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We are getting dangerously close to remote follows in Pixelfed 🚀

@dansup On Friendica we chosed a slightly different way: There is a user setting which enabled/disabled the exposing of the profiles of the followers/following, but we always are exposing the amount of followers/following, since this shouldn't be data that need to be protected. Additionally we do have the ability to hide dedicated contact relations. This means that you can expose the list of contacts that you are following, but you can exclude selected contacts from that list.

The followers/following collections can be used for contact suggestions and for detecting new profiles, so this is very valuable data. In my chest there are beating two hearts: One "data loving" heart that really wants to collect and analyze the data, and the other one that wants to protect all data. Making this an individual user decision is the best compromise, I think.

@heluecht Wow. I'm glad I disabled it, projects like Friendica data mining the fediverse for suggestion algorithms and detecting new profiles is exactly what I wanted to prevent.

Thank you for validating this decision 😉

@dansup I think that this data can be helpful especially for new users to find interesting contacts and to keep them in the network. I heard so many times that people stopped using the decentralized networks, so I want to remove that argument from the list.

But, like I said, I do completely understand (and respect) the wish to not expose this data at all. After all, I'm living in a country with very high data protection laws and I do like them. But since I don't want to patronize people, I like to delegate the decision to them.

BTW: This contact suggestion mechanism is still only an idea on paper.

@heluecht @dansup it's more a matter of norms, which are inherited from corporate networks largely at this stage.

do you advertise how many contacts are in your phonebook? in your email account? most likely not. and it's no one's business, unless i choose to publish that information for whatever reason. it certainly shouldn't be exposed by default.

and you can't even trust any claimed follows/followers unless you verify that both actors list each other reciprocally.

@trwnh @dansup On Friendica we enabled by default that every contact request must be approved manually. So when someone wants to follow me, I have a look at the other profile and I look at the recent posts and I'm looking especially at the numbers of contacts. When there is someone who follows thousands of profiles, then I mostly reject that following request at all. I think that these numbers are no data that needs to be protected.

Concerning Friendica: We mostly decide upon important new feature on a consensus way. And since many active persons are living in Germany (with their strict data protection laws), I am confident that we do find the best way to use and protect valuable data.

@heluecht @dansup
>I'm looking especially at the numbers of contacts. When there is someone who follows thousands of profiles, then I mostly reject that following request

What practical reason is there for this? Perhaps you can say that spambots tend to have high following / low followers, but this is not the best way to identify a spambot.

>I think that these numbers are no data that needs to be protected.

Why not? Actually, the default state of info is "unpublished", so that's backwards.

@heluecht @dansup By "backwards", I mean the base assumption should be that software should by default publish the least amount of information possible, unless the user explicitly opts into sharing more. So one should not ask whether data needs to be protected, but rather, should it be published in the first place at all?

@trwnh @dansup the numbers of following contacts is just one piece of information among other pieces.
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