Is it acceptable to use proprietary software (platforms) to promote software freedom?

Mat Witts admin at
Thu Aug 24 00:04:16 UTC 2017

> Well, I wasn't arguing that persuading people to leave Facebook would
be a gain for Free Software. This was something you stated, perhaps
speculating on how some people might think: that in this zero-sum game,
people leaving Facebook will have to choose something else to fill the
void, and if you keep persuading them, eventually they will find Free
Software. I just wanted to point out that you can stop using Facebook
and choose*nothing* instead.

I agree but my statement assumed that lots of people want to participate
in social media of some sort, (the evidence is fairly emphatic) so
'choosing something else' would be their choice too.

Given there is so much to worry about with FB, making 'privacy' more
personal might be a strategy, as was the case with the anti-CFC campaign
which only got going when the harms of skin cancer were highlighted due
to ozone depletion. Before that the story of climate change didn't make
people change their fridges. If a similar story could be worked up about
FB I think more people would take notice because in an age of CCTV no
one is really feeling the anti-surveillance ticket are they?

> Of course it is about money and control. Those wanting both of these things got their success.

oh - okay... I see what you mean. 

> [...] it is all very well for the FSFE (or a campaign, or supporters)
telling people on Facebook that there are alternatives, maybe mentioning
negative things about Facebook or maybe not, but if all those people who
are supposedly seeing this message then go and investigate the Free
Software alternatives and don't get a coherent picture of what they
might be using instead, then the exercise will end up being a waste of
everyone's time.

Well I am not sure that FS ought to be billed as an 'alternative' anymore than not spying on someone is an 'alternative' to spying on them?

...we underestimate the amount of affective and cognitive labour that is required to make the change to FS I think by referring to 'alternatives'.

Most people that are locked into Apple, MS, Google and FB and all the rest are not looking for an 'alternative', they are looking for whatever they think is best for them, so how do we get them there?

The trouble is we don't, it will be their social network that gets them there so FSFE is more of a 'key influencer' for people in the industry and public admin and health and education at a fairly high level I think and less of an enabler of personal end users I think?

/ m

> P.S. I noticed that you had a vacation message which was being sent to people posting to the list. Maybe that was causing you to be moderated, but it might be a good idea to adjust these notifications in future.

I am reconfiguring my email in the next few days :-) 

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