We published a statement on our stance on neutrality of free software (and why we won't stay neutral in this case): f-droid.org/en/2019/07/16/stat

We know that our server is sometimes overloaded. Therefore, try this link if the official website doesn't work for you: web.archive.org/web/2019071706

Good call. Thanks for being sane. Though I hope these political decisions will be kept at an absolute minimum.


Ooh, this will be a really nice thread to feed my blocklist.

Ok, here are the rules - I don't care whether you voice your opinion supporting the block or resisting the block. All I care about is if you voice your opinion politely and respectfully. If not, welcome to my blocklist.

@chebra all sounds very sensible to me, particularly the distinction between tools and platforms. I agree the app devs have the right to code their app however they see fit. I disagree with what #Tusky did, because it creates a precedent for the developers of other software that implements standard protocols to be pressured to build in political blocks for all sorts of reason, and dogpiled if they don't. Reading between the lines, it seems like that's already happened to #Fedilab.

@strypey @chebra @fdroidorg Yeah. I agree with you. And I think F-Droid took the right decision to enhance his policy on the store.

@strypey @fdroidorg
Agreed, I don't agree with Tusky either. A hardcoded block is exactly why we have OSS and rickrolling is just childish. I'm merely giving them the benefit of the doubt and will drop them if they do something like that again. Gab is clearly the moral bad guy, but how we deal with bad guys is what defines us. Tusky chose to get down on their level and use their methods. Fedilab and F-Droid are trying to find a higher level of morality, navigating through the maze carefully.

> Gab is clearly the moral bad guy, but how we deal with bad guys is what defines us.

This. Particulary when it comes to avoiding "friendly fire" and "collatoral damage". I posted a piece about this a while back on #LibCom:

@chebra Disagreeing with the attitudes of "by any means necessary" and "the ends justify the means" is why I joined the anarchist movement in the 90s, not a marxist-leninist vanguard party. Those ideas haven't gone away and it seems like many new recruits to the left don't know our history well enough to know why that kind of sectarian bloody-mindedness is the problem, not the solution.

@strypey @fdroidorg
Exactly. Humans have been struggling with separating the bad guys without friendly fire for thousands of years and haven't really come up with a clear simple solution. Mathematically, it's because our actions are often binary (block vs not block) but the "badness" is a spectrum. Where exactly should we draw the line? Some issues are clear enough, but others are unresolved as of today.

@chebra @strypey @fdroidorg
...get down on their level? Since when is rickrolling racists as bad as being a racist? That's some serious enlightened centrist shit.


Come back when you've got over the compulsion to accuse people of stuff that has nothing to do with anything they actually said, just so you can feel smug and morally superior to them.
@chebra @fdroidorg

@fdroidorg what resources is fdroid working with for the website btw? im assuming the site is statically served rather than dynamically generated for each page load
@1iceloops123 could you SHUT UP instead and say something rational for once
@fdroidorg Very well written and clear stance on the issue which I fully support. Thanks for sharing.

@fdroidorg "staying neutral isn’t an option but instead will lead to the uprise of previously mentioned oppression and harassment against marginalized groups"

Thanks for taking a clear stance!


You seem to believe that Gab is wholly composed of harassers. This is simply false.

The majority of Gab users are nothing like that. AND harassers exist on every platform.

Singling out Gab like this is silly.

The reason Gab has been seized upon is because it's popular with Trump supporters, and a lot of Trump opponents are desperate to do anything they can to prevent Trump 2020.


> The majority of Gab users are nothing like that.

And these Gab users don't seem to perform much action against the harassers that exist on that platform - contrary to many other places on the Internet, whose communities actually do something about the hate speech problem.


@phoe @fdroidorg

There's no such thing as "hate speech". There's only free speech. You may not like some of it. If you don't like it, don't listen.

@jhol @fdroidorg See, F-Droid doesn't like it. That's exactly why F-droid doesn't listen to it anymore.

Well.i dont like mastodon maybe i should get rid of it
@jhol @fdroidorg

@phoe @fdroidorg

Right... and I'm saying they're doing something idiotic.

"Hate speech" cannot be consistently defined. It is not a politically neutral term. If f-droid start trying to moderate political ideas on their platform, there's simply no way they can do so consistently.

@jhol Sure it can. "Hate speech is speech that attacks a person or a group on the basis of protected attributes such as race, religion, ethnic origin, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity" - that's via Wikipedia.

@phoe @fdroidorg

I know what the term means. I don't accept it (nor does the US legal system, but I digress)

@phoe @jhol @fdroidorg who defines what an attack constitutes? many people just decide to feel attacked all the time, so is everything hate speech?

many people tell me "racism against whites doesnt exist" but is caucasian not a race too?

@jhol @phoe Oh no, there most certainly is "hate" and "hate speech". In fact, the boundaries of "hate speech" might be much more clearly defined than "free speech" which has always bee subject to long philosophical discussion since forever.

@chebra @phoe

Not correct. The concept of "hate speech" is a very recent idea. Which has never been accepted in the US legal system - for example.

@jhol @phoe
Maybe, but I'm not talking abut legal definition. Legal definition of free speech also exists, yet you didn't mention it. Maybe because legal definition of free speech clearly excludes inciting violence and other crimes, which is exactly the boundary of free speech we are dealing with now.

@chebra @phoe We're not though... because Gab as a whole has not broken any laws. Otherwise, it would have been shut down by the police.

@jhol @chebra Neither has F-Droid. So I have no idea why F-Droid would be unlawful in what it is currently doing.

@phoe @chebra I never said they had done anything unlawful. This is pedantic.

I said they "had no right".
I'm saying that morally I disagree with their decision.

In the same way that it's not unlawful to lie - doesn't mean it's morally defensible.

@jhol @chebra Exactly, so they *have* a concrete right to do what they are doing. Everything else is you disagreeing with them utilizing that right, which you are allowed to do by free speech, and which everyone else can not listen to via their right to freely filter what they see.

@jhol @chebra Here? You mean that I'm on a Mastodon instance that takes action against hate speech? I just am.

@jhol @chebra You're landing posts on my notification feed, and we're having a conversation. Looks exactly like the definition of what social media is created for to me.

@jhol @phoe

Would it? So you think everybody who is not in jail today is by definition innocent because "they would have been caught by now"?

@chebra @phoe Show me where Gab - this monolith that you seem think of them as - has comitted a crime. If you can't then they are innocent until proven guilty.

There may be criminal individuals who use Gab - but there are on every platform.

@jhol @chebra Once again - not every platform has done something with the hate speakers that pollute it. I prefer to stay on those who perform actual action against them.

quick nitpick: the prohibition on inciting violence is actually extremely narrow. the exact phrasing is that speech which the speaker intends to incite "imminent and likely lawless action" is not protected. so saying to a group of protestors, "we'll take the fucking street again" is protected, while "we'll take the fucking street now" would not be. advocating lawless action at some indefinite point in the future is still protected speech.

it's worth noting that that judicial precedent was set in a case concerning an anti-war protestor.

nitpick done, I'll go now *ducks out*

@phoe @jhol

@hushpiper @jhol @chebra

Hate speech isn't limited to imminent and likely lawless actions. Hate speech isn't harmful only when it's imminent; most of hate speech online, in what I have experienced so far, is not actually placed in any concrete time frame, not even imminent.

> Maybe because legal definition of free speech clearly excludes inciting violence and other crimes, which is exactly the boundary of free speech we are dealing with now.

This is what I was replying to. It had nothing whatsoever to do with hate speech.
@chebra @jhol

@hushpiper @jhol @chebra

Got it - I misread the context.

Time for me to go to sleep...

It's my bad tbh, this is such a busy discussion, and I forgot about how confusing comment threading is here 🙈 sleep well, hopefully this hasn't been too stressful for you!

@jhol @chebra

> The concept of "hate speech" is a very recent idea. Which has never been accepted in the US legal system - for example.

Neither were women voting rights exactly a hundred years ago.

So - never accepted *yet*.

@jhol @fdroidorg There is, you seemingly lack the empathy to perceive it though.

@phoe @jhol @fdroidorg other places "actually do something" like go on goose chases to find one white dude who had a "wrong" opinion about gay people 5 years ago in a conversation to his buddies? these antifa brigades do much MUCH more harm than good, and they have a far greater real-world impact than a couple of boomers on gab. you arent fighting a just cause. donate to help plant trees or something, that way you can do something undeniably good for the world


"We believe platforms like F-Droid’s repository or fediverse instances must be moderated in order to prevent oppression and harassment to flourish." - this is wrong headed in the extreme.

It's not your business to dictate what people can and can't say online.

Your job is to be a neutral platform. If it's criminal, take it down. If not, you have no right - even if you don't like it.

@jhol Of course they have a right to do so. F-Droid is a private service provider and has as much right to filter the software it ships as Gab has the right to abuse free speech.


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