to resist any further growth of this company. Knowing what this organization has done, and without good reason to believe it has “stopped”, I don’t feel comfortable supporting it. Facebook starts projects like this to secure a return on investment. I don’t want to help Facebook secure a return on this investment.

Administrative decisions should be affirmations of shared community values. Facebook has demonstrated that it values growth at the expense of lives, if necessary. At a certain point, the right way to show our values is to put our foot down and say “no”.

I support initiatives such as FediPact to resist interoperating with Facebook/Meta projects. That being said, as I described in my article outlining my blocklists, I avoid suspending purely based on federation decisions. Remember that the FediPact list is not an authorative or comprehensive list of instances that will be proactively defederating from Facebook-affiliated servers.


  1. See this Fediverse thread for a longer list, and my coverage of how they fragmented the XMPP ecosystem