Darnell (Seize The Day)


EU Voice Header

Image Credit: EU Voice

I was alerted by @helma@mastodon.social that @EDPS@social.network.europa.eu announced that the European Union has declined to continue funding the EU Voice & EU Video, which broadcasted the regional government's views to the Fediverse.

On 28 April 2022, the European Data Protection Supervisor launched a pilot project featuring two social media platforms: EU Voice and EU Video. The two platforms are part of the free, open-source and decentralised social media networks, based on Mastodon and PeerTube. Over the past two years, EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies (EUIs) had the opportunity to create accounts on the platforms and connect with users registered in the _ Fediverse_, an online network of platforms and services interconnected with each other, including social media platforms. [...]

Wojciech WiewiΓ³rowski, EDPS, said: β€œThe EDPS pilot project of EU Voice and EU Video has proved that public bodies, like EUIs, can offer social media platforms that respect individuals' fundamental rights as alternatives to common platforms owned by a handful of big players. I am proud of the success of this project, especially considering the limited resources at our disposal. Unfortunately, despite our efforts to find a new home for EU Voice and EU Video in other EUIs, we have been unable to secure new ownership to maintain the servers and sustain operations at the high standards that EUIs and our users deserve”. [...]

The EDPS will facilitate the required migration of EUIs who wish to keep their accounts active in the Fediverse, by providing the necessary support to ensure a smooth transition to other platforms. EU Voice and EU Video will be officially closed on 18 May 2024. (European Data Protection Supervisor Press Release)

To say that the platform is a success is an understatement. One of the more popular accounts, @EU_Commission@social.network.europa.eu, has almost 100,000 followers, with other accounts on EU Voice boasting thousands of followers.

If the European Union πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί shuts down EU Voice, they will be relying upon Threads to carry their voice into the Fediverse, as @EuropeanCommission@threads.net (note: not yet federated as of this post) currently has 135,000 followers (as of this post).

Unlike the United States πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ, Meta has a complicated relationship with the European Union πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί. If the EU πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί terminates their Mastodon & Peertube accounts, they will cede control of their Fediverse presence to @zuck@threads.net, who can use the threat of Threads exiting the European Union πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί as leverage during negotiations.

Euro currency

Ask & Ye Shall Receive

With Europe's economy barely avoiding a recession & the war in Ukraine πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦ becoming a costly affair, the EU is trying to find ways of cutting governmental costs to remain within their budget during these troubling times.

Running & maintaining a server is expensive, especially if it is popular amongst the masses. However, instead of dismantling their independent voice in the Fediverse, the government could ask their community on & offline for assistance keeping their presence alive.

The EU Voice could ask their 200,000 plus followers on Mastodon & Threads to donate one euro πŸ’Ά (yes, just €1) monthly to help keep their servers alive. I am an American πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ, & I would contribute €10 per month to help keep their instance alive, as a government needs to have an independent voice online in the Fediverse.

Major European Companies

Image Credit: EU Biz

Local Corporate Support

Also, the EU should not be too proud to ask their local business community for assistance. As a bonus, the EU could also encourage the business community to establish their presence on the Fediverse by using several homegrown options like:

Many European businesses could probably write off any funds donated as on their taxes (at least I hope they can as I am more familiar with the American πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ tax system & not the European Union's πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί), & between willing users & local companies, the EU Voice could find the strength to continue singing in the Fediverse.

Out of time movie with Denzel Washington

Image Credit: Out Of Time movie promo

The Clock Is Ticking

With less than a month until the EU Voice shuts down, it will be up to ActivityPub European activists to voice their concerns to their government & advocate keeping these instances alive.

After all, I am just an American πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ who is attempting to convince more government entities to embrace the Fediverse in the United States πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ (especially now that a couple of ActivityPub platforms are secure enough for governmental use).

If the EU decides to abandon their respective Mastodon & Peertube accounts & rely on the mercy of @mosseri@threads.net (note: he is a great guy, but he spends too much time on Instagram πŸ˜‰), then of course I will follow their account on Threads.

However, before the EU again outsources its social presence to another American company, it may want to ask its fellow European netizens for assistance in maintaining its social presence in Europe.

Update: The European Union πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡Ί has a new Fediverse handle & it appears like they are here to stay! (Props to @jwildeboer@social.wildeboer.net for alerting me about this).

Our commitment to the fediverse is here to stay.

Today, we launched our new Mastodon instance. It will ensure a privacy-focused space to engage with and get the latest from our Commissioners, departments, and the official voices of the Commission.

We want to thank @Mastodon@mastodon.social for stewarding us and helping us make this possible.

Fostering European digital players is vital to our strategy for a stronger #DigitalEU.

This is a unique opportunity to grow the community even more. Let's get there! (@EUCommission@ec.social-network.europa.eu on Mastodon)

πŸ‘¨πŸΎβ€πŸ’» by @darnell@darnellclayton.com πŸ”› @darnell@darnell.day

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