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Mastodon: "We'll protect you from Cambridge Analytica and Palantir!"

meanwhile they are using the same big data search engine that Cambridge Analytica and Palantir use 🤔
jszym @jszym

@kaniini if you’re talking about elasticsearch, it’s like saying “well they both used $someDatabase to store data on their servers...”

Mastodon offers the promise of federation, not freedom from whatever arbitrary technology was used for evil elsewhere.

It’s true in this case, as it has been since time and memorial, that technology isn’t the scary thing, it’s how people use it.


let me put this in simpler terms, ok?

having elasticsearch ready to go makes an instance more valuable

this means Cambridge Analytica is more likely to part with substantial cash to buy the "right" mastodon instance

@kaniini crawling an instance’s toots _without_ buying it is a weekend project for one person. When you own the db, pumping into elasticsearch takes maybe an afternoon.

If an afternoon’s work feels like a sufficient deterrent from hostile actors buying your instance and stealing your data, I envy you your lazy attackers.

Sorry I wasn’t able to put this as simply as you have...


you can't crawl private toots, and an ad agency would see controlling a large mastodon instance as more valuable than just the current data.

the future data is also valuable.
the realtime metrics that ES can generate are valuable.
eventually, they would start injecting fake toots into your timeline too, to buy whatever the latest gas-in-a-tube beauty trend was.

ES is a large variable amongst other large variables