What's wrong with Italian Fediverse?

Today, while reading the news from the fediverse, I came across the remnants of an old discussion, which, due to the decision of some attention-seeking individuals, is being repeatedly brought up in an unnecessary and endless controversy. This serves as evidence that the Italian-speaking fediverse has a significant problem.

If you were to ask me what exactly the problem is, I would tell you that, in the end, the problem with the Italian-fediverse is "Italianità," a combination of unique (and very Italian)  characteristics that turn anyone with even a minimum level of authority, however feeble it may be, into a petty mafia boss.

The problem has many facets, or rather, many pillars. The first one is the opportunistic culture of the Italians themselves, and the vast number of people who, intoxicated by politics, try to secure a "steady position" by using anything new they see as a springboard, as long as it has consensus or visibility. If tomorrow horse manure becomes trendy, rest assured that two or three of these individuals will form NATIONAL horse manure clubs. Of course, these clubs won't be truly "national," but they will bear that name to appear bigger. You never know when some politician might take an interest. And thanks to them, the club may actually become TRULY national, or at least recognized as such by the government.

As you can imagine, the formation of MANY "NATIONAL" clubs within the same nation immediately creates a conflict. Who is truly the "national" club? The one that was established first? The one with the most members in Italy? The one that uses burning pasta in the stove for heating? No one knows, but you can be certain that a robust controversy, if not a feud, will erupt immediately, or almost immediately. It becomes necessary to determine who is the leader in these parts, for the same reason that drives many men to buy an SUV: their size doesn't matter.

The feud that someone continues to propagate, in essence, is precisely this: different instances of the fediverse all wanted to be "the number one in Italy." Or rather, one wanted to be number one, while the others did not. It's a passive-aggressive way of saying that they too wanted to be number one, but without having the courage to admit it. In the end, the usual Italian melodrama unfolded, which inevitably leads to threats of lawsuits, unspecified (and doubtful) criminal acts, and all the fanfare that makes Italians look so pathetic when seen from abroad. And coming from an Italian like myself, it means that the problem is serious.

But this is just the first part of the farce. It was followed by a second phase. Officially, only one instance of the "Italian" fediverse aspired to the title of the "true and only instance of the 'Italian' fediverse" (whatever that may mean, but keep in mind that Italy has a tremendous fetishism for "made in Italy," which often oscillates between ridiculous and pathetic, even going so far as to prohibit innocent tourists from enjoying a cappuccino after 12:00 PM. Why this nonsensical rule? Because being pathetic is not a science, is genuine art!).

However, in reality, there were also the passive-aggressives who staked a claim to the same title because they arrived first , or for thousands of different reasons, like "I'm more masculine because I own an SUV." And now these passive-aggressives must prove that they indeed own an SUV and that this SUV signifies their masculinity.

So far, the Italian fediverse has been characterized by a significant lack of instance administrators who are women. I hope that more female administrators arrive swiftly, so that we can have administrators who don't feel the need to prove that their size matters.


This deadly competition for spiritual SUVs revolves around a race for a particular status. And since the fediverse is composed of large instances and small instances, the most culturally Italian response is as follows: The larger instances form "the mafia of instances." And since in Italy power is divided among mafias, parishes, and secret societies, depending on the administrator's personality, we can distinguish three different behaviors.

1. The first behavior is that of the mafia. The larger, more aggressive instances must immediately show signs of territorial possession. And how do they do it? By bullying the smaller instances, demanding obedience to the rules of THEIR instance. It's as if in the house of a mafioso, everyone is teetotalers, and the mafia family, to showcase their power, forbids anyone from talking to the shop that sells alcoholic beverages. Why? Because they are powerful and they can. And so, fully aware of their heavy-handedness, there is a proliferation of instances being defederated simply because those involved do not agree with the regulations of another instance. It's a fetishism, a "bulgar display of power". 

2. The second type of behavior is that of the parishes. This is typical of instances that call themselves "generalist" simply because they were created with the hope of making some money later on. Lacking a genuine sense of community or identity, they fail to characterize their instance. These instances, being "generalist," take inspiration from the worst aspects of Italian public television. I call them "Domenica In instances" because they are as boring as the famous TV show, as bland as the show, as populas as the show, and they fear any discussion that stirs even the slightest bit of emotion. They embody an anorexic, abstinent, inherently Catholic culture that is honestly deadly dull and culturally insignificant. However, in their cowardice, these parishes seemingly do not require affiliation or take a clear stance. But, just like in any parish, it should be clear that the priest is in charge and an offering must be made. And you must participate in the sung mass, indirectly singing the praises of the priest. This is typical of generalist instances that don't become mafias—they become parishes.

3. The third type of instances are what I call Masonic instances. These are instances where sysadmins privately contact each other to collectively ban a small instance. However, despite their inner SUV, they lack the courage to admit that they are just a neighborhood gang, and they don't have the guts to make their alliance known. The blend of corporal cowardice and human pettiness often leads them to characterize themselves as "leftist" or "social" instances. Because there's nothing more coveted by a villain than the badge of being "good." Even this kind of instance ultimately ends up banning or limiting people from small instances, especially those that are self-hosted. In the end, both the mafias, parishes, and Masonic instances represent the three paths of Italian territorial familyism, a cultural ailment that keeps the nation's progress in check. In short, a bunch of shitty people.

Why do I insist on labeling these behaviors as 'Italian'? Because my instance federates across three linguistic 'worlds.' The first is the 'DACH' world (an acronym for Deutschland, Austria, Switzerland), which is German-speaking. The second is the English-speaking world, which is, naturally, larger. And finally, there's the Italian world. But let's face it, these behaviors are not limited to any specific nationality. They're like a universal recipe for mischief, shared by mischievous minds worldwide. So, pardon my cheeky attribution to Italy alone. After all, when it comes to stirring up a bit of fun, it's best to sprinkle a touch of humor across all borders!

However, there is a quality that makes the Italian part more unbearable than the other two regions. It is the fact that while German speakers and English speakers are aware of being a visible part of a larger network, Italians believe themselves to be an unknown world, like a family arguing behind closed doors, thinking no one else can hear them. This intrinsic provincialism in their thinking leads sysadmins to behave like conscienceless swine, simply because they believe they are not being watched. They think that the rest of the fediverse knows nothing about their quarrels, and especially that they are not being laughed at.

If the flaws are not different, what changes is the attitude of the italian sysadmins who believe themselves above judgment, thus exaggerating the very same flaws that foreign sysadmins strive to mitigate or conceal. The flaws I speak of exist abroad as well, but only in Italy does the sensation of not being part of a greater whole result in excesses that descend into farce. As they say, 'dirty laundry is washed at home,' and so these provincial individuals of the fediverse think they can do anything without being seen and judged.

This last characteristic is both an advantage and a disadvantage. For instances, even small ones, that have a foot in multiple stirrups, it reduces the power of the sysadmins, whether they are mafiosi, parochial, or Masonic. Secondly, since "generalist" instances offer nothing interesting, new, stimulating, or exciting, federation becomes completely dispensable. They are the equivalent of "family-friendly TV," something diluted and tasteless that is better off without. Lastly, it pushes people to escape boredom by interacting with smaller, more characterized instances that are freer from the dictatorship of the "Domenica In" world. In other words, it leads to a proliferation of small self-hosted instances, born when someone with minimal IT knowledge decides to break free from the dictates of those pesky mafiosi, little priests, and Masons.

To conclude, I have a message for foreigners observing these drama-filled disputes and one for the sysadmins of the "big instances." To foreigners, I say: don't worry, it's just the usual Italian drama. It makes a lot of noise, grabs attention, but it ultimately means nothing at all. To Italian sysadmins, I say: being banned from a "Domenica In" or "national-popular" instance is not that serious.

Being stuck in a Catholic-Communist instance with rules that seem to be written by Pippo Baudo, sooner or later, people get fed up. They would like to see some strong opinions, differences, and exciting, if not epic, discussions once in a while. And that's why, in the end, they will open another account to follow small instances, if not their own personal ones. In practice, I have been banned from many, if not all, of these "generalist" Italian instances, and what I have seen is (with my big surprise!)  that the users of these instances eventually opened other accounts to interact with me... again.

Or, if you prefer it in brief: Dear bunch of idiots, the fediverse, by its very nature, does not favor mafia-like behaviors, parishes, or secret societies. You have no power. You are nobody. You amount to nothing. And all your hopes of proving otherwise crash and burn with clear evidence: you don't even own an SUV.

YOUR size does NOT matter.

Last but not least: you look pathetic, too.

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