ActivityPub Conf 2019 Speakers

By Christopher Lemmer Webber on Wed 07 August 2019

Good news everyone! The speaker list for ActivityPub Conf 2019 is here! (In this document, below, but also in ODT and PDF formats.)

(Bad news everyone: registration is closed! We're now at 40 people registered to attend. However, we do aim to be posting recordings of the event afterwards if you couldn't register in time.)

But, just in case you'd rather see the list of speakers on a webpage rather than download a document, here you go:

Keynote: Mark Miller, “Architectures of Robust Openness”

Description coming soon! But we're very excited about Mark Miller keynoting.

Keynote: Christopher Lemmer Webber, “ActivityPub: past, present, future”

This talk gives an overview of ActivityPub: how did we get to this point? Where are we now? Where do we need to go? We'll paint a chart from past to a hopeful future with better privacy, richer interactions, and more security and control for our users.

Matt Baer, “Federated Blogging with WriteFreely”

We're building out one idea of what federated blogging could look like with separate ActivityPub-powered platforms, WriteFreely and Read.as -- one for writing and and one for reading. Beyond the software, we're also offering hosting services and helping new instances spring up to make community-building more accessible, and get ActivityPub-powered software into more hands. In this talk I'll go over our approach so far and where we're headed next.

Caleb James DeLisle, “The case for the unattributed message”

Despite it's significant contribution to internet culture, the archetype of the anonymous image board has been largely ignored by protocol designers. Perhaps the reason for this is because it's all too easy to conflate unattributed speech with unmoderated speech, which has shown itself to be a dead end. But as we've seen from Twitter and Facebook, putting a name on everything hasn't actually worked that well at improving the quality of discourse, but what it does do is put already marginalized people at greater risk.

What I credit as one of the biggest breakthroughs of the fediverse has been the loose federation which allows a person to choose their moderator, completely side stepping the question of undemocratic censorship vs. toxic free speech. Now I want to start a conversation about how we might marry this powerful moderation system to a forum which divorces the expression of thought from all forms of identity.

Cristina DeLisle, “OSS compliance with privacy by default and design”

Privacy is becoming more and more central in shaping the future of tech and the data protection legislation has contributed significantly to making this happen. Privacy by default and design are core principles that are fundamental to how software should be envisioned. The GDPR that came into the spotlight has a strong case to become a standard even outside European borders, influencing the way we protect personal data. However its impact might be, its implementation is still in its infancy. OSS has found itself facing the situation and one aspect which is particularly interesting on the tech side is how to incorporate the principles of privacy by default and design into the software that we build.

This talk is going to be an overview of how the GDPR has impacted FOSS communities, what do we mean by privacy by default and by design, how could we envision them applied in our OSS. It will bring examples from which we might find something interesting to learn from, regardless if we are looking at them as mistakes, best practices or just ways of doing things.

Michael Demetriou, “I don't know what I'm talking about: a newbie's introduction to ActivityPub”

I have just started my development journey in ActivityPubLand and I hope to have a first small application ready before ActivityPubConf. I was thinking that since I have close to zero experience with ActivityPub development, I could document my first month of experience, describe the onboarding process and point out useful resources and common pitfalls. In the end I can showcase what I've done during this period.

Luc Didry, “Advice to new fediverse administrators and developers”

Hosting an ActivityPub service is not like hosting another service… and it's the same for developing ActivityPub software. Here is some advice based on Framasoft's experience (we host a Mastodon instance and develop two ActivityPub software: PeerTube and Mobilizon – the last one is not yet out), errors and observations.

Maloki, “Is ActivityPub paving the way to web 3.0?”

A talk about how we're walking away from Web 2.0, and paving the way to Web 3.0 with ActivityPub development. We'll discuss what this could mean for the future of the web, we'll look at some of the history of the web, and also consider the social implications moving forward.

Pukkamustard, “The Semantic Social Network”

ActivityPub uses JSON-LD as serialization. This means @context field all over the place. But really there is more behind this: ActivityPub speaks Linked Data. In this talk we would like to show what this means and how this can be used to do cool things. We might even convince you that the Fediverse is a huge distributed graph that could be queried in very interesting ways - that the Fediverse is a Semantic Social Network.

Schmittlauch, “Decentralised Hashtag Search and Subscription in Federated Social Networks”

Hashtags have become an important tool for organising topic-related posts in all major social networks, even having managed to spark social movements like #MeToo. In federated social networks, unfortunately so far the view on all posts of a hashtag is fragmented between instances.

For a student research paper I came up with an architecture for search and subscription of hashtag-posts in federated social networks. This additional backend for instances augments the Fediverse with a little bit of P2P technology.

As this architecture is still at a conceptual stage, after presenting my work I'd like to gather ideas and feedback from various Fediverse stakeholders: What do global hashtags mean for marginalised people and moderation, are they more a tool of empowerment or of harassment? How can this concept be represented in the ActivityPub protocol? And what stories do server devs have to tell about common attack scenarios?

Serge Wroclawski, “Keeping Unwanted Messages off the Fediverse”

Spam, scams and harassment pose a threat to all social networks, including the Fediverse. In this talk, we discuss a multilayered approach to mitigating these threats. We explore spam mitigation techniques of the past as well as new techniques such as OcapPub and Postage.