Universities, Step into the Fediverse! Reclaiming Digital Sovereignty

Melanie Bartos

Playlists: '37c3-meta' videos starting here / audio

Universities can be important creators of digital public spaces and use, design and provide public-interest network structures such as the Fediverse. In line with its FLOSS tradition, the University of Innsbruck focuses on the Fediverse and has established an instance on university servers. Alongside insights into the process, motivation and networking is the aim of this Lightning Talk. Universities, join the Fediverse!

The disaster with Twitter highlighted the risks of relying on commercial platforms for central communication channels. This isn't new, but it sharply illustrates the issues with much of social media's structure. Universities can significantly contribute to establishing the Fediverse as a decentralized, non-commercial, privacy-conscious network. Using the example of the University of Innsbruck, the talk will show how a trio from different departments, science communication, data protection and IT, set up a Fediverse instance for institutional science communication on Mastodon on university servers. This Lightning Talk aims to inform and showcase how one university successfully engaged with the Fediverse, serving as a call to action for other universities to join in seizing the opportunity to improve online communication structures.
Melanie Bartos, Hansjörg Pehofer, Matthias Weiler