What is a Decentralized Social Network?
A Decentralized social network operates on an independently run server and free open source software like Freindica, Buddypress, Status.net, Diaspora, and many others giving users autonomy and control of their data, Anyone can setup their own social network website on their own independent web host thereby giving the owner total control and ownership of their platform, they can determine the policies for their users and not worry about a large corporation like Facebook, youtube or twitter censoring information. Simply put decentralized social networks give users more control and autonomy.
What is a Federated Social Network?
A Federated Social Network, also coined Distributed Social Network is a group of independantly owned decentralized social networks who have joined their websites together so content from all sites and users in the group is distributed across distinct independently run servers and providers, similar to email but for social networks. Examples of Federated Social Networks are the Fediverse or IndieWeb. Decentralized social network sites can link together in these groups via nodes, widgets, apps or plugins, they consist of multiple social websites, where users of each site communicate with users of any of the other sites within the group or “federation” . The concept is comparable to the concept of social media being a public utility.