If you're used to centralised networks like Facebook, you may be wondering why Mastodon and the Fediverse are spread across thousands of sites. Why not just have a single site where people sign up?

There are many important reasons, but maybe the most important is this:

Networks on single sites tend to be bought by bad people when they get popular 😠

It happened to Instagram (bought by Facebook), it happened to Whatsapp (bought by Facebook), it happened to YouTube (bought by Google). It can happen to ANYTHING built entirely around one site.

No matter how much you trust the people who run a site, when someone offers them billions of dollars they may just take the money.

Decentralised networks, where there is no central site, are much more resistant to buyouts.

No one owns the global email network, thousands of indie players like @Tutanota and @protonmail are able to offer alternatives, and if one provider behaves badly you can switch to a different provider.

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@feditips @Tutanota @protonmail
And as we recently seen, centralised services are really more capable of suffering some kind of error and going down for a lot of time.

(Apart from the monopoly, censorship and etc issues)

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@SrEstegosaurio @feditips Small services also suffer from outages, often even more frequently.

If you want resiliency on a decentralised network, you can make a backup account or two on separate instances.

If you want resiliency on a centralised network, you just have to hope for the best.

@kakure @feditips Yeha, that's true. But in a ideally decentralised and federated network an instance can go down. But you can't take down the whole network in a click. For that same reason I believe in decentralization.

@SrEstegosaurio Ah, that's what you meant.

Isolated outages likely. Global outages nearly impossible.

@kakure With global outages do you mean things like the internet going down or a bunch of major instances going down? Sorry πŸ˜…

@SrEstegosaurio If we define a global outage of a service by, say, at least 50% of the service's content being unavailable, then it would be very difficult to cause a global outage of the Fediverse. You would have to knock out a lot more than half of the servers because a lot of the content is stored in many places at once and because most instances do not share infrastructure with each other, besides the infrastructure of the Internet itself.

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