@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]

@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...

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