@JPEG Hope you don’t reconsider Mast being open source because of them! If they want to fork, let them. We’ll see which fork is better 😉.

BTW, did I misunderstand or is it still possible to use Gab, just not possible to sign up? In which case I would say they’re not blocked and merely discouraged and are making a fool of themselves for nothing. You can always sign up on Web!

I’m personally not a fan of filtering in software instead of at the backend, but it’s your app 🙂.

@js I’ll be keeping it open source :) not letting a few bad actors impact anything. And Mast blocks them from signing up at all so they can’t use the app if they can’t get in when entering an instance.

@JPEG Ah. That I’m not a fan of. Not because I like Gab, but it makes me wonder if e.g. my instance ever gets blocked because you and @angristan get into an argument or whatever. Software should let me do what I want to do. It’s ok to have defaults that I need to change, it’s ok to block sign up as that’s kind of an endorsement, but I’m worried about software that enforces opinions and gets in my way :/. Gab is an easy one, but what’s next?

@js @angristan That’s entirely understandable and a very valid point. I think the distinction here is between what’s widely regarded as hate speech and ‘nazis’ etc. That’s wholeheartedly considered ‘bad’. I would never stop anyone using the platform for personal preferences or reasons otherwise that don’t cause any harm on others.


@JPEG That's good to hear! 🙂

But there's a few other problems as well, even with the Gab ban. I've learned early (~ 2003 or so) that using software to fix social problems doesn't work and only makes everything worse.

Then there's that open source licenses explicitly don't limit how it can be used. I'd like to not allow any military to use my software - but then it would not be open source anymore, so I do not have such a clause. Things would quickly get incompatible and the software [1/n]

· · Web · 2 · 0 · 1

@JPEG ecosystem would collapse, as you quickly have a lot of incompatible licenses. *Everybody* is now trying to limit who can use their software. Now imagine someone like ESR would start enforcing his political opinions on the software he maintains. I'm sure he has plenty of opinions you personally disagree with, and if he limits the software to people who agree with him, you would no longer be able to use it. Suddenly, you would have a huge problem: No fetchmail. No ncurses. So even [2/n]

@JPEG though you disagree with his political opinions, you might still want to use the software. Now imagine the mess we'd be in if everybody would enforce their political opinion in their software.

And then there's also the point that you might want to use Gab. Not because you are a Nazi. Because you are a target and want to know what they are up to. You might want to use Mast to read up on what they are targeting right now, so that you can adjust and stay out of it.

Introducing [3/4]

@JPEG politics in software has been tried before, and it never worked well. Even such mundane things as a "Do no evil" clause resulted in a big problem, even though they seem completely harmless and well intentioned.

Imagine that next Mozilla prevents you from visiting some sites they disagree with. "You want to use Google? They track you. We disagree with that."

In any case, feel free to disagree 🙂. Just my opinion and experience and I force it on nobody 😉. And also not a fan of Gab.


@js I respect and agree with all the points that you've mentioned. It's definitely a hard balance to find, where you respect users' wishes as well as what's 'right'. Policing the state of a network tends to have a negative effect, but without it, it tends to fester anyway so kind of need a balance either way. Take Twitter for example, Jack's hated by many for how he's allowing Nazis on his platform, but if were to start banning entire groups of people, it would set a precedent that could lead...

@js to it becoming a very closed community. It's not something that's as clear as black and white, and I'd love to satisfy both ends of this. But also, having already taken a step, I feel like I can't take any steps back now at all. Gab is bad, that we agree on, but what else is bad, and how much else will have to be decided? Questions I don't really want to partake in...

@js because at the end of the day I just wanted to make a cool app that people can use. Realistically, the platform decisions should fall on platform creators, not front-end vendors. I didn't even know what gab was until some time ago, and even then it's not something I have come across myself. It's a weird scenario but I agree with all you've said. :)

@JPEG Interesting counter argument to consider: We made a lot of nazis super rich by banning them from all payment methods and pushing them to Bitcoin 😟

@js @JPEG that's not a problem with open source licenses in general. it's an artificial problem with open source licenses written by the FSF and other groups who claim they don't have a political agenda, but are effectively coming down on the side of hate speech and the military by default.

i'm starting to think Crockford had the right idea…

@VyrCossont @JPEG That's not true. It's a problem with with any license to which you add usage restrictions. The FSF just disallowed any restrictions.

As soon as you have different licenses with incompatible terms, you have a problem. Example: If someone uses the BSD license and adds "Can't be used by Germans" (using that as an example as I am German), and someone else adds a "Can only be used by Germans", then those two can never be combined.

As you can see, not an FSF problem.

@js @JPEG so follow the licenses and don't combine them, i don't see the problem here

if you have to find or write a library that does allow use by Germans but doesn't allow use by the military, it serves your goal of not allowing use of your software by the military

it might also be some extra work but what social good isn't?

@VyrCossont @JPEG Well what if you have two libraries that you want to use that have an incompatible license?
What about the example I gave of ESR then forbidding you to use his software?

@js then you don't use one of them and you find or write a replacement with a compatible license. won't be the first time someone reimplemented software due to licensing, won't be the last.

how much do you want your software to not be used by the military?

also ESR is a documented homophobe, sexist, and gun nut, a real piece of shit who i find objectionable both personally and politically. so i already don't use his software. no problems there. 😇

@VyrCossont Exactly - we already have license problems because there's so many. Now if everybody adds their own clause on usage restrictions, there's basically almost no compatibility left anymore.

And yes, you do use ESR's software. You have it on your system. You're using it daily. I'm sure. I mean, do you use e-mail? Do you use anything with ncurses? There you go. I intentionally picked ESR *because* he is objectionable and yet everybody uses his software.

@js ESR inventing email is news to me dude

jumping onto one long-obsolete mail program that someone else wrote hardly makes him irreplaceable email infrastructure

and the only TUI app i use even weekly is tmux 😝

but i'm not going to do a point by point refutation of your scenario…
@js i'm sure you can find software on *either* of our systems written or contributed to by, say, neo-Nazis

there are a lot of them around these days, although major projects adopting codes of conduct seems to piss them off…
@js the real question is how much you value your own preference for your software not to be used, directly or indirectly, to kill people, vs. your preference against license fragmentation

and the answer is that, based on our conversation, you seem to care more about license fragmentation than people fragmentation

interesting choice
@js but your point about enforcing social goals thru technical measures is well taken. it won't always work.

we also need to continue to make it *socially* unacceptable to be a neo-Nazi or other element of Gab's target market, and that includes irritation-level barriers like @JPEG including Gab on Mast blocklists, and i'm happy to see more and more of that happen.

@VyrCossont @JPEG Yup. That has fortunately happened in Germany 😀. Most of the shit they say is outright illegal here and jailable. Unfortunately, there's parties like AfD who try to make it normal again 😟.

@VyrCossont I'm thinking putting a line that says "Any military is not allowed to use this software" is only causing fragmentation, because a military won't care anyway about such a clause. So you get fragmentation and the software is still used by the military. I definitely don't want my software to be used to kill people, but there's only so much I can do.

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