Framasoft, the French non-profit behind the decentralised YouTube alternative PeerTube, released a statement on ISD Germany‘s research on the far-right’s open use of the platform. The project, funded by the Federal Ministry of Justice in Germany, found a growing interest among German-speaking right-wing extremist circles in the open-source PeerTube. Although PeerTube’s reach doesn’t compare to YouTube’s, it offers far-right users a route to secure extremist content, as videos and channels are under the control of the server admins. These video links can then be shared on other platforms.
In its statement, Framasoft thanks “the researchers at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue for their work.” The company writes, “the more we learn about how disinformation manipulators and right-wing extremists use PeerTube, the more PeerTube communities will learn how to effectively protect themselves from such content,” a direct recommendation our researchers outline in the report.
“Our goal is to isolate harmful and hateful content in its own bubble of association, where it can be as loud as it wants,” they wrote. In addition, the company assured that they are constantly exploring new ways to help PeerTube communities and administrators moderate hate speech and harmful content.
ISD Germany will continue to stay in exchange with Framasoft and the Fediverse community to work out solutions together.
A report on possible measures against the extreme right-wing infiltration of the Fediverse will be published in Spring 2023.
The report “The Hydra on the Net: Challenges of extremist use of the Fediverse using the example of PeerTube” was produced as part of the ISD Germany project “Countering radicalisation in right-wing extremist online subcultures” funded by the Federal Ministry of Justice (BMJ). An English translation will be made available later this year.