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In reply to Recently saw someone mention …

In reply to

Recently saw someone mention they’d come across a request for “ActivityPub, but without follow notifications,” which (understandably) they felt was a bit creepy.

At the same time, that is exactly what RSS is. (Or any web scraper.)

ActivityPub, in fact, is a lot like RSS-plus-WebSub. Everything has a URL, everything (private messages aside, hopefully) can be crawled, and so on. Depending on the user agent and purpose, the server behind these URLs will (often) either return JSON or HTML. HTML, like any web page!

It is absolutely possible to add ActivityPub to just about any website. The (public) timeline thing, the avatars, the “action” buttons below statuses—the GUI, in short—none of that is part of the Fediverse per se. It’s just that people have mostly been building (federated) clones of popular social media sites.