Fediverse’s evolution from the Cultural-Historical Activity Theory

  • José Manuel Meza-Cano
  • Edith González-Santiago


This paper begins by mentioning some problems we found in social networks belonging to corporations such as Facebook and Twitter, emphasizing the inclusion of algorithmic timelines, the verticality of decisions that respond to market logic, and the privacy of users’ data. This research gives rise to presenting open-source social networks as a democratic and safer alternative for their users. These social networks shape the Fediverse, the result of the union of the words Federation- Universe, and whose history and evolution we describe. We expose the main postulates of the Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) for using this theory to conduct the Fediverse analysis, characterizing it as an Activity System, and thus, investigating the foremost tensions, reasons for change, and results. Among the findings of this analysis are: the preference of users for specific interfaces, the shift in the choice of social networks by users, the suggestions and opinions of the user community, and their influence on the programming development of social networks, promotion, or abandonment of projects by developers and change in the protocols used to connect the networks. We conclude this work by emphasizing that the CHAT allows this type of systemic analysis to be carried out from the critical moments and historical milestones of a system in constant change, such as the Fediverse. Furthermore, the proposal is made that universities are those institutions with prestige and infrastructure that can promote research, criticism, and reflection on the use of social networks for the benefit of users of the social Internet. Keywords: activity system; psychology; social networks; technological mediation.