Workshop Proceedings of the 18th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media

Workshop: DeWeb 2024: 1st International Workshop on Decentralizing the Web

DOI: 10.36190/2024.42

Published: 2024-06-01
Truthiness and Activity Counts: The Challenges and Opportunities of Enumerating Behavior in Decentralized Social Media
Matthew N. Nicholson, Casey Fiesler, Brian C. Keegan

Basic measures of activity and use are central to computational social science research and policy, and in a decentralized domain it is more difficult to track these fundamental measures. In this work, we illustrate this difficulty by comparing several secondary sources of this data on the federated social network Mastodon, and demonstrate that there is widespread disagreement. We briefly discuss the how ground truth becomes contextual and political in this less centralized setting, and argue that new modes of infrastructure and infrastructuring are needed in this less centralized space.