Reading about M7's return and the problems of our enAImy™ infiltrators it occurred to me that perhaps there's a way that we could develop some kind of trust network - our own decentralized social credit system of sorts.
(Side note: For my Bittersweet Seeds sci-fi cautionary tale, years ago I was I was imagining a "social credit system" long before I'd even heard the term. Anyone could observe that quantifying our world was happening in fine detail - despite TPTB dumbing it all down for us (ie. Firefox, mobile GUIs, etc). We really need to employ it for the good of the people, because it's happening whether we like it or not - and we absolutely need to at the very least be able to fight fire with fire.)
Thinking back, I can only recall 3 trust networks (for lack of a better term) in my experience with technology. Back in 2012 or 2013 Bitcoin was explained as a trust-based currency. Firefox has an add-on called "Web Of Trust" which is completely rigged, though I used to to try to fight their stats. And then there was the short lived, not publicized, almost underground F2F network called WASTE. Back then everyone I associated with online I knew in real life. (I used eMule but didn't socialize in it.) I knew who I liked and didn't among people I knew. I didn't use WASTE much at all because there just wasn't much to share through this slow private network that I couldn't do with less trouble via other means.
How I picture WASTE.
I had already considered how my MetaVotes™ concept (yet to be fully revealed and barely touched on in my Phoenix Forum idea) that could help qualitatively describe not just categories (instead of subs), posts, comments, and content, but also users. Only after I'd remembered WASTE and was writing the paragraphs above did it also occur to me that MetaVotes™ could help quantify a richer-defined network with something akin to WASTE.
I've only read the droll Wikipedia paragraphs below and will spare you that pain by providing my potentially flawed recollection. As I understood it, WASTE was a network of trust, and I only connected to friends I trust and they to friends they trust. If some guy I don't know proves to be a problem I cut that line and have to consider cutting whoever was foolish enough to trust him. From what I gather the Fediverse is essentially the same thing but with social media rather than sharing a folder. Problematically the Fediverse has tribalized with hard divisions on some issues and once someone gets branded all associated within that circle also get branded. The Fediverse seems to be mirroring the rest of the Internet (perhaps on purpose). They easily could have adopted some Freenet or I2P aspects. Or maybe it's not easy.
WASTE is a peer-to-peer and friend-to-friend protocol and software application developed by Justin Frankel at Nullsoft in 2003 that features instant messaging, chat rooms, and file browsing/sharing capabilities. The name WASTE is a reference to Thomas Pynchon's novel _The Crying of Lot 49. In the novel, W.A.S.T.E. is (among other things) an underground postal service._
In 2003, less than 24 hours after its release, WASTE was removed from distribution by AOL, Nullsoft's parent company. The original page was replaced with a statement claiming that the posting of the software was unauthorized and that no lawful rights to it were held by anyone who had downloaded it, in spite of the original claim that the software was released under the terms of the GNU General Public License.
Several developers have modified and upgraded the WASTE client and protocol. The SourceForge edition is considered by many to be the official development branch, but there are several forks.