Table of contents

Polkadot Governance Forum on ActivityPub

A decentralized blockchain needs a decentralized governance discussion platform.


At this moment, discussions around governance are scattered in several non-connected places, such as Polkassembly, Polkasqure and Commonwealth. This is not optimal for a blockchain setting. Even most of them have their source code open, data are not. This makes it difficult for Polkadot users to switch to a different platform, even when they have better features. Things like this hurt innovation within the ecosystem.

This specification proposes to extend existing governance discussion platforms using the ActivityPub protocol to free the data.


Below we use the ActivityPub terms actors, objects, collections, and activities.

The design takes inspirations from existing ActivityPub softwares like Mastodon and Lemmy, and tries to remain compatible when possible (so that you can also, for example, follow a Polkadot forum from Mastodon, or join the forum as a Lemmy community).



An automated actor representing a forum category, a topic, or a community.

Users can send posts and comments to it, which then get forwarded to followers.

A square can also follow other sqaures. If this happens, any posts and comments on the followed square will be forwarded to the following sqare. If two squares follow each other, they are considered merged (because posts will now appear on both sides).

  • Send activities to user: Accept/Follow, Announce.

  • Send activities to square: Accept/Follow, Announce.


A user account residing on an instance.

  • Send activities to square: Follow, Undo/Follow, Create, Update.


Represents an ActivityPub instance. Store site-specific global data.



Represents a post in a square.

Moderators of an instance or the post creator can associate an on-chain event or object to a post.

Each association must contain the network name. This allows cross-chain discussion to happen within the same post. However, for moderation purposes, an instance may want to restrict a square to only a single network.

Supported associations:

  • Referendum: network name, referendum ID.

  • Council motion: network name, motion ID.

  • Treasury proposal: network name, treasury proposal ID.

If two posts cross instances represent essentially the same thing, moderators can also "merge" posts together. If this happens, one of the post data will be shown (with the other hidden), and replies to both posts will be shown under the same post.


A reply to a post, or a reply to a comment.


User to square:

  • Follow

  • Unfollow

Suqare to user:

  • Accept follow

  • Announce

Square to square:

  • Follow

  • Accept follow

  • Announce


  • Create or update post

  • Create or update comment

  • Create or update post associations

  • Merge posts

  • Delete post or comment