Spot the Fed: Mastodon, the Fediverse, and Why You Can't Run Servers Like It's 1999

Tuesday, September 12, 2023 - 12:10 pm12:25 pm

Tariq Yusuf, Kalles Group


With all the discussion of the federated internet, ActivityPub, "Web3", decentralization, and others, it can be tempting to run your own service entirely. Why wouldn't you run your own mail server? Your own social media server? Federated infrastructure provides a possibility for this but the world has changed a lot than just spinning up a server on your own. In this talk we'll discuss some of the more challenging elements of rolling your own services in 2023 including legal liability, content moderation, law enforcement requests, usability, and what needs to change for decentralization to take off.

Tariq Yusuf[node:field-speakers-institution]

Tariq is a technology policy, digital privacy, and security specialist with 8+ years of experience in the technology industry. He specializes in the intersection of privacy, engineering, legal, and policy, taking a cross-functional approach to problems facing both technology and society. He recently completed his Master in Jurisprudence from the University of Washington School of Law and received his Bachelor's in Computer Science from the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science at the University of Washington in 2011.

@conference {290811,
author = {Tariq Yusuf},
title = {Spot the Fed: Mastodon, the Fediverse, and Why You Can{\textquoteright}t Run Servers Like It{\textquoteright}s 1999},
year = {2023},
address = {Santa Clara, CA},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = sep

Presentation Video