doing applied fediverse research
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README.md 2.0KB

doing applied fediverse research

  • hands-on approach to verify statistics on fediverse from fediverse.network and the-federation.info
  • draws conclusions from that

Methods

Mapping the network

fedicrawler.py is a utility to map the Fediverse and save that data as a json file.

Currently the script starts from https://post.lurk.org and queries /api/v1/instance/peers to find servers it is peering with. For each of the peering servers it hasn’t seen before it does the same. This from the assumption that getting peer lists from Mastodon & Pleroma gives enough of a view of ‘known fediverse’ to work with.

initial peer list

all peers of the initial peers

all peers of the peers of the inintial peers

------------------------------------------------- +

the known fediverse?

Instance metadata

We try to query /.well-known/nodeinfo for instance meta-data such as software type etc. This is what both fediverse.network and the-federation.info do

When any request fails on a given instance it logs the raised Exception, if it is a HTTP error instead we currently log the answer.

Latest scrape results can be found in instance_scrape.json

Gathering of ToS/CoC

about_collector.py is a utility to collect and document the about/more/ pages of Mastodon instances found in instance_scrape.json data. It will collect three things per instance found: a screenshot of the page, the HTML of the page, and a separate file with the html containing the server description which usually also contains a ToS/CoC. The script makes a rough sorting based on whether an instance has any instance info at all.

You will find the collected results in about_pages and about_pages/with_tos.

This script requires selenium and the gecko web driver. See the selenium documentation for more information.

TODO FIXME

  • multithread the screenshotting
  • add detailed error message to json when we get one
  • abstract the functions so we can multithread them